This is as you would expect from such a well known and highly regarded sound card manufacturer one of the best cards on the market within this price range. The device has both optical and coax input/output connections. Potential buyers may find it usefull to know that the dimensions require two rear external HDD slots and will need to be inserted into the bottom PCI slot otherwise it will obstruct the below PCI slot when in place.
This card was replacing a genuine Creative SoundBlaster live card in a VIA chipset motherboard, Xp pro with SP1+2 installed. The Creative drivers we removed and the card replaced with the Trust card and breakout tab. The card is well built, the sockets gave good connection and inspired confidence. Gold plated brackets were a nice touch, but when mounted the words IN and OUT disappear behind the metalwork on the SPDIF, so note this before you connect. The ribbon connection cable between the main card and the SPDIF bracket has a hole blanked out on each connector ensuring it mounts the correct way around, it is also exactly the right length so that it can be neatly folded under the card between the PCI slot and the mounting bracket to allow the SPDIF interface daughter bracket to be mounted either side of the PCI slot that the card is plugged into. This feature is useful if like me you use every slot in the back of the PC but do not wish to use the PCI adjacent to the video card. I downloaded the latest drivers and ignored the normal install and detect. I unzipped the drivers and ran the downloaded installer. It auto pressed the install for me (?), and the driver progress seemed initially not to be progressing according to the dialogue box, but a bit of patience and it all went in. I rebooted and started to check for all the confusion that would ensue
only there wasnt any. It was in, and adopted.
I run a lot of audio hardware; the Trust is co-habiting with a Terratec DMX 6 fire 24bit/96khz audio card with breakout box. The motherboard also has a TV capture with its own WDM crossbar / audio drivers, USB audio interface and modem audio drivers. MIDI yoke is installed with 10 ports, and the DMX also caries MIDI interfaces, so a lot of potential pitfalls and contention. No problems, zip, the trust card just snuggled in and got on with its job.
I tested the card with National instruments Reaktor 3, Cooledit Pro 2 and Vsampler 3, Cakewalk V9 was used as the sequencer. The DMX was set to ASIO low-latency drive and the DMX optically linked to the Trust optical SPDIF input . No ground loops see. The TV capture card audio was plugged into the LINE IN of the Trust. Running audio from the Terratec to the Trust was pain free and a HUGE performance increase over the Creative card, Noise levels dropped across the audio band. Performance during recording was very high considering this card was £20 ukp from Maplin. The inclusion of the optical cable makes this card a real steal.
In Direct-Audio mode I pushed the latency all the way to 5mS in Reaktor, (lowest setting) with no drop out or clicks, phenomenal performance for such a cheap card, the Creative card was no where near this mark. The audio quality was judged with a direct record to CD and played on a _proper_ HiFi. No noticeable audio colouration was readily apparent. This card rocks.
Ill give the card 4 stars as it doesnt have ASIO drivers or support (though you could try ASIO4ALL in google and test a driver from their site) It also isnt the best, no 24bit/96KHz record here. BUT for £20 you get a card that wont fight your hardware, or existing software configuration, stunningly good latency performance, 6 speaker connectivity, electrical + optical SPDIF _and_ the optical cable. I have not evaluated the 3D gaming performance as I have neither the hardware (speakers) nor inclination. Against the Terratec DMX fire then no, it fell short, but the DMX was £170 which is more than 8 times the price. Its my top card for new system build. The sort of hardware where you wish that you had bought two.
The card also comes with a copy of WINDVD4 with a serial number on the CD packet and WINRIP. I did not try either, though there will be reviews readily available on the net.