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PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Review

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PowerColor Devil HDX PCIe Sound Card Conclusion:

Over the years, PowerColor has dabbled in some different technologies, but never really strayed too far from its bread and butter: unique as well as reference AMD-based video cards. With the Devil HDX PCIe sound card, PowerColor has an absolutely solid addition to its lineup that steps way outside the comfort zone. Put together using excellent hardware from C-Media and others, the card not only looks good, but performs well to boot. There was not a listening scenario that I was disappointed with in any way, shape, or form. Visually, you get a solution that matches up well with the Devil series line up of video cards, including the Devil 13 at the top end and the Devil R9 270 in the ~$200 price point.

Setup as a stand alone solution, the Devil HDX gets to play in the best of both worlds with 124dB rated performance from the parent card and the option of running 7.1 sound through the addition of the daughter card. Here is my only beef with the Devil HDX. I know these are options that add cost, but when cultivating a brand it would just add to the package. I would have liked to see the ribbon cables sleeved to get out of the early days when ribbon cable were the bane of a good looking high end build. The same goes for the daughter card. Shrouding the components with a shroud seen on the parent card would just complete the look of the package, much like PowerColor did on the Devil 13.

The hardware is the main component of the package, but it can be undone with poor drivers and supporting software. In this aspect, PowerColor again delivered a solid suite. The Xear software package allows the user to fully configure the sound profile to meet the tastes of just about anyone. If you can't get it done here, I don't think it will happen. Priced at $159, the kind of power punch and clarity comes with a comparative price. It is, however, a price that it earns!

 

Pros:

  • Sound flexibility
  • Great sound
  • Deep, rich bass
  • Replaceable op-amps
  • Rich GUI

 

Cons:

  • Cables could be sleeved
  • Slightly longer cables
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