Help! Need a X-Fi Platinum replacement

I have a PCI Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum sound card sandwiched between two Crossfire cards. This causes one to overheat. I've had the X-Fi for a long time so I think it's time to upgrade. I haven't tried the integrated sound on the motherboard (ASUS P8Z68-V PRO). If I get a PCIE card it will be out of the way.

Can anyone recommend a comparable or better PCIE sound card that works well with headphones for gaming? The last three cards I've owned were SBs but I heard good things about Xonar/HT. I'd love to still have a 5.25" front audio panel with the 1/4 headphone jack for my Sennheiser HD 555s. The bass on these is starting to go so I may need to replace these as well.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! :)
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  1. I have the x-fi Platinum too, a very nice sound card indeed. This one, despite not having the 5.25" front bay as the x-fi, has some nice specs for the money:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271001

    Best Regards.
  2. Ok, since headphone use was mentioned here, along with PCI-E, you have a few specific options. Assuming you want a card with a headphone amp, your options are:

    ASUS Xonar Xense [comes with a Sennheiser PC350]
    ASUS Essense STX
    ASUS Phoebus
    Auzentech Forte [X-fi based]
    Auzentech Home Theatre HD [X-fi based]

    If you are willing to go without the amp, the ASUS Xonar D2X is probably the best all around PCI-E option.
  3. Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    I read the X-Fi Titanium HD is a good option for gaming because it as EAX 5.0. It seems there is not a good card with 1/4" jacks for headphones and front panel audio bays.

    My main focus is gaming with headphones. I'll read up on those above recommendations and if anyone has more suggestions please let me know. Thanks!
  4. EAX doesn't matter anymore, period. It hasn't mattered for almost 5 years now. Its a nice feature to have for legacy titles, but thats about it. Also worth noting is that ASUS cards can emulate EAX 5.0 when GX mode is enabled.
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