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Barracuda AC-1 vs Creative X-fi

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January 13, 2007 10:58:41 PM

Does anyone here have any experience with the Razer sound card?
I saw some reviews but i would rather prefer user feedback than reviews.

Thanks

More about : barracuda creative

January 13, 2007 11:17:48 PM

I own one..plus I own an xf-i...guess which one is in my case..not the xf-i..I have a razer review in under sound cards in the forum..look it up and let me know what you think..
Related resources
January 13, 2007 11:21:23 PM

Thanks guys. I am deciding what to get now i have an older creative sound card. I have been looking at the x-fi fatal1ty but this card caught my eye. I had razer mouse before but i didnt like it too much because it was way too sensitive for me. But it was a superior product regardless. I read a few reviews about this sound card and everything seems positive, but i just wanted to hear some reviews from actual people using this card in gaming.

Thanks again i will look up that review in this forum than.
January 13, 2007 11:23:58 PM

i would just get the creative X-fi because ALOT of games support but if your a music Jinkie then go with the Razer sound card with some good speakers
January 13, 2007 11:38:35 PM

Well i am gaming mostly. I do listen to music as well while i browse the net or browsing in forums like right now, but i am looking for a sound card upgrade to replace my Audigy 2 ZS. I will also get a new headset as well probably something 5.1 because 99% of the time i have a headphone on for gaming.

I really like the Barracuda but i am not sure about what to get now with Vista right around the corner as well.
January 14, 2007 12:25:46 AM

I'd go for the Barracuda, only if you're going to get the Razer Headset too. I've read countless good reviews on both of their products.
They're pretty expensive, but well worth it from what I've heard
January 14, 2007 12:40:38 AM

Get the Razer..the eax doesn't matter..I tried battlefield 2 and 2142 with both cards..The xf-i on ultra high and the razer on high..they sound exactly the same..Except I think the razer is clearer..On top of that..its got dolby digital live..dts..real optical outs..I'm going to double my rig as a theater pc too...Screw the headphones..Get a logitech z5500 speaker system..They have optical and coax outs..My xf-i is collecting dust..
January 14, 2007 12:49:03 AM

I have the Zalman 5.1 headphones. Just amazing. In FPS at the LAN I could hear which direction the people where walking around me and could sneek on them or be ready for them comming. Amazing.
January 14, 2007 12:59:38 AM

I have creative GigaWorks 7.1 surround sound speakers. It is not digital. Standard 3 pin AUX. I use the headset for gaming because my wife does not appreciate the sound of the AK47 for some reason :) 

I do use my speakers sometimes when i am home alone and i dont bother anyone with the sounds, but 99% of the time i use headphones.

I play 90% FPS games so directional audio is pretty important. I was leaning towards the cuda sound cards because i wanted to try something new. I have creative sound cards since the first sound blaster card came out, like 10 years ago or something. I also have the Asus motherboard and i heard that X-Fi cards are having that cracking sound problem with Asus mobos.

I still have not decided but i am 85.7% sure i will go with the Barracuda.

I will look into those Zalman headphones. Senheiser is a bit too expensive for my taste for the ones i like. I am not ready to drop like $200 on a set of good headphones. I agree they probably sound awesome but still that is just a bit too much for me.

Thanks guys for your feedback. Keep em coming :) 
January 14, 2007 2:18:08 AM

Go with the cuda..you won't be sorry promise..Just make sure you thank me when that card rocks!!
January 14, 2007 5:51:19 AM

Yea since u have the Creative sound system go with the Cuda, it will do u just fine :D 
January 14, 2007 12:58:26 PM

I pretty much decided i will go with the cuda and the headset that goes with it.
The Zalman looks pretty good as well but the lack of volume control on the cord turned me off. I would hate to adjust my volume from windows all the time. I had that problem before i purchased my speaker set, and it was no fun.

