Today only. Newegg has the Creative Sound Blaster Z 70SB150200000 5.1 Channels 24-bit PCI Express (x1, x4 or x16) Interface Sound Card (OEM) for $57 with free shipping. Sells for $80+ elsewhere. All around gaming and entertainment solution delivers 116dB SNR.
$85 Retail: $100

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    Goob Ben's cred: 184
    Posted 6:18 pm PDT 10/31/13

    Do these sound cards offer any advantage over todays modern motherboards that have 5.1 built in?

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    MrUniq Ben's cred: 7
    Posted 6:21 pm PDT 10/31/13

    Yes. I have one and the amplification alone really brings out the sound. I paid twice as much for mine(shielded)..this is a nice price.

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    Goob Ben's cred: 184
    Posted 6:33 pm PDT 10/31/13

    I should of mentioned I don't listen to CD's so mainly HTPC and occasional mp3's. Am I still going to benefit from this card?

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    dave_c Ben's cred: 3595
    Posted 9:12 pm PDT 10/31/13

    ^ it'll sound better for games that specifically support Creative's cards or direct driving headphones.

    They have a feature that crystalizes audio meaning it can add some reverb to MP3s that somewhat fills in where there was lost detail in the treble but there is disagreement whether this is a good thing or not so you have to hear it for yourself to decide.

    If your amp has a digital input and you don't want coloration of the sound at all, both this and onboard audio should sound exactly the same. That is, less of an impact than the particular amp you use and even less than the speakers. The better the amp and speakers are (or especially with headphones) the more likely you are to hear a difference. Then again, some people have better ears than others who think that everything sounds about the same.

    Personally I wouldn't use it for a HTPC for another reason, because I'd want the system in a low profile case without having to fiddle with some kind of riser adapter to get a full height card like this to fit in it. If that HTPC is also a gaming system so it has to have a decent full height video card anyway, that changes things. Without gaming I'd use integrated video.

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    Goob Ben's cred: 184
    Posted 10:46 pm PDT 10/31/13

    ^Interesting. Not being an audiophile and the fact that I think my system sounds good now makes me want to pass on this sound card.
    Thanks

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    Goob Ben's cred: 184
    Posted 10:55 pm PDT 10/31/13

    ^^So I have to ask what are "direct driving headphones"? I did a google search and didn't get a clear answer.

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    ClarkGryphyn Ben's cred: 20
    Posted 6:28 am PDT 11/1/13

    These days I would say stick with on-board audio unless you find you need more.

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    ClarkGryphyn Ben's cred: 20
    Posted 6:30 am PDT 11/1/13

    I believe direct driving headphones are those that do not have their own power source, and so get all their power from the signal they are being fed from the sound card. This card may be able to deliver more direct signal power to the headphones than on board sound.

    I have not experienced this problem. My system using on board sound has always been able to deliver more than enough juice to headphones.

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