3D Soundsurge heeft een behoorlijke complete review gepost van de Xitel Storm Platinum, een Aureal Vortex II soundcard met quad speaker support, digitale S/PDIF interface en force feedback headphones. Een probleem met de Vortex II kaarten was altijd de hoge CPU load bij gebruik van de wavetracing engine (iets dat de SBLive sowieso al niet kent). Zoals reeds eerder aangetoond door Extreme hardware is de de CPU performance hit met de nieuwe drivers dramatisch gedaald!
Half-Life continues to be our best benchmarking tool for in game A3D 2.0 performance. Using a Celeron 300a at its default speed with 2015 drivers on a Vortex 2 board results in 27.2 FPS with wavetracing and 31.4 without and with the Celeron 300a overclocked to 450 MHz the results are 34.7 with wavetracing, 36.8 without. For details on how we benchmark in Half-Life and to see the results of several other soundcards you can check out our Half-Life benchmarking page (which is actually just a regularly updated part of our full Half-Life review, which includes the results of playing it using four different sound cards!
As we noted before, the A3D 2.0 engine and API has been undergoing progressive tweaking by Aureal. With the release of the 2.20 A3D drivers (now up to 2.22) we decided to take a quick look at where performance was with the initial release of A3D 2.0 and where it is today using Heretic II as our prime the benchmarking tool. Heretic II is the focus because it uses the latest A3D 2.0 engine that we have access to. The results of this test show that CPU usage has dropped from In Heretic II, the performance hit of using the full feature set of A3D 2.0 vs. Direct Sound has dropped from 25.4 percent all the way down to 5.6 percent on a Celeron 333a oc to 416 Mhz! You can check out the all the details in our A3D 2.0 Performance article.