Print 34 comment(s) - last by rexian96.. on Apr 19 at 7:41 PM

Auzentech's new Prelude 7.1 to feature Creative Labs X-Fi audio processor

Auzentech this week announced the first third-party sound card featuring Creative Labs’ X-Fi audio processor. The upcoming Auzentech Prelude 7.1 couples Creative Labs’ EAX 5.0 with Dolby Digital Live multi-channel audio encoding technologies. Auzentech promises Dolby Digital Live encoding under Windows Vista with the Prelude 7.1.
Details of the Prelude 7.1 remain scarce, as the product isn’t scheduled to launch until next month. Creative Labs’ X-Fi initially launched with hardware acceleration, however, the latest X-Fi XtremeAudio lacks hardware acceleration, even while carrying the X-Fi name. It is unknown which X-Fi audio processor the Prelude 7.1 integrates.

Creative Labs has had troubles enabling hardware acceleration for EAX audio technologies under Microsoft’s Universal Audio Architecture, or UAA, under Windows Vista. Creative Labs found a work around for UAA with its ALchemy OpenAL wrapper.

"We’re excited to provide Auzentech with our award-winning X-Fi audio chipset and technology to provide an outstanding audio experience for Auzentech’s customers,” Steve Erickson said, vice president, Creative Labs Audio Division.

Expect Auzentech to unleash the Prelude 7.1 at the end of next month.

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RE: Drivers?
By cubdukat on 4/18/2007 6:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
Creative really must be feeling the heat now, if they're willing to let someone use their chipset. Guess the threat of extinction will do that to you.

I've been looking for a good enough reason to toss my Audigy 2 ZS out, and it looks like this is it. Hopefully this will be the solution to the EAX/Vista problem.

Anyone know if the Prelude will support DTS Connect as well?

RE: Drivers?
By sotti on 4/18/2007 6:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
DTS Connect is listed in the press release.

RE: Drivers?
By Anh Huynh on 4/18/2007 7:13:18 PM , Rating: 3
No it isn't.

The PR states "Santa Clara, CA -April 16, 2007: Auzentech, Inc. (, developer of the world's first Dolby® Digital Live and DTS® Connect PCI sound card, announces today a new sound card series based on the Creative X-FI™ chipset."

It says they're the first company to release a sound card capable of DTS Connect, however when it talks about the Prelude 7.1,, it only mentions DDL.

RE: Drivers?
By Aquila76 on 4/18/2007 10:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
It will fully support EAX 5.0 and have the same expandability as the Auzen X-Meridian™ 7.1.

The X-Meridian supports DTS Connect; it stands to reason this one will as well.

RE: Drivers?
By Anh Huynh on 4/19/2007 12:35:21 AM , Rating: 3
Dolby Digital Live is the only encoding that the card will have for sure. I spoke to the Auzentech PR guy and he said DTS: Connect has a 50/50 chance of making it, they're working on licensing.

RE: Drivers?
By UNCjigga on 4/19/2007 1:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
Why isn't there any software-based solution to support DDL or DTS Connect encoding on existing soundcards? Aren't modern CPUs up to the task? Or what about a GPU-accelerated solution? It peeves me that my HTPC has SPDIF out but I can only get multichannel audio from DVDs, xvid rips with AC3, or SACD/DVD audio. If I want multichannel audio from games, I have to hook up 6 extra cables and the back of my PC becomes a mess.

RE: Drivers?
By clemedia on 4/18/2007 11:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
I really hope it supports DTS connect. Although DDL is better than nothing. I really need Digital output, and PCM isn't going to cut it.

RE: Drivers?
By imaheadcase on 4/18/2007 6:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
They said from the start they were going to sell X-FI chips to competitors. Its not a big surprise.

RE: Drivers?
By Spivonious on 4/19/2007 9:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
The EAX/Vista problem is Microsoft's fault. EAX used DirectSound and MS took DirectSound out of Vista. EAX will never work again in Vista. I think Creative is being very resourceful in making the OpenAL wrappers for older games. I also don't think they're being slow in driver development; they just got a late start. Rewriting the sound drivers from scratch is a bit of work.

Have you ever programmed a production application?

RE: Drivers?
By Anh Huynh on 4/19/2007 10:00:47 AM , Rating: 2
No, its CL fault for not working with Microsoft on the new audio stack. All the other audio manufacturers contributed to UAA, CL decided to do their own thing because they couldn't skew the standard in their favor.

RE: Drivers?
By carage on 4/19/2007 11:06:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's not the first time M$ did something like this with Vista. M$ also screwed over the entire anti-virus/internet security industry.

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