I'd just get a SBLive! since Aureal is no more and A3D was a joke. A3D took a performance hit of 10 - 40 fps off any game when it was enabled. I don't think it was ever all it was cut out to be. I tried it with Half Life, Quake3, UT, and Tribes, and the performance hit was just too much.
I use A3D on a Diamond Monster Sound MX300, with NO noticable performance hit. BTW, EAX is not 3D sound either, it is just Reverb. It isn't directional like A3D. A3D2 is better than both of them. It uses wavetracing for UNREAL reverb
40fps loss? Out of what, 1000fps? Both cards are good. Aureal is dead, but still works fine. I have used both and currently am sticking with my MX300. It is much better in Counter Strike than my Live card.
I think the cards that handle A3D through hardware are the best, anyway EAX is nice for environment effects but A3D is true positional audio, without quadrophonic speakers (you can have 3d audio through your headphone!).
For all U SB-live loudmouths, Read it weep, this artical will shut your yaps once and for all. http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/mx300/default.asp
Yes Aureal is gone. Anyone wonder why CL. bought them. I'll
Take a guess, So no one can come back and make the better card for gaming. Which is our loss.
Aureal RIP. you will be missed.