Do you guys think I should use my onboard sound or my Creative Extigy? I belive my onborad sound is controlled by the VIA VT8237 using AC97 codecs. I just want to know which would provide the best sound. The Extigy is an external soundcard, and so its connected only by USB. I just installed the drivers for my onboard sound, and it seems to have more software options than my Extigy does (EQ, etc.). I seem to have this weird problem with my Extigy that makes the mic come out as a loud static whenever I seem to do something memory-intensive. I'm hoping switching to onboard sound might prevent that.
I didn't make it!
A choise between two bads. According of a certain, old review I read, Extigy is slow whereas AC97 does not support more advanced features. Still, if you have had no problems with Extigy, EAX2.0 support is better than nothing at all. Consider upgrading to Audigy 2 ZS (replaced those long-lived Live! -series) or the newest X-fi -series.
Generaly speaking, if you ever have the option to have some other componet handle your audio (ie, not onboard), you should use it. It takes the responsibility off of your CPU to process the sound, and therefore frees some of its resources to focus on other parts of your game.
If you have a half-decent computer with a half-decent video card, go for the onboard. It will add a little extra load to your CPU, but I doubt you'll see more than a half FPS drop. The performance difference is negligable at best, and the difference in sound quality wouldn't be noticable at all. It's just a matter of convenience, and if you have static problems with the USB sound card, I say go for integrated. I've owned a sound card, and I've used integrated on more than one occasion. I can't tell the difference.