Performance - RightMark 3Dsound
RightMark 3Dsound 1.01 & RMAA 5.3
The new test here is the RMAA 3Dsound 1.01, which replaces the good, but old, AudioWinBench 99 for testing CPU utilization scores under DirectSound.
Of note: the empty CPU test shows about 7% utilization. It's unclear whether RightMark takes this into consideration in its statistical analysis, but it would appear it does not, so these numbers could very well be inflated by about 7%.
The Audigy2 ZS doesn't budge much. For DirectSound 2D, the two Envy24 cards provide stiff competition, but ultimately they can't match the Audigy2 ZS's hardware support for 64 buffers. It hovers around 10-15% for DS3D, and better than the competition. Yawn. Differences between the two Envy24 powered cards are more interesting. The DMX 6-fire uses the original Envy24, which indeed has DirectSound acceleration and is slightly ahead of the Prodigy 7.1. The Prodigy uses the Envy24HT which does not have DS acceleration, and it is all emulated in software. At 64 buffers, both Envy24 cards are using software emulation, and achieve similar results. The differences could be the result of software efficiencies, or lack thereof.