De mannen van Tech Extreme hebben een review gemaakt van de Voyetra-Turtle Beach Santa Cruz PCI geluidskaart. De kaart maakt gebruik van de CS4630 SoundFusion Digital Signal Processor. Deze kaart heeft advanced 3D positional Audio support, 2, 4 of 6-speaker Digital Surround Sound, acoustic Sound fields en een 8MB DLS MIDI wavetable synthesizer. Over het algemeen komen de specs aardig overeen met de Sound Blaster Live! serie. Over de geluidskwaliteit was men niet altijd even te spreken, maar al met al vinden ze het een goede kaart:
For $99, the Voyetra-Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card is a very good buy. This puppy offers support for all major 3D audio standards, includes mp3 hardware acceleration, (though its pretty much useless these days of 1Ghz+ systems), and the VersaJack will give you many options for any type of configuration you wish to run. While its 3D audio support in games might be a bit spotty, especially with EAX-enabled games, Iím sure Voyetra will be able to resolve these issues with future driver releases.
And therein lies one of the biggest problems with the Santa Cruz. The drivers are simply not as robust as they should be. Using the latest beta 4.63 drivers, I incurred into too many crashes and lock-ups when doing sound-related tasks. There are even issues between Audio Station 4 and the Santa Cruz Control Panel that need to be taken care of quickly. The fact that Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium drivers are not included on the shipping drivers CD doesnít help matters either.
The software bundle also leaves something to be desired. For one thing, Voyetra doesnít include any type of software DVD player, a bad omission considering that the card can support 6-channel analog audio with the use of a software DVD decoder that can output to the channels and decode AC-3 audio. Fortunately, Videologic offers WinDVD 2000 with 6-channel support that works great with the Santa Cruz\Sonic Fury, (the Sonic Fury is the same card as the Santa Cruz, Videologic just changed its name for distribution in Europe), but, you are forced to shell out more money for something that should have been included. Audio Station 4, while easy to use, simply omits some standard features that people might be used to from other media players, not to mention that itís a bit too buggy for my tastes. If you are into mixing your own sound samples, you might extract some fun from Ejay Special Edition.
There are other sound cards competing at this same price range, including the Philips Acoustic Edge and the Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer 5.1 and mp3+ 5.1. While the Santa Cruz is a solid addition to the PC sound market at this point, I would definitely wait for more robust drivers from Voyetra before picking up the card. Overall game support is great, meaning you will be able to enjoy games to their full potential with minimal fuzz, but once again, the current drivers do introduce problems with certain titles. If you are looking for a new sound card now and hate the Live! series from Creative, the Santa Cruz wouldnít be a bad choice. But once again, I would wait for more mature drivers before making a decision