Anyways thank you all for your input i greatly appreciate it. :) 
January 14, 2007 1:49:10 PM

I love the creative gigaworks speakers. Better than Logitech in my opinion. Logitech seems to have to much bass and not as well a full range sound. Logitech does have the decoder and a nice sound at a lower price though.
January 14, 2007 1:58:13 PM

Well i am not sure about the Logitech speakers but i have these babies : http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=4&subcategory=113&product=9306

I got them on the day they were released. I am very happy with them. Now i am just looking at a way to connect these as well as my headset to the barracuda sound card. I have to get an RCA cable splitter of some sort, otherwise i will have to disconnect my headset and connect the speakers every time i want to use my speakers.
January 14, 2007 2:46:46 PM

Ahah! Now see if you would got either a X-Fi Fatality or Platinum or the Logitech Z-5500s, and readily available volume control, all three offer a headphone connection without having to go to the back of your pc...

i am running the Z-5500 and wouldn't trade em for anything. i would trade in for a soundcard that has optical out so i could take advantage of the digital in on the logitech. i have never personally heard of barracuda but i'm very interested as to how it would perform. i was disappointed at its price, if it closer to $100 then it would be more attractive. like what i paid for my x-fi xtrememusic. both creative's platnium and fatality undercut that barracuda at 189 and 179 and they both come with a fron't i/o panel with optical out.

After a quick overview i would say the barracuda is overpriced, and thats saying something since usually the x-fi stuff is always higher priced. granted i never tested these to see which is better but just a quick look says otherwise.
January 14, 2007 3:35:30 PM

Quote:
Ahah! Now see if you would got either a X-Fi Fatality or Platinum or the Logitech Z-5500s, and readily available volume control, all three offer a headphone connection without having to go to the back of your pc...

i am running the Z-5500 and wouldn't trade em for anything. i would trade in for a soundcard that has optical out so i could take advantage of the digital in on the logitech. i have never personally heard of barracuda but i'm very interested as to how it would perform. i was disappointed at its price, if it closer to $100 then it would be more attractive. like what i paid for my x-fi xtrememusic. both creative's platnium and fatality undercut that barracuda at 189 and 179 and they both come with a fron't i/o panel with optical out.

After a quick overview i would say the barracuda is overpriced, and thats saying something since usually the x-fi stuff is always higher priced. granted i never tested these to see which is better but just a quick look says otherwise.


Sorry if i was not clear with this issue but i do not have to go to the back of my PC for my headphones unless i want the true surround 5.1 in my headphones. As for X-Fi i know they sound good but their latest drivers and as their drivers in that past year or so were good for sh1te. I am running Vista, so EAX will make no difference because Vista is the end of the EAX era. There will be a different audio standard and games do not use DirectX anymore for the sound. Now Razer's sound card is 100% compatible with Vista. I have been reading reviews and comparisons all over the web in the past few days and i have yet to find any bad reviews of the Barracuda sound card.

I went to this site and read the forum posts of a person who was tested both sound cards and compared them:
http://razerblueprints.net/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=99&topic=5724.0

Now again i am a creative sound card user since the beginning of Creative Labs and i know they make good products but i am looking at something different, and also it seems like the Razer products have much higher quality because they try to brake into a market that is owned by a monopoly company Creative, so therefore they have to create high quality products otherwise they dont stand a chance.

Thats just my opinion.
January 14, 2007 4:31:27 PM

No i think you get it wrong. They will work fine the creative driver will make them work, it just wont be such a big difference in sound quality anymore as it was in XP. In fact i am using the old Audigy 2ZS in vista right now and with the lates creative drivers the card sounds much better than it did in XP.

I think the old cards will sound a little better under Vista that will be the biggest difference, oh and of course the hardware acceleration will not work, so the CPU will have to do a little more work for the sound generation.

