Creative Labs was instrumental in evolving PC audio with notable products, like the Sound Blaster 16, AWE 32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, X-Fi, and Extigy, and algorithms like EAX technology. Most of its competitors through the last three decades, like Yamaha, ESS, Turtle Beach, Auzentech and M-Audio, evolved their product line-ups or faded into obscurity. There were acquisitions of Aureal and Sensaura technologies that further boosted Creative's technology portfolio, too. Sound cards seem passé nowadays, as motherboard manufacturers hop up high-definition audio codecs with higher quality op-amps, capacitors, shielding and S/PDIF outputs, that make discrete sound cards a harder sell. But despite all the optimizations and tweaks to on-board audio, there’s only so much you can do with cost-conscious audio codecs. That's where the Sound BlasterX AE-5 comes in...
Slow computer got you down? Maybe a hardware upgrade should be in your cards, if so this guide to the Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC is an invaluable read. PCSTATS Tips