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Review: NVIDIA nForce2

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 1 October 2002, 00:00


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New APU Software

To cap off this article, lets have a peek at the new software that accompanies the APU and it'll be where you configure your audio on the board and where you'll activate specific SoundStorm features.

Main tab

You'll be monitoring volume levels for all 6 speaker channels on this tab as well as adjusting via a spectrum analyser control and output and input volume levels for all the outputs the APU supports.

Speaker Setup tab

Depending on whether you are SoundStorm equipped or your board has the outputs on the backplane, you'll have a choice of speaker modes, analogue and digital outputs (you can run them both at once) and the ability to enable and disable all the hardware surround sound settings such as Dolby Digital. You can set the cutoff frequency for your LFE channel (subwoofer) and also some levels for your speakers depending on setting.

A wizard will give you a hand setting up your system and you can also test it's all working properly.

MIDI tab

Nothing much going on here but it'll be obvious to those that use their MIDI support. I'm not one of those people so minimal commentary on this tab.

Environment tab

You can do some EAX type effects here on the outgoing audio stream, stuff like adjusting the sound stage to sound like a concert hall or old school disco (NVIDIA, code that up) and basically have fun with your audio stream.

Applications tab

What's basically going on here is association of apps that can work with the APU. Drag apps and you can launch them from that panel.

Information tab

The most interesting information here is the monitoring of how much APU resources are being used by all the enabled speakers, settings and effects. You can also peek at driver and hardware revisions.

So that's your new software bundle from the control panel with the new chipset. Theoretically this software will work on existing nForce boards since they share the same APU. Obviously a SoundStorm equipped board will be needed for all the features to be enabled and a decent set of speakers hooked up to get all the effects of the highly capable audio hardware.

NVIDIA also specifically mention full Linux support for the audio hardware in the NDA documentation so Linux users look out for that.

Onto the conclusion.