On-board audio is becoming a big thing in the motherboard world and in recent years, the demand for proprietary solutions has dwindled, I myself no longer use a sound card and solely rely on my motherboards' on-board solution. Years ago this was a big no-no for any serious audiophile, but motherboard manufacturers have been listening to user demands and many SLI/Crossfire systems just don't have the room to fit a soundcard anymore.
ASRock is about to set a new standard by fitting high end audio components directly into their motherboard, much like ASUS have done before with their ROG boards. The ASRock Purity Sound technology combines several hardware and software solutions that will offer up a massive leap in quality and performance over previous models. Everything from 7.1 channel HD audio, Realtek ALC 1150 audio codecs, 115dB SNR DAC, Twin TI NE5532 Amps, one as a differential amp and the other as a premium headset amp! Add to that cap-less Direct Drive tech, EMI shielding, PCB isolate shielding and DTS connect and you've get a setup that sounds more like a high end AV receiver than a motherboard.
Even better is that the new amps will be able to power high impedance headphones directly from the board, without the need of an external amplifier or sound card, meaning those with audiophile grade headphones need not worry about extra external devices to enjoy their favourite sounds.
The new generation of Purity Sound boards will be on the ASRock Intel 8-series Lynx Point chipsets, designed for the next-gen Haswell processors, some of which will also add HDMI-in, dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and more to the mix, making these some of the most feature packed consumer boards on the market.