It is hard to say at this point what is better XP or Vista but i know i will upgrade because i want to take advantage on the new DX10. As for sound i am sure they will figure something out to make every sound card work fine especially the creative ones since 98% of the sound cards in current PC's are creative labs.
January 14, 2007 5:07:45 PM

I also would like to try something out like the barracuda and it looks promising since it is vista compatible, but i would take that with a grain of salt as anything claiming to be vista compatible right now could easily be plagued by driver issues later.

i agree that we need much more competition in the soundcard segment and better driver support, all i was saying was that for almost 200 bucks the barracuda ac-1 did not feature a front i/o panel. and with creative monopolizing the market and charging a high price for their products when the barracuda comes in priced higher at newegg and doesn't have a front i/o panel well thats disappointing. not to say the card itself is a bad product but when you hit that 170-200 dollar segment i expect more, and even though i wish there was more competition i don't think this is the most competitive product yet. hopefully in time cheaper and better cards will come out
January 14, 2007 5:24:44 PM

Well for me Barracuda looks good. As for the front panel i dont see the reason for that. If you have a speaker system than you should have a console sitting on your desk where you adjust the volume and stuff and that console should have your regular mic. input and headphone jack. (at least for me anyways)

For the remote you get i already have a remote for my speakers although i didn't see the point of that either since i am sitting right next to it. It is like giving you remote for your car stereo :roll:

I also like Razer's approach of not going the EAX route but doing something different. That causes your CPU to work a bit harder but with todays CPU's powerful enough you will absolutely not see any different at all. I agree $200 maybe a bit high, but i am sure it is high because you are paying for quality, and not for (for me anyways) useless extras like remote or front panel, or better yet X-RAM. For a while i was going to get the X-Fi fatal1ty but every thread i read and every review i saw saying that not many developer takes advantage of the X-RAM and even the ones that do you will see no different in games.

So for now i like Barracuda. It is a bit high in price it would be more interesting at around $150 it would be much more interesting looking for a lot more people. It is a brand new product and i am sure it will come down in price but i remember when the X-fi fatal1ty was first released it was howering around the $300-$280 mark, nowadays it is around $200 all we had to do is wait like a year 8O

I want a new sound card now not in a year. As for Vista compatibility i trust Razer more to write a kick ass driver for their product than Creative. Creative doesn't have to worry too much since they own the market so they can afford to be lazy a little, but for Razer they have to kick ass in order to brake into this market.

Sorry for the long post. :) 
January 14, 2007 6:57:10 PM

Well when or if you get the Barracuda AC-1 please reply to tell the pros and cons and the driver stability. Before i even knew of this one the only other one to look at that i thought actually competed with the X-fi was the AuzenTech XPlosion 7.1, not only does it have the standard typical PC analog output but optical out. I'm surprised to find it now much cheaper, now $80 than when i last saw it at or above $100. The only issue i knew of this card was a slightly buggy drivers that may have been worked out by now.

I guess if you wanted a comparable option to the AC-1 would be AuzenTech AZT-XM71 7.1, although after a brief look at the reviews on newegg it doesn't look so promising but still should check it out

not sure of there quality but if your looking something that is non-creative here is another option
January 14, 2007 7:34:15 PM

Well let's see , i got my x-fi platinum for 180 bucks and the front panel has optical in/ouputs plus spdif. EAX is hardware not software related, it doesn't matter if Microsoft writes drivers for it. If it's still supported by the games then it's used.Plus 2 the remote comes in quite handy with it also.
January 14, 2007 8:03:57 PM

Guy..I own a barracuda..People keep saying go with creative..I love creative,but I've been looking for something better for year..I tried the Montego DDL and it was crap in games..I'm telling you right now..The cuda is on par or better..Yes your paying $200,but your getting dobly digital live and dts..with optical outs..the sounds are cleaner than creative..The sounds in bf2 and bf2142 sound the same..Even when xf-i is on the ultra settings..I was simply blown away..The razer is in my machine right now and the xf-i is on the shelf..Take from someone who OWNS one! NOt from people who read reviews..I did hard core tests with them and I liked the cuda..Plus now my rig can double as a home theater pc.. if you have questions,ask away..
January 14, 2007 8:23:00 PM

