An interview with VIA's Keith Kowal


Exploring the Envy24 audio chip lineup
— 12:00 AM on April 8, 2003

VIA'S ENVY24 family of high-fidelity audio processors is easily the most exciting challenge to Creative's dominance of the PC audio market since Aureal took a stab at the SoundBlaster giant. Recently, I had the chance to check out an Envy24-equipped DMX 6fire 24/96 from Terratec in our sound card comparison and M-Audio's new Envy24HT-powered Revolution 7.1. What I heard from both cards was nothing short of breathtaking. Never before has PC audio sounded this good, and in the case of the Revolution 7.1, never before has high-fidelity PC audio been so affordable.

But there's more to the Envy24 line than the high-end Envy24 and mainstream Envy24HT. VIA's Envy24PT, which could revolutionize integrated motherboard audio, is also waiting in the wings. The Envy24 is coming to VIA's tiny EPIA small form factor platform, too.

To help get to the bottom of a number of burning questions we had about the Envy24 and its derivatives, we've interviewed VIA's own Keith Kowal, the marketing manager for VIA's audio division. Read on as he reveals some key differences between the various Envy24 flavors, which manufacturers have already signed on to integrate the Envy24PT in their motherboards, why VIA chose to cut hardware 3D audio acceleration from the Envy24, and much more.

   
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