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Auzentech Prelude 7.1 (Source: Hardware Canucks)
EAX 5.0 and Dolby Digital Live on a single PCI sound card

Auzentech is set to release the first third-party Creative Labs X-Fi based sound card – the Prelude 7.1. The Prelude 7.1, announced last month, allows users to enjoy multi-channel EAX 5.0 positional audio without connecting four sets of audio cables. Auzentech licenses Dolby Digital Live multi-channel audio encoding technology to provide users single-cable convenience over S/PDIF.

The new Prelude 7.1 mates features previously found on the Auzentech X-Meridian with the Creative Labs X-Fi sound processor. Auzentech equips the Prelude 7.1 with a removable OPAmp on the front channels output of the sound card, unlike the X-Meridian’s four removable OPAmps. A LM4562NA is the default installed OPAmp on the Prelude 7.1.  

Auzentech pairs the Creative Labs X-Fi sound processor with two memory chips for 64MB of memory. AKM digital-to-analog convertors are installed on all eight audio channels, a step up from the Cirrus Logic DACs employed by Creative Labs. Other notable features of the Prelude 7.1 include audio headers, although it is unknown if they meet Creative Labs’ specifications.

Expect the Auzentech Prelude 7.1 to trickle into retail channels in the coming weeks.



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RE: PCI Express
By psychobriggsy on 5/31/2007 9:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
How does that explain those USB attached soundcards? USB clearly has far far far far far worse latency than PCIe.

As for PCIe's latency, it's not that bad compared to PCI because it is clocked much faster, and there are other advantages because the bus is point to point rather than shared. Indeed an x1 link can have 250MB per second going in and out of it, rather than PCI's ~120MB/s, so the latency of sending (e.g.,) 128 bytes via PCIe is actually lower than sending them by PCI.

Never mind the fact that most PCI buses in chipsets are now hanging off of the southbridge, which is attached to the northbridge via a high-speed serial interconnect, which is PCIe in many cases. So you have the PCIe latency added to the PCI latency.

PCIe latency could be increased if you use a PCIe -> PCI bridge on the sound card too. Creative need to put a native PCIe interface on their sound chip.


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