Recently i installed an old PCI sound card laying around, just to support the onboard one trying to figure out why my monitor is losing the signal playing some old games. This is a terrible behavior that leave me blocked at some part of the game with the sound broken and looping. I'm not the only one experiencing this problem but my video card is a PCI-E 2.0 on 1.0, and my power supply is supposed to be a 430W, end finally the card is connected trough the MOLEX to PCI-E adapter. I thought it was the soundcard fault, but i was wrong and i tried everything is possible and last but not least i lost the Windows XP CD and i can't reinstall the system to see what happen, or if something change. It's damn time for an upgrade.
Now i discovered the the old PCI soundcard (als4000) works great and the sound quality is better than before and the system appears to be less heavy playing the games that don't crash (Half-Life 2, F.E.A.R), obviously. Only DirectX 8 games, i think, are affected by this frustrating problem, i have to restart every time. By the way i connected the now new als4000 (drivers link) to the headphones and the integrated soundcard is playing happily through Winamp.
Is there a way to switch on the fly the main audio device? Thanks to Google, yes it is, the app is Quick Sound Switch by www.Tools.ToFlo.de and consist in a small executable that doesn't need installation, resides in the system tray upon launch and is very complete. The words that we have always to say are support, support, support, by donating to these guys, tomorrow will be your turn. While Quick Sound Switch is capable to create desktop shortcuts for doing the audio device change (the soundcard), iVol, also for the Mac, is able to switch the sound device (Master, Wave, etc.) by a combination of keys (ALT + Mouse Wheel), and to change the volume (SHIFT + Mouse Wheel) with a nice positionable green indicator.
Always on the Volume adjusting side, VolumeTouch 1.1 has a nice mouse gesture feature over the mouse wheel one, you can raise or lower the volume by moving the mouse vertically or horizontally plus a chosen combination of hotkeys, commonly Shift + Ctrl. It's funny that the tray icon animate when you change the volume.
I have to thank Softonic for letting me discover iVol, i suggest to subscribe to the blog OnSoftware and watch at it has to offer, Mobile, Phones, PC, Palm OS, whaterver. Softonic is international and features many languages.