There have been various threads about how DirectSound is no longer supported in Vista along with other sound functions we've all come to enjoy such as EAX . Here is a good thread about why you are better off just using your on-board sound hardware rather than using a PCI sound card such as Creative's X-Fi. To summarize the thread:
- Sound cards were originally created to take pressure off the CPU.
- Sound complexity has not changed much in the last 5 years.
- CPUs are much faster and therefore the hit a CPU takes to process sound now is minimal.
- Multi-core CPUs and Microsoft's Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT) handle sound threading very well.
- Pushing the sound stream through the PCI bus is actually slower than using the CPU.
- Sound card utilization has been going down anyway because more developers are writing their own sound engines for games.
- A lot of sound card functionality happens in the drivers (software), so the processing is happening on the CPU anyway.