Until I was given a SoundBlaster Live! card a few weeks ago, I used the C-Media 8738 onboard sound chip that was on my Elite mobo for four years.
For a chip that can also be bought in PCI form for around £5 or £6 the sound quality is quite remarkable and the latest 9738/9 are said to be even better; the SoundBlaster is superior but the margin is quite small with my IBM 2.1 speaker setup.
If you visit the much improved C-Media website at:
and try the Questions and Comments forms you (should) be able to find the answer.
There are also driver updates which may prove more advanced than the XP driver you have now, especially if you downloaded it from the WindowsUpdate site..:-)