RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Ed Lau [09.25.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Philips



The first thing that came to mind was, how does a fully capable USB powered soundcard affect gaming performance? We all know the performance hits that occur with 3d sound on say, a Soundblaster Audigy, but how does the Aurilium stack up?

For the purposes of this performance, everything will be run on my usual primary rig consisting of:

Processor: AMD Athlon XP Throughbred "B" 1700+ @ 2.0GHz (2400+)
Motherboard: Asus A7N8X nVidia nForce2
Memory: 2x256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500
Hard Drive: Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 200GB 7200rpm 8MB cache

One of the new features of 3DMark03 is the sound test and as you can see here, the USB 2.0 powered Aurilium's performance is a little behind that of the Audigy.

The performance gap widens even more with Serious Sam SE in both DirectSound and simple wavoute modes.

In quite possibly the most simple chart ever posted here at HCW, we see that the Aurilium once again lags way behind the Audigy, losing nearly 40 frames per second when enabled.

It's easy to see that the Aurilium doesn't exactly perform that great, even when compared to sound cards more robust than it. This is probably due to a combination of more CPU usage, and saturation of the USB bus.

Everything But The Feather Duster And Spongebaths

Like a French maid or hot nurse, the Aurilium does everything for you and looks damn good doing it.

As icing on the cake, Philips takes all this and packs it in a slick package with blue LED indicators accenting the silver plastic and aluminum. The Aurilium could easily be mistaken for hi-fi equipment that costs many times more than its $99.99 price tag and matches your silver aluminum case perfectly.

The aluminum stand can be mounted for vertical or horizontal placement of the unit and gives it enough weight to stand freely without being easily knocked over but I would've like to see Philips construct the Aurilium entirely in aluminum. Plastic always feels a bit cheap to me even though the look suggests otherwise.

The light weight isn't necessarily a bad thing though. While it still isn't the most portable thing in the world, it's not that much of a stretch to see it being brought on trips along with a laptop. Be careful that you don't wake the sleeping (formerly known as crying) baby though.

  • easiest...config...ever
  • Great sound, experience enhancing 3D effect
  • sleek and sexy
  • moderately portable

  • QSizzle is useless, fo shizzle
  • Construction could be more solid
  • Poor performance

Final Score: 84%