You get what you pay for. Review

DMX Xfire 1024 Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • N/A

Publisher

  • Terratec

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Hardware

rating

You get what you pay for.

One of the subtlest yet most valuable additives to video gaming is good audio.

I don’t think there’s a gamer alive who would argue that the wonder of 3D Positional

Audio, one of the more recent features utilized in today’s high-end sound cards,

is nothing short of a godsend (providing “God” is a pot-bellied, Mountain Dew-guzzling

video game geek). A true gamer knows the value of high quality sound.

Today, finding a good sound card is nowhere near as difficult as it had been

in the past. Creative, Guillemot and the now defunct Aureal are just a few of

the well-known companies that have blessed gamers with quality board after quality

board. So if there is a literal plethora of sound cards to choose from, what’s

the real determining factor when shopping for a card? Why, money, of course!

The last soundboard to go under the Game Revolution microscope was Guillemot’s

Maxi Sound MUSE. The MUSE stunned us

with it’s budget-friendly, high-quality sound. So if you’re like me, you’re

probably thinking that for Terratec’s $69 DMX Xfire 1024 to come out

on top, it’s gotta cook me breakfast or give me a warm sponge-bath or something.

Well, before you make your final answer, let’s take a look at the card.

Like the Maxi Sound Muse, the DMX Xfire 1024 ships with

full compatibility for all the industry standards. Gamers will be happy to experience

DirectSound3D, A3D 1.0/2.0 and EAX 1.0/2.0. Of course, support for the industry

standards is just that: pretty standard

Terratec’s DMX Xfire

But wait, Terratec has gone even further than that. New technologies like Multidrive,

MacroFX and EnviromentFX accelerate DirectSound3D, A3D and EAX to previously untold

levels. Game sounds and voiceovers are crystal clear and easily stand out independently

from one another. No more washed out voices that seem to blend in with the rest

of the game’s noise. This is something you’ll really like!

The DMX Xfire is full of holes – the good kinds. Connectors, ports

and other interfaces are all here in spades, baby. The most notable onboard

connector is the Digital-in/out connector. Digital input can be synchronized

to 32, 44.1 and 48kHz and automatically recognizes which is best for your setup.

Anyone needing quick access to the status of their digital input can simply

pull up the control panel and take a peek. Nice! Someone should give these guys

a cookie.

The external connectors for this high-end soundboard are status quo all the

way. You get 2 line out connectors capable of handling 2 speakers each, which

equals 4-speaker madness for you surround sound nuts.

There is also a line in for stereo and a line in for mono, which provide support

for the infamous microphone. Now you can record your impersonation of Prince

singing Let’s Go Crazy in full stereo quality sound right on your computer!

This is, of course, to reaffirm why you need not quit your day job.

Polishing off the external connectors is the ever sought after Digital-Out,

optical 48khz. This is the one feature that everyone looks for in a new soundboard

whether or not they have any digital stereo devices. The Digital-Out allows

you to connect to a DAT recorder, Minidisk recorder, or other audio equipment.

You can even set a copy protection feature. Digital-Out just kicks ass.

The software package is fairly adequate, providing mostly music-related programs

and tools. First off, we have Musicmatch Jukebox, which records, decodes, and

encodes MP3 files. The bundle also makes professional music editing easy with

Logic Fun, Emagic’s Audio/MIDI Sequencer. The included Steinberg Wavelab Lite

allows wave and sample editing. All of this software adds greatly to the value

of the XFire.

However, with such a high performance sound card, I really would have liked

a game or two bundled with this bad boy. Guess you can’t win ’em all.

At any rate, Terratec has done a really good job of manufacturing a card that

has something for everyone, successfully teetering the line between gamers and

music enthusiasts. It may be roughly, twice as expensive as the Maxi Sound

MUSE
, but in the end, the Xfire achieves at least 4 times the quality.

With the DMX Xfire, you just get what you pay for.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Incredibly clear sound
Exceptional 3D Positional Audio Support
Digital Optical-Out
Music heavy software bundle
Music heavy software bundle
No game included