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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Guillemot Maxi Sound Fortissimo review

Guillemot Maxi Sound Fortissimo review
Posted by Julio Franco on June 26, 2000
Company: Guillemot     Product: Maxi Sound Fortissimo

You might have heard of Guillemot before because of their gaming videocards (which now also include those ones behind the Hercules brand name) based on NVIDIA chips or maybe because of their Nascar licensed products for racing game fans.

Guillemot is a well-known PC and console peripheral manufacturer based on Montreal, Canada. However, in the last couple of years we have seen how this company has expanded as the market for gaming peripherals has grown as well. This time they are bringing us the Maxi Sound Fortissimo, a full-featured soundcard targeted to the budget conscious gamer.

The concept behind the Fortissimo is offering 4-Channel Digital output at a lower price than the rest of cards available. A year ago Guillemot released a similar product but unfortunately they made a big mistake using the ISA bus, which is a major bottleneck for doing good 3D sound, this time however they have corrected that and they are using the PCI bus.

The Card

Unlike most of the “gaming” soundcards available in the market, the Maxi Sound Fortissimo isn’t based on any of the Aureal or ESS chipsets; instead they are using the Yamaha YMF744 chip combined with Sensaura 3D Positional sound algorithms.

Pretty much like the Diamond MonsterSound MX400 that we reviewed a few weeks ago, the Fortissimo supports all major 3D APIs, that includes Creative’s EAX, A3D (only 1.0) and MS DirectSound 3D, as well as Sensaura’s specific additional features such as ZoomFX and MacroFX.

Although we are talking of a low-end priced card, Guillemot includes all the features you would expect to see in higher priced products, the digital output that we have already mentioned, as well as independent jacks for front and rear speakers. I consider those very important points to consider on a card that will be used for gaming.

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