First of all, let’s check out the functional peculiarities of the Audigy4 Pro sound card according to the manufacturer:
- 24bit sound with ADVANCED HD technology, digital-analogue converters of studio quality with 113dB signal-to-noise ratio, high-quality sound recording at 24bit/96kHz with ASIO 2.0 and SoundFonts support.
- External interface hub with wide switchover capabilities, 6 input channels. Optical and coaxial digital In/Out, full-size MIDI In/Out, mic out with amplifier control, headphones jack with volume control, two FireWire ports.
- THX certificate (cinematic sound quality guarantee), Creative THX Set-up Console, built-in DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX decoding.
- Software Entertainment Center with a remote control unit.
- Creative Smart Recorder technology and Audio Clean-Up function for automatic sound recording with real-time distortions elimination.
- 24bit DVD-Audio playback at 24bit/192kHz (stereo) and 24bit/96kHz (5.1 format).
Audigy4 Pro sound card
The PCB of Audigy4 Pro sound card doesn’t differ that much from the predecessor. It is also manufactured of dark-brown textolite with gold external connectors. As for the electronic components installed onto the PCB, they are almost the same as those on Audigy2 ZS.
As for the hardware differences between these two sound solutions, I have to say that Audigy4 Pro is equipped with a pretty up-to-date high-performance DAC: CS4398 from Cirrus Logic (Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro had them only in the external unit). These converters have been developed for professional audio devices, they support 24bit/192kHz mode, and 120dB dynamic range. We are not providing the detailed technical specification for these microchips here, because you can check it out on the official Cirrus Logic web-site if you follow this link.
The processor marking is hidden under the sticker.
The new sound processor is marked as CA 10200-ICT (if you remember, Audigy2 ZS had a CA 0102-ICT processor). We didn’t remove the sticker from the processor, but we are pretty sure that if we had, we would have found there an etched Audigy2 marking. It reminded us of the Creative E-MU 1820: when we were testing this solution we removed a sticker like that and could distinguish the marking of the very first Audigy there.