1. The Prelude has very high sound quality and sounds better then Creative X-fi's. 2. Yes those are still in the drivers.. 3. Yes, the drivers are much leaner overall then Creative's cards. 4. It only has the 20KX series...(X-fi DSP)....NO 8788 chip.. Good luck with your purchase. BTW, Creative cards are much better then onboard and Auzens cards are much better then Creatives. What speakers system are you using?