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Front Panel Audio with Creative X-FI PCI-e

  • Sound Cards
  • PCI Express
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  • Creative
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Last response: in Components
August 21, 2008 4:34:35 PM

Just installed my new Creative X-Fi PCI express sound card because the onboard audio from my eVGA 790i was not great. The audio on the back panel works fine but the front panel audio stopped working. The card description supports intel HD audio but not AC97. I plugged in the HD audio connector into the card but for whatever reason it doesn't work. There's more info on the card here ( Can anyone explain why this isn't working?


More about : front panel audio creative pci

August 21, 2008 5:04:30 PM

hd audio and ac97 use the same jack but the pin outs are different. with a little bit of modding, you can get it to work, but you have to know the pinouts of each and move pins around in the jack. worked for me. intel has the pinouts of both of them, so search around. its quite easy to do
August 21, 2008 5:05:27 PM

I have the same card. The card will only output sound when directly connected to one of the cards own output jacks. As such, the card will not use the front panel (you can switch back to the onboard drivers though, which is what i did).

Also make sure that the default sound output device is set to the Creative card.

Also, nForce motherboards do not like creative cards. In my case, I get distorted sound after about 30 minute to an hour of running the same app. I would recommend getting a card from a diffrent brand if you stick with the 790 mobo.
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August 21, 2008 5:06:40 PM


in the audio console from your x-fi (please install a recent driver, not a beta one), uncheck "automaticly detect headphone".

When you use ac97 for the front audio, it thinks headphone are not plugued.

August 21, 2008 6:59:11 PM

you can actually make an adaptor that plugs into the creative card and works with the front audio panel. there are ways to do it without modding the card, but i decided to desolder the white jack and soldered in 3pin fan headers. i'll take pics of the card when i get home and post them if anyone's interested. it was simple but its a good way to kill the card if you dont know what you're doing
August 21, 2008 7:11:51 PM


I installed the drivers with a supplied creative CD then ran autoupdate so drivers should be recent. However in either the "Creative Audio Console" or "Creative Console Launcher" I find no option to "automatically detect headphones". Can you be more specific?
August 21, 2008 7:15:24 PM


My motherboard has two audio pin headers - one for "HD Audio" and another for AC97. I don't understand why I would need to modify the pin layout if I use the HD Audio connector.
August 21, 2008 7:22:57 PM

i mean to connect your front audio connector right to the sound card that way you can use your front audio connector and the xfi so you dont have 2 sound cards eating up resources. i'm just letting you know how i did it.

edit: which sound card exactly do you have? that would really be helpful cuz the best thing to do is to get your front panel audio to go right thru the card itself and disable the onboard sound
August 21, 2008 7:32:47 PM


I'm not following you... Why do you think I would use two sound cards if I disabled the onboard audio - I'm only using the Creative X-Fi at the moment. What is confusing me is the difference between "Intel HD Audio" and Intel compatible HD Audio.

I found this on Creative's Site: Click "start here" then "No sound from headphones or microphone connected to a PC's front panel".

Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio and Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer feature the Intel High Definition Audio (Intel HD Audio) Front Panel header.
This header follows the standard 2x5pin Intel HD Audio conform layout. It is not compatible with AC97 or Intel-compatible HD Front Panel Audio, as their pins are assigned differently.

What is the difference between "Intel HD Audio Front Panel header" and "Intel-compatible HD Front Panel Audio"?

*edit: link was not working*
August 21, 2008 7:38:28 PM

basically what i was trying to say is to use the cable that plugs into your motherboard from your case and modify it so that it works with the sound card.

i say plug in the jack labeled hd audio and see what happens.
August 21, 2008 8:08:50 PM

I plugged in the jack that says HD Audio. The system does not detect headphones are plugged in. However, if I right click on my Vista sound icon in the system tray and select "Playback Devices" I can manually set headphones as default. It's pathetic that my onboard audio worked better than this Creative add-in card. Hopefully there is a way to fix this autodetection issue.
August 21, 2008 8:34:25 PM

this is why i swore off creative sound cards after my initial hastle with my x-fi. i got my hands on the ht omega striker and claro sound cards for 2 gaming builds that i put together for customers and it has ac97 pinouts. that and the 80 dollar striker sounds better than my x-fi platinum, so i was kind of mad about that.

edit: come to think of it, my xfi didnt turn off my speakers even when i used the front bay that came with the sound card.