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When integrated audio solutions became good enough, standalone sound cards essentially vanished into oblivion from the mass market. However, integrated audio sub-systems are usually worse than high-quality audio cards not only in terms of supported sound processing technologies but because of poor analogue circuits. Asrock has decided to correct the situation and install high-end components directly onto its next-generation mainboards.

Asrock Purity Sound technology is a combination of several hardware, software audio solutions and technologies that will satisfy even the pickiest audiophiles, according to the company. Including 7.1-channel HD audio with Realtek ALC1150 audio codec that supports 115dB SNR DAC, and two TI NE5532 amplifiers, one is a differential amplifier and the other one is a premium headset amplifier which supports up to 600Ohm headphones. Besides, Asrock Purity Sound supports cap-less Direct Drive technology, EMI shielding cover, PCB isolate shielding and support for DTS Connect.

With the new mainboards that support Purity Sound, users may expect more details with less distortion and the industry’s highest SNR 115dB. It also provides the exact amount of oomph for bass heads to bounce to the beats, and premium headset amplifier for headphiles to directly connect their high impedance headphones, such as 600 ohm headphones, without needing to buy another expensive audio amplifier or sound card.

The first mainboards to support Purity Sound will be Asrock’s platforms based on Intel 8-series “Lynx Point” chipsets designed for Intel Core i-series 4000-family “Haswell” microprocessors in LGA1150 packaging. Select versions of the new-generation mainboards will also support HDMI-In, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0, conformal waterproof coating and other.

Tags: Asrock, Purity Sound, Lynx Point, Intel, Core, Haswell


Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 05/08/13 12:26:30 PM
Latest comment: 06/04/13 12:03:41 AM
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If it doesn't increase the mobo price, great. Current highend mobos are over-priced by a good $50. in the U.S.

It is reported that Asrock will also offer "water-proof" Intel socket LGA 1150 mobos for those who use CLCs or open loop H2O systems, because they are known to leak and destroy the mobo and other components. There is however no guarantee against water damage to the mobo so if it leaks, you could still be SOL.
0 0 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 05/08/13 12:26:30 PM]

Which boards are getting this?
0 0 [Posted by: loadwick  | Date: 05/08/13 01:34:06 PM]

I really appreciate these efforts, and hope this board provides good results. The Asus boards that have similar aims have not done very well in reviews, though.

Even with some of Creative's highest-end gear (audiophile-grade? I don't think so!), I have not had good results. I might also have some trouble with my monitors (speakers), but they work flawlessly through a Yamaha S90-XS keyboard. I finally tried an optical cable (in hopes of physical separation from the tower), and that eliminated the extraneous noise that I couldn't seem to shake with any other PC audio solution. However, the optical-to-analog converter box leaves something to be desired--there is a slight delay (almost 1s) whenever audio first starts playing. Apparently this is a known issue, with some going so far as playing a blank audio clip all the time just to keep the audio chain "online," and others seem to have luck using dedicated mixers that accept optical input. I'm not sure if there are any better optical-to-analog converters out there, but even with the delay, it still seems to be a better solution than a straight analog chain. With typical computer speakers, though, you might never notice.
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 05/08/13 01:45:16 PM]
- collapse thread

While creative High end Titanium HD specs well I found the sound less than inviting as well myself. Main problem being rather rough sounding high frequencies . This card does however have incredible potential if modified as most of the active componants on the card are high end indeed. Only the passive componants need some work to make this card really sing
0 0 [Posted by: germanium  | Date: 05/08/13 10:36:06 PM]

Very good adverts. The engineering makes sense, and they are targeting important metrics (SNR and frequency response under headphone load).

First consumer PC audio adverts I've seen that have not been marketing BS.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 05/08/13 04:33:15 PM]

Signal to noise ratio, THD+N, and frequency response that does not roll off too soon is nice on paper, but things get very different in real world usage of audio reproduction. Not all digital to analog converters are created equal, electrolyte capacitors are not audio grade since they introduce more noise than other capacitors using other construction times, how the sound moves through the air, and how the human ear is formed is many things that affects good sound quality. High grade speakers uses polypropylene or mylar capacitors, so ASRock used the wrong capacitors.

