Well I have to say that I recently purchased an OEM Soundblaster Z card for my 2nd PC which I now use as a media PC. Since I built it I had been using on board sound and found that I had to boost the equilizer to max to get decent volume when playing some files or YouTube vids. The sound was ok, but when boosted like this it could get a bit ropey at times. I have to say that this new soundblaster card is excellent. I have had no problems with the drivers at all and the sound quality is excellent. It's certainly a hell of a lot louder! I'm very pleased with the purchase. My gaming machine has a Zonar D2X. I've had several issues with drivers on this and if it wasn't for finding the unified drivers, I think it would have found itself embedded in a wall. Yes Creative have a bad rep and a lot of it is deserved (their original treament of Daniel K was a disgrace), but bad drivers are not just limited to them.