A Closer Look
The card itself is pretty standard. A small PCB houses the i/o shield and needed outputs. There’s a PCIe 1x header for connecting to your motherboard.
The main ports on the card are (from left to right) line in, mic in, DIN out and optical out.
The card features a VIA Tremor VT1723 PCI audio controller chip to handle the sound and an ASMedia ASM1083 PCI bridge chip to handle communications. There’s also a pair of inputs (pin headers, top left in the picture) for analog/CD inputs with convenient color coding.
The interface cable features a DIN connector to 3.5mm audio jack converter. The connections are as follows:
|Green||Line Out||Front Speaker||Front Speaker||Front Speaker|
|Black||–||Rear Speaker||Rear Speaker||Rear Speaker|
The only exception here is the asterisk on the 4-channel mode. 4-channel mode will not work under Windows Vista or 7 (in either 32- or 64-bit).
Installation is pretty straightforward. Install the card into a free PCIe x1 slot and boot it up. The system I installed the card on is a Windows 7 system and the system automatically installed the drivers for the card without the need for the driver CD.
To hook your speakers to the sound card use the following guide:
- The rear panel of this 7.1 Channel PCIe Sound Card has the following jacks:
- Line In (blue): Connect to tape/CD/DVD player, or other audio sources for output mixing and/or recording.
- MIC In (pink): Connect to microphone.
- Line Out (green): Connect to headphone or amplifying speakers. In 4-channel, 6-channel, and 8-channnel configurations, the function of this port becomes Front Speaker Out.
- Rear-Speaker/Surround-Speaker (black): Connect to Rear speakers while 4/6/8 channel speaker mode is enabled (via external amplifier).
- Center/Subwoofer (orange): Connect to center/subwoofer speakers while 6/8 channel speaker mode is enabled (via external amplifier).
- Back-Speaker (gray): Connect to back speakers while 8 channel speaker mode is enabled (via external amplifier).
- S/PDIF Out: Connect to digital input of external audio device via an optical S/PDIF cable.
On thing I don’t understand though is why they went through the trouble of making a separate cable when they could have just put all the i/o jacks on the plate like everyone else.
Let’s wrap up this review with some final thoughts.