My first build - sound card and speakers

This is my first custom build and also my first foray into quality computer sound, so please forgive any newb questions. :wink:

The computer is going to be used mainly for gaming (60%), music (30%), and movies (10%) and I would like to have clear and full sound. It is a small room so I am limited to a 2.1 setup.

I have seen a lot of recommendations for the Klipsch 2.1s.

Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Speaker - Retail

Klipsch Promedia GMX A-2.1 78 watts 2.1 Speaker - Retail

Considering what the system will be used for and the fact that it is a 2.1 setup, is dropping $130-140 on speakers worth it? Any recommendations on a quality 2.1 setup for less or a better quality one for similar cost? Also, would it be worth it to invest in a soundcard? I've read that onboard audio is much better than it used to be, but if I can improve the sound quality without spending too much (less than $100) I'd be willing to do so.

I've read that the X-Fi cards are fairly good and the XtremeGamer falls within my price range. (Currently $60 at newegg)

X-Fi XtremeGamer

Thanks in advance for any help.
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  1. Nice soundcard. I have the Klipsch 2.1 ProMedia along with the X-Fi Extreme Music soundcard and produces really nice sound on both entertainment and gaming. Go for the 2.1 ProMedia.
  2. I wouldn't spend more than 100 dollars on a 2.1 set, the only advantage really is the bass for a 2.1 set. No games have specific setups for 2.1, you're better getting a 5.1 or above.
  3. The pro media 2.1 is very good (I recently bought one). Crisp, powerful speakers and a thumping subwoofer that is adjustable from one of the satellites. Great for music, great for gaming.

    The difference between 2.1 and 5.1 boils down to surround sound. If you want 5 speakers and a subwoofer you have to get 5.1. But a lot of games and most music recordings do not support it.

    Personally, I prefer quality over quantity.

    Some of the lower end 7.1 sound cards use the CPU for processing, slowing your system down. Many will disagree, but the basic sound blaster (24-bit Digital-to Analog conversion, 96Khz sampling) does a great job with little overhead.
  4. get creative speakers. they rock. get nothing cheaper than 40 dollars. i hav two reg speackers and a sub. work crazy well with tandard 30 buck sound card
  5. 5.1 in a small room works just fine. As for Quality of the speakers, it is in the ear of the listener. Personally, I hear little difference between low end (like labtec or Creative vs High quality. Guess my ears are not snooty enough or smutin.

    I use labtec and sound is awesome. And not sure about the comment about not much support for 5.1. maybe my X-Fi is able to simulate it well enough, not sure, but seems to work in all my games. I can hear the critters behind me.
  6. I have the Auzen Forte sound card and Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers. OMG, it's amazing! I went to play some of my games but got lost in the sound when I was playing some songs on vh1classic (love my 80's music). Eventually, I did play; City of Heroes and again, the sound quality was amazing!
  7. Again, I wouldn't touch Creative with a 10ft pole.

    For you range, the best alternative would be the ASUS Xonar DX:

    Also, X-fi is overrated; I STILL can't find 10 games that use it...
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