Excerpt: It used to be that if you wanted the latest Creative audio chip in your PC, there was only one way to get it: buy a Sound Blaster soundcard. That changes with Auzentech’s X-Fi Prelude 7.1 card. The Prelude packs Creative’s top-end X-Fi DSP along with 64MB of XRAM. Auzentech doesn’t stop with the vaunted X-Fi; the card also sports higher-spec’d digital audio converters and includes both SPDIF and optical I/O ports.
Conclusion: Overall, I was very impressed and surprised at how well the X-Fi Forte performed. It really did make a big difference to sound quality. All the modes and adjustable settings were very addictive too and I couldn’t help tinkering. The down side and it is a big one is the price; £130 is a lot of money for any computer component and so I expect many people will be put off by it.
Pros: Great Sound Quality, Easy installation, EAX 5.0, Great adjustable settings – Crystallizer
Conclusion: It’s definitely nice to see that Creative have released their chips for other manufacturers to use. Not only does this begin to lower the price of an X-Fi board, but it enables people like Auzentech to add additional features to the card that otherwise wouldn’t be available. Unfortunately, as this launch has been pushed before Auzentech engineers were ready, the card doesn’t have the features that make it the X-Fi killer just yet.
Pros: Great sound quality, EAX 5.0, Future driver extras