I used Creative soundcards for probably close to 10 years until finally abandoning them in disgust because of how bad their drivers were, how bad their support was, and how bad their driver upgrade process was, around the time that motherboard manufacturers started integrating reasonably good soundchips on their motherboards. I still miss having a discrete audio processor though, and have been occasionally tempted to go back to the dark side of Creative cards. The horror that is their driver situation has always kept me away though, despite the performance increase I would get. It’s not well known that using on-board audio adds a ~10% performance tax on most systems that you can alleviate with a dedicated audio card. Anyway I was pleased to see that Asus, whose graphics cards I have been using for the last couple of years, has jumped into the onboard audio scene with new, mass market cards designed to attack Creative’s cards. They can’t possibly do a worse job than Creative on the driver end of things, so once I see some prices and reviews it’s quite likely I would pick one of these up. There are some preliminary details over on techreport.