Hi there. I'm very happy with my system, but my Mobo is broken. Only one of the several thousand audio ports works. This is fine as I currently only have two speakers and the software lets me configure the one working port to whichever output I want, but in the long run this needs replacing.
But there's a lot I don't understand about the specs. Opinions on whether this is the best replacement (bearining mind I don't want to replace any other components if I can help it!) or another suitable one would be welcome.
Also, mine has two LAN ports, which is quite handy - is there another one I could replace it with which also has 2 LAN ports? I couldn't find one.
Have you gone into the audio manager and configured the extra jacks; by default, it installs to 'stereo' = two speakers, one jack...
The blue arrow, circled in green, makes a 'test noise' (and a starnge one, at that!) move from speaker to speaker; the 'advanced settings', circled in red, sets the front panel/rear jack 'muting' to quiet the speakers when headphones are plugged in...
You can also 're-task' the jacks themselves, if you've gotten the wrong pairs in the jacks = just right-click on the picture of the jack to the right...
Green - software doesn't register, port remains greyed out
Pink - software doesn't register, port remains greyed out
Grey - software registers, asks for device, I choose front speakers, but test doesn't work
Black - software doesn't register, port remains greyed out
Orange - software registers, asks for device, I choose front speakers, but test doesn't work
Blue - software doesn't register, port remains greyed out
Acckk!! Doesn't 'sound good' - - no pun intended?
Only one other thing comes to mind - have you pulled the front panel connector and taken a careful look at it? The HDA vs '97 determination is done by some grounds in the connector - if a single pin was loose or bent in so it's intermittent, I'm not sure what, exactly, would happen - I know I was screwed up for a while on my workstation, because I thought to 'tidy up' by removing the (unused) 97 connector - learned the hard way (but, damned if I can remember the exact symptoms) that my 'detect' pins (or at least, one of 'em) was made through the other connector - 'no workee' with 97 'chopped off'!
Sound cards are cheap and plentiful, and available for nearly any kind of slot you've got available; as for 'better sound', I'm pretty doubtful - I think pretty much everything, even the on-board, has long passed the limits of human hearing, like the 120 Hz TV stuff - the human eyeball 'runs out of steam' someplace just above 30 Hz... Reminds me of when I was young, and all my buddies had eight hundred dollar stereos - they only knew what 'power' and 'volume' did, but, by god and by damn, they had a crapperload of knobs! And, if they ever turned up the volume past say, a third, they and their crap would immediately be put out on the sidewalk by their landlords - but they'd be out there with a lot of knobs!!