Need suggestions for a cheap and reliable sound card.

I've been looking for a decent sound card for $30 or under. I'm not a big audiophile, I just want to have a reliable card for my MP3's and games..

Currently I'm using an old Creative PCI128 and I guess it's having some issues with XP or something. I have to set my acceleration down to none just to get the crackling sound to shut up when I play games like World of Warcraft. I looked up the problem and the only suggestion I got otherwise was to install RAID drivers, wll go figure, my mobo doesn't support VIA's raid drivers.. so that was kinda out of the question (It's a VT8235)

If anyone has any suggestions for a cheap card with some decent driver/mixer settings and a sound that won't give me buttloads of distortion I'd appreciate it.
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  1. I have yet to find a better sound card for under $50 than what is intergrated on my mobo for the past 3 or 4 years.
    I mean, now you get 7.1 - 8ch quality sound, and I still just use a Sony 100w ch reciever and two Bose 201's with my PC.
  2. did your mobo come with a spdif panel? if it did, hook it up, and that will get rid of the background noise the mobo creates. it works for me, i used to hear cds spin up on my speakers, but with spdif, considering i have soundstorm which has very good audio quality, i dont notice a difference between my setup and people with audigys.
  3. Well my mobo didn't come with one. I went through the boxes.

    I've noticed it's only on games that take up a lot of ram use and crap.. MP3's and CD's are usually pretty decent.. It's a cheap card so not the best of sound but it gets the job done there.

    If you have any random suggestions then fire away.

    i found this on Newegg. i'm pretty sure Chaintech cards are good, and i think some people prefer the music fidelity in this card over Creative.
  5. Actually I already had that one locked in my bookmarks and was considering getting it. I have never had good luck with Creative.. My Audigy went nuts on me, then that 128 went south.. Might as well try a different brand...
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