AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1 - Conclusion
You know what? I love this card. At Guru3d.com we don't like to rave about products, but here I am, stark raving mad about the Prodigy. We've had great opportunities to review some of the best consumer audio cards available, and the AudioTrak Prodigy is a little bit special. If you have an old Santa Cruz or GameTheater but can't find a worthy successor, not even the M-Audio Revolution, your search is over: the Prodigy is a worthy upgrade.
At $100USD you get a whole lot of sound card love, almost rediculous. The Prodigy 7.1 provides the perfect balance between gaming, listening, and recording. We're not aiming for a quote on the box, but this card is perfect. Remember, I'm just raving. Even if you never intend to do any recording with the Prodigy, you can be sure that it will still offer excellent sound quality for watching movies or playing. I could see many Prodigy's used for HTPC's, for example.
The Prodigy will perform quite well for games. It's not an Audigy2 ZS with EAX4, but if you really feel you need more frames per second, go buy a better video card. I honestly don't care about audio cards eating CPU cycles at this point in computing, it's all about sound quality. That said, the Prodigy is the best Envy24HT based sound card that we've tested. It beats the M-Audio Revolution for games, not just for CPU cycles, but also in its ability to suck you into a game. It's the Immersion Factor. Prodigy wins, hands down.
I find the Prodigy to be an intelligent card, in its engineering, its features, and ability. There were some incompatibilities with VST plugins for the NSP, the choice-limiting bundling of SRS with WinDVD, and too much software was in demo mode. But the NSP and DirectWIRE do provide useful feautres for listening, home recording, mixing, and mastering. Add to that the new Sensaura3D algorithms which provide pretty good 3D effects, 7.1 channels of audiophile sound, and shh... the headphone amp.
The AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1 gets an Editor's Choice.
I would like to thank Keith Kowal at VIA and Nikki Kang at AudioTrak, for fielding really silly questions. As always, all the important people get the silly questions. Hey, Hilbert... I got a questi... no, I better not.
Asus A7N8X-DeeLucks (1004)
AMD 1700+ (@1466MHz)
Gainward GeForce4 Ti4200 (ForceWare 52.16)
1Gb Micron DDR SDRAM
60Gb IBM GXP60, 75Gb IBM GXP75 (pray for me)
Terratec DMX 6-fire (v.5.40.03.130)
M-Audio Revolution 7.1 (v.5.10.00.0051)
WinXP Pro SP1 and DX9.0b
Rotel RX-846 reciever
Sony XA1-ES cd player
Kef Q30 loudspeakers
Rega Planar2 vinyl spinner w/Sumiko Blue Point MM cartridge
Grado SR-125 and SR-60 'phones
Radiohead, OK Computer
Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty
Beethoven String Quartet Op. 131, live at Old First Church, October 2002, San Francisco, CA.
Jimi Hendrix, Wild Blue Angel, DVD
Jimi Hendrix, Live at Woodstock, DVD
Pulp Fiction, DVD
More Special thanks to:
Kiki T. Kat
Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses
I know you just wanted to see it one last time.