Have ASRock looked in the history of what manufacture adventured in closer to audiophile grade motherboards. If they had, AOpen made a motherboard and it did not go so well. These days people are using external sound cards for better quality. The external sound cards are better because the radio frequencies does not ruin the sound like on-board sound cards or internal sound cards that computers comes with.

I have an ASUS P8H77-I that comes with a VIA codec. The sound quality of it is excellent through analog of course. Digital sound does not matter what codec chip is used. The external DAC will take care of that. An external DAC could be an AV receiver.

I think this is just for a marketing hype to get people to buy their motherboards than buying their competitors.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 05/08/13 05:24:16 PM]

NE5532 is a line driver from the early 80s and a clumsy headphone amp at best. Even assuming they rigged a servo to fix the 5532's DC offset correctly without an output cap, there are way better headphone drivers packaged on older motherboards already.
0 0 [Posted by: Slakky  | Date: 05/08/13 05:29:01 PM]

Coupling capacitors not needed with differential output DAC's providing the differential amp are powered by both + & - voltage rails. Most are direct coupled from factory. Those that are not can easily be direct coupled in most cases without hurting any of the specs as I have done many times. One must however take care not to bypass just any old capacitor & also one most measure D.C. offset before hooking to anything else lest you get a very rude awakening from an amp you just connected to it goes boom & let's out it's magic smoke.

TI's NE5532 opamps are not bad opamps at all & are recommended in many implementations of TI's own high end DAC chips & are used in many pro audio devices. So much of the music we listen to have already passed through such opamps on the way to your listening environment.

D.C. offset is often a sign of mismatched resistors at the input of the opamp & not usually the fault of the opamp when being drive from a differential source. D.C. offset when driven from an unbalanced source is easily fixed as well as it is almost always a result of D.C. offset at the input whether it be D.C. offset coming from it's own input or from another source. If it is coming from it's own input & it is capacitor coupled measuring the D.C. offset of the stage before will allow you to direct couple if the output D.C. offset is significantly lower than the input of the following stage. The lower D.C. offset of the previous stage will actually cancel most if not all of the D.C. offset of the following stage & yes I have used this to my advantage myself.
0 0 [Posted by: germanium  | Date: 05/08/13 10:01:49 PM]
- collapse thread

Very few users own equipment that accepts differential input, much less balanced headphones. This was never a comment about the 5532's performance in differential applications or its efficacy as a line driver.

For single ended complex loads (headphones), it will have measurable offset even in an inverting configuration with minimal external components, and it will need a bass neutering output resistor unless they're OK with ear buds sounding like Rice Crispies. This is what passed as a hi-fi headphone output in 1985. It's been several decades, there are way better output buffers, Asus and Gigabyte have been using them for years.
0 0 [Posted by: Slakky  | Date: 05/09/13 07:33:23 AM]

When integrated audio solutions became good enough, standalone sound cards essentially vanished into oblivion from the mass market

What a load of rubbish, it looks like xbit have become the mouthpiece for Asrock PR

Anyone who appreciates listening to music via PC will always buy a discrete sound card
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 05/09/13 02:18:38 AM]

It can't be cheap, since price is the main differentiating factor in audiophile world. And it solve no problems, since the main degradation in audio quality of a PC is noise from active cooling.

I have measured audio output of standard Asus board with Realtek ALC1200 codec, and it was over 99dB SNR, which is overkill anyway. No need for improvement, unless they want to add a real headphone amplifier. In which case 5532 is not enough.
0 0 [Posted by: popej  | Date: 05/09/13 08:40:59 AM]

Audiophile-Quality Integrated Audio Sub-System will definitely enhance the performance of a speaker. Nice post. Thanks for sharing.
0 0 [Posted by: Max Coastal  | Date: 06/04/13 12:03:41 AM]


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