All pci sound cards take away load from the cpu when processing your games sounds. You may not notice a large increase in frame rates for you games, but you will notice the sound is clearer, and will not get choppy. You will also be able to play the games sounds in the highest quality modes without a hit to game performance. All games that run direct sound in windows 95/98 will take full advantage of the pci based card, but even in dos games you will see a performance gain. The pci bus is just inherently faster than the dated isa bus. (the isa bus will be phased out within a year or so) Pci based sound cards do most of the sound processing on board. Isa bus cards gets sound calls from a program, sends the data through the cpu to process, then takes the processed data and outputs it to your speaker. Pci cards get a sound call from an app, processes the data on board (using the system memory for a buffer) and ouputs the processed data to your speakers, using very little of the cpu's clock cycles. You will notice more of an increase in performance with slower computers. Example: quake II on a p166 with an isa sound card, with highest quality sound settings on, will have sound that cuts out and stutters at times. Swaping out the isa card for a pci one will make the same game running the same settings sound clear without any breaks in sound.