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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [09.28.05]
Manufactured by: Shuttle, Silverstone


Audio Quality

The sound solutions were tested using the analog outputs on all systems with an M-audio revo on another system acting as the recording device. The Shuttle boasts an onboard  Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit EAX high-definition 7.1 audio processor so we're hoping for some good things from it from the tests. Just for kicks, we've included the results from a secondary M-audio card as well.

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.

The Creative solution is a significantly better than the Intel High Definition audio, although still lacking compared to what is considered the best consumer grade soundcard in terms of audio quality.

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.

I expected more from the Shuttle onboard sound to be honest, but at it stands, it's not much better (if at all) than Intel's onboard solution.

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.

It's not perfectly accurate as there were two systems in play here, but it should give us a good idea of what to expect.

The results are pretty consistent with what we saw in Rightmark 3d. Unforunately, the Creative solution really disappointed me. I had high hopes that it would be somewhat close to an Audigy in terms of performance, but as you can see from the results, it's closer to onboard more than anything. Back to the drawing board on that one.

Next Page: (Conclusion)