Taiwanese company Realtek is known for its popular line of integrated sound cards that are often found in affordable to mid-priced desktop and portable computers. Realtek sound cards can be found in a variety of Intel and NVIDIA motherboards and chipsets. Depending on the hardware configuration, Realtek sound cards can handle up to eight channels at high resolution while providing an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio for a rich audio experience.
Computer owners who have an ALC888S Realtek integrated sound card that runs on a Microsoft Windows Vista system can enjoy the Intel High Definition Audio specification, also known as Azalia. This HD Audio specification improves on the popular AC'97 codec that was also supported by Realtek. Integrated HD Audio takes advantage of the processing power of advanced CPUs to deliver high-quality sound experiences that rival home entertainment systems.
The Realtek HD Audio Drivers package for Vista meets the premium performance requirements set by Microsoft for its Windows Media Center special functions. The HD Audio codecs supports 7.1+2 channels, multiple sound streaming, acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression, and other features that will please the most demanding audiophiles.
Depending on each computer's available input and output connectors for digital sound, the Realtek HD Audio Drivers package for Vista can support HDMI, S/PDIF, analog jacks, and digital microphones. The software interface allows user to shape their desired sound with 26 preset audio environments ideal for video games, a multiple band equalizer, voice cancellation, dynamic range control, DTS, Dolby, SRS True Surround HD, and other options.
The Realtek HD Audio Drivers and codec package for Vista is compatible with the Direct Sound 3D, EAX, A3D, and I3DL2 specifications. These drivers are better suited for the multimedia PCs that are becoming a staple in many living rooms around the world, but even laptop owners can enjoy HD Audio through external speakers or quality headphones.