I am shocked, apparently even the i7, tons of ram and a great mb were not enough to handle 24 bit mode with .flac music while gaming, again on a low intensity game with the sound disabled. UGH! No love for us audiophiles. I was running an i7 960, 12gb of ram, dual 6950 2gb gpus in crossfire and an x58 gaming series mobo, all on a game from years ago called star wars battlefront 2 that has very low graphic intensity and requirements.
I just returned the rig for a few other reasons beyond this, 4gb of video was overkill for me and I really want something very cheap but also able to run this game well via the hdmi out on a 32 inch lcd. I just came off an alienware m11x which arrived broken, and immediately bought this huge rig out of anger. I really shouldnt have.
all the drivers were up to date, and I prefer not to use a sound card over the usb dacs, my usb dacs are far superior to most sound cards so it defeats the purpose, I really didnt want to return or resell my usb dac just to install a sound card and use the standard outputs for my audio.