Hi, I am an old vinyl lover and I will buy my first quality sound card for my computer. I am very confused about everything, and, to confuse things further, I will buy stuff from here (Brazil) through the Internet without talking to anyone I can trust. I would be glad if someone points me to a trusted link where I can find info about amplification (speaker manufacturers state RMS wattage for speakers(?) and they simply do not state if speakers and sound cards need something beween them or if the volume control comes from the software or from powered speakers or if speakers have links to cards or to each other). There are some basic things that simply are not declared anywhere at all. Surround and Dolby 5.1, 6.1, and much more complicated things are very well explained, but volume control is not. Photos of sound cards (which would let people look well at them to search visible clues) are of very poor quality also.
Thanks for the reply. I luckily found a PDF manual for a sound card installation, and I noticed there are no standards. After a lot of research, I decided to buy M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and Logitech Z-680 loudspeakers. But I am afraid because I am used to Linn Sondek turntable/phono preamp/Adcom GFA555II power amplifier driving ADS L810II loudspeakers and I dont think the combo I chose will give similar results. I looked at Stereophile's site, but they still remain stereo, and I do not know any really high end room theater magazines, as I used to know in the stereo world.
My budget can go above my choice, but this combo had excellent reviews.