I'm looking for the best quality sound card for playing Battlefield and Modern Warefare 3. I will be using Corsair HS1A headphones most of the time but may eventually buy a nice speaker system. Should I go with Creative's X-Fi or Fatality or Asus Xonar? I want to be able to use the sound card by plugging my headphones into the front of my Corsair 600T case.
for the average user even the cheap $25 sound cards work just fine. its only worth getting the expensive cards if either you require the additional features they offer or are a complete audiophile with very good equipment.
as for which brand to use... all i can say is that i liked the software that came with the soundblaster cards i've had in the past. currently i'm running a home theater system off of the integrated soundcard that came on my rampage III board and its flawless.
If you get a *nice* speaker system...I would assume it would most likley have a receiver.
If it has a receiver, you would be using a digital connection...which would render your sound-card useless.
When you get a A/V receiver, the digital connection like coax/toslink bypasses the integrated sound-card I believe and sends the raw signal to the receiver...then the receivers pre-amp (the ACTUAL SOUNDCARD), processes.
i was thinking more along the lines of a high end pc speaker setup like the ones made by logitech but i do believe that can use an optical connection as well (which some soundcards have i believe?).
as far as using a receiver...i export sound to mine via a dvi to hdmi cable. i have an integrated soundcard but if i remember correctly i didnt reinstall the drivers for it after a hard drive failure and sound was the same as before. it would be interesting to learn what exactly is going on.
as far as cable connections... most likely it would be via dvi or hdmi if not using a card or via optical if using one.
all depends on what was meant by "nice speakers" i suppose.