Need help picking up a cheap sound card for Asus Crosshair II Formula

By treesmoker · 24 replies
Sep 7, 2010
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  1. Hi there, strange I never knew about this forum yet it's users have fixed around 3 problems for me in the last 2 or so weeks. And now I need your expert advice!:

    Okay so I have a ASUS Crosshair II Formula Build, with Sata 250GB HDD, Crappy Q-Tek 500W PSU, AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800 2.51Ghz,, Dvd-rw and Cdr drive but I have no sound! I've heard about the amazing SupremeFX II sound card, however I only want to be able to hear the odd bit of music/youtube video's, I don't want to spend £70+ for superb quality sound.

    I brought a rubbish £10 C-Media CMI8738/MX not even knowing weather it'd work or not, but i assumed the mobo would have standard PCI solts, which it did. The first time round it worked but the sound was soooooooooooooooo quiet you wouldn't believe it, even with all volume options maxed out, and strangly the S/ATA drivers for my HDD kwpt on saying they wern't installed, So I system restored and tried again a few days laters, now the desktop wouldn't even boot, the LCD poster just hung at "PCI Int" so my questions are:

    Is that sound card imcompatible with the mainboard? if not.....

    How can I get the desktop to boot so that I can install the latest C-Media drivers from they official site?

    If the sound card is really that awful then can anybody recommend a cheap £30- sound card that'll work?

    Thanks in adviance
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    You should be able to use any PCI or PCIe 1x sound card if you have an available corresponding slot. If you're looking for a really cheap card try searching around for an Audigy 4. They are decent-sounding cards and offer a good variety of audio features. If you're still thinking that's too much, you could probably find a Creative Audigy 2 ZS for even less money, or go with a different brand like Turtle beach.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,033   +2,558

    Well OK, according to Newegg, your mobo has 8 channel onboard audio. Most people don't require an add in sound cards. So, unless the audio is broken in your board, why don't you install the drivers for the audio you have?

    In fact, if I've "googled" the right board, it has SPDIF digital optical audio output, for connecting to a home theater receiver.

    Check in BIOS to see if you can try booting the machine with the HDDs running in "IDE" mode. That way you wouldn't need the drivers. In fact, if you're running XP,and don't intend to use any type of RAID array, you won't notice a difference in performance between IDE and SATA (or ACHI) mode.

    If you did succeed in installing the SATA drivers the first time, you would have to reinstall Windows to run in IDE.
  4. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    Yeah, I was just about to ask if your mobo actually has on-board audio.
  5. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hi again, Thanks for the replies. First CaptainCranky's post:

    It's strange that you say that, I've seen the Orange Jack on the back (next to the Optical port) but I don't know what devices I can connect to the orange port? I assume the startand Green Speaker plug won't fit? in fact I think i've tried that.

    I've had a look inside and all I can see is a cable coming from the front audio Jack (GREEN) however there is nowhere to plug it into the mainboard? i'll take some pictures to show what I mean later.

    if there is nowhere to plug speakers in does the sound just come straight from the mobo? like the post beeps do? Thanks for the help

    @EXCellR8 - Okay well if I can't figure this onboard audio out then i'll definatly look into one of those cards.

    Thanks Guys, I can always count on this forums for expert advice!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,033   +2,558

    Listen man, the orange jack you're talking about is actually a digital coaxial output. It's the same mechanically as an RCA type jack. That also is to connect the computer to an AV receiver. The SPDIF is optical digital, and the output in question is electronic digital.

    This; would be the cable for that jack.

    As far as connections on the motherboard for the front audio, they're there, look again.

    In some instances the computer case will have different connections for different audio codecs. You need to get with the instructions for the motherboard and the case, to make sure you're plugging the right stuff together.

    If you don't have your motherboard manual, download it from the Asustek website.
  7. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Sorry to be a pain, so your saying I can connect a pair of speaker to the coaxial port, I just need some coaxial speakers, correct?

    I have the manual for my mobo, but I don't exactally know what i'm looking for :-\

    There are ports that look like there for front audio jack, however they already have things plugged in, i'll post some pic's in the morning so hopefully somebody can help me out

    Any1 got a link to some cheap coaxial speakers?

    Thanksyou so much for trying to help me
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,033   +2,558

    NO, absolutely not.....!

