Ive been looking at some 5.1 surround sound cards and i saw an external usb one. i was thinking this seems a bit too good and a bit too simple and i was wondering if anyone knew of any downsides of an external one compared to an internal one. thanks in advance
A wide subject - you need to narrow down a bit. Decide want you really want to do with the sound card. Play games? serious recording? watch movies, and so on. USB external devices means it is portable which is good if you want to use it on various workstaions. If you want to build a good audio/digital recording setup then low latency is important. Try google searching for "best soundcard" you'll get loads of hits.. M-Audio crops up and creative.
Also you mention nothing about your budget! so it all depends on yer funds.