Auzentech X-FI Prelude 7.1 Sound Card



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:

The Good
• 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

The Mediocre
• Creative drivers, and lack of Linux drivers until next year.
• Price, especially considering that key features are still not yet available.

The Bad
• The Auzen X-Fi Prelude was released late and still feels a little unfinished.
• No DTS for analog outputs.

Gamers Choice Award Recommended Award

Overclock3D would like to thank Auzentech for making this review possible

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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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