I'm currently using an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI. However, since upgrading to Windows 7 64-Bit, it's been real crap. I've done tons to shutdown unnecessary services, disable Intel Speed-Step, etc, etc. However, I'm still getting drop outs and clicks/pops. Lately, I'm having to push the buffers to 512... which seems a bit extreme to me.
Anyway, I'm looking to get something better. Unfortunately, I can't afford to spend the money on something too high end like an RME or Lynx. I'm looking to keep it around $200... maybe stretching to $300 if I had too. My home studio is really just a 'serious' hobby, so spending $500 or more just isn't in the cards.
I'm current considering the Echo Audiofire 2, or perhaps the yet to be released Mackie Onyx Blackjack. I need something with solid Windows 7 64-Bit drivers and low latency, as I do run a handful of VST instruments, guitar modelers, and effects.
If it matters this is my current system spec:
Windows 7 64-Bit
Intel Core2 Duo 3.33Ghz
Intel DX38BT Motherboard (TI 1394 Chipset)
Sonar 7 Home Studio
M-Audio Audiophile 2496
Mackie 402-VLZ3 Mixer
Thanks for any advice!