Best mid-range Sound Card for audio production

so i just got a new computer with windows 7. I do alot of audio production but my pc only came with an onboard sound card of course. I have no real interest in spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get a real expensive card so ive been investigating different cheaper dedicated cards out there.

The primary thing that sucks with windows7 and this onboard sound, is when i plug in an instrument or microphone, i cannot make it playback in the operating system. It can record but won't play back.. does anyone know how to fix this? I'm hoping that buying a dedicated sound card will fix this issue but I'd like to know and hope its not just a windows7 thing. bleh

all that being said I was leaning towards this card http://cgi.ebay.com/M-AUDIO-DELTA-44-DELTA44-PCI-PRO-SOUND-CARD-NEW-BOX-/330365825256?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ceb5670e8 but I'm looking for something that will have the lowest live playback latency possible, so i got to thinking wouldn't a pcie card be better? and do they even exist? lol so now im looking at this one http://cgi.ebay.com/New-ESI-MAYA-44e-4in-4out-PCI-E-Interface-Sound-Card-/290425770485?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item439eb991f5

do you think pcie/x would be noticably faster latency for a live input? It seems logical to me but im not sure there would be a difference. Both of those cards have multiple inputs and outputs which is great. I've also got alot of recommendations to go with a usb sound card but that seems like it would be even slower than pci... is that so? any ideas? suggestions?

thanks for the input :)
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More about best range sound card audio production
  1. Software will also have impact to sync. When using you computer as an audio recording, make sure you disable the security programs it has like Anti Virus, Spyware, Malware and Firewall etc. and unplug it from WAN; even Wi-Fi. Higher price usually a sign of better components used or and software support to the hardware, but that's not always the case.
    I'm sure others will tell you what's a good sound card right away but there are so many out there that we don't know about. I heard good things about E-mu and Lynx products.

    http://www.emu.com/

    http://www.lynxstudio.com/product_detail.asp?i=7

    You might want to check this site too. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/

    Here are few links you might want to check and there’s more out there.

    http://www.synthzone.com/sndcard.htm

    http://kellysmusic.ca/soundcards.asp?aff=5999-SC&gclid=CLyw5O7MwqECFRk7gwodW0E-_Q

    http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/299/

    And remember to make sure that the card you are getting have a full support with your operating system, make sure that software also being update periodically.
  2. Hi just a quick response on your first point. All modern souncards I know can do what you want. All you have to do is enable Stereo Mix which is disabled by default. (I wonder why)
    Good geek article : http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/39532/how-to-enable-stereo-mix-in-windows-7-to-record-audio/
    enjoy.
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