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I'm in the process of building my first computer, and was just wondering about sound cards. I dont exactly have a lot of cash around, and am planning on just having my computer hooked up through a 500w Sony receiver so is it even going to matter if i buy a cheap ass sound card? or would i still be better off buying a higher end card? Either way, what are some recommendations of cards?

Any help is appreciated
 

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If your reciever has digital (coax or optical) inputs go with a higher end, or at least one that has a digital out and can send DTS and Dolby Digital signals for your reciever to process. (If so equipped.)
 

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Cheap is a relative term. There are alot of quality cards that can be had for not much cash such as the Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live Value 5.1. This card has been EOL'd by Creative and as a result is being offloaded for next to nothing by dinky computer stores. You can pick one up for between $30 and $45 dollars depending on how long you shop around. This card will be more than adequate to pump music from your PC to your stereo (either home or car) and can even do the 5.1 surround sound dealy.

If you want the latest and greatest consumer-level card, Creative has just released the Audigy card. You can pick up an Audigy Value card (no third party software) for about $60-$80 again depending on how throughly you shop around.
 
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