But look at the positives, Ketty, the current Windows Vista driver I have is so trouble-free. A Realtek codec doesn't even come a light-year close to X-Fi in sound quality and features.
Realtek's HD codecs have also been known in the past to not be true HD, either. Asides, having an acctual audio expansion card (Creative or not), removes the possibility of a lot of EMI from the mobo and components.
Anyhow, I've got to say that I've owned Creative components for as far back as I can remember . . . all the way to an old SB 2.0. I've never had any issues with any of their hardware or drivers . . . ever . . .
at least, until the X-Fi series; but, I'm not going to get into any of that. Creative's tech support has gone down the squatter since the Audigy release, that's for sure, but their hardware is still really good for what it is.
*BTW, I'll update my XSS thread with that beta info soon as I can. It's really hard for me to type anything right now, what with a finger in a splint and all. - earned myself 6 stitches today!