Im using a Gigabyte GA-7VT600-PL (Rev 1.0) motherboard which has a Realtek ALC655 AC97 codec Chip for onboard audio. It offers digital surround sound which to me sounds like the technology has evolved from a simple 16-bit unit. For many years I've always used an actual sound card in the PCI slot (currently SB Live! 5.1) in fear of any kind of gaming incompatability or reduced system performance.
How is this Realtek's abilities these days? Is it 100% game-compatible like my SB Live! PCI card? Does running this onboard sound as opposed to my PCI card have any reduction on my system's performance?
My system: Athlon XP 2800+ Barton @ 2.08GHZ, 512MB DDR Ram PC2700, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (256 Bit) AGP videocard, 30GB Maxtor HDD, 40GB Maxtor HDD, HP 8200 CDRW, Liteon SOHW 832S DVDRW.