I am planning to also buy a 500€ 2.1 system from Teufel - the Concept D 500 THX. It's supposed to be a great 2.1 system - my understanding is that it wouldn't be enough for true enthusiasts in the audio world though.
My motherboard (ASUS P9X79 Pro) does only have PCIe slots.
I don't care much about the money, I just want the card that best suits my specific needs: Watching High-def Movies in e.g. the mkv format with as much "oomph" as possible, gaming (also with a lot of oomph ), video-editing "light" (I am just a beginner, but I would like to try it out).
I don't have any experience with home theater systems, but a friend of mine once showed me the movie "Shaolin Soccer" at his place. He had a receiver connected to his pc and two approx. 30 cm speakers connected to the receiver.... and the sound quality / depth just blew me away. I didn't know that sound could make such a difference.
Do you think that a combination of a good soundcard and the Concept-D-500 could give me a similar experience to his sound setup? And what PCI-e sound card would you recommend for this purpose?
Many thanks in advance!
Edit: Oh, and I am also going to listen to a lot of music with this PC, although mainly mp3's and internet radios.
Wow! That's a lot of money for a 2.1 setup. I spent $500 on a 5.1 home theater system bought at a local store which I use for my PS3 and PC. It came with a Yamaha receiver and Polk Audio speakers with a 10" sub. The biggest + with this option is that it can decode dts-HD MA and DolbyTrueHD audio. HD audio really does make a difference (though I am big on blu-rays).
I am not sure if mkv files have HD audio but if they do you should definitely consider this option.
Personally, I would look into a cheap receiver that can decode DTS, Dolby Prologic, etc. and 2 nice speakers and a subwoofer, though I understand if you just want something simple and relatively compact.
I do not have a sound card, I just use the mini-HDMI port on my 560ti GPU. I have thought about getting a sound card but am not sure if it is even worth it.
Sorry I can't answer your question but hopefully I provided something useful. I'd be curious to hear from others who have experience with sound cards and whether they make a huge difference or not.