Auzentech X-FI Prelude 7.1 Sound Card




I started out my gaming test phase with a little bit of Unreal Tournament 3. UT3 uses the Unreal Engine 3. Already known for its extensive graphical capabilities through titles such as Gears of War and Bioshock, the engine now takes advantage of third party technologies such as PhysX physics cards to provide an advanced game experience with destructible environment. Also included is the ability for AI bots to respond to advanced and specific voice commands, improved from previous use of a very small number of voice commands, along with the ability to use a command menu to control bot behaviour. All things considered it is a pretty taxing games on the graphics sub-system.

Please remember that these graphs represent an average of the frames/ second as recorded by Fraps.

Auzen X-Fi Prelude Game Mode on

The Auzentech X-Fi Prelude is the clear winner here..the inclusion of the X-RAM certainly makes a difference.

Auzen X-Fi Game Mode off

With 'Game Mode' off and 'Entertainment mode' on the frames per second take a drop; not exceptionally noticeable, but a drop none-the-less.

QUAKE 4 Game Mode on

Running through the motions with QUAKE 4 at 1680 x 1050 can be quite taxing with all the bells and whistles on. Again the Auzen X-Fi pulled away with 'Gaming Mode' on.

The Auze X-Fi Prelude provided an incredibly immersive experience when gaming. Weapons fire and overall game soundscapes never sounded so good. There's nothing like hearing an enemy manta screaming past at full noise, or having the ball projectile of the BFG in QUAKE 4 land anywhere near you with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude in your rig.

The RightMark 3D Sound CPU Utilization Benchmark reinforced what we were seeing in the UT3 and QUAKE 4 benchmarks. Please remember that the X-Fi Crystalizer and EAX settings were activated for all of the following graphs.

Auzen X-Fi Prelude 16-bit

(CPU utilisation with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude set at 16-bit/44.1KHz.)

Auzen X-Fi 24-bit 96KHz

(CPU utilisation with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude set at 24-bit/96KHz.)

Creative 16-bit 44.1KHz

(CPU utilisation with the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio set at 16-bit/44.1KHz.)

Creative X-Fi 24-bit 96KHz

(CPU utilisation with the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio set at 24-bit/96KHz.)

You can see from the last CPU Utilisation graph that the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio just doesn't have the goods to match it with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude. The Prelude's ability to offload DSP and EAX load from the CPU definitetly makes it the better performer.

A couple of times during the testing phase I forgot to change from Entertainment Mode to Gaming Mode, and the Auzen X-Fi Prelude let me know about it quick smart. There's nothing quite like having clicks, squeals and pops attacking your eardrums at above average volume. Apart from this phenomenon the experience was extremely pleasurable.


My god how good does it sound when listening to your favourite tunes on the Auzen X-Fi Prelude! Making sure that I got a good mix of music at different bit-rates, the experience was nothing short of heavenly. In fact I would go out on a limb and say that the Prelude provided the best audio reproduction of any sound card that I have ever tried...period. One weird thing I found with the X-Fi Crystalizer is that it didn't really appear to make a lick of difference to any of the music that I tried, it was just great out of the box.


Once again the Auzen X-Fi Prelude performed very well at faithfully reproducing DVD audio. Listening to Van Halen's Live concert had me feeling like I was quite literally there, and the EAX effects made it feel as if the crowd had enveloped me completely.

Mel Gibson's Apocolypto was extremely satisfying, especially during the waterfall scene and the numerous chases through the jungle foliage. Hearing the arrows, spears and other numerous weapons whistling through the air during the 'running of the gauntlet' sounded exceptionally good on the Prelude.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - laser moving ships screaming past you...'nuff said! Outstanding!

Let's head over the page to see how the Auzen X-Fi Prelude performed as a whole...
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Most Recent Comments

28-10-2007, 07:25:26

Wow, Nice review PV!

Looks to be a solid card.Quote

28-10-2007, 07:51:15

Looks like a decent card, if only they didn't have to use Creative drivers tbhQuote

28-10-2007, 07:57:49

i can certainly vouch for it i have one and i love it everything about it just 'feels' better than the other x-fi i had

would love a THX console for calibrating my speakers though but that aside i absolutely love it Quote

28-10-2007, 08:52:17

Originally Posted by name='SuB'
i can certainly vouch for it i have one and i love it everything about it just 'feels' better than the other x-fi i had

would love a THX console for calibrating my speakers though but that aside i absolutely love it
Seeing as it`s software is creative hybrid, I wonder if u can use the THX console that creative have on their cds ?

For me, these cards are equivilant to how an nVidia reference card gets adopted by other manufs.

Talking about the population of a creative card in comparison to this one, it`s also fair to bare in mind that out of the 5 or 6 creative x-fi cards that have been/are available, ranging from the cheapest to the professional studio ones, the density of the surface mounting goes from sparce to crazy-mad-caps-per-inch.

I would have liked to have seen a "crackle-test" on this card too, creative cards get easily bogged down fighting for internal bus usage (so it would appear but not confirmed) which makes them crackle. It`s a mad test to emulate, and it`s conditions are not 100% duplicate-able. But if u have a pc thrash at something like fah on all cores, do some rar`ing, do some massive file transfers..... and play some music - u get crackle on a creative x-fi. Maybe this is more a blame of the mobo design, or windows design, but it would be interesting.

Also - I want pci-e in this crazy lacking pci slot world !Quote

28-10-2007, 08:55:55

Creative just dont support THX in Vista, they suck

Crackle test - would have been interesting you're right

And yep, lets hope some PCI-e versions get out real soonQuote

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