Diamond XtremeSound 7.1 DDL soundcard review @ TechSpot

By on April 28, 2006, 2:33 AM
Diamond Multimedia is a company some of you PC Enthusiast veterans may remember. From my earlier PC owning days, the first add-on graphics card I purchased was a Diamond Monster 3D II 3DFX Voodoo2 8MB. Also way back when this site was called “3D Spotlight” we reviewed some of their most outstanding products like Voodoo and Rendition-based graphics cards, the Diamond Rio 500, and the Monster Sound soundcards. Since those days they have had a quite an interesting ride. That is no longer important though, the brand is back, and they are giving it another shot with a complete product range.

Today we will be looking at one of their new audio products, the CMI8768+ based, Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 DDL (Dolby Digital Live) PCI soundcard. Featuring real-time Dolby Digital encoding, 24-bit/96kHz playback, 8-channel analog output, and a relatively low price tag, it’s a compelling product for sure.

Read the complete review here.

User Comments: 13

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seanp789 said:
While its nice to see DDL encoding in cards, I'm sorely disappointed that they don't attempt to compete more against creative from a gaming aspect. Some real competition would drive down the prices of the X-Fi models.
DragonMaster said:
When I'll see a sound card with both DirectSound hardware support and 24/96 recording that is NOT a Creative, I'll stop being disappointed by every of them. Why not Creative? Drivers and sound quality are a problem.
barfarf said:
ahhh the days of 3d spotlight and first rio. You know you got to hand it too Diamond they the first one to mass produces mps players with the RIO. THe RIAA was so scared of mp3 players and napster was so popular it would be the down fall of cd sales. THey tried suing dimaond into not making mp3 player. In fact making it ilegal to for anyone to make an mp3 player.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[b]Originally posted by DragonMaster:[/b][quote]When I'll see a sound card with both DirectSound hardware support and 24/96 recording that is NOT a Creative, I'll stop being disappointed by every of them.[/quote]The chip on this card can do that. I have a soundcard with the same sound chip (HDA / Auzentech X-Mystique 7.1), if I had a daughterboard for it I'd be able to record via S/PDIF.[quote]Features:# Supports 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 96kHz S/PDIF Input with HDA X-10 Digital Input extension board (Optional)[Digital I/O (SPDIF-IN #2)] [/quote][quote]Specifications (System Interface):# DirectSound 3D HW acceleration [/quote]Since both cards use the same driver(s) and utilities, I don't see why Diamond's card wouldn't be able to do the same.
Julio said:
Yes, I believe it does, at least from the specs sheet. Thomas was the one doing the actual review.As for better and more competition on the gaming front. It's not that easy, especially since Aureal and Sensaura ceased to exist (and you know why). The fact that these companies are no longer around, means more upfront cost and time to develop a proper solution that will compete with Creative products, which BTW also have EAX on their favor.I'm not saying it's not possible, just that it would be hard from a financial perspective.
DragonMaster said:
[quote]The chip on this card can do that. I have a soundcard with the same sound chip (HDA / Auzentech X-Mystique 7.1), if I had a daughterboard for it I'd be able to record via S/PDIF.[/quote]What about analog recording? Creative doesn't use good sounding DACs, ADCs and analog stages, and the M-Audio has no DirectSound hardware support.Or I could build my ADC but I'd prefer an I2S input in instead of a SPDIF one.
ThomasNews said:
I think I mentioned in the review that *on my system* the Xtreme Sound 7.1 was clearly not such a great performer for gamers & 3D Audio/EAX (especially the latter) would also be well behind Creative Soundcards. Regardless of how you feel about Creative Drivers they remain the best Soundcards for gaming regardless; regardless of how slanted that market is (EAX 3+ being proprietary for example, & the lack of competing setups thanks to the demise of Sensaura & previously Aureal).Not that others won't suffice, you'll just be missing out in many instances.
eddiep said:
I just got this card ,and i'm having a problem getting it to do one thing. They tell me at Diamond that I can connect my DVD player to the card via the S/PDIF in and play out to the Speakers connected to the anolog . I followed their instr. but can't get it to work. Tom , I noted in your review you didn't deal with the S/PDIF in did you test this at all. Anyone doing this.
DragonMaster said:
Probably a checkbox somewhere. Have you tried to set the SPDIF in as the record source?Are you sure that the polarity of the digital output is OK? (Try reversing the plug on your DVD-ROM)Also, it's not the CD Audio sound input anymore that you're using in the mixer.
eddiep said:
DragonMaster, Thanks a million for your response. I hope I don't sound too much like a dope, please bear with me, I am a real novice at this. First, you are exactly right, it is a checkbox, which I have checked and rechecked, with no avail. Second, when you say set SPDIF in as the record source, do you mean in the software,(ie, the checkbox) that comes with the soundcard, or somewhere else in the computer? Third, as far as the polarity, this is a little over my head, but let me make this clear, if I put a movie, or a cd in the CD-RW/DVD drive the card works fine. (the speakers connected to the analog side play very well) It's when I connect an outside source (ie. DVD player, HD cable set top box,etc) to the SPDIF in that I get no sound. Given this, do you still think I should reverse the plug on the DVD-ROM, if so I will give it a try. As to your last point about the CD Audio Sound and the mixer, I don't understand. Please elaborate. Finally, back to the checkbox. It seems like there is a conflict between the SPDIF in and some other audio source controlling the speakers. Any ideas on what the SPDIF in is competing with? Thanks again.
claudioperez@be said:
I had the same problem I have no idea how to fix it and Im at the end of my my rope trying to find a way to hear surround sound thru my computer speakers from my PS2 with a fiber optic cable.
freakwillsin said:
I've had the same problem recording from the optical in and the following beta driver from C-Media (the chip manufacturer) fixed my issue. [url]http://www.aaf.telesfor.net/files/setup.exe[/url]You can also see this link on C-Media's forum.[url]http://www.cmedia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=190[
url]If you are looking for new drivers in the future on c-media's site the one that works for this card is CMI8768/CMI8768+ even though the number on the chip is CMI8760 if i remember correctly.
Ross Feickert said:
I tried the above fix and it didn't seem to make a difference. The optical input still isn't working. Any other suggestions?
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