If that sound card (or rather onboard audio) was good enough then I'll write that any model of the Creative Labs cards will be equal (I'm fibbing) or exceed (that's the truth) than the onboard audio. These Sound Blaster cards run from 29 to 199 bucks but even the SB16 PCI card has delivered great sound for me.
I'm sure that some ears are better than mine so you could consider the Audigy series for less than 99 bucks.
As to the PC, any current machine will outpace your current machine so that's just a matter of budget.
I now have a refurbished Dell Precision 420 with only CD burning, 20GB & 40GB hard drives, XP Home with Service pk2 & the following:
CPU : 933 MHz
Bus Speed : 133 MHz
Motherboard : Dell Precision WorkStation 420 MT
System : Dell Precision WorkStation 420 MT
BIOS : Dell A10
Memory : 511 MB
Sound : Crystal SoundFusion(tm)
Video : NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS/GeForce2 Pro (Microsoft Corporation)
Anything else I should include above?
I use it for work (financial planning), music and movies. I copy and clean old LPs to get music for ice skating and have about 2000 music files in WMA lossless. These files must stay on the computer as they are constantly being rearranged to make new tapes and CDs. Sorting the files by song, artist, length or whatever is very slow. Have also started putting digital photos into movie clips and would like to do more with that. Would like to add back about 2000 music files not used for skating that might be integrated into the movies. Note: all music and photo files are backed up on CDs. Hundreds of CDs, as saving in WAVE or WMA lossless is best quality for the music and playing at the arenas.
I want/need more hard drive, more speed, DVD & CD burning and extra drive for copying, good sound, good video. Need modem as no high speed or cable are available here so no sense getting into big entertainment features. Don't game.
Have tried to research this but getting confused. One website says all of one kind of sound card is great and another says that same card is poor for sound.
Any help and suggestions gratefully accepted. Thanks in advance.