Indeed. A thunder storm killed a PCI slot in my PC which held the X-Fi Xtremegamer card. I had no choice but to use my integrated sound card.
Sad, I was about to look for a new DAC when...
I realized there is no difference in sound between my integrated sound card and my X-Fi Xtremegamer.
It truly is all placebo and hype. For a second I thought it sounded worse but it turned out that way because I ASSUMED it would sound worse. It didn't, it sounds exactly the same.
DAC's and Cables do not do anything to enhance sound quality.
Only amps are really worth anything... and to be honest anything over the Fiio E9 is also just hype, overpriced, placebo.
A good source such as a high bitrate digital file, better media players (Foobar sounds better than iTunes for some reason), an amp, and most importantly of all a good set of headphones are the key to good sound.