Bit Tech just published a PC Audio 101 guide that explains how to get the most out of audio on your PC.
"This guide walks you through the basics of setting up your PC to get the best performance without spending any cash, and the best ways to spend a bit of dosh if you’re so inclined.
One thing to remember throughout the course of this guide – good sound is highly subjective. One person may find one setup unlistenable whereas another may find it fantastic. Can’t tell the difference between MP3 and FLAC? Then you may as well save some hard drive space and stick with MP3. If you’re completely happy with on-board audio, stick with it."