Videologic SonicFury

The specifications on the box aside, the performance of the card is excellent. Voices sound well separated, and the precision and clarity of the output throws a challenge to the external sound equipment. In games, the SonicFury provides very convincing surround sound, and does seem to take some load off the CPU, as advertised. Six channels should account for most people's obsolete collection of amplifying speakers, too.

Only Windows drivers were supplied with the sample card. After a rather rocky installation, sound properties are handled by a sound centre, an inoffensive panel-like affair which opens from Turtle Beach's system tray icon. Configuration options of the card are divided into six sections of varying usefulness, the mixer being the most important. However, for semi-professional sound work, there's a need for some keyboard control of the mixer, or at least big on-screen buttons.

An interesting feature is software configuration of the "versajack" sockets on the rear of the card. These can be set to work as a second analog input, a digital output, or a third stereo analog output. With the lack of space on the back of the latest sound cards, this is a trend-setting idea. Perhaps in future all the plugs could auto-configure, saving a major pain in the neck when plugging in your sound.

Videologic is promoting the SonicFury as a "mid-price" card, with enough extra features to justify opening your PC to install it. Some improvement in the drivers could be expected, but nothing has been omitted as far as hardware capability is concerned.

Videologic SonicFury

Price: $275

Supplier: Syslink

Phone: 1800 067 722

URL: www.videologic.com

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