Hi, I'm using my home computer (PC) both to audio editing (for video), music listening (cd/dvd), and games. Very rarely I'll watch dvd video on the pc. I'm about to replace my poor PC speakers with professional stereo monitors. I do have really nice headphones, but I would like to have speakers, too. Hence, I will need an audio interface. Firewire is preferred (usb2, pci, pci-x, pci-e possible). As the monitors have XLR connectors, I'm looking for something with 1/4'' TS/TRS outputs - and a headphone output. I have a few XLR mics, too. Ability to record would thus be a bonus - not strictly necessary, but could become usefull. There are plenty of alternatives: M-Audio FW 1814/410, Edirol FA-66/101, Presonus Firebox, Terratec Phase X24, Hercules 16/12, Esi QuataFire 610, ...and possibly others. They all do recording and stereo playback/monitoring very well. This is the easy part. Just pick one... However, I chose a difficult life and installed 64bit XP. The result: My options are: 1) Edirol v.1.0 drivers 2) M-Audio beta drivers (ok for me) 3) Terratec drivers TO BE released in dec 2005. So, this has simplified to a choice between Edirol FA66/101 and M-Audio Firewire 410/1814 I guess... The problem: I'm going to do editing on a multipurpose PC (no, I'm not going to have a dedicated audio computer even if that would be the recommended thing to do - I'm not doing this for work), so I'm also going to listen to music (cd audio, dvd audio), watch dvd movies (seldom), and play games on the same computer. I have installed the nVidia Purevideo Plat. DD / DTS decoder, so I guess all music and movie listening will be successfull as long as the audio interface provides at least four (surround for movies) analog outs... Games, however, present a challenge: I would hope to hear at least something. Stereo would be sufficient. Surround even better. Should I then get an ASIO/DirectX/unbalanced interface (eg. M-Audio 410) or an ASIO/WDM/balanced interface (eg. Edirol FA-66)? There's going to be lots of 240V 50Hz power cables, computer cables, wireless keyboard/mouse/network around... I'm not quite sure if balanced would be important... Any idea? Do you know any ASIO and DirectX compatible card with balanced outputs? I could also possibly skip "DirectX" alltogether and connect the stereo miniplug of the motherboard to the stereo input (2xRCA) of the non-directx audio interface and have some satisfactory game audio... What do you think? Any advice?