planning on getting sound card

I just setup a new computer a week ago and everything is fine but I am thinking about getting a dedicated PCI sound card instead of using the on board sound (AC97) on an ECS K7S5A . I honestly don't think the on board sound sounds too bad. The only thing I've noticed is when I turn up the volume up to the really high ranges, the quality deteriorates a little bit. It doesn't do this as much when I just play back a CD, though. Maybe it is my equalizer settings in winamp. Anyway, I just purchased the logitech z-560s off of new egg and I am now considering getting a better sound card to match them. I have the logitech z-340 now, which are pretty good themselves. Anyone have any recommendations on sound cards? I'm looking at an audigy or the SB live 5.1. I mostly play games and listen to mp3s so you tell me what the best choice would be. I was also wondering how newer sound cards output 5.1 or 4.1 sound. Do 4.1 and 5.1 speaker setups have different connections to the sound card? Are there multiple jacks or does it still just use the standard mini-plug? I'm pretty sure it uses a miniplug (it looked like it did in the picture) and I read some reviews of people using it with onboard sound, so I assume it has one. But if I get a new sound card, is there a different way to hook up a 4.1 speaker system to the card?
And considering I won't have too much money on hand, I was also planning on buying 256MB of DDR RAM, to replace my old 192MB SDRAM I'm using right now. What would be more advantagious? My computer seems to run very fast and games run ok, and will run even better once I get my GF3 instead of using this GF2MX. Well thanks for reading, and even more thanks if you reply...hehehe

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by henryo11 on 03/27/02 10:27 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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More about planning sound card
  1. Quote:
    I'm looking at an audigy or the SB live 5.1.


    <font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
  2. I have good experience with SB Live. I have it for 3 years. I used it in 3 computers. I used it with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Linux. It works great.
  3. I have never like Soundblaster's bloated drivers. I had an SBLive and got rid of it for a Hercules GameTheater XP. I love it, it has miniplug outs for front and surround (so you can do 4.1 with miniplugs), 5 rca outs for 5.1, and optical and coaxial digital ins/outs. It's an external rack and has a usb hub with 4 connections. My only complaint about the hercules is that the usb connections are not powered and many devices will crash if you try to use them. The Hercules drivers are very smooth, seamless, well done.
  4. well, i just got my logitechs and they sound pretty nice, but I don't know what's up with the rear speakers...I'm using onboard sound right now, but I thought that it would still output to the back anyway....all I can hear right now is the front 2 and teh sub, oh yeah and it seems like the fader doesn't work either.
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