Mad Dog Multimedia Entertainer 7.1 DSP Soundcard

Audio/Others by nobraine @ 2003-11-21

VIA?s Envy24HT-S chip is powering some new soundcards out there, we take a look at its features and see how it performs when put it up against a Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 / SoundBlaster Live 5.1 and nVidia's Soundstorm.

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Today we reviewed an important part of your computer, the soundcard, the component that you can use to cope with the screaming fans in your setup. We reviewed the Entertainer. 7.1 DSP and the Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1 and compared them to these "veterans" in the ring.

  • nVidia Soundstorm chip (onboard with Abit NF7-S)
  • Creative Sound Blaster live 5.1

    The soundcard is becoming a more and more important part of the pc as they evolve into little multimedia stations with a giant box set and connection to the TV. So as the pc moves to a more central position in the household, the sound quality it produces becomes more important, which brings us to today’s top soundcards who should satisfy our musical desires. So without further ado let's see what the card has in store for us and how it performs against the others.

    Entertainer. 7.1 DSP

    The Entertainer. 7.1 DSP from Mad Dog multimedia uses the VIA Envy24HT-S sound chip, and has following Features:

  • 24-bit Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
  • Sampling Rates up to 192 kHz
  • PCI 2.2 Interface with Bus Mastering and Burst Modes
  • 3 Synchronous I2S/AC-link Output Data Stream Pairs
  • 2 Synchronous I2S/AC-link Input Data Stream Pairs
  • Multi-channel AC-link Supported
  • Integrated S/PDIF Transmitter with IEC958 Line Driver
  • Digital Loop-back and Stream Routing Mechanism
  • ACPI and PCI PMI Support
  • I2C Subset Interface Peripherals Control
  • Windows® WDM drivers
  • 3.3V Operating Supply (5V tolerant I/O)

    As minimal system requirements the soundcard needs the following:
  • Intel PII or higher with 64Mb Ram,
  • 10Mb diskspace
  • any microsoft based OS since Windows 98.

    Next, the looks of the card:

    Madshrimps (c)

    The box got a 'bit' damaged in the transport to Belgium, but luckily the contents where still ok. The box contained the soundcard, a setup manual, a CD with drivers and utilities and one S/PDIF Cable. As for the card itself is looks like almost all other soundcards you can find except for 2 details, the metal parts is coloured gold and it has a S/PDIF Out and In.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)

    The Entertainer. 7.1 DSP also has 2 internal connectors to connect with CD drives, supports standard technologies as:
  • EAX, DirectSound3D
  • A3D
    and has a TRUE 24-bit DSP processor.

    In the review we used the drivers as provided by Mad Dog multimedia
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