What is the best 5.1 Sound Card for the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System? I don't need a 7.1 sound card for a 5.1 speaker system, as I am trying not to pay extra for something that is not even used, like buying a 7.1 sound card, when I only need a 5.1 sound card, because the Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speaker System is a 5.1 speaker system. Correct me if I am wrong, but does a 7.1 sound card make a 5.1 speaker system sound better or it doesn't matter, since it is only a 5.1 speaker system?
depends on your budget (and uses, but I suppose you don't need a professional music-riented soundcard) ; the X-Fi analog outputs is also a good combination (I would personnaly favor Azentech, more than Creative, for their better customer support) ; I myself use an Asus Xonar and an "old" X-Fi Elite pro connected to the Z-5500... Now pay attention if you use Linux, some cards have poor support outside of windows...
It comes down to output quality, and most of the time, Analog > Digital [Analog offers better dynamic range, but digital gives a clearer signal]. Regardless, digital output on all cards should be the same [prior to any extra encoding that may be going on]
Auzentech <> ASUS > HT Omega > Creative
For under $100, the best options are:
ASUS Xonar Essence ST ~$50
ASUS Xonar D1/DX ~$89
HT Omega Striker ~$89
Above that, the Auzentech Forte, ASUS D2/DX, Auzentech Prelude, and ASUS Xonar Essence STX are the next batch of cards to recommend.
The Prelude is probably the best all around bet, although the Striker and D1/DX are very attractive options for a lower price.