Gigabyte onboard sound noisy?

I'm almost done with my new computer build using a GA-EP45-UD3R and, besides a few issues here and there, it's gone well. I've taken about two months, if you can believe it, to get everything installed and working correctly without any errors in any log files or event viewers, etc. So, I'm just about finished installing all of my *useful* software. Games are next!

My problem is that I was running a virtual machine on the PC and I was having some troubles hearing the sound coming out of it so I turned up the volume a bit and was surprised to hear a lot of electronic noise I did not hear before. I thought it might be the VM but that was easy to check simply by turning it off. The sound was still there.

I then realized that the DVD/CD drive, when running, also produced additional audible noise in the speakers over and above what I was hearing in the background. Copying a file from CD to hard drive was nice and noisy throughout the transaction.

I booted into Safe Mode and heard the same noise so it's likely not anything in the OS or any other running programs causing it. Sadly, I believe the UD3R is just a noisy board.

So, short of removing every component (two hard drives, one SCSI card, a DVD/CD drive, floppy, mouse, keyboard, USB hub with some devices connected) and checking them one at a time to see if one of them is the culprit or indicating a possible ground loop hum (I'm very familiar with ground loop hum in home theater equipment and this does not sound like that at all but I could be wrong) does anyone else have any issues with Gigabyte boards and dirty sound from the on board hardware? Note that, at typical volume levels, the regular sounds from the PC overpower the noise so that's why I didn't notice it earlier.

I'm concerned that this noise will infiltrate any audio I process on the machine (copying old records, editing family videos, recording old VHS tapes, etc.) so I need to run some experiments to see if that noise is actually being captured. I hope it's not. If it does, I'll have to revert to an add-in card which I'd rather not do but to which I am not totally opposed.

So any testing methods or advice would be appreciated.


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More about gigabyte onboard sound noisy
  1. Try switching audio jacks; you can go into the audio manager, and by right-clicking on the image of the jac, 're-task' it to be whichever one (front, side, center/bass, etc.) you want; I forget which one (I think grey, but I'm really not sure), but one of the jacks is prone to noise in the whole 'D' family of MOBOs...
  2. Yeah, I never thought of that. It's like the old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz cards with the "versa jack" that can be retasked to do what you want. I think I saw that capability in the Realtek SoundManager software but set it all to defaults and went on about my business. I'll try it and see what happens.

    By the way, I did a lot of searching on this and, as usual, found plenty of suggestions to try so I'll be busy for a while on it until I find the one that works.
  3. Update: No joy with switching outputs. All of them are noisy to some extent. I have gone so far as to mute all of the inputs and outputs. Yes, one of the outputs being muted (the blue one which is not being used) will in fact lower the noise as will muting the CD input, but you merely need to raise the volume a bit to still hear the background noise.

    It's kind of an other-worldly alien warble/static that's somewhat interesting and it clearly is poorly shielded electronics that are affected by hard drive or CD activity.

    Sadly, popping in a spare Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card will resolve this issue.

    Why sadly? Because the whole point of buying a motherboard with on board sound is to remove the reliance on an add in card and, once again, I am unable to do so. My last motherboard, an Asus P4PE did not exhibit noise but was unable to process sound adequately at the same time it performed heavy hard drive activity. So I added in a card and the problem was "solved".

    This motherboard is quick with the Q9550 and 4GB of RAM and apparently has no problems performing sound and disk activity concurrently but the ambient noise is unacceptable.

    So the TBSC is rescued from the spares cabinet once again...
  4. ditto on all of your comments qhorque. you would think that a board with so many audio capabilities would have failed testing after something like this. i bought this motherboard to record music, imagine how awful i feel now, having just fired it up to test this process after spending months working on my computer. i spent three days trying to figure out what exactly was wrong here. in my sound programs i get a visualization of the noise, it is *really* freaking loud, and can get to almost halfway to peak volume level when i turn the recording settings up too loud.

    same as you, i get a kind of high pitched, scratchy electrical noise at all times with varying volume levels on different inputs and outputs. it is worst when the computer is thinking about something. this sucks a lot.
  5. I am having the same problem with my GA-EX58-UD3R... extremely disappointing! In my experience the black jack has the least noise but it is still very noticeable. This is very unfortunate as I actually rely on having multiple sound cards in my PC and I need this one to work quietly. Not sure what I will do...
  6. After some more searching, I found a guy recommending this and it seems to work for me. I don't particularly like having to disable this setting but I guess it is the lesser of two evils...
  7. I've got the same issue on my GB mobo ( forgot the model number); I didn't, however, notice it until I plugged some phones in because the digital out does not exhibit the noise. Might be productive to use those outputs instead? Installing the newest drivers to see if it fixes anything.
  8. If you are getting a background 'hum', I recommend grounding your PSU first thing:

    They rely on the uinstallation screws to do the case grounding, but way too many manufacturers anodize the cases with the screw holes already tapped, and anodizing is a high resistance coating...

    If you have 'pops' skips, or drop-outs, download the DPC latency checker, and see what it has to tell you...
  9. Oh - I suppose I better mention how - duh! You wanna find an unused tapped hole in the PSU, and a screw to fit it; use an emery board, a file, or a strip of sandpaper, and scratch off the paint/anodizing around the hole, down to the bare metal. Prepare yourself a suitable ground wire by crimping a pair of 'eyelet' type terminals onto a length of green wire (it has to be green [:fixitbil:9] [:bilbat:9] ); get a couple 'star' locking washers; 'sandwich' the locking washer between the eyelet and the psu at one end - tighten the screw; sandwich the washer between the eyelet and any convenient hole in the case (unpainted hole...), and fasten with a screw and nut...
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