Well I just caught wind that sound cards are a must... basically, so I thought why not, because my turtle beach headset gets crackling and cuts off when something beeps on a game like a bomb before it detonates on GTA IV for example or when something with the letter S is said, it crackles badly.
So yeah, 1) are the worth it and will this fix my problem?
2) What's the best one for cheap? Is it like a PSU where it's worth paying the extra?
3) will I need to plug headphone/mic devices directly into the soundcard's headphone/mic output to get the best audio quality or will it effect all headphone/microphone outs(like the front pannel on the case)?
I just want a card that will mean no distortion, decent enough quality and no cut offs... I'm not looking to hook up a 7.1 surround system and record studio quality sound XD
I got my Asus Xonar D2X from ebay (saved alot) and the difference is AMAZING... so yeah it's worth it - not sure about your specific problem (corrupt install, drivers maybe, I'm really just speculating)..
As for cheaper brands I wouldn't swear by them at all, I spent a little more a few years ago and never looked back, I can't see me changing this card for the next 5+ years at least...
You will need to plug into the card I think, I'm like 80% sure of this.. I'd recommend the xonar series purely based off my experience..
Auzentech Meridian 7.1. Reason being is that once you get into good sounds this is the best and you can find good used one for around 60-80. The best thing about these is the amps for the channels or replaceable and modifiable. You will get more volume, cleaner sounds, and more control of the sound that outshines many dedicated stereos. I went from the x-fi series, which is pretty awesome as well, to this and it was amazing. It also does fiber optic connections so if you have a home theater system you can plug into that as well.