Diamond Xtreme Sound 5.1 offers you away to get 5.1 (or 2.1) sound out of your PC without relying on the onboard sound, which frees up CPU cycles … and it does it for $20 or so.  There isn’t much in the way of flash with this card, the SPDIF ports on the back support front, rear and center channel, there is a line in and a microphone jack, so everything you need and nothing you don’t.  Gamepyre found it’s lack of support for 64bit OSes a little disappointing, but they liked the 5% increase in frame rate they saw in Eve Online.

“For twenty bucks this sound card is a great way to lower your CPU usage and increase your frame rates. Is it an increase that is going to be noticeable? Not if you’re already getting over 90 frames but if you have a mid range gaming system and you are finding your frame rate starts to bottom out when you get a lot of action on the screen then this sound card is a perfect, inexpensive upgrade option for you.”

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Audio Corner