Just recently got into really listening to music. I am currently using "SupremeFX II" that comes with the Asus ROG Boards (Striker 2 formula to be exact), which sound quality is quite good imo. I wonder how that fairs with the new Creative X-Fis series and which one. If there's a real major improve for a 5.1 speakers setup, then I might grab one.
From what I've found online, the "SupremeFX" seems to be an add-on riser card for the motherboards integrated audio controller. That's pretty good compared to most integrated audio solutions as it should cut down the amount of electrical noise and interference you'd otherwise hear (just like a discrete soundcard). You'd probably still get an improvement going with a discrete soundcard, something like the Auzentech X-Fi Forte, but it's hard to say if it would be worth it to you. It was certainly worth it for me, with my logitech X-540's, to get the X-Fi Prelude over onboard sound, as I could definitely hear an improvement. Even better with my headphones (ATH-AD700's). It's harder to judge in your case, though, as that SupremeFX might be good enough that you wouldn't hear any difference, making you feel guilty for your purchase
I can't find anywhere that the SupremeFX supports OpenAL (the latest audio standard that newer games support, supplanting EAX), so you might want something else for the OpenAL support.
sorry it took so long for me to notice that someone replied my posts
As I am living in Bangkok, Auzentech is very hard to come by around here. Maybe you could suggest a Asus or Creative sound card of equivalent quality? Something purely for music, coz I use a Razer megaladon headphone with a 7.1 external sound card for gaming (It's very crappy for music).
ASUS D2 or D2X if you want a PCIE interface but they are both the same card just different interface. The creative X-Fi Titanium is still one of my favorites but the ASUS cards have a little better sound quality where as the creative card has a little better gaming performance.
Razer megaladon headphone since they use your USB will not see any difference no matter what card is in there since it just grabs the digital signal via the USB and uses its own DAC. For a speaker setup you will definitely hear a big difference in quality.