X-Fi Forte is X-Fi to the nth Degree. With X-Fi Forte 7.1, the Auzentech has offered a product that can meet the needs of a wide range of audio users. The implementation of X-Fi effects provides all the necessary standards to hard-core gamer. The high quality components along with the ability to replace the OPAMP dedicated to the front audio channels ensures excellent reproduction for lovers of high-fidelity, together with its extensive connectivity and the ability to be mounted in a Mini-ATX case, making it an excellent choice for home theater solutions. In addition, support for ASIO drivers and the presence of wireless microphone balanced (with all its limitations) also allows you to become familiar with the field of home recording. This whole series of features we think make the product far superior.
Translated by Google Translate. Edited by Auzentech
Starting with the build quality and design.... (X-Fi Forte has) all of the features we would expect from a high end product and more. All of the standard connectors are supported—both external and internal—and the use of quality components ensures a high quality sound, as does the upgradable op-amp. Full support of all the X-Fi technologies is present and even though Auzentech could have stopped there, they decided to add more...
Who is a potential buyer of this card? Although the Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 does not look like an indisputable leader in terms of quality in its price sector ($150 if purchased from the Auzentech website), it might entice you with the numerous advantages over opponents, the most important of which is the top-quality headphones amplifier. Moreover, if your system case connectors comply with the HDA standard, the card enables the appropriate driver mode and turns off the line outputs automatically as soon as you plug your headphones in. Coupled with the full-featured audio processor X-Fi, this makes the Auzen Forte a perfect choice for gamers....
X-Fi Forte Receives Tech Report Editors Choice Award
The key difference between the X-Fi and Oxygen (audio processor) is horsepower. A revelation when it was released, the X-Fi has an impressive 10,000 MIPs of processing power that it can dynamically allocate to everything from fancy post-processing effects to positional 3D audio acceleration. The X-Fi is also the only audio processor capable of accelerating advanced EAX 5 effects.... The original X-Fi chip had a PCI interface, but Creative's latest revision is a native PCI Express design, allowing the Forte to slide into an x1 slot without the aid of an auxiliary bridge chip....
...(the X-Fi) Forte actually has plenty of connectivity options right out of the box.... This gives the (X-Fi) Forte the ability to output multi-channel audio in both analog and digital formats, a trick the (Asus) Essence can't match. For digital connections, Auzentech also supplies a rather flexible TOS-Link cable that stretches a full 10 feet in length....
...the (Auzentech X-Fi ) Forte is simply a much more versatile card. Its low-profile design is perfect for slim home theater PC enclosures, and if you want to kick it old-school with Windows XP and classic games, there's plenty of EAX acceleration on tap. Plus, Auzentech throws in quite a nice TOS-Link cable to round out the package.
Really, I'm happy recommending either card. However, the Forte is the better value of the two, and that's why it's our Editor's Choice.
Translated by our Chinese partner to English: "During testing,the performance of X-FI Forte 7.1 is excellent in the sound field, surround sound, and in sound localization. It is no exaggeration to describe the performance as shocking. If you are an audiophile, or you want to assemble a mini HomeTheaterPC (HTPC) with powerful audio player capabilities, then the Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 is a good choice.
Essentially; the Auzentech X-Fi Forte is all if set out to be. As an all-round device to pop into your gaming media PC there can't be many on the market that get near it and if this is what you want from a sound card, then I would recommend you go out and get one.
The Auzentech X-Fi Forte gets a deserved OC3D 'Recommended' Award for being the best all-rounder we've tested so far.
X-Fi Forte Receives Recommended Award from Guru3D.com
The Gaming audio, the Forte's strong suit provided spectacular immersive audio in both EAX/OpenAL effect game and games with internal effect engines.
The CMSS-3D headphone routine offered spot on surround sound virtualization for those who prefer to game with headphones or love gaming late at night. The Forte offered exceptionaly accurate directional cues and impressive immersion that had this reviewer instinctively turning his head a few times to see what that sound was behind me. We at the Guru3D Audio Lab highly recommend this card for those looking for a new hardware gaming card or just a new sound card as the Forte offers impressive audio no matter what audio task your doing, no matter if your gaming, rocking out to music or enjoying some movies the Forte 7.1 has you covered.
The Auzentech X-Fi Forte has a lot of really great features that any HTPC owner should take notice of. Its low profile makes it perfect for small form factor gaming rigs, such as LAN boxes and its EAX 5.0 support is great for users still running Windows XP. The native support of DDL and DTS make it a good choice for those people who want audio quality that is better than on-board for their home theatre’s. Unfortunately, Vista users need to be a little bit more careful as EAX effects are only enabled when using ALChemy, and even then support can be somewhat lacking. Creative appears to be working to increase their OpenAL support, but by the looks of things, developer’s aren’t following the trend.
PC Game Hardware magazine of Germany has just reviewed 5 high end sound cards from Creative, Asus and Auzentech. The magazine gave the X-Fi Forte the second highest score using an earlier driver, due to a driver bug that is fixed in the current drivers.*
Review conclusion in German:
..Im Test brilliert die Karte mit exzellentem Klang, welcher in der Werkseinstellung einen Hauch besser ausfällt als bei Creatives X-Fi-Karten. Einen Teil trägt der standardmäßig aktive Crystalizer dazu bei (65%), der Rest kommt durch die hochwertige Platine. Der Bass wummert satt und sanfte Hochtöne schallen kristallklar hervor.*
Review conclusion translated to English:
..in test, the card shines due to excellent sound which is in factory set a little better than one of Creative's X-Fi cards. This is due in part to the by-default enabled Crystalizer (65%). The other part is the high-class printed circuit board (PCB). Bass hums full and soft high tones appear crystal-clear... Conclusion: this is the best sounding gamer sound card with X-Fi-DSP sadly is still suffering from driver bugs.*
* Backround noises from microphone FP, corrected in current driver.
