Discrete audio lives on
Sound cards aren't perhaps as prominent as they once were now that onboard audio solutions have upped their game (it also helps that today's multi-core processors are able to handle audio chores without a significant hit to frame rates), but they still exist. Enter Diamond Multimedia and its newest addition to its sound card collection, the Diamond Xtreme Sound 7.1 , a low-profile PCI-Express sound card with support for 24-bit playback and recording.
Diamond Multimedia says the card features anti-pop protection circuitry. It also boasts four sets of 3.5mm stereo connectors for front R/L, rear R/L, side R/L, and center/subwoofer; 3.5mm stereo connectors for line-in; two RCA connectors for coaxial input and output; two optical connectors for SPDIF input and output; and an HD audio link for front audio.
"The Xtreme Sound 7.1 HD sound card also includes a digital optical output, which provides a multichannel, pure digital, distortion-free signal that can be connected via a single optical digital cable, therefore eliminating multiple cable connections and guaranteeing high fidelity audio for your home theater experience," Diamond Multimedia says.
The card is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. It's also fairly affordable at $60 MSRP.