In the game tests on the previous two pages, we saw that the Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 performs very well. However, some of the performance results may be skewed to a fast CPU. To help determine how the Diamond Xtreme Sound performs on a slower CPU, we adjust the CPU multiplier lower and run some tests. The following are results of running the FX-53 CPU at the default 12x, 10x, and 8x for 2.4GHz, 2GHz, and 1.6GHz respectively.
At 2.4GHz, both the X-Fi and the Xtreme Sound perform similarly with a nearly identical distribution of frames. But as we drop the CPU speed we can see the performance of the Xtreme Sound drop sharply whereas the X-Fi is barely affected. At 2GHz, the Xtreme Sound still performs reasonably well with most frames in a playable range. At 1.6GHz, the game is barely passable. It’s pretty amazing what a difference 400MHz can make.
The results above would imply that we need a faster CPU to make the Xtreme Sound 7.1 have minimal load on the processor. Customers with older CPUs or budget systems would want to do their research before deciding if the performance hit in games is important to them. If you have a reasonably fast CPU, you won’t really have to worry too much about the Xtreme Sound slowing your game down.