The aluminium EMI shield is reminiscent of the ROG Matrix graphics cards, stlyish and functional.
Here we find a 6pin PCIe power connector, S/PDIF output and a 4pin aux input. There is no front panel audio header on this card which may be a loss to some.
Left to right we have mic in, headphone out, box link, line in, front out, centre/sub out, rear out and finally a combo side/SPDIF out.
Removing the EMI shield we can see some elaborate electronic wizardry with gold capacitors everywhere and an additional copper EMI shield to isolate the headphone amp circuitry.
On the left we can see a trio of 5532 opamps, not the highest end component but they offer excellent quality sound. Just to the right of the 5532s we can see the 2114 opamp that is used for the front speaker channel which is more of a generic opamp and was seen on the front channel on the Creative Sound Blaster Z too.
In the bottom right there is the audio processing unit which is the C-Media 8888HT which has a native PCIe controller and on the far left we can find the CS4362 Digital-to-Analogue converter which is for the rear/side/centre/sub channels. Hiding behind the two gold capacitors is the PCM1796 DAC for the front channel.
Just to the right of the solid capacitor is the CS5381 Analogue to Digital convertor which is popular for its high quality conversion and noise filtering.
The dedicated headphone circuitry uses another PCM 1796 DAC, 2114 opamps and at the top nearest the edge is the TA6120A2. This setup is similar to ASUS' other dedicated headphone amp designs.