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Does Hercules' Fortissimo 4 Deliver at 24 Bits?

Games And 3D

For games and 3D, the Fortissimo 4 uses the 3D engine developed by Qsound. This ensures compatibility with DS3D and EAX 2. Be sure you enable it in the card's control panel as shown earlier in this article, or else it'll behave like a basic sound card.

The processor-utilization test with RightMark 3D Sound produced very good results and never surpassed the 15% processor-utilization level.

Moving to practical tests with our usual games, we found the Fortissimo 4 was not quite as good as our reference sound card (the Creative Audigy 2 ZS) - as the CPU utilization results hinted. But it did quite well nonetheless. The bottom line is that this drawback won't be an obvious handicap, and after all that's generally what you ask from a sound card for this kind of use.

The results of our practical tests were very satisfactory, though reproduction was a little short of what Creative cards that support EAX 3 and 4 can deliver - in games that can use them, obviously.

In Conclusion

The Fortissimo 4 is really an update of preceding versions and it delivers no surprising improvements. Its performances will live up to the demands of gamers and DVD film buffs who demand high-quality sound for a $70 price point. Further, its main advantage, of course, is that it can handle applications that use 24 bit sound, which is becoming more and more indispensable. IN addition to its generous software bundle, the card does not disappoint.