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Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 (Source: Auzentech)
The first third-party X-Fi based sound card will have Dolby Digital Live and DTS:Interactive

Auzentech has posted detailed specifications of the upcoming X-Fi Prelude 7.1 sound card. The Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 is the first third party sound card based on the Creative Labs X-Fi sound processor.

Auzentech pairs the Creative Labs X-Fi CA20K audio processor with AKM digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital convertors. Auzentech employs four AKM AK4396VF DACs on X-Fi Prelude 7.1. The DACs boast 24-bit resolutions and 192 KHz sampling rates with a 120dB stereo signal-to-noise ratio. An AKM AK5394AVS ADC takes care of audio input duties. The ADC features 24-bit resolution and 192 KHz sampling rates.

The X-Fi Prelude 7.1 features a single user-replaceable front-channel OPAMP. Auzentech installs a National LM4562NA OPAMP with a rated 0.00003% total harmonic distortion levels on the X-Fi Prelude 7.1. The other six channels feature TI OPA2134 SoundPlus OPAMPs. The TI OPAMPs are not replaceable.

The new X-Fi Prelude 7.1 takes advantage of all X-Fi sound processor features including EAX Advanced HD 5.0, CMSS-3D, X-Fi Crystalizer and SoundFonts. Auzentech also installs 64MB of X-RAM on the X-Fi Prelude 7.1.

Eventually the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 will feature multi-channel audio encoding technologies. Auzentech plans to add Dolby Digital Live support in Q4’2007 for Windows Vista and XP. DTS Interactive and DTS NEO:PC support is planned for Q1’2008 for Windows Vista and XP operating systems.


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Finally!
By UsernameX on 6/13/2007 12:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
A card that I can use semi-professionally and play my games!




RE: Finally!
By gamephile on 6/13/2007 1:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still frustrated that there are no PCI-Express X-Fi solutions out there. And ASUS' Xonar cards will only support EAX 2.0. Sigh....


RE: Finally!
By BillyBatson on 6/13/2007 1:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
everyone is saying that it is better that they do not release a pcix version because of latency on that bus. with sound you want no delay


RE: Finally!
By gamephile on 6/13/2007 1:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
Except that video cards have been on the PCI bus for how long? Where are the delay issues with that? Furthermore, ASUS is just slapping a PCI-PCI-Ex bridge on their Xonar cards (or seems to be at least) yet it doesn't seem to be a problem.


RE: Finally!
By gamephile on 6/13/2007 1:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Damn it I need to preview slower, I mean video cards have been on the PCI-Express bus for a long time.


RE: Finally!
By Lakku on 6/13/2007 2:53:44 PM , Rating: 1
Well, because it's a thing called caching, video memory, and being able to 'look' ahead. You can load code, textures, and other things that need tighter latency into video memory before the game starts, hence what is usually happening when the game is loading. In short, video can be rendered or planed out ahead of time a lot more so than sound. Sound is directly based on what the player does to and in the environment. You can't really predict it.


RE: Finally!
By AnnihilatorX on 6/13/2007 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 5
No

Sound clips can be cached into the sound cards just as well as textures can be cached in video memory

When a player fires a gun in the game, Same amount of delay tolerance is required for the screen to flash with the muzzle animation compared to the soundcard need to play that clip which could have been cached in memory onboard the soundcard.

Latency is not bandwidth. The CPU sends a signal to order the GPU to render the gun fire animation at the same time as telling the sound card to sound the fire. To say PCI Express soundcard is impossible because of latency in this regard is completely a bogus myth.

The truth is, rather than latency being the direct cause, it is the lack of implementation of on board sound memory which can cache sound clips like the sound of a gunshot. Current sound cards pull data directly from main RAM and hence the latency issue, because pulling stuff off main RAM instead of local RAM surely takes longer.


RE: Finally!
By Lakku on 6/13/2007 3:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even read my post? I see your point, but, without using as many words, I pointed out video cards stored things in their local video memory, and sound cards right now, don't. You proved my point by pointing this out, that there IS a latency issue with sound since they can't cache, other than in main memory. There are latency problems in video as well, as anything that can't be cached in video memory or that is less predictable, often causes hitches or drops in the frame rate as main memory is accessed. This doesn't destroy immersion, but if sounds were not coming as they should, it WOULD destroy immersion. Nothing is worse than unsynced sound.


