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: Carl Nelson [02.27.08]
Manufactured by: Universal Abit


Audio Quality

We used to test thoroughly for audio quality as well as performance in video games. However, thanks to Vista, hardware audio acceleration is pretty much "gone". Creative has kept things moving along with ALchemy, which provides 3D acceleration in Windows XP-era games in Vista for X-Fi and Audigy cards. There is also OpenAL, which games can use if they want to support accelerated audio (which, for games meant to be installed on Vista, means X-Fi and Audigy cards once again). As you can see, audio acceleration is pretty much left to Creative. Aureal A3D fanboys must be grinning inside.

We still must test for audio quality however, and for this we use RightMark's RMAA benchmark. Scores are given in words "Very Good" , "Excellent" etc, so we converted them to numbers on a scale of 1-6. The test was run in 16 bit, 44 kHz. We also included a Creative X-Fi card, just so you can see how much onboard audio really sucks in terms of sound quality.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; if you care at all about sound quality, get yourself a proper sound card.

Next Page: (Overclocking; Conclusion)