Auzentech X-fi Forte 7.1 Soundcard review [Guru3D.com]

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Guru3D News, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Guru3D News

    Guru3D News Ancient Guru

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    Auzentech once again cemented their hold on the audio world and offered products to another market segment the very large PC gaming market. The highly successful X-fi Prelude 7.1 seemed to command a...

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  2. VultureX

    VultureX Banned

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    How does this card differ from Creative's X-fi Fatality, besides it is PCI-E and has replaceable opamps?
     
  3. bballfreak6

    bballfreak6 Ancient Guru

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    omg been waiting for this review for ages...especially since i might be building a new system soon...:D
     
  4. ST19AG_WGreymon

    ST19AG_WGreymon Ancient Guru

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    That's a nice soundcard. I wish it were a little bigger so it would actually look like you were spending $129. lol
     

  5. Beez

    Beez Master Guru

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    Nice review :) Had mine for about 3 weeks and it's worth every penny!
     
  6. xankazo

    xankazo Ancient Guru

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    Nice soundcard and great review.
    I feel compelled to getting this card, but I already have an x-FI Prelude. :)
     
  7. russ_nw

    russ_nw Member

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    Soundcard reviews

    I don't understand soundcard reviews, or audio reviews in general. Am i the only one ?

    Does it mean i am an unintellectual when it comes to audio if i don't understand what the following terms mean ?

    "sounded very layered"
    "texture of the instrument"
    "without any confusion or smearing across the mix"
    "great deal of texture"
    "without sounding bloated or overwhelming in the lower registers"
    "a more "glossy" type of sound"

    I'd love to know what your talking about, id love to listen to a track on 2 different soundcards and think to myself 'theres so much more texture on this one'.

    Are you just making it up as you go along ? or am i missing the trick .. do i need to engage and read up on audio jargon in order to understand what im reading ?
     
  8. xankazo

    xankazo Ancient Guru

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    Sorry, dude. I don't know much about mechanics either. But if I hear a mechanic guru talking it doesn't give me the right to say he's making up things. All I have to say is that there's almost always a learning curve for mostly everything.
     
  9. Zyrocenus

    Zyrocenus Master Guru

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    Oh boy.... no they arent making it up... you seem to have a good grasp of the english language so I'm mystified why yer lost in what these terms mean. Describing sound is very difficult but if you know what these words mean by definition you *should* be able to divine whats being implied.

    I mean come on.... layered sound is so simple.... When a song is played live the speakers \ instruments ect are at various locations on the sound stage and all playing at the same time... if there was no layering the sound would seem to all come from one location, losing the surround effect and the ability to almost hear where on the stage the instrument etc was bein played from. Further, layering in terms of sound describes how it all sounds together... is any one instrument or sound overpowering any other? Do they all just blend together in similar levels to produce a very flat, dull, monotone effect with no variation?

    Smearing accross the mix in my opinion is the condition where one sound completely overrules another.... ruining the "layering". One can use the example of a weak onboard sound "card" playing a bassy track and finds that when the bass booms the rest of the audio is almost overruled or lost altogether. In effect the other instruments \ vocals seem to fade away or disappear until the bass subsides.

    bloating in the lower registers I think describes the above condition... the woofer pounds and its overpowering everything else.... maybe even overpowering the woofer itself causing an unnatural overwhelming bass tone that can ruin the users experience.

    To me the "texture" of an instrument is a description of clarity and composition of the instruments... for example, an accoustic guitar, when the sound is produced with good "texture" one feels that they can almost hear each string being plucked, the note sounding, ending and reverberating within the wooden chamber as if they were there...with no loss of quality and with all notes being played sounding as individual notes as intended without bleeding together like a poorly written run on sentace in english. With excellent texture it becomes possible to identify individual instruments...how many instruments are present and even differentiate between instrument types when multiples are present. IE be able to recognise and differentiate a 12 string accoustic vs a 6 string.

    If you feel flammed I appologize.... it was not my intention. I'm not an audio pro like ROBSCIX -the man who did the review- so my intrepatation of these terms may be flawed and I hope to be corrected if I am. I simply came here to post my own comment and then saw yours and it got me thinking what those terms you asked about meant to ME. As I mentioned I'm no audio buff... but with a lil thought and an understanding of the english language and a comprehension of the definitions of the terms used I was able understand the review and the feeling meant to be conveyed within it. I was aided by a bit of imagination too....that always helps :)

    At the end of this lil rant I now have to thank you. Although I understood the review and the terms used within, your question had me reflect on those terms and think about them. Inadvertantly you furthered and deepend my understanding and appreciation for audio and its reproduction so again, Thanks!

