Prebuild 780i compatibility Questions

Here's the basic question: For my build i will be using an EVGA 780i (this is a 3 way sli board). For my build I am going to have 2 gtx 260's in sli. I am considering buying a soundcard as well. Basically, since the gtx 260's are double wide, if placed on the 1st and 3rd pci-e 16 slots, they will end up covering the pci slot needed for my soundcard.
Question summery:

1. Is it possible to place the video cards on the 2nd and 3rd slots instead of placing on 1st and 3rd?

2. if answer to #1 is no, do i even need a soundcard? Is the on board sound fine for gaming (i will be hooking the system up to a high end samsung 5.1 surroundsound system, so i need to have optical inputs.)

3. If a soundcard is recommended and the answer to #1 is no, is there any soundcard you would recommend that runs off a pci-e or pci-e 16 slot. (so it could fit in between the two cards in pci-e 16 slots 1 and 2)

Any help you all could give would be appreciated. Sorry if the questions are in anyway unclear. I will be ordering the parts next weekend, and this is the final question regarding the build. Thanks!
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More about prebuild 780i compatibility questions
  1. 1. Why not? When they say 3 X x16 PCI-E slots, they mean any of them will run at x16 single. However, whether the 2nd & 3rd will run at x16 SLI depends on the manufacturer. See the bottom denotation.

    I think it should, otherwise, how do you run 3-way SLI?

    2. No. The onboard is 7.1 Channel, Azalia (HDA).
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