Not sure exactly what you are trying to do or are looking for. More details might help.
* You do not need a add on sound card to get studio quality sound and or recording. With some hard software like the line6 you only need a usb or rca mini to line in/ pretty much the same as mic. Most all built in sound even lap tops have mini jack ports. Only you know what you are talking about or actually want or need- or multi use what ever.
But getting sound in or out of your computer is maybe a million ways of doing so or hardware or amps what ever. As for sound cards my old creative Audigy2 zs plat pro was said great for music folks and could plug in guitars right into its out box with normal full sized jacks. Some liked the software some not but was said great for that use. It is said works with w7- not sure the out box will work with w7 tho. And later after buying and creative came out with its next version- they about ruined the drivers and all guis in my product. but I could still use it in xp- just half the gui features was dead and had 2x guis a features all together- click wrong one freeze etc- it did not delete out the old crap- they did it on purpose so you might buy the new stuff- cost me over 200 bucks. They might have something more modern but will cost in the 200 area..
Some people like this versus creative->
HT | OMEGA Claro Halo XT PCIhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829271005
It is other ways to plug in guitars and get sound into your pc. I think line has a box and uses garage band or is other software or built in stuff and uses your computer sound or speaker set up. But you can amp speaker out to a normal stereo hifi system if you have the right connections and or wires or converters. Same for getting sound into the pc- a mic jack if nothing else. Many add on cards have opti in or something like that.. Just some are or the software are better at it.. I would count on spending from 200 to maybe 400 bucks or so- if say buying a sound card and a line. I think the line boxes go for like 79 bucks on up and work on both macs and windows me thinks- me bud uses one on his mac.. Can plug in mics or guitars or key boards what ever and has software and midi stuff also- or I think you can?.. Most all the upper end sound cards will have added software for like things also. It is other box' other than line I am sure. Again I am not sure what exactly you are trying to do- so I am more all over the place trying to answer- or best I can..
Part of looking at the sound card or out boxes what ever is the connections- the more the better more options in and out- but if using guitars and such you more want the larger what 3 or 4mm plugs you can use a step down if needed for say head phones- or some head phones have the step up adapter.
My bud has something like this- his is older and looks a lil different but like this. I know it is line is all I know- he is napping now- I will post back after he gets up and I can ask him a lil about it.. Again not sure what you want or need.
Ok his is a line6- tone port ux2. I think the link I posted is an newer updated version and has more features or software.http://line6.com/toneportux2/
** This is cool and leads ya to some other video links- make a song in a few minutes with multi guitar and bass and vocal tracks and added beat box fx..http://line6.com/toneportux2/tour2.htmlhttp://line6.com/podstudioux2/
Line 6 Pod Studio UX1 with Pod Farmhttp://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Line ... 1427097.gc
Man walk into say a guitar works and ask them your exact questions and what you are trying to do and your budget- they can hook ya up in a minute- or give ya ideas and then you can shop around on the net for other products or prices.. They can tell ya exact products and gear and software and price ranges all of it and might have something on sale at the time to boot. And you are talking face to face and can see the products maybe even un box one plug it in and show ya how to do it or use it..