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Razer Barracuda AC1 Sound Card Review



    Can a sound card increase your Frame Rate? You must be wondering whether it is even possible. With the Razer Barracuda AC1 Gaming Sound Card, the Razer design team claims that by not utilizing system memory, this just might be that sound card that makes it possible. Later on in this review, I will test that claim and further explain the reasons why.

    Razer, a corporation conceived by Robert "Razer Guy" Krakoff, was formed in the mid 1990s. It is known mostly for production of "High End" gaming mouses, starting with the Boomslang 2000 dpi mouse in the late 1990s. Razer has since expanded its genera by producing a line of gaming peripherals, including mousing surfaces and the soon-to-be released "Mako" 2.1 THX certified speakers.

Closer Look:

    Razer has truly cornered the market when it comes to packaging. As always, the product is saying "Reach out and grab me."




    After looking at the outside of the box, my interest was stirred. I wanted to install it and see what the software was all about (had to be because of the side panel where it mentioned the Razer ESP). I wanted to know what ESP was, but first i had to get the box open and see the contents. Opening the box revealed an inner box with a new flap that contained even more inviting graphics.

    After lifting the inner flap it's contents were finally revealed. The box contains a sound card, quick installation guide, certificate of authenticity and a driver CD.


    The sound card itself looks different from any I have ever used before. It appears to have a protective cover, almost like a heat sink.

    Turning the sound card to look at the front and back, I noticed that there was an input that appears to be similar to a DVI connector and two S/PDIF ports. However, the back is even more interesting. The card has three more inputs, one for CD-ROM, one for an Auxiliary input and finally, a Front Panel Display.


    If I didn't already have a pair of the Razer "Barracuda" gaming headphones, I would not have known what this next piece of hardware was. Since the Razer sound card was built to use the headphones through the Razer HD-DAI connector which connects directly to the sound card, Razer needed to produce a connector to allow the user to connect speakers.

    Now that the contents of the package have been revealed, it's time to install the sound card and configure it.   

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Installation and Configuration
  3. Configuration Continued
  4. Specifications & Testing
  5. Conclusion
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