A couple days ago I was watching some random Youtube video and realized that I wasn't getting sound out of one of my speakers. I switched a few cables around to see if it was a problem with the speaker itself, and well long story short, I eventually tried plugging in an old sound card I had lying around and it turns out that the speakers were fine, the on board sound from the MB was the issue. The sound was actually pretty decent until it started dropping speakers for no apparent reason, which is why I was using it. The old sound card that I used to test the speakers runs all six speakers fine, but I can definitely hear a drop in sound quality, so I'm in the market for a new one.
Now that the story is out of the way, I'm not really up on what makes a good sound card these days. After browsing around Newegg, I see that 7.1 is the new standard configuration, my speakers are only 5.1, but I assume there are 5.1 settings on most cards, so that's not an issue. Aside from that I have no clue really. The two things I'm most interested in are clear sound and reliability. I saw some cards that cost twenty dollars and some that cost nearly two hundred dollars and they seemed to have similarly good reviews, so I'm not sure I can trust them on this one.
I have a set of Logitech G51 speakers that I won from one of the FFXI fan art contests a few years back (Just the fact that SE sent me a 150 set of computer speakers almost makes up for all of their colossal blunders, almost...). They are 155 watts and 5.1 surround. I rarely use headphones, so I'm not too terribly worried about that when it comes to picking a card. I'd really appreciate a few suggestions if anyone has any.