X-Fi Forte Earns 93 out of 100 Points In Associated Content Review
The Auzentech X-Forte does a great job with sound, surround sound, gaming sound and all the other audio I could throw at it using my computer. I had a great time listening to a wide variety of music and playing games hearing all the great surround sound goodness in a variety of games. Overall, the Auzentech X-Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI-Express Sound Card does a great job of taking sound away from an over-taxed motherboard and dedicating sound to a new entertainment experience. I highly recommend the Auzentech X-Forte as a great dedicated sound card .
- Jeff Gedgaud
X-Fi Forte Receives Elite Performance Award from EliteBastards.com
"...it's really next to impossible to fault Auzentech's X—Fi Forte — It makes good use of Creative's arguably ageing but still immensely powerful X-Fi audio processor, couples it with some stable and bloat—free drivers, piles on a tonne of additional functionality that will be welcomed by many, and ramps up the audio quality to please even the most ardent audiophiles. While it doesn't really hold much over its older predecessor, the X-Fi Prelude, unless you absolutely require PCI Express support, for anyone else in the market for a discrete sound card the X-Fi Forte is the new king of the hill in our book."
X-Fi Forte Receives HardwareAnalisis Top Product Award
Translated from Spanish: "Auzentech has developed a ultimate soundcard, which offers great support and integrates the latest audio technologies included in movies and games. The X-Fi Forte 7.1 is perfectly polyvalent, since though it was designed as a Low Profile soundcard, the user has the possibility to mount it on a standard system as it also comes with a standard PCI bracket. The chips which were used for this card are the best that can be currently found on the market, hence ensuring high quality audio. If you take into account the 64MB X-RAM memory, you can consider that this is a perfect soundcard for the Gamers. There is also a great flexibility as regards I/O, as it includes analogue and digital I/O as well as a special header for headset amplifiers. A real pleasure...And we must not forget neither the extremely complete software which comes with the soundcard, and which will enable the user to perfectly control the sound, whether he is listening to playing, playing videogames or watching a movie. Taking into consideration the features of this card, and its price, around 140€, it appears that we’re facing an outstanding card, as very few soundcards with such features (Low Profile, PCI-E interface, chip X-Fi &64MB X-RAM) can be found today on the market, and especially for such a price."
X-Fi Forte Receives Hartware.net Top Product Award
Translated from German: "The Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 is an outstanding all-round talent and masters all areas from Gaming over music and movies to professional purposes with bravura. Due to its versatility, good performance and only few weak points the Auzentech X-Fi Forte obtains the award as Hartware Top Product."
Overall, I was very impressed and surprised at how well the X-Fi Forte performed. It really did make a big difference to sound quality. All the modes and adjustable settings were very addictive too and I couldn’t help tinkering. The down side and it is a big one is the price; £130 is a lot of money for any computer component and so I expect many people will be put off by it. But, for those willing to splash the cash, the reward is top notch; the X-Fi Forte is a great audio card with the combination of Creative and Auzentech proving once again a perfect match. Undoubtedly, the card has come on leaps and bounds from the Prelude with the introduction of Dolby Digital Live and other such features making this card stand out. For all you music lovers out there, this is the card.
Forum Member Review: "Well the good news is Auzentech took all the great things about the X-Fi chipset and made it better, the used the good software and seem to have made extremely stable drivers. I've been listening to music, checking out games and watching some of my favorite movie clips. Music sounds better than ever. Crysis, Left 4 Dead, Company of Heroes and STALKER all sound incredible. Finally the lobby scene in Matrix sounds better on my PC then I could have imagined, not as good as my HT setup but I do have 4.1 speakers and it is far superior to my on board audio or Creative Audigy card. I couldn't be more happy with this sound card, they really don't make them any better for this price."
CAUTION: To avoid damage from static electricity, do not place your soundcard on a table or other surface without the anti-static bag.
With all the X-Fi bells and whistles, like EAX Effects, X-Fi CMSS-3D (a feature that brings 3D sound to stereo sources), X-Fi Crystalizer (which attempts to clean up less-crisp sound, such as that from lossily-ripped CDs), and more, the Auzentech Forte brings with it everything you'd expect to find in a SoundBlaster branded X-Fi card. That's a good thing. This is an excellent card, and would fit in nicely with a home theater system. It certainly blows the mushy tones that come from most onboard audio codecs out of the water...For what it tries to be—a low-profile, HTPC alternative to wimpy onboard codecs—the X-Fi Forte succeeds thrillingly.
- Joel Durham Jr.
Translated from German: The X-Fi Forte is a worthy PCIe-addition to the X-Fi Prelude. It sounds outstanding, has a very high-end design and in addition it shows off with a first class gaming performance. All this recommends the Forte as the first choice for gamers with a PCIe slot.
GameStar Names X-Fi Forte "The New Reference Sound Card"
Translated from German: "In practise the Forte 7.1 sounds excellent, but you will hear the difference to a conventional X-Fi card only with very good speakers or headsets. The Forte could be interesting for HiFi-fans, which also like to play, due to the enormous high sound quality." Notes: 1) The X-Fi Forte is acknowledged as the new Reference Sound Card, meaning that it is the standard to which other soundcards will be compared.