    The digital coaxial output would go to the INPUT of an AV receiver! There is not enough power to drive loudspeakers. Any speaker system that you would be able to use, needs to be amplified, with the same type jack to be usable. (A digital coaxial input, with the same type of orange RCA jack).

    What's throwing you off about this particular board, is that it doesn't have the normal 3.5 mm "re-taskable" or "multitasking" jacks. All the rear panel audio output is designed with home theater in mind. That explains the HDMI, SPDIF and Digital co-ax. The HDMI also carries audio, as well as video information. So basically the intended usage is to just plug the HDMI to a TV HDMI, and you get the works, sound and picture.

    If you must have the 3.5mm jacks to hook up with your computer type speakers, then yes, you would need to install a separate sound card
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    This is what your pc audio jacks should look like, you want the green unless your going for a multi speaker setup....


    As Captain says above your confusing them.
  10. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    OKAY!!! lol so I got it a little bit mixed up, orange doesn't do sound!

    ahhhh right, I get it now, so if I had a long HDMI cable I could just hook it upto my HD tv and get the lot. hmmm that would be nice but unfortunatly my tv is mouted to the wall at a weird angle to the PC and would make for some very umcomfortable computing :)

    so all in all, i'll look for a seperate sound card.

    Thanks for all the help guys, sorry for being a dumb **** about these sorta things
  11. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    Use the sound that comes with the motherboard. It's going to sound better then a cheap sound card and you will hear no difference with audigy 2 or xfire and your onboard audio.. good luck,
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Its sometimes hard to explain things in words; everyone can be forgiven for mistaking comments now and then. :)

    Are you in the UK? A cheap PCI sound card won't cost you much at all.
  13. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hey guys, Here are the pictures of the slots on my mobo that might be usable for the Front Audio Jack:





    and here's a vid:


    Can someone please help me locate. 1) the connector for the front audio jack 2) how to work this onboard audio?

  14. Alster37

    Alster37 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    you should have a disk that came with the motherboard. On that disk you will find audio drivers or a manager , most likely it will be realtek. after the installation and probably a reboot you should setup your speakers how you want them to sound.
  15. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hi Alster37, yea I have the Crosshair CD and it does have some drivers on their for sound, however I am wandering how I can connect my front audio jack to the mainboard (i.e which plug?) also is there no way to hook up the onboard audio to a standard Green Rear audio Jack? or is it just a case of getting a cheap sound card like suggested above? Thanks
  16. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Anyone Have any ideas about the front audio?
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,033   +2,558

    You still need to crack open that motherboard manual. It should have a block diagram of the board identifying parts and connectors. You know, the main power goes here, that sort of thing.
  18. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    The SupremeFX II sound card is supposed to come with the Asus Crosshair II Formula motherboard. What happened to yours? Was your motherboard used? The front panel sound headers appear to be on the audio card itself. The motherboard doesn't have them.

    If, for some reason, you don't have the PCI-E x1 audio card that comes with the mobo, you will have to get an audio card that comes with front panel headers in order to hook up the front panel jacks. Not all sound cards come with headers so look at them carefully. That might eliminate the very cheapest ones.
  19. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    okay thanks guys, i'll look into both suggestions, thankyou for being so helpful, especially when dealing with a newbie! :)
  20. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Hi guys, ME AGAIN! right i've brought a ASUS Supreme-FX Rev.1.04G PCI-E 7.1 Audio Sound Card, however i'm either being completly retarded or it just won't fit into any of the slots? any ideas what im doing wrong???
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    It seems that there is only one slot that it will fit and that is the first one at the top, just above the first PCI-E x16 graphics card slot. My description of it as a PCI-E x1 slot in my previous post was incorrect. It is a special slot only for the audio card. If the one you bought doesn't fit that slot there might be a difference in the different versions of sound card as your mobo takes a SupremeFX II and maybe yours is a earlier version.
  22. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    oh god please say i havn't brought the wrong bloody card! mines just a standard Supreme FX, not a supremem FX II, i'l look again later and post some pic's, starting to think this cards not gonna fit the mobo, however it does have the front audio header! :)
  23. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Hopefully, you will be able to fit it and then be able to connect your front panel sound jacks. If not, you'll have to get the right card or an aftermarket PCI or PCI-E x1 sound card.
  24. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    lol nope definatly doesn't fit, well guess i'll be getting a SupremeFX II card order tomorrow! oh well.........

    Turns out the connection is slightly different between the FX and FX II sound cards......
  25. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Bummer. Well, live and learn. :)

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