Well this afternoon I went through a reformat with the rig in my sig and I was having troubles with my *former* sound card's drivers (the Bluegears B-Enspirer) causing freezing upon installation (I think the drivers are still listed as 'BETA' on Bluegars site :/). Anyway, I decided to remove the card and just run it on the onboard audio and boy am I glad I did. The Realtek ALC888 audio on this board (MSI K9A2 Platinum- RD790FX chipset) is great! It's probably one of the *most* subjective things you can say however *I* can tell a difference with music. Now I am no audio professional or anything, I am just playing songs from my play list however there is a clear advantage with this Realtek chip over my previous soundcard. Realtek's drivers also seem alot more polished than Bluegears. Additionally I am able to select a wider range of 'Effects' directly from my Logitech Z5500 control remote which include 'Stereo, Stereo X2 mode (6 channel audio, positional) DD PL2 Movie, DD PL2 Music. Onboard sound has come along way in my opinion- just throwing this out there and I wonder if anyone has a similar experience?