Jan 5, 2010
If the best card on the market (mid low end)is the Creative labs X-FI line How well would a sound card by Asus or Rocketfish with the X-FI chip onboard stack up?
X-Fi's are the WORST cards on the market, not the best. Both ASUS (C-Media chipset) and HT Omega (also uses the C-Media chipset) have better cards then Creative. Heck, even though Auzentech uses a X-fi chipset, they at least put decent Oamps on the cards to give significantly better quality.

HT Omega only supports EAX 1-2
ASUS supports EAX 1-2, and support for EAX5 via emulation [works very well in the games I've tried]
Auzentech supports the full X-fi spec

And I should point out that X-fi is more or less a dead standard now; very, very few new games use X-fi at this point...
You won't find many fans of Creative here... Their hardware is.. adequate. Their drivers are abysmal. You'd get more support from a jock strap. And god forbid you step up and write a fix for their garbage: Instead of a thank you letter, you'll get a lawsuit. (seriously!)