RE: Finally!
By tayhimself on 6/13/2007 3:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
So your hypothesis is that sound cards don't have onboard memory to cache sounds and apply transformations to said sounds? I didn't know that. You made it sound like video cards somehow saw into the future while soundcards do not.


RE: Finally!
By Lakku on 6/13/2007 3:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
They can.. they can render unseen things ahead of time off screen before they come into view of the player. They are therefore in video memory ready to come on screen before the player needs them. Perhaps I'm not explaining it enough or used the wrong terms, but as it stands right now, sounds come to the player as the player makes an action or something in the environment makes an action. Any latency problems would destroy immersion. Maybe someone else can explain it better.


RE: Finally!
By AnnihilatorX on 6/13/2007 4:09:58 PM , Rating: 3
I see where you are coming from. But you wrongly hinted that PCI Express was the main reason why the latency is the issue.

You see, video card can render off screen objects, but they also cannot predict the user's effect on the objects like moving or destroying them.

The same applies to sound cards. They cannot predict when a gunshot for example is fired. But with appropriate caching techniques the current latency problem of transferring sound data from main RAM can be mitigated. If sound data is cached on a fast local memory on the sound card, the responsiveness of it would be on par with graphic cards.

To sum up, I would not blame the slightly inferior latency of PCI Express as the reason for lack of PCI Express soundcards.

At the time X-Fi, Median is in design, the number of people having PCI Express boards did not warrant the extra cost for developing the chip solely for PCI Express, nor it was viable to design two different chips; i.e., one for PCI, one for PCI-Express. It was simply not economical and the gain of supporting PCI Express was minimal.

Situation is a bit different now as proven by ASUS's move. In this case though, Auzentech's Prelude is based on the X-Fi chip so of course it cannot be easily ported to PCI-Express because of the design.


RE: Finally!
By AnnihilatorX on 6/13/2007 4:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Small point to add to above

Games are not used to having memory on sound cards. Even if sound card manufactures build RAM in the sound card, (e.g. X-RAM), it would require not drivers, but game manufactures to script code to tell the driver to pre-cache sounds.

The most relevant question is, if caching is impossible, does the slight worse latency of PCI Express contributes to an engineering problem hence lack of soundcards?

I can't say for sure, but if Asus managed to do it right, I would not think that is the reason then.


RE: Finally!
By Hydrofirex on 6/13/2007 6:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think your take is more solvent than asserting PCi Bus Latency, but I have to point out that games would have to be caching something sound-wise into main memory. Further, why USB connected sound cards?

With respect to Occam's Razer: Most people don't upgrade very often and when they do they go through a mass market brand like Dell, CompUSA, Compaq, HP, ect. People buying value and mid-range (90% of the market) computers are just now getting towards the point of mass-market adoption.

Conclusion: No Market, then no support.

HfX


RE: Finally!
By sviola on 6/13/2007 4:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
The X-Fi lineup has some sound cards with 64 MB of memory, the so called X-RAM.

And from benchmarks and reviews, the few games that support the use of on-board memory haven't boosted more than 1 or 2 extra FPS. Don't know if it is an issue with how the games are using it, but it just doesn't make any difference.


RE: Finally!
By AnnihilatorX on 6/13/2007 4:18:47 PM , Rating: 2
That's very true. It's a chicken and egg thing. Currently game producers won't bother. Tiny percentage of people have X-RAM. If Creative stick those cheap RAM chips on all the X-Fi cards, not just the Fat1lity series or above, there would be wider adaptation and more support for a long term gain.


RE: Finally!
By mathew7 on 6/14/2007 6:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
Actually PCIe latency has NO impact in games. The trouble that Creative mentioned earlier is related to ASIO used in professional audio application. It has something to do with the actual protocol. Some of those users need HW with minimal latency and will never buy a PCIe card if it has higher latency than an PCI card. And they buy the higher-priced cards.


RE: Finally!
By DragonMaster0 on 6/14/2007 5:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
True! Even PCI sometimes has an hard time keeping up with ASIO.

When is ASIO used? When listening to the soundcard captured input while it's recording. You like to hear how the sound is output while you're recording, and a delay is unacceptable in these cases. USB soundcards do have long delays which make them bad for real-time recording + output. That's why recording products either use a custom protocol, Ethernet or Firewire.


RE: Finally!
By Vinnybcfc on 6/13/2007 3:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
This was mentioned in another topic and it is incorrect.

Creative have released a PCI Express card (Express card uses the PCI express bus):

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?categ...

