Soundcards have fallen hard from their mighty perch, once they were an absolute necessity to a PC user. For a while they were simply a better choice by far than onboard sound, both in quality of sound and the efficiency of processing. Now most people don’t even look for a soundcard, modern motherboards happily provide 7.1 sound with almost no hit to the CPU for processing. Overclockers Club investigates a new attempt by Diamond to draw people back to buying soundcards with their Diamond Xtreme External 7.1 USB Sound Card. At $40, it turned out to have some interesting features to add to any type of system and was stellar on laptops.
"The main excelling point for the Diamond card is the analog music playback, which was due to its ability to up-mix 2 channel stereo, up to 8 channels, which, was 6 in my case. It did a great job at making the room offer a fuller music experience, while the onboard sound without 3rd party software can only play in 2 channels. Everything else was very similar in quality and it was difficult to tell a difference between the two options since movies and gaming are easily configured for 5.1 or 7.1 through the onboard sound."
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