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When gaming, my old AC97 sound wasn't cutting it when facing a character who was speaking to me (HL2). As I would turn, the voice would diminish and sounds behind me were not clear/distinct. I got a Soundblaster 7.1 card and got a slight improvement but I'm not happy like I used to be with my last Audigy 2 ZS quality.
The Soundblaster 7.1 also pumps out too much heat!!!!!!!!!!! Just unreal.
I'm gonna soon try the X-Fi as soon as this Alaska winter is over (but will use the current SB7.1 to heat my room for now).
 
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