Oh and before the smart arse comes in and says that Express Cards can run on USB 2 well USB 2 has worse latency than PCI Express and there are USB sound cards.

Creative have other reasons not to release a PCI Express card like it is cheaper to just produce for PCI rather than producing cards for both buses.


RE: Finally!
By Behlal on 6/13/2007 6:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
The question is, what latency? Reading up on PCIe, it has very similar latency to the PCI bus. If sound cards can work on the PCI bus without latency issues, then there is no reason that they shouldn't work equally well on the PCIe bus.


RE: Finally!
By Min Jia on 6/13/2007 11:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
In addition to the letancy issue mentioned above, people with video cards in SLI have no room to accommodate PCI-Express sound cards.


RE: Finally!
By InsaneScientist on 6/14/2007 12:48:13 AM , Rating: 2
On the flip side, if we finally start seeing PCIe sound cards, I expect that we'll start seeing motherboards with nothing but PCIe slots.

The sound card is one of the last major components hanging on to the PCI bus (the only other thing that I can think of that doesn't have a PCIe version are wireless cards, but I doubt that those will be difficult to port to PCIe).

Once we start seeing PCIe only motherboards (or motherboards with just a single PCI slot) it won't be an issue to have SLI in your case.


RE: Finally!
By B166ER on 6/14/2007 2:41:27 AM , Rating: 2
PCIe soundcards can use the x4 or x1 lane, both of which can occupy along with the dual x16 lanes of SLI. Most manufs use this....


RE: Finally!
By Min Jia on 6/14/2007 9:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
Not if you're using dual slot cards though.


Ummm...
By umeng2002 on 6/13/2007 1:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why isn't DDL and DTS encoders working now? They better deliver on that. I won't even consider one until they get that part operational.




RE: Ummm...
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 1:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
because they already have 3 other cards that do that ;) theres only so much you can do with ddl and dts live cards to improve them heh.. i guess theyve just realized where the money is at and jumped onboard the creative bandwagon


RE: Ummm...
By umeng2002 on 6/13/2007 2:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
none of those cards offer anything over EAX 2.0. My surround sound system doesn't have surround analog inputs.


RE: Ummm...
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 2:31:27 PM , Rating: 1
? so what is your point then heh.. why are you whining for digital outputs then.. they will never have over EAX2.. DDL and DTS live are digital connections and will never be available through analogue


RE: Ummm...
By Lakku on 6/13/2007 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you know what you are talking about. There's probably a good reason it's going to take a few months. The cards do EAX 2 over the DDL connections now, so they probably have to figure out how to do EAX 5.0 over the digital connection, OR, creative told them they couldn't support it till that time. Most likely reason? Because Creative has an X-Fi 2 or something up it's sleeve and doesn't want as direct of competition so soon. Just think about it a bit before you post.


RE: Ummm...
By umeng2002 on 6/13/2007 5:12:49 PM , Rating: 5
You guys are morons. All EAX x.x does is create more realistic audio in games. Once all that info is calculated (by the sound card), it simply has to be output. You can do that with 6 (or more) analog jacks in the back of the card, or you can encode those multiple channel LPCM signals into a Dolby Digital or DTS stream and send to a receiver that way.

The digital S/PDIF spec doesn't have enough bandwidth to send all channels digtally, so they have to be compressed via Dolby Digital or DTS encoders (like going from WAV to mp3).

Not all surround receivers have 5.1 (or greater) analog inputs (like mine). So the only way to enjoy the EAX 5 in something more than stereo is to have the sound encoded into Dolby Digital or DTS.

Since you sound like you don't know what you're talking about, Dolby Digital and DTS are nothing more than a way to compress multiple audio channels to save bandwidth (again, like going from WAV to mp3). It can have EAX 1/2/3/4/5/x produced audio, a movie soundtrack, or whatever.


RE: Ummm...
By B166ER on 6/13/2007 6:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
WINNER!


RE: Ummm...
By DragonMaster0 on 6/13/2007 6:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why no DDL or DTSC now?
Other Auzentech cards use a C-Media sound controller, which is able to encode DD and DTS in hardware, so it was an easy job for Auzentech, the encoding was done in hardware.

Now, the Prelude still doesn't have DDL or DTS Connect because the X-Fi chip doesn't support that kind of encoding, and Auzentech has to write a software encoder. I asked Auzentech's support last week, and they said live compression is going to be done in software, so yeah, it sucks, but that's caused by the use of the X-Fi chip itself.

