Friday, July 23rd 2010
Widely regarded in the audiophile community as one of the best sound cards ever made, Auzentech's X-Meridian 7.1 is being revived in a new second-generation (2G) model. Following engagement with Creative for supply of its X-Fi chipsets, Auzentech had stopped production of the original X-Meridian 7.1 sound card citing shortages of the C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen HD chipset, which it now seems to have come over. The new X-Meridian 2G 7.1 from Auzentech sports the same CMI8788 Oxygen HD chip, backed by a squad of channel-independent enthusiast-grade AKM AK4396 DACs, user-replaceable OPAMP chips, high-end electrolytic capacitors to maintain natural-sounding output in the analogue portion of the card, and high-end solid-state capacitors for the power-distribution and digital output. To ensure the lowest latencies, the card uses the PCI interface, because CMI8788 is a PCI chip, and adding a PCI-E bridge chip would step up latencies. More technical details can be found in the exclusive preview by Guru3D.