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"Performance wise the FORTISSIMO had no problems at all."

Performance wise the FORTISSIMO had no problems at all. There were no drops in frame rate, or major slow-downs related to sound. Also, there were no apparent sound anomalies such as a major hiss, or snaps, crackles or pops. Now a days you should expect all sound cards to carry this high quality standard.

Just like the Movies?

No. Unfortunately DVD movie audio performance suffered the same drawbacks as the 3D gaming audio. For testing I booted up DVD versions of both Mission: Impossible, and The Matrix (what else?). While the sound quality was good, the 4-channel output was nothing more then a mirror of the same signal as in the front. This provided no real "surround" affect, which I would have really liked.

Also absent from the FORTISSIMO was on-chip Dolby Digital decoding. While this card is definitely not targeted toward the high-end crowd, it still would have been a nice feature. Especially considering the recent wave of DVD titles supporting Dolby Digital. Although, if you do have a Dolby Digital decoder built into your speakers system, you should have no problem.

Finally, I tested the music audio performance. While playing both audio CD's and MP3 audio files, I noticed no odd effects, or displeasing noises. Music is probably where the FORTISSIMO shines the most. Offering a good array of features, and good sound quality.

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