That's fine..don't believe me..go get one and take it back if you don't like it..How bout FEAR,Far Cry,and GRAW? are those good enough for you? You can hear distant sounds and footsteps very well..The positional audio is amazing,plus you get dts and ddl..I honestly don't think the EAX matters..I thought it would too..I bought this card thinking it was gonna go back..and I love it..City of Heroes sounds awesome with it also..no popping or any problems..the card is rock solid..
January 14, 2007 8:45:10 PM

it has everything to do with the sound card..the programmers are the ones that make it happen for the card..I own the card..what are you 15? and know it all..I know what I hear. Your arguing about something you don't even own..I told you ,I was skeptical myself..I figured I would be returning it because of the eax,but the razer people have spent countless amounts of time and money on this thing to make sure it measures up..Or who would buy it?
Go buy one and get back to me..otherwise keep your bs opinions to yourself!
January 14, 2007 8:47:20 PM

another thing..whether you hear or not it makes a difference.? if you don't hear it..how can it make a difference..? go lay down by your dish.. I think I hear your mommy calling..
January 14, 2007 10:58:50 PM

So if I listen to them numerous times..to make sure..and I can't tell the diff..in fact I think the cuda is clearer..and I stated before..it has dts and ddl live..the xf-i does not..I'm telling you..you can't tell the diff between eax and not on the cuda..I thought it would matter also..That's why I said I was buying it to try it and return it..But razer has done something to take advantage of the programming in the game..Buy one and try it..and get back to me..
January 14, 2007 11:05:43 PM

by the way the x-fi does have ddl and dts hardware in it. does 7.1 also and it is configurable so you can use internal hardware or use external decoders.
January 14, 2007 11:12:15 PM

Xf-i does not have ddl and dts.. I own one...the breakout box is a gimmick...it does pass through..its not dts or ddl..look it up..
January 14, 2007 11:30:33 PM

read the specs on the x-fi platinum before you stick your other foot in your mouth, and it does ddl and 7.1 also. if it didn't then i wouldn't have 7.1 speakers hooked up to it and the optical from my direct tv system hooked up to it.
January 14, 2007 11:37:00 PM

I didn't say it didn't do 7.1.. it doesn't do DDL..that's the one thing its missing..Or I would have picked it up myself..also..what the hell do you mean,for once I"m telling the truth jackass..I own the damn thing..do you..no..go get one and tell me how different it is..Razer uses their own proprietory driver set..and when I saw it used a C-media chip,I was super skeptical myself..Like I stated before..I was a creative fan boy..I'm telling you,this card is on par..and it does dts and ddl decoding..great for games and for theater stuff..I tried the montego DDL..and it sucked...maybe I should start talking that up now,just to be an ass like people who don't even own the damn razer card!
January 14, 2007 11:38:58 PM

Quote:
I didn't say it didn't do 7.1.. it doesn't do DDL..that's the one thing its missing..Or I would have picked it up myself..also..what the hell do you mean,for once I"m telling the truth jackass..I own the damn thing..do you..no..go get one and tell me how different it is..Razer uses their own proprietory driver set..and when I saw it used a C-media chip,I was super skeptical myself..Like I stated before..I was a creative fan boy..I'm telling you,this card is on par..and it does dts and ddl decoding..great for games and for theater stuff..I tried the montego DDL..and it sucked...maybe I should start talking that up now,just to be an ass like people who don't even own the damn razer card!




just read this http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=20...
January 15, 2007 12:37:41 AM

After searching on Google about this card.
Do anyone of you ever notice why this sound card go so little
reviews? I mean if it's just a great card shouldn't all almost all
website get a review on it?
Does THG, Anandtech, Xbitlabs, ExtremeTech, and HardwareZone
have it? No...

Anyway here is a personal review on this so called "great or better
than X-Fi" soundcard!
Not my blog. ^^

review
January 15, 2007 1:22:05 AM

YOu guys are classy..what are we fifteen..I haven't seen many reviews myself..and thought it was odd..does that mean its bad..no..do they review shit sometimes...yes.. I own the fricken thing..what part don't you understand..go buy one and after you use it..then bash it ..not before..
January 15, 2007 1:25:14 AM

get the x-fi for gaming cuz of 3d audio, cms-whatever the hell, surround, low cpu overhead.

dont bother with the fatality tho, exactly the same as pltinum, but wihte their 64mb x-ram. waste of money as not many games use it, and the difference is negligible
January 15, 2007 3:16:22 AM

Quote:
YOu guys are classy..what are we fifteen..I haven't seen many reviews myself..and thought it was odd..does that mean its bad..no..do they review **** sometimes...yes.. I own the fricken thing..what part don't you understand..go buy one and after you use it..then bash it ..not before..


