The specifications accompanying any product present the view of how a company wants you to view their product.  For more insight into the specifics of each entry, check out the Speaker Buying Guide, which carefully breaks down each specification and what it means in the context of this system.  Excerpts of ABIT’s specifications are included here; the full list can be found through the ABIT website.

Let's see what ABIT says about their system:

AU10 Sound Card Specifications

  • Fortemedia FM801 Sound Chip
  • Support 5.1 channel Home Theatre Speaker Output
  • A3D, DS3D, Q3D and EAX Compatible
  • Soft DVD provide Dolby Digital AC3
  • Wavetable Synthesizer: Hardware FM Synthesizer for Adlib and General MIDI compatibility
  • Audio Inputs/Outputs: Microphone input, Line input, Line output, Aux input on internal header, CD input on internal header, 1 G9 speaker output, S/PDIF optical output
  • MIDI Interface: Hardware-based MPU-401 MIDI UART-compatible interface through joystick connector.

The ForteMedia FM801 is a moderate level audio chip that serves as the core of the card, although the support for most features is provided through software, not hardware.  This software based support applies to all of the gaming compatibility such as A3D and EAX.  The DVD playback and surround decoding is provided via WinDVD 2000, which uses software to decode both the visual and audio portions of the program.

The only real clarification needed to the connection information is that the S/PDIF connection is not available on the AU10 card without a yet to be released daughter card.  It will be an optical digital connection for interfacing with many digital consumer audio products like a minidisc recorder.  It took Diamond well over a year to come out with the digital-out daughterboard for their MX300 so waiting for a promised product like this may not be the best idea.  The G9 connection is the 5.1 output that consists of six analog lines connected to the SP50 speaker system.

Finally, the MIDI interface requires an additional adapter that is not packaged with the card.  Most current sound cards use this same interface, so the adapter would be needed in most cases.  This card does offer an MPU-401 interface, allowing you to hook up your own MIDI hardware.   Without this equipment, the MIDI playback will rely on a software based wavetable that will require a little CPU time.

Index SP50 Speaker System

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