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View Full Version : New motherboard - avoid Realtek audio?



BBCmicro
12-05-2010, 07:54 PM
I am getting a new motherboard (P55) and trying to decide between Gigabyte and Asus. The Gigabyte has Realtek audio, the Asus has Via. I have had a lot of problems with Realtek audio on my Gigabyte P35c mobo and wondering if I should avoid Realtek on future mobos?

On the one hand Realtek audio is in millions of motherboards and there are not millions of complaints - so my P35c problems could be 'me'. I also understand Realtek quality is better than Asus. Also the recent Asus H55 boards have gone back to Realtek (I think)

On the other hand Realtek seems to have a problem interfacing with Microsoft. If anything goes wrong, it defaults to no inputs (at least for my P35c). But Via also has some problems.

So what would you suggest?

(Agent 24: For my P35c, the fix seems to be use safe mode to ensure Realtek is installed before Microsfoft's UAA tries to access it - or something like that. It's not a clear-cut driver issue.)

goodiesguy
12-05-2010, 07:57 PM
my "AMD Athlon XP 2600+" has Realtek AC'97 onboard sound. which is fine (vista home premium).

Alex B
12-05-2010, 07:58 PM
I would go Realtek over Via, it might just be personally pref but Ive always found Via stuff a bit meh.

Speedy Gonzales
12-05-2010, 08:00 PM
That UAA thing sounds like the file you have to install for HD audio on some x64 systems

Agent_24
12-05-2010, 08:20 PM
The main contenders in onboard audio chips are VIA, Realtek, Analog Devices, and C-Media (there was also SigmaTel but I think they may not exist anymore)

Personally I like Realtek, C-Media and VIA because they release generic drivers designed to work with just about anything containing their hardware (although this is not guaranteed!) - Analog Devices don't do this.

Analog Devices has better quality hardware compared to Realtek but you have to rely on your motherboard manufacturer to actually release updates.

The C-Media Oxygen is also very nice (but not likely to be found on a motherboard)

Some of the cheaper VIA codecs aren't great, but I think these were mainly the old ones (Pentium 3 era). Quality of audio also depends on the implementation, if the design of the motherboard isn't good, you'll have issues no matter what chip is used.


(Agent 24: For my P35c, the fix seems to be use safe mode to ensure Realtek is installed before Microsfoft's UAA tries to access it - or something like that. It's not a clear-cut driver issue.)

So did you get it working OK now? Yes if you are using XP there is a UAA Bus driver patch or something that must be installed for HD audio (I forgot completely about this)

BBCmicro
12-05-2010, 10:56 PM
No I didn't get it going. I felt lucky to get the machine back the way it was - thanks Acronis.

When I get my new Win7 machine I might readdress the problem - possibly replace the P35c mobo. The Q6600 is still a good processor

Agent_24
12-05-2010, 11:07 PM
Maybe it's actually faulty? You could check that theory with a live Linux CD...

Speedy Gonzales
12-05-2010, 11:15 PM
What version of windows are you using the P35c on?

Is this the prob youre having ? (http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/FAQ_Model.aspx?FAQID=2538&ProductID=2551). Is this the mobo?

mzee
13-05-2010, 12:51 AM
I have never been able to get the Realtek audio to work on my Asus PC, despite getting another MB on warranty.

I now use a USB sound card, just plug it in and its away!

BBCmicro
13-05-2010, 01:11 PM
Speedy: yes that link points to my mobo except that I have Rev 2.0. I use XP pro sp3. Before I had sp3, I installed the Microsoft hotfix KB888111. It's still listed in add/remove programs even though sp3 includes KB888111.

The link suggests I reinstall sp3. Presumably I would uninstall KB888111 first. However, I read somewhere that KB888111 does not uninstall cleanly (although it disappears from add/remove progs). Apparently it needs a registry fix. All told, I'm not confident that it'll work at the end.

Having said that, the Gigabyte diagrams on your link (rev 2.0) are quite informative and I am tempted to have another go. It seems I need to (1) disable UAA (it is present) (2) uninstall UAA (3) scan for new hardware but don't click 'next' when it finds UAA. Click cancel (3) Install the Realtek driver (4) the instructions suddenly stop but I presume a reboot will see the UAA device automatically installed.

Agent 24: I don't think the mobo is faulty because the problem comes and goes. It goes away if I revert to early images. Regarding your sound card overview, I think I will continue with Realtek

mzee: what USB sound card are you using?

SolMiester
13-05-2010, 03:04 PM
I am getting a new motherboard (P55) and trying to decide between Gigabyte and Asus. The Gigabyte has Realtek audio, the Asus has Via. I have had a lot of problems with Realtek audio on my Gigabyte P35c mobo and wondering if I should avoid Realtek on future mobos?

On the one hand Realtek audio is in millions of motherboards and there are not millions of complaints - so my P35c problems could be 'me'. I also understand Realtek quality is better than Asus. Also the recent Asus H55 boards have gone back to Realtek (I think)

On the other hand Realtek seems to have a problem interfacing with Microsoft. If anything goes wrong, it defaults to no inputs (at least for my P35c). But Via also has some problems.

So what would you suggest?

(Agent 24: For my P35c, the fix seems to be use safe mode to ensure Realtek is installed before Microsfoft's UAA tries to access it - or something like that. It's not a clear-cut driver issue.)
I would rather Realtek over VIA anyday of the week....

Murray P
13-05-2010, 04:28 PM
I have a new Gigabyte MB with Realtek Audio.

All is fine until I decided to update the audio driver via Windows Update (I don't use Auto updates, so loaded manually). As soon as I had updated the driver the audio died. I rolled the driver back and all was fine again.

Lessons:

Avoid updating your drivers via Windows Update (I knew this but went ahead anyway...).

Most of these type of issues are driver issues, not hardware.

Agent_24
13-05-2010, 04:30 PM
I actually have a theory that the "drivers" which Windows Update installs are not actually drivers at all, they are just randomly generated numbers inserted into what appears to be a driver package...

pctek
13-05-2010, 04:34 PM
The only time I ever saw anyone have a problem, is when they had let Windows take over the driver install.
Ignore the Windows wizard and it's not a problem.

Murray P
13-05-2010, 04:48 PM
The Windows Wizard doesn't activate when you install via the Windows Update website. It appears to be a one size fits all 'experience', with no user control at all.

As you suggest, I think therein lies some of the problem.