Originally Posted by brandonlowe2
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion 70SB046A00003 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail 179.99 (is having X-Ram really worth 180? what else am I getting here, or would the 780I onboard sound be just as good?)
Any sound card Audigy SE and up will be much better than any onboard audio you have. Plus, having a separate sound processor takes away the strain from your CPU. However, if you're set on getting an X-Fi with the X-RAM, the regular Xtreme Gamer edition
has 2MB of X-RAM and is only about $91 on Newegg. The Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro
has the full 64MB of X-RAM and is $136 ($86 after a rebate, currently). One of the newer high-end X-Fi cards, the Platinum Fatal1ty Professional
is $140 (Nearly the same price as the former card, minus the rebate) which uses a revised version of the older sound processors, a card casing, a PCI-Express 1x slot, and appears to not need a power jack. It's basically the same card you're looking at without the front bay panel.
If you were to ask me, I'd get the Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro
at $86 before the rebate goes, because it's normally about $150 at a place like Best Buy. I'm thinking about getting one myself, actually. However, if you simply want something better than your onboard without the bells and whistles, an Audigy SE
will perform admirably at $28.
Sorry, I realize you had an entire system
planned here, but everyone else had already touched on the other topics for you.