Diamond Multimedia is a company that manufactures a wide variety of multimedia products. Though it specializes in graphics cards, sound cards, motherboards, modems and MP3 players, the company enjoyed its start with Trackstar, an add-on card for the PC that emulated Apple II computers. Diamond Multimedia is best known as one of the pioneers of 2D and 3D graphics cards during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Over the years, Diamond Multimedia graphics cards have consisted of numerous products, starting with the Speedstar series in the early 1990s. Speedstar was a line of low-end chips used as graphics solutions for well known entities such as Cirrus Logic. While not the most powerful on the market segment, they sold well and even outperformed products by rivals like Trident Microsystems. Diamond graphics cards achieved massive success with the Stealth, a line that offered an excellent value and remains its most popular series today. The company ventured into the world of 3D graphics with the launch of product lines such as Monster3D and Viper in the late 1990s.
Diamond sound cards hit the market in the early 2000s with products that included the Monster Sound line and the innovative MX300. This soundcard was based on Aureal Semiconductor’s Vortex2 audio, a feature that offered a level of 3D audio that had yet to be experienced previously. Unfortunately, Aureal folded to bankruptcy thereafter, thus putting an end to Diamond’s revolutionary sound cards. Although other lines were released, and the disappointing MX400 was the last before the company’s resurfacing in 2003.
The failure of Aureal marked a downturn for the sound card market, prompting Diamond to move away from the add-on board business. In 2003, the company, brand name, assets and all were purchased by Best Data. It now functions as a division of Best Data under the original name. The company still actively markets Diamonds graphics cards and ATI Raedon powered cards from its website.
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