I suppose that it could
be the sound card. I mean, Creative claims that with their X-Fi gamer series cards that a user can have more FPS in games vs. other sound cards.
Also, I personally never update to the latest drivers unless there's something that needs to be fixed, or if a driver adds something I really want. I mean, I remember updating the Audigy 2 ZS drivers to the latest drivers once (I was bored), and all of the sudden I started having problems. So, I went back to the drivers shipped with the card, and the problems were fixed. So, if you can stay with the drivers shipped with the card, this may help a little.
The other thing too is it could be your system. I don't mean to doubt your intelligence with the following, but I know how easy this stuff is to forget: what are the minimum system requirements of the games in question?
Also, how many processes are running on your system? To give you an example of what's possible, I only have 28-29 processes running when idle. Now, of course, I have 30 processes running right now because Firefox is open. And I only have 3 icons in my system tray: one for the Windows Volume Control panel for easy access to the Sounds and Audio Device Properties (where you can choose your sound scheme among many other things), one for Creative's volume control panel, and one for nVidia to access all of my display properties. I got into this habit when I was using this sig rig
, which is kinda similar to yours. One day I Googled something to the effect of "disable unnecessary services
", or "unnecessary services
". I can't remember how few processes I ended up with, but I know it was less than 30. I also have a habit of checking Add/Remove Programs to see if there's anything installed that I don't remember installing. If I find something, I Google it and go from there.
As for Best Buy, I think you might enjoy shopping at NewEgg
much more than Best Buy, even though you can actually GO to Best Buy (although, I'm clueless as to whether or not NewEgg has any stores). Their selection is far superior, and their prices are better. Plus, they're not Best Buy.
I don't know anything about that sound card, but it doesn't look like a very good sound card. It looks like it may be a sound card for people who don't know any better.
Here's a link to NewEgg's sound card area
for the sake of convenience. This obviously isn't the end-all for shopping, but I feel it's much better than Best Buy.