Neoseeker : : : Philips Acoustic Edge PSC 706 Review

Philips Acoustic Edge PSC 706 Review - PAGE 1

- Thursday, December 7th, 2000 Like Share


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Kyle Yamnitz Dec 15, 00
After reading several reviews of the Acoustic Edge now, I have some questions / concerns about it vs. the SB Live! X-Gamer. First of all, is the DSP upgradable like the Live's EMU10K1 DSP? It seems that would provide the card with a longer usability life.

Second, and very important to me, does Philips plan to include the ability to disable QMSS in Music, etc. with future drivers? I personally don't want my music split apart - I want my left channel to be the same in front and back.

Is support for EAX 3 likely when it comes out (with driver upgrades)?

Are final Win2k drivers available yet? If so, how is the performance there?

I've heard the card has minor issues with some EAX games. Does Philips plan to improve these with driver upgrades?

Is it likely that Philips will be able to improve the CPU usage with newer drivers? I realize these drivers are early, but 5% CPU utilization and the frame rate differences noted on other sites are quite discouraging.

Thanks in advance,
--Kyle Yamnitz
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Ether Dec 15, 00
hey Kyle.

Thanks for the questions. I've been getting so many emails that I am glad to be able to talk a little about the card in a more public forum.

Upgradeable DSP: The funny thing is that I don't follow too much on the whole upgradeable DSP idea, but I haven't really noticed many cards actually upgrading functionality like that. Certainly the Thunderbird chip is powerful, but I am not sure if it is programmable. Most of the new features that Philips plans on implementing will be from a driver side, and those features will probably do away with the few flaws that the card has.


I was one of the first people who noticed that the QMSS is "always on" and that some people may not like that. I don't have an answer on that one right now, but I can certainly have Howard ask for you.

No idea on EAX 3. I HOPE they will support it.

Win2K and NT drivers ship with the retail product. I am still waiting for the drivers so I can tell you what it's all about, but I am being told that the functionality is nearly identical. I am sort of afraid of the performance penalties though. So we'll have to see.

I am told the driver team is always working on improvements too, so I am fairly certain that the CPU usage will reduce a little. However, I think that the 5% is pretty close to some of the SBLive cards we've tested, (SBLive ranges from 0.5-3.0%) so it's not that discouraging to me. I'm working on the Santa Cruz right now, and though I don't have numbers, may the comparison will shed some more light on these next gen sound cards.

PS: Philips is very eager to make EAX support very solid. When we had questions, they were very interested in knowing the specifics of the compatibility issues, so I am sure they are shooting for perfect compatibility.
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Kyle Yamnitz Dec 15, 00
Hi Ether,
Thanks for all your thorough responses. I didn't expect you to "know" all the answers, but you did a good job of answering them anyway. Perhaps you can get a response from Philips on some of those questions (i.e. the programmable DSP). Thanks for the review, and I'll look forward to hearing new info on the card. Later,
--Kyle Yamnitz
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Redemption Dec 18, 00
If you haven't noticed, we're giving away 10 Acoustic Edge sound cards this month.

To win, all you have to do is register for the site and then post any combination of 5 user reviews or forum messages.
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marsh Jan 8, 01
i am about to have my dream computer built shortly

and i am glad i waited because i have been looking for
a card with DTS 5.1 as well as dolby 5.1 output. whether
i win this acoutic edge or not, this card will be in my
computer. God willing. where can i purchase this card
in canada. i live in vacouver BC. please excuse my poor
italics as all i have is this sega dc controller
and and onscreen keyoard to work with.
thanks marsh..html
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Newton Mar 13, 01
Hey

In your acoustic edge review you said you used the s4 7100 speakers. How did you connect them? I just got the s4 7100 speakers and it doesnt seem to come with the right wires. The acoustic edge has online one Sub/Cen out line, while the s4 7100 requires one for each individial line. It has one Sub line and one Out line. Did you go out and buy a Y cable or is there some way to connect it with the wires that were given.
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Geoff Alexander Apr 14, 01
How do I connect the soundcard to VideoLogic Digitheatre DTS to get optimal sound quality? I'm currently connecting via an S/PDIF coaxial cable. However, to make this work I have chose one of the following S/PDIF output modes under the S/PDIF tab of the Philip Acoustic Edge Audio Control Panel in order to get sound:
  • Front Left and Right Channels
  • Rear Left and Right Channels
  • Center and LFE Channels
Each selection has a slightly different sound, which lead me to believe that I'm not getting all six channels sent to the speakers. I have 5.1 Speakers selected under Settings/Output Mode.

Another, problem I'm having is that I can't control the speaker volume via the Windows "Master" Volume Control, though I can control the volume via specific controls such as Synthesizer Volume or Wave/SXG depending of what type of sound is playing.

I'm running Windows ME if that makes any difference.

Geoff Alexander

BTW,
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Ether Apr 17, 01
Newton:

The 7100 should have come with its own spit Y cables. I remember mine did. If it doesn't, you do indeed use a Y cable. That is a pretty standard way of doing it, just like a Left/Right split.

Geoff:

Try upgrading the drivers. If you are using WinME or Win9X you should see a final option, which is something like "5.1" or "Dolby Digital" output. In Win2K this option is not available at all.

Speaker volume cannot be controlled like that when you are connected digitally, at least not in my experience with the Santa Cruz, various vortex based cards, and the AE.
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Mashei Oct 9, 01
I'm somewhat upset with the high CPU utilization actually. It may be this is being caused by something else, but the problem cropped up right after installing my AE. My former card, SBLive! 5.1 X-Gamer, did not have this problem (it just had disgusting sound quality).

Whenever there is even the -slightest- cpu load while a sound is being played the sound becomes hideously butchered. It stutters, staggers, jumbles and hangs. The best example of this is on startup. I load the minimal amount of programs on startup (I've done some thorough weeding) yet my startup sound is absolutely butchered beyond belief every time I boot up.

Another strange thing is that once in a while a sound will be played as a piercing, hideous shriek one time then be played again just fine the next. I'm using the latest drivers and cleansed my system of all previous sound card software before installing.

Is anyone else experiencing anything like this? Will these issues be addressed in the next driver release?
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Harlin Oct 10, 01
Is the VXD driver stable enough ?
I heard that even the VXD driver is not stable.
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Gxcad Oct 10, 01
I own an acoustic edge and currently use the 2.59 drivers. Everything is stable and working great. I have to admit though, the drivers that came with the card were not stable (I think it was around 2.30)

-Gxcad
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Harlin Oct 11, 01
quote Gxcad
I own an acoustic edge and currently use the 2.59 drivers. Everything is stable and working great. I have to admit though, the drivers that came with the card were not stable (I think it was around 2.30)

-Gxcad
How's about WDM driver, because VXD is going obsolete now...
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CoralBanded Nov 27, 01
I upgraded the Acoustic Edge drivers to version 2.59 and encountered a problem.

If I tried to put my PC in sleep mode (standby) the PC would lock up, would never get into standy (could tell because the fans would not shut off). I would have to hit the reset button to get it to come back.

Uninstalled the drivers and reinstalled the original drivers that came with the card and it works fine now.


Anyone else have problems with the 2.59 drivers?

------------------------
Athlon 1Ghz @ 1400
10.5 @ 133 (266 Mhz bus)
A7V133 (1003)
Win 98se
256 MB PC133
3dfx Voodoo5 (1.04)
Philips Acoustic Edge PSC706 (2.59)
TDK CDRW 161040X
SupraMax 56i Voice PCI
Viewsonic PF790
Linksys LNE 100TX
Maxtor 30 GB ATA100
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