I've recently built my own computer, but I have yet to get a sound card. I haven't gotten one because I'm not sure that I need one. My motherboard, ASUS P8Z68-V LX, has a REALTEK audio manager. I checked the on board sound on their website, and it said that it was 7.1 compatible. So, i'm guessing that I don't need a sound card. BUT, I think it depends on what speakers I decide to run. I'm thinking of getting either, Logitech Z506 75 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers, or Logitech Speaker System Z623. I'm not sure i totally believe in 5.1... if you know what I mean.