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PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Review

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PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Testing:

Testing a sound card for the most part is a truly subjective experience. I will use the OCC standard video card test bed as the vehicle with which to test the Devil HDX sound card from PowerColor. I will use a Blu-Ray copy of the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug to gauge the audio performance during a movie that has a lot to experience. I play through Metro: Last Light and Battlefield 4 for my game testing, and will end up with various forms of music to see what the Devil HDX has to offer.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Audio Testing:

Movies:

Getting the most out of a movie includes not only the action sequences, but the small intricate noises that get lost unless you have an audiophile-grade surround system. While watching The Hobbit, all the small intricacies I miss on the big screen are front and center. From the shuffling feet at the Prancing Pony in the opening scenes to the bees buzzing around Bilbo's head in Beorn's home. The sequence as Thorin's party is lost in Mirkwood is more entertaining. The claws of the spiders hitting the branches when they attack is something missed on the big screen that came through loud and clear. The movie was thoroughly enjoyable with the addition of all the small nuances I have missed. Both the lows and highs were excellent.

 

Gaming:

I started my gaming testing with a clear idea on what I was going to do, but ended up immersed a bit deeper than I traditionally get in a game. The first game I tested was Metro: Last Light in The Crossing sequence. I have used this game to get a feel for on-board audio solutions in the past, and was pleased to see that the additional background effects I was missing were audible. I consistently ended up with shivers down my spine while playing the game because of how clear the audio was in-game. Twigs and leaves blowing across the ground, the crack of the ice when walking across it, the light footsteps that had me looking around all the time, that grunt in the dark that echoed off the walls; it all was just that much more creepy while playing. Battlefield 4 is a bit more predictable of a play so you don't have that creepy factor going on. I played starting at my video card benchmark start point and played through the next couple missions, and picked up all the extra noises I was missing. The echo of a round being fired from inside a structure was particularly cool for me. The explosions were deep and the bass notes just thumped in my headphones and helped to draw me further in.

 

Music:

I spend a lot of time with music in my life due to the amount of time I sit in front of a PC and in a car travelling. It's only when I have a set of headphones on that I can truly capture the highs, lows, and many of the individual notes in the music I enjoy. I pulled some older 80's music from my catalog, including Journey and Pink Floyd, as well as some newer music from Five Finger Death Punch and InTthis Moment for my testing. Jumping into the way back machine, I pulled out a couple of songs from Journey ("Good Morning Girl" and "Something to Hide") that just give me the chills when I can hear them as they should be heard. Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason is another album that takes a quiet room and solid system to catch everything; something that again proved enjoyable. Five Finger Death Punch and In This Moment both have songs with a lot of punch and throbbing double bass kicks, and really show the card can power through these songs at high volumes with clarity.

 

Through each aspect of the testing I found that being "satisfied" with good on board sound left me that much more than impressed with what PowerColor has brought to the table with the Devil HDX.




  1. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Closer Look: Continued
  3. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Closer Look: The Software
  4. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card: Specifications & Features
  5. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Testing: Setup & Testing
  6. PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card: Conclusion
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