    Now I have to post the comment I came here to make in the 1st place lol :stewpid:

    Zyro
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  10. Zyrocenus

    Zyrocenus Master Guru

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    I'm sorry if this was asked elsewhere -I'm heading to the audio section here next to search- but I was wondering how this card compares to the prelude? In the review its mentioned that this card is not intended to be the new flagship but with its specs and capabilities, I dont think its beneath the Prelude either. This leads me to beleive that this is a "sister" card. A PCI-X rendition of the prelude on a smaller form factor so HTPCers can have the enjoyment many of us have with the Prelude. If I'm not mistaken, the 20K2 DAC is the same as the 20K1 used on the Prelude, the difference being the former enables PCI-X and the latter intended for PCI. If this is the case I can completely understand why the Prelude wasnt used in comparison against the Forte, they would produce the same results more or less. I know the comparisons for Forte vs Xonar were to illustrate hardware vs software, just was curious why the prelude was never mentioned, in any capacity, against the forte.

    Is my inference of the forte being a sister card correct?

    Zyro
     

  11. russ_nw

    russ_nw Member

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    Excellent, excellent.. i don't feel flamed at all, that was a great response.

    See part of my confusion in understanding audio terminology comes from my own industry i suppose. Im an IT tech, and in my line of work all terminology is pretty much dictionary defined, CAT5 is exactly CAT5, DHCP is DHCP, security is security, there is no room for interpretation of terms in my job, all the terms i used are defined by strict guidelines.

    So in dealing with technology like i do, i guess i was more so looking for the guidelines by which the terms 'textured' and 'layered' were bound by, as they differ from a traditional definition of the words themselves. Of course the terms are not bound by guidelines in the audio world, or at least those guidelines are not as stringent as i had thought/hoped.

    So thankyou for your explanation, i shall be viewing audio reviews with a more open mind, when i get home ill be listening to some favoured tracks and movie scenes and seeing if i can interpret them with a little bit more understanding.
     
  12. Zyrocenus

    Zyrocenus Master Guru

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    Whew... I was worried I was gonna come off sounding crass or condescending.

    I too am in IT :) I'm the network admin here at our small lil elevator plant -only 25 PCs, 1 server, 1 25port switch, 3 network printers- I can tell you audio cards and terminology were WASTED on me, until recently that is lol This is for a couple of reasons:

    1. I thought onboard sound was "good enuf" it could do 7.1 + and had all these nifty terms and accelerations which made it sound like a soundcard was pointless, a waste of 130+ bux. Now, me thinkin that onboard sound was good enuf wasnt easy to admit....I condemn most things onboard in favour of dedicated solutions -IE graphics, raid controllers and the like- I hang my head in shame now for the years i lost beleiving it didnt get much better -if any- than onboard sound lol

    2. For a time I was only concerned with things that made my personal comp FASTER or perhaps cooler so I could again go FASTER lol. Soundcards, printers, flatscreens....all veiwed as a waste at the time. Stupid Stupid Stupid lol Dont get me wrong....still OBSCESSED with speed...as seen in my specs to the left lol but I understand and appreciate the value of the other components. I love my Prelude saoundcard and I'll NEVER go back to lugging a 65Lb 21 inch CRT around to LAN parties etc.... that was just retarded :)

    Thanks for not feelin flammed... and the insite you shared in your reply! Look forward to "seeing" around the forums again! Always good to "meet" another IT person :)

    Zyro
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yes, There is really no notable differences that puts one over the other, it is not that the Forte sound better then the Prelude or vice versa that is why I didn't compare them directly.
    I think they both have that same great Auzentech sound quality.

    If the Forte was aimed at being the next flagship for Auzentech them direct comparison may have been a good idea to show what the current Prelude owners would get over their current card. Their is no reason for a Prelude owner to give the Forte a second look unless they really need PCI-E.
     
  14. MM10X

    MM10X Ancient Guru

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    oh, i was going to buy one of these soon, im glad they reviewed it. :)
     
  15. Zyrocenus

    Zyrocenus Master Guru

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    Thanks for the clarification Rob! Thanks for that reveiw also, you were correct when you stated it was worth the wait. I look forward to your next review!

    Zyro
     

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Glad you guys enjoyed it, I just consider what I would like to see if I was interested in that product and go from there. I have more great reviews lined up, stay tuned.
     
  17. Neo Cyrus

    Neo Cyrus Ancient Guru

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    I'm currently not feeling up to reading 16 pages so forgive the bad question: Does this card rely on directsound/directsound3D like other X-Fi cards do and therefore has no hardware acceleration in Vista?
     
  18. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    This is more of a question for the audio forum.

    That is a common mis-conception or misunderstanding about hardware cards in Vista. The card can still fully accelerate OpenAL games in Vista and older games which still use the Directsound engine can use ALchemy which replaces the DS driver with a OpenAL output driver and again offers full accceleration in Vista. If you want to discuss this topic post a thread in the Audio forum please.
     
  19. bballfreak6

    bballfreak6 Ancient Guru

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    if i may ask then, if i am building a new system and have a choice between forte and prelude (regardless of whether it is PCI or PCI-E) which one would you recommend? and thanks for the review!
     
  20. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Both are great cards. The Forte is brand new offers built in Headphone amplifier and is a bit more future proof with the PCI-E connector.
    If I could only pick one for a new build it would be the Forte, given the reason I just outlined.
     

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