Some of you have asked why we left the nForce SoundStorm APU out of our CS Source audio comparison. One factor in our decision was a bit of news we learned recently that we should probably share with the world. The next-generation nForce chipset products will not feature SoundStorm audio, according to sources close to NVIDIA.
While there was hope that NVIDIA would resurrect the APU for the next nForce or possibly even a standalone audio product, neither appears to be in the cards, at least in the immediate future. The next nForce will likely support high-definition audio datatypes, but without SoundStorm’s robust hardware acceleration. Taiwanese motherboard makers apparently feel that SoundStorm doesn’t offer much value to consumers, especially when cheap 8-channel software audio is all the rage. Given Creative’s dominance of the audio market, at least as far as hardware 3D acceleration is concerned, it’s really a shame that SoundStorm isn’t coming back in some capacity.