Am I saying it's a bad soundcard? No, but in order for
a consumer to get the best, they should read
as much reviews as they can from different sites.
Apparently 1 or 2 not well known sites does not qualify
this a as a product where it live up to its claims.

As for your beyotch attitude stop whining to tell someone to get
the same card as you just because you have it.
How can we trust you? Who knows maybe your being paid
by Razer to promote this product. :p 

A person who know computers will always do a research
on the products they want to buy!
January 15, 2007 3:28:15 AM

well said. i commend you on your response :D 
January 15, 2007 9:38:01 AM

Well thank you all for your response. irocem thanks for your fight for the razer card mate. I think i am going to wait for a little bit with this purchase, so that the price may come down a bit and most importantly i want to see how Vista will mix things up. Since i know 100% i am moving onto Vista it is crucial for me that my sound card work perfect with the new OS.

Anyways i think waiting will be the best thing i can do for now and see what is going to happen, and who will have the killer card at the end. Like i said i am leaning towards Razer because i like their product and in my opinion it is far better than Creative but i do not own a barracuda nor an X-fi card so i can not tell for sure. As for the limited reviews i think it is because of the limited availability of the card here in Canada we have like 2 or 3 retailers that even carries Razer products. I am sure ones the card will be out for a bit there will be more reviews. I really don't pay too too much attention to reviews anyways because you never know how much money the company paid the reviewer to give good reviews. I rather browse through various forum threads to see what the user opinions are.

As for EAX and DDL and all that stuff like i said at the beginning of this thread i am using 99% of a time my headphones, with a crappy stereo headset. I have not enjoyed much of the EAX so far because my headphone was unable to generate surround sound. So whether i go with the barracuda or the X-fi with a new headset with surround sound i am going to have an amazing experience either way because i was missing out on that until now anyways.


So again thanks guys for the responses. :wink:
January 15, 2007 10:38:40 AM

You may want to check out this thread on the Creative forums as well, before you make your decision :

http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?b...

It is already a monster (running to more than 18 pages of posts) and it replaced an older one which was much longer. In certain situations, the X-Fi is prone to scap-crackle-pop when playing back audio. No one has yet narrowed it down to a definitive cause, but it is common to SB cards. Not everyone who has an Audigy or X-Fi has it, but those who do don't really have an answer. It is hit and miss.

The current belief is that it is somehow the PCI bus' fault, or that the chipsets on their motherboards are not 100% PCI compliant. I find this a little hard to believe as the problem would show up on other cards if it were a generalized PCI or chipset problem. The only common thread seems to be a SB card newer than Audigy. So I wouldn't recommend the X-Fi, it would be far too frustrating to pay all that money for the latest card only to come across this wide-ranging problem.

R.
January 15, 2007 11:20:50 AM

Yeah i was well aware of that problem. Unfortunately i have the mobo that is most likely infected with this problem.
January 15, 2007 12:08:37 PM

Most of the Creative X-Fi cards these days should have the new firmware, which means they have already fixed the problem. As you can see
that thread was created 2 years ago.

If you have bought a X-Fi sound card recently and you got
the issue they're having, just update your motherboard bios.

Well that is what I did to one of my friend's machine
when he won a X-Fi Fatal1ty at some contest.
After that the issues went away.

He's mobo has a nForce4 MCP which is what most
user has in that creative thread.
January 15, 2007 1:36:00 PM

Quote:
Most of the Creative X-Fi cards these days should have the new firmware, which means they have already fixed the problem. As you can see
that thread was created 2 years ago.

