Introduction & Specs
Diamond Multimedia lets loose with an affordable sound card featuring Dolby Digital Live. We put it through games, subjective listening, and even CPU scaling to see how it stacks up to today’s competition.
Diamond Multimedia is a name that has been involved in PC products for nearly 2 decades. During the infancy of 3D gaming, Diamond was best known for revolutionary products like the Viper series of graphics adapters and Monster Sound based on Aureal Semiconductor’s Vortex2. Since those days, Diamond has been in and out of various markets (and under various company names), and today they are staging a come-back in the PC hardware market with a full line-up of graphics, sound cards, and other PC accessories.
Today we are looking at Diamond Multimedia’s latest audio offering, the Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 with Dolby Digital Live (hereafter “DDL” or “Live”). In this article we are going to compare Xtreme Sound 7.1 against other audio solutions on the market: Creative Labs’ Sound Blaster X-Fi and Audigy 2ZS, Chaintech V710 (VIA Envy24), and the integrated Realtek ALC850 audio on the EPoX EP-9NPA+ SLI motherboard.
The price is alluring, but how does it perform and sound?
Specifications (copied from Diamond Multimedia’s website):
â€¢ Dolby EX and DTS formats 6.1/7.1 channel DVD playback
â€¢ 96K/24bit playback; 48K/16bit recording
â€¢ 7.1 virtual speaker shifter providing surround sound for CDs, and MP3s
â€¢ EAX 2.0 and A3D sound support
â€¢ PCI 2.2 Interface with bus mastering and burst modes
â€¢ Dolby Digital Live