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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 Ebbyman on 4/19/2007 9:39:16 AM , Rating: 3
I am hoping that Auzentech will work on Creative drivers and at least improve them. The last update for the x-fi was in October I think. BF2142 is apparently designed for the x-fi but when I installed my x-fi and played the game, the game crashes more often during orbital stikes and lots of activity. I think the card cannot handle all the data. The game rarely crashed for me using my Audigy 2 or on-board sound on my new system before I bought the x-fi. However, tweaked right, the x-fi does sound darn good, which is the shame.

I think Creative is selling the chips to lower its costs and improve its margins. In the end, they will still have control over who they give them to and probably the pricing (of the chips). Auzentech is a private company and probably can deal with slightly lower margins (I imagine that the x-fi chips will not be cheap). Creative on the other hand needs to deal with public investors expectations for top line and cash flow growth. It makes no sense that Creative would threaten their own position for the sake of increasing competition


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