Sound cards have had a funny few years if you think back even as far as 2005. They used to be an essential part of any gaming PC; quite simply if you didn’t have a sound card, you had no sound. The last sound card that I actually purchased for my own games machine was the first of Creative’s X-Fi cards way back in 2005. This was not a pleasant experience… I distinctly remember countless issues with Creative’s notorious at the time drivers, that really didn’t play nice with other hardware, and having to wait a long time until good drivers were actually available for use.
As I result I was always put off upgrading to newer cards. In the end, thanks to HDMI out on newer graphics cards, I never did have to upgrade it and the sound card became obsolete. I could just have digital sound from my graphics card and have done with it. Simple!
I was always tempted by Auzentech’s spin on the Creative hardware, but their top-end home cinema sound cards were seemingly impossible to buy in the UK, so again it was always stick with the HDMI out from the sound card.
Fast forward to 2012 and we have Creative offering a brand new range of sound cards; The Recon3D range – offering their new state of the art SoundCore3D quad core audio processing chip.
So does the new hardware bring much to the table over and above using your graphics card for sound?
I’ve had the Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional installed in my gaming rig for over a month now, and here’s what I think!