Today, it seems that if
you ask someone what kind of sound card they have
installed in their system, more often than not, the answer
is "...a Sound Blaster Live..." Without a
doubt, Creative has garnered a huge stake in the
PC audio market, especially with the success of the Live
series of sound cards. But to think that
they are the only makers of quality sound cards
would be a big mistake.
Corporation has been making quality video card
products since 1982. Early on they pioneered
video processes that helped shape the innovations
that we see today. In 1999, the Guillemot
Corporation acquired Hercules, which added to
market strength, allowing them to add a new line of
products to be sold under the well know Hercules
Along with their well known video products,
Hercules now offers quality sound cards and
digital imaging tools as well.
Tonight we'll be
taking a look at their latest audio product, the
Hercules Game Theater XP. The Game Theater
XP is a feature rich audio solution offering
support for Microsoft DirectSound API, A3D 1.0, and
Creative EAX extensions. With the creation of a "Rack", all of the audio cards
connections are much
more accessible, eliminating the need to reach
around the back of your system. The
addition of an external unit also allows room for additional
features that really help the consumer get the
most out of their sound card.
Let us take a look at
what the Game Theater XP has to offer...
Specifications / Features of the
Hercules Game Theater XP
PCI 2.1 bus
ADC/20-bit DAC For high audio quality at
sampling rates of up to 48kHz
Full Game and
DirectSound® 3D Hardware accelerator, EAX?
2.0, A3D? 1.0, I3DL2, Sensaura's MacroFX?,
MultiDrive?, ZoomFX?, EnvironmentFX?,
allow for interactive positioning on 2 or
4 speakers or headphones.
accelerated synthesis engine allows for an
unlimited number of voices (64-voice
·8MB General MIDI/GS? sample set
· DLS support - GM? (General MIDI)
· Yamaha Soft Synthesizer? S-YXG50?: 676
instrument sounds and 21 drum kits
Effects: reverb and chorus XG-compatible
connector to the PCI card
· 4.3 x 21.6 x
15.5cm (1/2 U) (H: 1.7 W: 8.5 D: 6.1
· Cable between the PCI card and rack: 2m
The Hercules Game Theater XP comes with a
PCI audio card, a rack, and a 6' DB44
connecting cable. Included with the
hardware is a CD that contains all of the necessary
drivers as well as a decent selection of
software to compliment the cards features.
The CD comes with such titles as Siren
Jukebox, Music Match Jukebox, and Sensaura
Virtual Ear to name a few. In
addition, a full version of Power DVD 3.0
is provided to give maximum DVD enjoyment.
don't stop with just one CD though.
A second disk is included with several
Game Demos such as Rogue Spear and Midtown
Madness. In addition, there is also the Gameloft Package which contains a
number of utilities to help online gamers.
Now that we've covered what goodies come
with the Game Theater XP, what do you say
move on to the good stuff...shall we?
Quality & Installation