I’m planning to get a asus sabertooth p67 r3 motherboard or asus P8Z68-V PRO, which I guess is an above par motherboard so should have a good onboard sound, and I’m wondering if get a fairly cheap sound card e.g. sound blaster x fi xtreme audio card or titanium. Would it be a downgrade sound QUALITY wise? (the cpu performance hit isn't an issue for me.)
It depends on what type of chip and software is used for onboard sound. I use the onboard sound from my asks rampage iii ex on good speakers and it sounds fine. I've used cheap sound cards in the past and they sound fine as well. Im not a huge fan of realtek software but I do like soundblaster software. Either choice will be fine its more of a features and software decision pick what you like.