Hi guys. Have been a regular visitor to guru3D but am new here in the forums section, quite surprised to find that there's still a dedicated 'Soundcards' sub-forum ! So I thought I might have a chance getting the answer I seek here! Have to admit I am way out of touch on the Sound Card department. Currently I am using the onboard sound on my latest Set-up. Think is, I am beginning to think its not quite good enough for me. At the beginning, I was quite impressed and satisfied with what it had to offer, but now I just miss the top-notch sound quality that the onboard chip just couldn't muster.. you know, that extra omph in movies and games, and the clarity of dialogues and production of finer sounds in the backgrounds from various source and distances.. From my limited understanding, the lower end/grade sound cards are not quite worth the $$ that you pay for them. Is this true? also the good ones that are even worth your considering cost an arm and a leg, they are also designed to be optimized more for games. But I tend to watch more HD movies than game now these days . Nevertheless, I am hell-bent on -hopefully finding- a suitable PCI-E x1 sound card around my budget of about $50-$120. A little backgound! I used to own a Creative Audigy 2 ZS Gold (rather badass back in the day) and later upgraded to a X-Fi Platinum 7.1, this card then went thru 2 system updates/changes with me. Those were the Golden era of Creative and Sound Cards.. and I also remembered when ASUS first came out with their XONAR sound cards and shook up the industy. When I was building my PC back then, Creative was already slowly on their decline and losing their mojo, I considered the XONAR but there were only 2 or 3 models to choose from at their release and they were well over $200 a card even for the cheapest one. That was how I decided to go onboard and hold off for a better cost-value sound card, but Creative continued to disappoint... and so till today, I still haven't got anything new yet.. until now perhaps? haha Are Creative and ASUS still the only major Sound Card players these days? Once again, I am looking for a relatively new and the most bang-for-buck all around the $100ish price point for a PCI-E x1 soundcard. What would you recommend me? : ) I appreciate your sharing and inputs. & also hope this might turn up an interesting discussion with lots of nostalgia too, haha! Thanks peeps!