I just recently completed the build of my new computer and have been playing games on it today. I have a number of temperature sensors on my different components, and it just so happens I had an extra temp sensor to use. So I decided - what the heck - I'll just monitor the temperature of my sound card even though I've never heard of anyone doing that before.
Now this thing has a GTX 295 video card, a Core i7 3.2 GHz CPU, and a SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium sound card. I knew the first two components would run hot and was prepared for that. The GTX 295 hit a maximum of 85 Celsius at one point. I was pleased to gauge the CPU at around 47 C peak, which didn't seem too bad at all to me. (Especially since I intend to overclock it later.) But I was very surprised to see the second hottest component inside my case was the sound card. Hotter then the chipsets or the RAM, the X-Fi has temperatures that hover around 55 C and at one point I saw it hit 58 C.
That seems just way too hot to me. The only available slot for the card is directly above the video card, so I'm not sure if that's what is causing it to run so hot.
When I started buying parts for this machine, I debated on buying the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty which is very similar to my card except it has a feature called X-RAM (which amounts to a big bunch of nothing as far as supported games are concerned) and an EMI shield. So I decided to save a little money and buy the non-Fatal1ty model.
Now I'm wondering if I should have bought the Fatal1ty version after all. Perhaps the EMI shield would help it to run cooler. Or maybe 58 C isn't too hot at all for a sound card. (I'm hoping someone else around here might know!)
Of course, if I never knew it's temperature, I would have never given it a second thought. As they say, ignorance is bliss.
As long as you're not getting any noise or degraded sound I wouldn't worry about it. The GTX295 produces a bit of heat so the area around it is bound to be warm. Even on the back of the card radiates a bit of heat especially if it has a back plate, so that would warm up your sound card. If you're worried about it then perhaps fix a fan over it or something ^_^.