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Razer Barracuda AC-1

As we said with the Auzentech, we’re impressed when companies go above and beyond reference designs for products. Razer’s Barracuda AC-1 is such a product. Though it uses the same C-Media Oxygen HD chip as the X-Meridian, you wouldn’t think the two cards were related.

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Auzentech Auzen X-Meridian 7.1

Soundcards, like videocards, tend to have cookie-cutter designs; products that use the same chipsets look virtually the same.

That wasn’t the approach Auzentech took when it put down the traces for its Auzen X-Meridian 7.1 card. Auzentech says it carefully crafted a custom PCB and added components to get the best possible audio from the card, which is based on C-Media’s top-shelf CMI8788 Oxygen HD “audio processor.” We believe it, too. The board’s traces, layout, and components are vastly different than those of the Razer AC-1 soundcard, which also uses the CMI 8788 Oxygen HD chip.

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Philips amBX Gaming Peripherals

We’ll try anything that immerses us more deeply in a game. We dig hardware that breaks down the barriers between a fantasy universe and our everyday real world. But we had to suppress a giggle when Philips first demonstrated its amBX system of colored lights, whirring fans, and vibrating wrist pads.

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Diamond XtremeSound

We were so in love with the old Diamond Monster Sound that it wasn’t until our recent move that we finally sent the unsupported, driverless card to hardware Valhalla.

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