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  Soundblaster Audigy2, The Next Generation 
  Oct 31, 2002, 07:30am EST 

A Closer Look

By: Sander Sassen

Upon looking at the original Audigy and the new Audigy2 it is easy to mix them up if you’re not looking at the logo printed on the PCB. Both cards look remarkably similar and most components are in the same or similar locations. What is different though is the processor used on the Audigy2 which goes by the unimaginative name of CA0102-IAT, which could mean something like, Creative Audigy, version 100, revision 2, unfortunately we don’t know for sure, so that’s just an educated guess on our part. For reference, the processor on the original Audigy was dubbed the CA0100-IAT.

SoundBlaster Audigy2

Fig 2. The SoundBlaster Audigy2 card, featuring the CA0102-IAT processor.

The other difference is the presence of a third analog output connector that enables you to connect an analog 5.1 or 6.1-channel speaker system to the Audigy2. This is again not exactly a new feature, but rather a requirement if you want to make use of the 6.1-channel output the Audigy2 supports. All the other connectors are similar to those on the Audigy and are all gold-plated, which is a nice touch. Again we see the familiar FireWire port and the digital output as well as a total of three analog outputs. Internal connectors are similar to the original Audigy too, and thus we have plenty of connectors to connect our internal devices to.

SoundBlaster Audigy2 Drive

Fig 3. The SoundBlaster Audigy2 Drive, plenty of external connectors to connect your devices to.

But there’s more, we evaluated the Audigy2 Platinum which comes with the familiar drive bay which was dubbed the ‘Live! Drive’ with the Live! family of cards, the ‘Audigy Drive’ with the Audigy and I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you if we told you that with the Audigy2 it is called the ‘Audigy2 Drive’. Functionally it is the same drive and offers a host of connectivity features such as FireWire, SPDIF analog and digital output and also holds the receiver for the remote control. That remote control is something we’ve always liked about the Platinum series; there’s nothing like a remote controlled PC that starts playing a CD at the click of a single button.

1. Introduction
2. What's New?
3. A Closer Look
4. Software Package
5. User Experience
6. Summary

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