does it make any difference that processing occurs in the sound card rather than the cpu?
i am a music producer and haven't had any issues with sound processing on my i7.
i am just using somewhat high-end headphones, would i benefit from a sound card?
The most efficient route is to use the optical out (all digital signal), send it to an external digital to analog converter (cleans up the sound), then to a dedicated amplifier that you connect your headphones to.
This same structure can be used for speakers.
This way, instead of leaving the digital to anolog convesion as well as the amplification to onboard or a dedicated sound card, the sound quality is noticebly better.
The better the speakers/headphone, you don't want to skip on everything between the sound wave that is digitally stored, and what actually comes out of the headphones.
Edited by noname - 11/27/10 at 4:29pm