I am thinking of buying a gaming sound card. I have the Xfi Titanium in mind.
But I have a doubt. I read an article on Toms hardware about how sound card is dead. I also read that the general trend among game developers is
to move towards software audio with no support for hardware acceleration at all, the reason being to give the same quality audio to all users (I wonder why they don't do it with the graphics too).
I know creative cards support OpenAL acceleration which is still possible in vista and 7, but the most recent games using it are those released in 2007. I'm not that interested in post processing effects such as "Crystalliser" or "CMSS 3D".
In fact all the latest AAA titles such as Crysis, Batman: AA, Bad Company 2,
Bioshock 2 are all software audio only titles.
So my question is that is it still worth buying a sound card. Will it sound better than onboard audio? Will I still get sound effects like "bullets whizzing past your head" and locating enemies by their footsteps etc?
Someone who has a sound card and has played the above games could answer.
I know an add in sound card blows away the onboard in terms of quality, but that is in only games which support it and also in music and movies which I dont listen to much.
But my question is about software audio games in which audio processing is done on cpu no matter whether you have onboard or high end sound card. Also software audio seems to be the future.