Auzentech X-FI Prelude 7.1 Sound Card
Published: 30th October 2007 | Source: Auzentech | Price: US$199 RRP |
Well after toying around with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 sound card I really have to say that I am impressed by the experience, but at the same time left wanting a little more. The Prelude certainly has has a lot of pluses, but I felt that it has been released as a slightly unfinished product.
The gaming phase of our testing illustrated that the Auzen X-Fi can boost performance via the inclusion of X-RAM, where it off-loads DSP and EAX rendering from the CPU. During bouts of QUAKE 4 and UT3, weapons fire sounded so life-like that I felt like I was in the game. Gaming was incredibly immersive and surreal. However, quite a few times I found myself heading off into a game and remembering that I was still stuck in 'Entertainment Mode' which can be quite annoying to say the least. Especially when the card barks back!
The movie phase of testing was thoroughly enjoyable. I especially liked the added ambiance afforded by the EAX effects, and for those who enjoy the big-screen, the theatre soundfield makes movie listening exceptionally realistic.
I really enjoyed listening to music through the Auzen X-Fi Prelude, and considering that I played such a broad range of styles, it is testament to the homework that the Auzentech engineers have put into this card. The music just sounds great.
The price of the Auzen X-Fi is where I really think that an improvement can be made. Only when all of the cards key features are working and driver support has been improved, will it be worth the considerable outlay of cash.
So how does the Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 sound card stack up? Let's have a look at the summary I have made below:
• Excellent sound overall
• Replaceable OPAMP adds flexibility
• Hardware DSP, no extra load on the CPU.
• Solid capacitors ensures longevity and reliability.
• Support for Digital In (SPDIF In) and external device can be connected through the Optical/Coaxial combo port
• Creative drivers, and lack of Linux drivers until next year.
• Price, especially considering that key features are still not yet available.
• The Auzen X-Fi Prelude was released late and still feels a little unfinished.
• No DTS for analog outputs.
Overclock3D would like to thank Auzentech for making this review possible
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