Anything changed with Sib 5.1/VDL 2.5.1 on latency?

I have poured over all of the threads on this topic, but I wanted to make sure there wasn't any updated info based on the new versions.  I just bought a new Gateway GM5632E.  I was hoping the faster processor and memory would help VDL and Sibelius start playing back without pops, clicks, etc.  The specs on the machine are:

Processor: 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600
Memory: 3GB DDR2
Storage: Two 500GB hard drives (RAID Level 1)
Optical Drives: Double-layer DVD±RW
Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8500 GT (256MB)
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium

I was HOPING that the on-board audio of a Intel board that is 4 months old would be ASIO compatible, but I have very little config options and probably just need to bite the bullet and get a card, right? 

I use an M-Box (USB) with my laptop running Pro Tools sessions with 35+ audio tracks and have very few issues.  They are vastly slower than an PCI or Firewire interface, but might be a good option for you.
Pentium 4s are pretty poor performing cpus.  Even though it's 3.2 GHz, it performs worse than even a low-end Core 2 Duo system.  I don't understand why you wouldn't just keep the new system and install a sound card in it.  You will not be able to configure a Dell or really any computer with the sound options you need- it's something you need to add on yourself.

Another issue is the RAM limit of Windows XP.  It can only use 1.5 GB of memory for a program because it is a 32-bit OS.  Having 4 GB isn't going to make any noticeable improvement over having 2 GB unless you are running many programs at once- and at that point you'd want a 2 or 4 core system anyways.

I don't have any experience with USB sound cards, but the USB interface is many times slower than the internal PCI interface.  Maybe someone else has some feedback on the performance of them.   
Thank you gentlemen.  This new computer was a pre-configured system from BestBuy, and I'm pretty sure your advice has prompted me to return it, since the entire reason I upgraded was to make Sib/VDL/Garrtian playback work.  It sounds like the machine I bought two years ago (Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz and I'm about to upgrade to 4 GB of Ram) MAY work fine with the addition of a decent pro-audio sound card.  I was leaning towards the M-Audio or Edirol [b]USB [/b]versions, so I could also use them with my laptop.

Based on my research across these threads, that seems like a good first step.  If I still run in to problems, then I may need to upgrade to a 2-core machine.  For now, I think it makes sense to try the solution that will be a total of about $200.

Do you think I am on track?

Thanks again!
Hi Steve,

J Mattson gives good advice. If you didn't specifically choose a pro-level audio interface, whatever came in your Gateway isn't likely to be much good for this sort of thing. You can choose a few of your soundcard settings (latency aka ";buffer size";) by clicking the ";Audio Engine Options"; in the Playback Devices window. In here, you'll see a pulldown menu for ";Interface"; which is where you would want to be sure to set it to ASIO (assuming you had an ASIO compatible soundcard). Usually a buffer size that puts your latency around 30ms or so should give decent results.

Hope this helps!
Sibelius and VDL have nothing to do with latency.  On-board audio is never good enough for a music/recording system.  You can try raising your latency setting to reduce the problems, but you should buy something like an M-Audio Audiophile card or better. 
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