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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [07.27.05]
Manufactured by: Foxconn 


Audio Quality

The sound solutions were tested using the analog outputs on all systems with an M-audio revo acting as the recording device. As noted in our last review, the DFI was a little.. lacking in terms of sound performance so we've included another M-audio in the comparison. Because all of the onboard solutions are based on the same chip, we've only included one result. You should expect similar performance from the different motherboards.

To keep things simple, Rightmark's word based quality scale has been converted to numbers. A 6 would therefore correspond to an "Excellent" rating which is the best that a card can achieve.

Unfortunately, Intel's High definition audio does not live up to its name.

3d Audio Performance

Rightmark 3DSound was used to test peak CPU utilization under several scenarios. The M-audio was again used as comparison with 16 and 32 buffers.

Both cards aren't really meant for gaming, but with a small number of buffers, the on-board takes the lead. Will it scale though?

We see an almost linear scaling across the different modes, but it appears that the M-audio does just that much better. Let's take a look at a real game.

Real World Audio Performance

To test real world performance, we've used UT4K along with various options. The resolution used this time was 1024 * 768. Why not 640 * 480? We're looking at real world performance and well, when was the last time you played a game in 640 * 480?

The results are pretty consistent with what we saw in Rightmark 3d. What can we conclude from all this?

Onboard sound.. still isn't very well suited for anything. People seeking higher fidelity sound will turn to something like an M-audio whereas those seeking gaming performance would want an Audigy. Onboard ends up as the middle child that no one wants.

Next Page: (Conclusion)