Had an X-Fi ten years ago and it wasn't that bad, was compatible with just about everything I threw at it (BF2, mostly), from what I can remember. Got a Xonar DX now and it provides much better sound quality than the Creative card, though you'd expect that of a later generation product. In my local forums I always recommend a sound card (Xonar DX) to people's new PC build spec list. However, it would seem most people think on-board sound is just fine, and a sound card simply a waste of money. I've even been accused of being an audiophile (which is true), for suggesting a sound card, which is perplexing; why skimp on sound when building a high-end multimedia/gaming PC? A lot of people rip their music at 128 kbps and think it sounds great.