Does a sound card improve performance compared to on-board sound?

Title says it all; Does a sound card improve performance compared to an on-board sound card in a gaming rig? And if so, how notable is the difference?

Also, following on my previous question; would having 2 vid cards in SLI (GeForce GTX460) cause cooling/performance issues if an SB Audigy SE is used in my third PCIe slot? If it matters; my mobo is an Asus P6X58D-E.

Thanks in advance.
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  1. The audigy SE isnt going to boost your sound quality at all compared to the onboard, i had it in my previous system but the onboard audio on my ASUS M4A79T board is just as good.

    Unless you have a good speaker system to go with your system having a higher quality sound card likely wont make a difference, but you also need to be one of those people who notices the difference between sound qualities.
  2. Maybe I should have clarified; I was talking about system performance in general, not sound quality. : )

    Thanks for the reply though.
  3. System performance, at best 2 FPS, probably none since that ASUS board probably comes with a higher end onboard so it isnt doing the processing on the CPU.
  4. Aah alright, that makes sense. Thanks!
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