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What happened to Fortissimo, Phillips Edge, etc. sound cards?

By Lou3
Aug 29, 2008
  1. Are there any contenders in the sound card market these days other than CL, Asus, and Azuntech? Judging from the major US e-tailers, that seems to be it. I remember the sound card market being hotter several years ago with companies like Phillips, Hercules, and Voyetra (Turtle Beach). Around the time I stopped paying attention, VIA's HT-S was pretty hot (I'm still happy with mine). Has it gotten to the point where not much else can be done with consumer-level PC sound, are most people sticking with onboard sound, or is there another reason?
     
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Some of the sound card companies have merged... much like the older hard drive manufacturers. a lot of today's motherboards feature high-quality onboard sound like Realtek HD Audio. I like Creative Labs sound cards so I've been using them all along anyways. I even have some older cards from the late 90s that I've salvaged from junked systems; even they sound half-decent imo.
     
  3. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Thanks for the update. I haven't used a CL sound card, because I've read a lot of negative things about their drivers. I had a Phillips Rhythmic Edge that was pretty good, a Fortissimo II that was excellent, and my current AOpen Cobra Envy HT-S is the best I've used (I bought it in Tokyo and don't think it was ever available in the US). If my HT-S card fails, I'll probably try a CL.
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Diamond, ASUS, C-Media, M-Audio, TerraTec and Turtle Beach are still in the market. It's just that Creative Labs has managed to win itself a lot of market share through aggressive marketing, the same way Intel has a foothold everywhere in the CPU market.
     
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,058   +645

  6. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I finally built my new system and thought I'd check out the onboard audio, Realtek ALC888, before installing my sound card. I assumed there would be no contest, but the onboard audio is actually very good. The sound is detailed and convincing, and amplification is great. From what I've heard so far, I'd say it's just as good as my Envy HT-S sound card.

    Update: Having been away from this stuff for a while, I forgot about onboard sound's higher CPU usage. That in itself is the dealbreaker, but I also read that the difference becomes more noticeable in games. Back to the sound card. I'll reuse my Envy HT-S for now, but I'm thinking about getting a Xonar.
     
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