Dan's Data heeft een review gepost van de Diamond Monster Sound MX400, de opvolger van de populaire Monster Sound MX300. In tegenstelling tot zijn voorganger is de MX400 niet gebaseerd op een Aureal chip, maar maakt hij gebruik van de Canyon 3DTM audio controller van ESS. De MX400 biedt verder een digitale S/PDIF interface, quad speaker support en heet ondersteuning voor EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0 en A3D 1.0. Hieronder een hap uit de conclusie:
A clear successor to the MX300 this card is not. But neither is it a poor choice; Sensaura technology with Diamond's drivers is definitely ready for prime time, the four speaker output sounds great, the S/PDIF connector is a nice touch for those that want it, and the price is right.
If you've got to have the latest A3D capabilities, then you want a Vortex 2 card. But then again, EAX 2.0 sounds pretty darn good compared with A3D 2 or 3, as long as the game programmers have their act together - the EAX effects settings have to be intelligently chosen and change in the right places.
Programmer input makes all the difference for A3D 2 and 3, too; either system can sound weird if it's not told what to do properly.
Using EAX 2.0 and DirectSound with the MX400, especially with four speaker output, gives a result that's arguably better than Vortex 2 performance, especially when there's lots going on. The proper all-around HRTF output and greater number of hardware 3D sound channels makes a difference.
It's certainly not a night-and-day difference, though. Owners of a card based on one chipset needn't rush out to audition a card based on the other. But the Canyon3D, with its current drivers, is still a real contender.