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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: hmmmn
By Etsp on 5/31/2007 2:42:13 PM , Rating: 3
The reason why they did that is to prevent blue-screens and hard locks. They effectively further separated Software from the hardware, so that Windows could have the opportunity to catch some unhandled exceptions.

For example, Due to crappy nVidia drivers, I sometimes have my screen just go black for about 2 seconds randomly, and then it comes back up, and Vista pops in and says something like "The video card driver had stopped responding, window's has restarted it" where as, in XP, that would have been a BSOD or a hard lock.

They should have created some emulation of HAL for the sake of compatibility, but they didn't, and Vista was late enough as it was, so I imagine that they didn't have time. The reason they don't allow HAL to still work is pretty obvious, as why allow a major cause of system instability to continue to function if it's only advantage is the proprietary EAX...

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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