Mid-range is the best, i got an audigy 4 (non-pro) for $90, its an awesome improvement in audio quality even over the newer 'High-def' my mobo has, and performance is up a little too.
My best thing would be - base it on what you have. If you have a surround sound system (4.0, 5.1, 7.1) - buy a real card. If its a cheap pair of headphones, stay onboard.
Myself, i use a pair of sennheiser headphones and a set of logitech speakers, and god, the onboard sounds horrible compared to the audigy.
Originally Posted by Kasparz
Thats pretty similar to what i linked to earlier (and most people ignored) - a 10% gain for games that support the hardware, is no big surprise. at 100FPS who cares, at 30FPS - you want every frame you get.