I've found that there are pros and cons with each option:
I was using a X-fi Fatal1ty Pro that was mostly
stable. Ocassionally I'd get a strange tone being emitted from the card, but not on a regular basis. The big pluses were very
good sound quality and reduced CPU workload during sound playback.
Whereas, with my onboard Intel HD Audio I'm finding the entire system to be more responsive, the sound quality while quite good isn't as good as creative's card. Also, CPU workload has increased a lot
Notable; is that the intel solution is a complete
64 bit software package, whereas creative mixes a 64 bit driver with 3 32 bit support processes and audio controller. I believe creative needs to improve their driver and software with respect to compliance to microsoft specs, and I won't be at all surprised if vista SP1 refuses to work with them.
Originally Posted by Mr Smiley