If you have bought a X-Fi sound card recently and you got
the issue they're having, just update your motherboard bios.

Well that is what I did to one of my friend's machine
when he won a X-Fi Fatal1ty at some contest.
After that the issues went away.

He's mobo has a nForce4 MCP which is what most
user has in that creative thread.


Ah, how I wish it were so. You are quite correct, that thread was started in 2005. However, firmware is upgradeable, and it hasn't fixed it for most users. Also, most of the posters start off by stating they have already upgraded to the latest BIOS on their mobos to no avail. I think you were lucky that your friend's computer was fixed with a BIOS update as most people's crackling problems have yet to be fixed.

BM.
January 15, 2007 11:36:06 PM

I don't think it is any better than the barracuda soundcard + surround heaphones together. Those things were made for each other for perfect surround sound experience.

I saw some CES video footage of the new fatal1ty headsets that creative will be selling soon. It just looks kind of cheesy after Razer's soundcard + headset combo now all of a sudden creative has to have that too with the fatal1ty logo on them to charge some more money for it.

I am still leaning towards Razer. But like i said earlier i will probably just wait a bit longer and see how the Vista drivers will turn out and then make up my mind about it. It is already seems like is going to be a bit bigger investment than i thought. I am looking at something like $400 CDN with taxes and shipping for the soundcard and the headset. It would be about $100 cheaper to go with X-fi not fatal1ty. But after some excessive reading up on it i think the fatal1ty stuff is just to collect more money for the same hardware except they throw on the logo and they added some RAM which is not being used by pretty much any developer.

Hehe harder decision than i thought it would be. :) 
January 16, 2007 10:50:25 AM

Quote:
YOu guys are classy..what are we fifteen..I haven't seen many reviews myself..and thought it was odd..does that mean its bad..no..do they review **** sometimes...yes.. I own the fricken thing..what part don't you understand..go buy one and after you use it..then bash it ..not before..


pwnd

:roll:
January 16, 2007 10:52:25 AM

@irocem

(1) EAX matters and makes audible difference in games, i suggest you play f.e.a.r for example...

(2) What you try not to see is that under Vista only hardware that can handle OpenAL is able to process sound without sending data for processing to CPU. A sound card such as AC-1 is no better then a generic C-Media 8768+ based card such as e.g. Asonic one selling for £10 http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/106539/rb/24124810451

(3) Dolby encoding such as DDL - you might want this only if you have a receiver or speakers with digital input and digital to analog converter of higher quality then those in your PC. Otherwise it makes no sense. If you do not get this you probably do not quite understand what you talk about ;) 

(4) if you are a gamer and do not want EAX and you want your CPU to handle all audio then you are fine with onboard or Asonic card as linked above.

(5) AC-1 brings nothing new to gaming audio. The review on gotfrag.com is a joke. The guy seems to have absolutely no clue when using RMAA - also noted that Audigy 2 was excluded from these tests. In the said review it was noted that "barracuda is the lowest, but it's so noisy that a conslusive statement is impossible".

8O :lol: 

According to manufacturer specs Signal to Noise Ratio is high but what is the reference and weightening standard? With some skills you could rate old hairdryer at 120dB SNR, but who cares....

Anyone interested in Barracuda for gaming should read this thread on hardforum:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1145001
January 16, 2007 3:54:35 PM

Thanks for the links
January 16, 2007 8:12:49 PM

Other than the Zalman does anyone else know any good surround headphone set? I think i am going to skip the sound card purchase for now because i am all confused now. Also i want to see what Vista brings to the table and how will it change all this EAX crap.
January 17, 2007 8:24:14 AM

Zalman, as well as another company makes 5.1 headphones. I forget the name but there is another.

I had the Zalmans, but the cords and tips all broke to hell to I said frig it and chucked them. I had a blast at the lan with them during the 1 year I owned them though.

Why don't they make headphones with a 3.5mm jack in them. You take a male-male cable and plug it right into the earphones. If the cable ever breaks you get a new one and plug it right into the headphones. No more opening the headphones to fix the tiny cabling and soldering.
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