Audio Gigabyte ud3h bk mobo - realtek ac1150 onboard sound issue (very low volume and crackling)

[FONT=segoe ui]Hi everyone,

A few days ago I replaced my cpu, motherboard and hdds on my system.

OLD System (main components)
Case: Antec 902 v3
Cpu: i7 950
Mobo: Asus p6x58d-e
RAM: corsair vengence 4gb x 3
GPU: Zotac GTX 660
Boot drive: Intel 40gb ssd (Win 7)
HDD: WD 1TB (black)

New System (main components)
Case: Antec 902 v3
Cpu: i7 4790k
Mobo: Gigabyte z97x - ud3h-bk
RAM: corsair vengence 4gb x 3
GPU: Zotac GTX 660
Boot drive: Samsumg evo 500gb ssd (Win 7)
HDD: WD 3TB (black)

I was able to clone the ssd and hdd (samsung migration for ssd and Easeus todo backup for hdd). Initally I had some driver conflict when I booted up the computer on the new mobo.
I managed to uninstall all the old drivers and then used the driver cd to install the mobo drivers and even updated all of them to the latest version. I

The conflict I'm still having is with the back panel audio for the onboard sound. I get very low volume and and crackling at certain frequencies (tried on both my generic creative speaker and Audio technical headphones). When I'm plugging in the speaker into the green port and have it plugged in half way or accidentally touch the jack to the I/o plate I get really strong/loud static noise.

Here is the list of solution that I tried with no success:
  • Updated the Realtek HD Audio Manager app (I.e the one installed from the driver cd) to the latest one
  • Used DPC latency checker and it is showing all greens (didn't test it for more than a minute though..should I be doing something while the app is on to test for interference?)
  • Installed Generic Realtek driver for ac1150 codec.
  • Disabled C1E and EIST in the bios
  • Played with the equalizers on Realtek HD Audio Manager (helped to reduce bit of static but its still there and the volume is still very low)
  • Disabled all line/in devices
  • Checked audio with a ubuntu live cd and the problem still persists (does this indicate a hardware issue?)
[FONT=segoe ui]What I find strange is that my front panel that is connected to the HD audio pins on the motherboard works fine with the same speaker and headphones.

I still have some more solutions I need to test out, like:[/FONT]
  • Update the bios (currently on F6 version the latest is F7)
  • I have a spare asus xonar dg (PCI) so will try to install it and test if audio will works fine. But this is not a permanent solution as I only have one PCI slot which I'm using for my wireless card adapter (Edimax 7128g)
  • Run Memtest (can this ever be a problem for sound related issues?)
  • Driver Sweeper (I believe I have properly/manually uninstalled all the mobo drivers but going try this app to be sure)
[FONT=segoe ui]Can someone please point me in the right direction on how to solve this? This is the first time I'm installing/replacing a mobo and cpu so should check if there is a wiring issue when I replaced all the parts back into the case. Please let me know if more information is need to help resolve this.

I have a few more days left incase I have to RMA the mobo so any pointers would really be helpful before I decide to send it back (if at all).

Sreejit S