Volume problem with home built system

Hi guys,

i built my first system for my brother a few months ago and everything was fine with the exception of some automatic restarts but thats besides the point right now. Now the problem seems to be very low volume. I am using the mobo's rear audio outputs and 2 polk audio passive speakers. The speakers work fine when connected to another audio source so i know the speakers are fine. . I have updated the realtek audio drivers both from the Realtek site and the gigabyte site with no luck.

Here is the strange part. When i open the Realtek audio controls by clicking the orange speaker icon down by the clock, i get set the outputs to any source i want such as lineout, headphones, rear channel etc. Now the strange thing is, the volume is a bit louder with the port that the speakers are connected to are set for headphones(but with the speakers attached) and then get very quiet when set to line out. I dont see any other setting that makes sense as far as what to set that port to. Headphones work pretty well too in the rear jacks as well as the front jacks. I have messed with every volume control i can find. Nothing works. Is it possible the audio on the mobo is bad? I should also note that when i built the system i plugged in the case's HD audio plug to the HD audio header on the mobo.

Sorry if this is long and wordy. Any help is appreciated. I'm at my whits end with this.

Here's a run down of some of the hardware used.

Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
ATI HD 4670 with HDMI
Corsair 4GB RAM @ 1066
Samsung? DVDRW drive

He is running XP media center edition.
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More about volume problem home built system
  1. Easy answer.

    You have no amplifier.

    Your sound card is meant to send a signal to PC speakers with a built-in amplifier or to a receiver which connects to passive speakers.

    Sound cards provide enough power for headphones but not passive speakers. You need a receiver or buy PC speakers with a built-in amp.
  2. Thanks for the help but i have to disagree with this. My father owns passive speakers as well and they work fairly well. Granted they arent as loud as amplified speakers but they do emit sound. Plus my brother has told me that when he first hooked up the computer at his home the speakers were fairly loud. Why would they make passive computer speakers if all you got out of them was a whisper?
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