Also, it seems that they're going to use Creative's cheesy drivers : software screenshots on the product's page look 100% Creative.

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_prelud...

So, really, all that card is going to have is an improved analog stage, and free software compression included. No support for the X-Fi front bay the support said.

Analog or Digital?
Auzentech's D/A stage is probably better than most digital receivers'. Also, using the analog stage is the only way to get uncompressed multichannel sound, except with HDMI which is still not widely used.

The analog signal is probably going to be better than anything else, as long as you go with the standard RadioShack-branded cables at least. No, noise is NOT going to be a problem : it's not going to be noisier than the D/A stage in your amp, probably just better. A sound card is not a tape head.

Also, using the analog inputs on a receiver bypasses it's DSP, which is better in the case of a soundcard. You don't want the signal to be processed twice.

The signal path with a SPDIF cable for multichannel:
CPU -> Controller(Processing) -> Digital Compression -> SPDIF Link PC-Receiver -> DSP(Decompression + Processing) -> I2S Link -> D/A converters -> Analog buffer -> Power Amp -> Speakers

Analog:
CPU -> Controller(Processing) -> I2S Link -> D/A converters -> Analog buffer -> Analog Link PC-Receiver -> Analog buffer -> Power Amp -> Speakers

With analog you skip compression, processing and signal conversion. There is going to be a minimal and probably inaudible difference (for unbiased people) due to the longer analog path, but if say using a compressed format through SPDIF is better than uncompressed analog because the BestBuy guy told you so, you would probably not hear a difference.

I personally say that the analog outputs are better in this card's case. However, I'd prefer a SPDIF connection vs a noisy Realtek codec, etc. anytime. The D/A and buffer stages are some of the most important parts for the sound, but motherboard codecs and cheapo receivers often have bad stuff in these places. Auzentech, Razer and high-end Creative cards address these problems and should be better than average Joe's $400 receiver.


RE: Ummm...
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 7:51:50 PM , Rating: 1
if bestbuy says so .. it must be true..

quote:
Auzentech, Razer and high-end Creative cards address these problems and should be better than average Joe's $400 receiver.

HA!!!

for how smart that your whole post i dont know why you would make a statement like that .. if i were to listen to a cd via spdif from my receiver it would blow any analogue soundcard out of the water. I will admit many receivers have sub par D/A converters, but please dont tell me creative is putting more expensive parts in their soundcards then most audio companies put in their receivers, thats just nonesense. If you want amazing analogue sound that will blow your digital sound away, you will be paying many times more than a creative card will ever sell for.

you can give me all the technical proof you want, but until you listen to both you will never know..


RE: Ummm...
By DragonMaster0 on 6/13/2007 9:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but please dont tell me creative is putting more expensive parts in their soundcards then most audio companies put in their receivers


I don't say Creative puts better stuff on their cards than receivers, they put codecs, but some receivers got codecs too. The only way to get "decent" Creative stuff is to get, like I said, the "high-end" cards (The most expensive X-Fi uses separate DACs)

Well, maybe I should have said $300 or $250 receiver instead of $400, I forgot that their price keeps going lower.

quote:
If you want amazing analogue sound that will blow your digital sound away, you will be paying many times more than a creative card will ever sell for.

I agree if we're talking about cassette or LP, but sound cards, even with the analog outputs are still a digital source. The DACs on the sound card are just at a greater distance from the power amps than the receiver's own are, that's what is supposed to make the analog outputs worse than a compressed 18-bit max signal through a single wire.

Knowing a lot of average CD players and receivers, playing a CD in DAE mode through a card like a C-Media based Auzentech would probably sound better than the receiver's own DAC.

However, a normal Creative card's output stage doesn't go much further than a motherboard audio with a bonus being a 7805 regulator and a capacitor filtering the power so we don't hear data streams in the sound.

I don't know any analog sound cards by the way...


RE: Ummm...
By omnicronx on 6/14/2007 8:57:54 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The DACs on the sound card are just at a greater distance from the power amps than the receiver's own are, that's what is supposed to make the analog outputs worse than a compressed 18-bit max signal through a single wire.


never thought about that... good post


RE: Ummm...
By MGSsancho on 6/14/2007 4:11:02 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you totally. since my comp is in a different room, i ran an optical cable under my house. but im pretty sure this sound card has matter DACs then my Onkyo 804 receiver. I paid more than double $400 for mt A/V receiver. im lucky i have analog inputs into the back. but in my limitations, i have to use digital >.< however if i ever decided to make HTPC in my tv room, I am going analogue all the way.

