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Hercules Fortissimo II


Posted: September 8th, 2001
Written by: Tuan "GT2k" Huynh



Introduction

It was only last year when Herculesís parent company Guillemot released their midrange sound card dubbed the Maxi Sound Fortissimo. It has been almost a year later and the Fortissimo is showing its age feature wise. Guillemot sought a replacement dubbed the Game Surround Fortissimo II. Instead of selling the Fortissimo II under the Guillemot name, Guillemot decided to sell it under the Hercules name known for its video cards and sound cards such as the 3D Prophet and Game Theater XP.

Enter the Fortissimo II

When the Maxi Sound Fortissimo was released last year, it sported a Yamaha YMF744 chipset. While the chipset was good enough at the time for occasional gamers and home users, it didnít appeal to the hardcore gamer much. This time around Hercules ditched the Yamaha YMF744 DSP and went with the Cirrus Logic CS4624.

Where have you heard the name Cirrus Logic before? Well Herculesís higher end card the Game Theater XP sports a similar DSP; the CS4630. You might be thinking whatís the difference between the CS4624 and CS4630, the differences are quite simple, the CS4624 is a CS4630 with only support for 4 channel gaming and no MP3 Acceleration. Both chips are essentially the same, just think of the CS4624 as the Duron of audio DSPís with the CS4630 being an Athlon.
Do I have your attention yet? Letís take a look at the package.

The Package Contents



Before I start talking about the package contents, donít you think the box looks cool? Herculesís marketing department did a great job to make the box appealing and eye catching so you would notice the card at the stores.

Inside youíll of course find the Fortissimo II, Din cable, installation CD, instructions manual, a Power DVD and Yamaha XG50 license, and a Power DVD manual.

On the Installation CD, youíll find the software package is similar to what is bundled with the Game Theater XP. For those of you who have never touched a Game Theater XP before, the Fortissimo II comes with Music Match Jukebox, Strom Hercules SE, Kool Karaoke, Siren Jukebox, Power DVD 3.0, Yamaha S-YXG50, Hercules Media Station, Sonic Foundry Siren Express, Acid Express, and Game Commander SE.

Enough with the software, nothing interesting here, lets move on to the hardware....

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