Diamond XtremeSound - 5.1/16 bit Sound Card ReviewFormer staff writer -
Category: Sound Cards
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Sound is one of the things most enthusiasts take for granted when building a new rig. These days on-board sound has improved leaps and bounds from just a few years ago. Users are content with just running on-board sound for most tasks. When the dust settles from the new build and you start breaking in the PC by gaming, watching movies, listing to music, you might think there is something missing. It's not apparent at first, but you need to upgrade your sound experience. It is one of those things that is not noticeable until it's gone/upgraded.
Diamond Multimedia offers a few different options for sound cards. The XtremeSound 5.1, which we are looking at today, XtremeSound 7.1 which we looked at here and XtremeSound 7.1 with Dolby Digital Live cards.
The retail packaging was not available for this review. So a press shot of the box will suffice. Typical red/black Diamond color scheme, highlighting the features of the sound card. The card itself is the length of the PCI slot, so there should be no issues installing it in even the tightest of setups. The input/output jacks on the card are as follows from left to right: Line In, Mic, Front Out, Rear Out, Center/Bass, and last is a Game/MIDI port.
The C-Media CMI8738 6 channel chip does the heavy lifting on the Xtreme Sound 5.1 with HRTF-based 3D positional audio, support for 24-bit SPDIF IN/OUT, and EAX/Linux/BeOS support as well.
The XtremeSound 5.1 has connections for two CD-in and one Aux-in cables. The only other jumpers on the card are to switch output for the Center/Bass channels.
Included with the sound card is the driver CD and Installation Manual.