Again I agree with you, analog all the way. but i am glad they are putting in great parts in there. so matter what you use, it will be good sound coming out. I wish there can be a new optical spec. hmmm maybe use real fiber and nit fishing string. oh well I can dream


RE: Ummm...
By DragonMaster0 on 6/14/2007 10:48:39 AM , Rating: 2
When you go with $1000 receivers I don't know if there's much difference, but you do skip the compression, which is the nice part of it. Yes, at very long distances, analog doesn't work(well), but we have to think that a coaxial connection wouldn't do much better. (There, fiber is a pretty good solution)

There are different optical specs, but they are quite uncommon. ADAT Lightpipe can carry 24/48kHz 8-channel audio, and MADI can do 32 24/96 channels over fiber or coax cable.

HDMI is supposed to get uncomporessed multichannel sound one day AFAIK, but it would probably not work for you because of the distance... Isn't there a future standard comparable to HDMI which is going with optical lines?

You might be able to get what you need in a few years, but you will need component upgrades, unless someone comes with an affordable standalone multichannel DAC that could use the multichannel inputs.

Talking about standalone DACs, using an Auzentech card with the X-Tension DIN card would work for you, but your setup would be quite complex:
-The Auzentech cards compatible with the X-Tension DIN have four stereo 24/96 SPDIF channels, making 7.1 on four signals. If you get or build 4x TTL to Optical adapters, use four optical cables and get four stereo DACs connected on your receiver's multichannel analog IN, you could get uncompressed 24/96, but at some price...


Suspicious
By mdogs444 on 6/13/2007 12:57:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think everyone here will agree that this card looks flat out sick. Price aside, it would make a great audio addition to everyones PC - and look great in the window while doing it.

However, I think I speak for many when I say that I would be suspect spending however much this card costs knowing how Creative's drivers are.

When this comes out on the retail market, and some good tests are performed with the supplied drivers - hopefully third party created drivers (not Creative) - this may be the first of many Third Party created audio cards that can get rid of the Creative brand drivers.




RE: Suspicious
By SniperWulf on 6/13/2007 3:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, thats the first thing i thought. maybe with a few modifications to the inf's or something, we could use thier drivers instead of creatives


Rumor
By Zorlac on 6/13/2007 4:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
Rumor is that they are going to release a daughter card for the Prelude that will push 7.1 uncompressed LPCM out via HDMI.

If this is the case, then screw DD Live and DTS Connect, etc. :)




Why OPAMPS?
By dnatek on 6/13/2007 11:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't sure what OPAMPS were, so I read the article on wikipedia. In a nutshell, these are the older (inferior?) version of the MOSFET which we are familiar with today. So my question for those of you in the know is: what would the advantage of using a 1960's designed OPAMP be as opposed to a modern MOSFET?




whats the point
By omnicronx on 6/13/07, Rating: -1
RE: whats the point
By bunnyfubbles on 6/13/2007 2:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
sounds to me like someone is sore that their Auzentech card is not the Prelude


RE: whats the point
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 2:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
i don't really care what auzentech does heh.. i have one of their top o line sound cards already .. and my sound wont get any better without getting a new system. i just think its stupid to get into a dying market thats already flooded.. and they are using all their parts from their only real competitor.. it just doesnt make sense to use creative chips to go into a market creative dominates..


RE: whats the point
By Clienthes on 6/13/2007 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you have crappy analogue speakers system...

Sound is analogue.
All speakers are analogue.
All digit sources are converted to analogue.

The only choice is where the conversion takes place. If you have a really high end pre-pro, you might only want digital output from your card. If that's what you want, then yeah, the absence of DDL/DTS hurts this card.

If you are going to use the card to do the conversion and sent the analogue signal to your amp, then this card is the right choice. This card most likely has better DAC than most pre-pros out there, so why add another link in your audio chain?

Anyway, the point of cards like this is that they are better at processing the digital information and converting it to analogue than lesser cards and most "audiophile" stand-alone components. Hook this to a dedicated amp via the analogue outs and you'll be very pleased.


RE: whats the point
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 2:54:53 PM , Rating: 1
yawn.. yes all speakers are analogue.. all digi sources are converted to analogue.. and yes the whole point is to make less 'links' in the chain..

