Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1
I must point out that this card is a follow on from the Auzentech Prelude 7.1 which was previously reviewed on XSReviews. The difference between the two cards is that the X-Fi Forte fits the PCI-e slot as opposed to a normal PCI slot that your graphics card takes.
However, in order to allow the card to fit this different slot, the whole thing has had to have been rebuilt and so the card itself is completely different but still retains many of the features of its predecessor: X-RAM and swappable OPAMP whilst bringing in new technology and features to further improve on the old model.
Another thing I must point out is that this audio card is actually manufactured by Auzentech but uses the Creative X-Fi Forte Chip. This is because is allows Auzentech to work their PCB magic in producing a card that Creative would otherwise not have been able to develop.
The chip itself, which is bang in the middle of the card, doesn’t have any sort of heatsink to help prevent it from overheating unlike its predecessor – the Auzentech Prelude 7.1. Obviously, the manufacturers don’t expect it to produce very high temperatures; after all the previous heatsink on the Prelude was pretty tiny anyway.