I said I would leave a short comment about this card after choosing between this and an Azuentech prelude 7.1 or Creative card. KustomPCs.co.uk - ASUS Xonar D2X PCI-E 7.1 Sound Card
This is the first soundcard I have owned and must say simply WOW!!!!! I never knew a computer could sound this good. I have a few friends with the higher end creative x-fi soundcards e.g. Creative X-fi xtremegamer fatal1ty pro series. Even they agree my card beats the X-fi streme gamer by far even though its more expensive. The x-fi elite is the only thing that I have heard which beats it but thats nearly double the price.
Audio is perfectly crisp I am not an audiophile so previously been using onboard sound but I can hear a huge improvement. I have found many audio forums that love this card and hardly anyone has something bad to say about it. There is some good bundled software as I play guitar I plug it through and use Ableton live (demo) to give me backing and modulation, it sounds better through my computer then it does through a peddle or amp.
I have alot of films (300+) as I use to run a media server and again WOW!! I have a Benq FP241VW which is the premium aluminium cased version of the FP24W/Z and is a good monitor. With this soundcard my hd film needs are covered I thought the onboard sounded good but now I can hear absolutely every detail even in films where the audio quality was previously lacking this card seems to magically make the sounds whole again.
Games are really really good I play crysis warhead quite a lot and it seems like I can hear every leaf rustle in the wind so environments are taken to a new level. I play battlefied 2142 as my close quaters FPS and I could probably turn off my monitor and still kill people in urban environments the sound is that accurate.
In other words I love this card and if your considering a new one don't go creative go either Auzentech or Asus. If you have vista then Asus is to me the only company that brings out good enough drivers to warrant such an expense.