First off.. a digital connection is the best way to have the least amount of 'links'.. digital link to receiver -> receiver decodes to analogue and your done..

second as you said.. it all comes down to when/where the signal is converted .. almost ANY surround receiver will have better DACS then just about any sound card aside from studio quality cards.. which are not what we are talking about here.. so if anyones intention was to find the best way to process digital information, it would not be via sound card but digital connection..

I am not trying to argue with anyone.. i just think this is a stupid card for auzentech after release 3 of in my opinion.. best sound cards on the market.. then after all their success, stoop to the same lows as creative has.

id also like to point out.. when inputting analogue multichannel through your receiver.. you can not use the equalizer or anything for that matter to process your sound..


RE: whats the point
By Duraz0rz on 6/13/2007 4:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point of this card is to reach out to a wider market. I wasn't interested in any cards other than Creative's offerings because the rest simply don't play games as well nor has the gaming features.

Now with this card, gamers can get the best audio quality without having to sacrifice EAX 5.0 and FPS.

I'm buying one. Just hopefully the drivers are much better than Creative's.

And I know I don't have the best setup for audio quality (Klipsch Promedia Ultra 2.1s and Sennheiser eh-150 headphones bleh), but for analogue audio, this card would seem to be the best out of the box.


RE: whats the point
By Lakku on 6/13/2007 3:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
In the words of the mighty geico cavemen. Uhh.. what?

How exactly do you plan on getting your digital signal back into analog without DAC(s) (digital to analog conversion incase you didn't know)? If I want superior sound, I don't use a computer or a computer sound card whatsoever and I maybe don't even use digital unless it's for a movie for the surround sound.

As it stands, current Auzentech boards are horrible at gaming if you are using EAX, and yes, I use the Xplosion that connects to a AC-3 receiver. Stereo and positional audio is fine, but using EAX leads to pops, static, and other issues with a number of games.


RE: whats the point
By omnicronx on 6/13/2007 7:29:44 PM , Rating: 1
makes sense Duraz0rz.. never thought about it that way

.. and thanks whoever for the bad rating ;) i LOVE IT!

lakku your right i should have read what i wrote.. i should have noted.. (as i did in an earlier post) that the dacs in creative cards (or any soundcard for that matter) are nowhere near as good as the dacs in almost any surround receiver.

and about eax and pops and static.. i have an xplosion and i have no problems.. all ive noticed is a big loss in framerate (7%-10%)


RE: whats the point
By clemedia on 6/13/2007 8:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
Might pick this up once DTS support is added. Good thing it is on the PCI bus, my only available 1x PCI-E slot is being used by my HDTV tuner (and that will NOT be removed for some sound card).

I wish sound cards still came with game ports though.....I still have controllers which work the same as the day I bought them (like my gravis joystick I bought back when I had my 486). I refuse to go out and buy new stuff when what I have works fine.


RE: whats the point
By powerincarnate on 6/13/2007 9:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
You guys sure have a lot to say. I'm a Hardware guy as far as computers go, but I know the least about sound cards and the way it works. My current setup is a 4.1 system with Logitch Z480(or was it 460) system. 400 Watts of power so it isn't weak. Sound is great compare to my original speakers my computer came WAY long time ago. Actually My this is my second Z480s as the original blew up one day at school when I touched my chair and the static electricity traveled across the floor and blew up my Sub-Woofer.

I have the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card. I just built rebuild my computer and now have a core 2 duo E6600, Geforce 8800 GTS 320 graphic card, new case and so on.

Basically without all the introduction, I looked at the HT-Omega Claro/Claroplus+ cards, the AuzentechX-Meridian card, and the X-FI creative cards. I then decide to wait for the possibility of the X-Prelude which was suppose to come out at the end of may but delayed to what I thought was suppose to be June. So, is it even worth it to Upgrade with my current speaker system coming from Audigy 2, and if so Which one do you guys recommend.


RE: whats the point
By Duraz0rz on 6/14/2007 3:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
In my opinion, if you're happy with the sound you are getting, then there is no reason to upgrade :)

Of course, if you want the best, then get the best. I'm getting it because I want the best sound quality I can get without sacrificing gaming performance and features.


RE: whats the point
By DragonMaster0 on 6/13/2007 9:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Again an other question I already asked to Auzentech, no, it's not a recording-oriented product, and they don't plan to build some anytime soon, so, yes, it's just an X-Fi with high-end DACs. Same drivers, no added features (except software digital compression coming in the future)


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