I recently bought an 88 key MIDI controller, and I tried hooking up to my computer to do some sequencing via USB. Apparently the software MIDI implementation is laggy on my computer, and my motherboard's built-in sound isn't helping. I hit a key and the note sounds half a second later, which is far too much latency.
The sound card market seems to be a mess right now. Creative has problems with Vista due to changes in the way sound is implemented (apparently using the power of the audio card itself to do acceleration is not possible without buying new drivers or using a hack). Other manufacturers do not have up-to-date EAX capabilities. Fortunately I'm using WindowsXP and I'm unlikely to upgrade any time soon.
So here's my question: Is there a good sound card that can do MIDI and games well? I'll probably be getting Reason or some other music package at some point. 5.1 sound would be nice, and compatibility with Vista would be nice in case I decide to upgrade in the future. I'm hoping not to spend much, but let's ignore price for the moment (well, no $1,000 sound cards, please, but really, what does $300 buy me? $200? $100?).