Razer tackles soundcards
Razer is going to use it's street cred earned from producing quality gaming mice to launch a new gaming soundcard into a field dominated by the Creative X-FI cards. Here's a look at the card from hardwarezone.
"Coming from a company whose forte is input technology rather than sound, the Razer Barracuda AC-1 is impressive to say the least. Though our tests proved its competence where games were concerned, the fact that it did not have native multi-channel audio support programmed specifically by game developers meant it was always going to be hard recommending the Razer Barracuda AC-1 to hardcore gamers. Razer still has a lot of catching up to do in an area that's still dominated by Creative Technologies.
It's a different story altogether for those looking for great surround sound for movies and music. Having proven its surround technologies, the US$199.99 Razer Barracuda AC-1 is a great audio solution for HTPCs. Our one gripe is that it doesn’t have a coaxial connection directly on the soundcard for connecting newer graphics card with a HDMI connection with audio by-pass connector. Also, the Barracuda AC-1 has no OpenAL support, further limiting its ability to impress. "
Here's an Image (graphics kinda remind me of an 80's rollertech)
Not only Razer, but there are other companies that are producing amazing cards as well, such as Auzentech, HT Omega and a few others. A lot of these cards (including the Razer) use the Oxygen 8788 chipset, which kicks major ass... except it doesn't have a DSP.
Do you think the lack of DSP is not a serious shortfall?
If your main priority is gaming performance (in general and in audio) then yes it is a shortfall. If you have a beefy computer, it won't matter as much as it would if you had a slower computer.
I am not positive, but I believe the DSP is put on the card developer to throw on, so the Razer -might- have it. I couldn't find docs to disagree. I know the Auzentech X-Meridian which uses an 8788 chipset does not have DSP, but it's main focus is music and movies.
I assume since Razer is pro-gaming, then their card has DSP. Their info page doesn't state that though.
I think the interesting thing right now is the how Vista has screwed up Creative with their sound drivers and last I knew EAX wasn't working properly. Things were being emulated with OpenAL. So Vista is kinda putting a hurt on Creative until they can get their sound working properly again.
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