Posted by Thomas
McGuire on November 2, 1999
Systems Product: SonicVortex
/ Imagination Technologies is mostly known for their PowerVR
series of graphics chips, however these guys do much more
than just graphics cards including a variety of multimedia
products such as the HomeC@m USB Camera, the Sirocco line of
PC speakers and they also have the SonicVortex2 soundcard.
Aureal's Vortex2 chip, the SonicVortex2 is aimed to the
hardcore gamers that want the best 3D positional audio
available thanks to the A3D 2.0 API, and although Vortex 2
soundcards have been available for a while now they are much
cheaper than what they were at introduction so that every
serious gamer can have one without spending the big bucks.
was nice & easy. Opened up the case, removed my
SoundBlaster Live, replaced it with the Sonic Vortex2 and
connected the CD & speaker cables again. It was that
simple. I was a bit surprised when physically comparing the
2 cards. The Sound Blaster Live looked better then the
Vortex 2, which has a somewhat cheap look to it.
up was fine; the card was detected as normal & the
driver installation followed. Perfect, right? I was a little
disappointed by the lack of options with the installation.
The only option available was to install help/documentation
files onto the hard drive. Other than that installation was
a simple loading of the drivers & re-booting.
software included 3D Future beat, a demo of E-Jay &
Jet-audio – a multimedia player, much like the Creative
Playcenter, but with an unpleasant look to it (to me
anyway). We’re not buying this card because of the
software bundle, are we?
the latest drivers (complete) from A3D
fixed some of grievances I had with the card. Like the game
problems & the high CPU usage, which we’ve all heard
manual, much like the software, contained the basics.
Functional but nothing too detailed.
comparison to my Sound Blaster Live, I found this product to
be a bit on the thin side as concerns the little niceties. I
was disappointed that there were no extra wires with this
card to hook up peripherals. Quite an over-sight if you don’t
already have any spare.
one very important
thing to bare in mind now however, the price. This card
retails at an extremely cheap price, £64.99 maximum. The
Sound Blaster Live is a lot more expensive than this. If you
can do without a decent software bundle this is very
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