ASUS Xonar DS 7.1
For a long time, Creative dominated the hardware sound market and the launch of the X-Fi series of cards placed them firmly at the top of the game with features such as EAX 5.0, X-RAM and other 3D sound emulation software. Gamers looking for a more immersive experience had only one choice and thatwas Creative. However with the introduction of Windows Vista and growing frustration towards Creative on the basis of their lack of support, a gap opened up in the market which was immediately filled by the ASUS Xonar. Vista saw DirectSound being deprecated so as to introduce a re-written audiostack based on Universal Audio Architecture. As a result, creative's main advantage EAX 5.0 was effectively gone on older DirectSound based game since there was no longer direct communication from DirectSound to the hardware.