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F_AUDIO Position

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June 10, 2010 1:56:31 AM

Hello, I'm currently looking at the P55 range of GIGABYTE motherboards and wanted some input specifically on the placement of the F_AUDIO. GIGABYTE seem to have a similar design layout for all their recent boards, so it's not specifically tied to 1156 platform.

Is there an easy way to connect a front panel audio connector and keep the cable out of the way?

After looking at motherboard diagrams, I've noticed the front panel audio connector is placed next to the back panel audio connectors. A large CPU cooler, populated uppermost PCIe lane or passive cooler (such as UD4 or greater series) tend to obstruct the region. I've also noticed other boards tend to place the front panel audio near the outer edges of the board, typically at the bottom, which makes it a lot easier to feed the cable through from behind the motherboard tray.

My case is a Cooler Master CM-690 II Advanced which has AC'97 Analog and HD Audio connectors split on the same cable. Here's an image of F_AUDIO location on a Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 board, it's the best image representation I could find: http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/6955/img05752nx7.jpg

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a c 199 V Motherboard
June 10, 2010 4:05:27 AM

To be honest you just have to go with what they give you. You are pretty much stuck with the connector placement unless you get a sound card. I just do the build then start getting creative with the wire ties myself.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
June 10, 2010 5:14:32 PM

Sounds like you're as obsessive as I am, so here's another hint: do not just 'whack off' the other connector when 'tidying up'! All the 'detects' on the HD connector are low true, and one (or some?) of the pins have their grounds 'daisy-chained' through the AC97 connector (have a Cosmos with the same 'twin' connector setup); you have to do some surgery/soldering before removing it, or you'll spend hours cursing at your VOM, getting it to work again...
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June 12, 2010 12:45:36 PM

For anyone curious, here's an image of the GA-P55A-UD3R board's F_AUDIO location. Is there a creative way to get a cable to that point?

The only reasonable way I can see are threading it along side the PCI/PCIe lanes from the bottom of the case. Picture related. Would this cause any problems?

anort3 said:
To be honest you just have to go with what they give you. You are pretty much stuck with the connector placement unless you get a sound card. I just do the build then start getting creative with the wire ties myself.
The plan was to get a motherboard with support for all the front panel connections but there's always the back ports doubled with speakers, so it's not a huge loss. My last build was an ASUS motherboard and the layouts are fairly different. The only reason it's bothering me is because the typical 1156 board socket is closer to the DIMM slots, which makes larger aftermarket CPU coolers in a typical push configuration very hit-or-miss with obstruction. I had to orientate it south-to-north, which with a 120mm fan was very close to the top of the PCIe graphics card.

bilbat said:
Sounds like you're as obsessive as I am, so here's another hint: do not just 'whack off' the other connector when 'tidying up'! All the 'detects' on the HD connector are low true, and one (or some?) of the pins have their grounds 'daisy-chained' through the AC97 connector (have a Cosmos with the same 'twin' connector setup); you have to do some surgery/soldering before removing it, or you'll spend hours cursing at your VOM, getting it to work again...
I was hoping it wouldn't come to splicing cables. :p 
You are right with the similar HD/Analog connector, this looks about the same.
With a different board, I was able to tie the connector to the cable and keep it out of the way. The front panel audio connector was at the bottom of the board (just above where the power supply lies) so it was much easier to use cable ties behind the motherboard tray.
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June 13, 2010 5:43:53 AM

I would cut the back plate of the case, get the audio cable behind the back plate, through the cut-out, between the edge of the board and back of the case, and into the plug.

My current setup is exactly the same (GA-X58A-UD3R), and when I am done bench testing I will prolly do just that. They should be making openings for cabling in couple of startegic spots such as near audio. This would help a lot, because that way it not only less clutter, but also no EMI on audio wires.
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