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Windows 7: Realtek ALC889


13 Feb 2011   #1

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Realtek ALC889

Greetings to you all,

This is my first post. I am member of the Vista Forum but am getting a new pc this week and I will install Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on it instead of Vista.

I am trying to decide whether to use the onboard Intel HD Audio via Realtek ALC889 with 8-channel support or purchase an internal sound card (the mother board on my new pc is an Asus P6X58D-E). There is a WIDE variation of reviews online regarding the ALC889 in particular and onboard vs. sound cards in general.

I am leaning towards purchasing a internal sound card. I am not a gamer (though an occassional game is fun). I do listen to music and watch films a lot via the pc.

The Asus Xonar DX seems like a mid-price card that would satisfy my needs but this one review says that it needs a floppy connector for its power supply

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 PCI-E Sound Card Review - Page 4

Your insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Feb 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I'd go with onboard at least temporarily. If you are unhappy, you can later purchase a discrete card.

I am using Realtek ALC 892 on a new Windows 7 64-bit install with no issues. I can even record "what you hear" aka "stereo mix", which I could not do easily with my previous Windows 7 build (which had Sigmatel audio).

If you buy a discrete card, it may or may not support "what you hear" recording. That functionality is problematic generally on Windows 7, but works on my Realtek 892.

Don't get swept up in the hype over discrete cards. Trust your own ears. Do blindfold tests to avoid the placebo effect. I can certainly understand going to a discrete card for FUNCTIONALITY purposes, but I would be generally skeptical of going with one for general "sound quality" purposes. If you are a "golden ear" type, then you will of course insist that onboard audio is trash by definition. But do use blindfold tests.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2011   #3

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I appreciate your advice. It's good advice. On the computer that I am now using I have a Creative X-Fi Xtreme audio card and I cannot record "what I hear" which is sometimes what I want to do.

My only experience with an onboard sound card was back in the days of WinXP and the sound quality was poor. However onboard sound quality has improved a lot over the years, according to what I have read. Here is what I found today on the Realtek website Realtek

As you can see from the Product Hits the ALC889 is reported as being top quality.

I will give the RealTek ALC889 onboard card a try.

Thanks.
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20 Feb 2011   #4

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I received my new pc Saturday. I am using the onboard RealTek ALC889 HD audio codec. It supports 7.1 surround sound speakers but my speakers are 5.1. The 5.1 speaker setup uses three connecting cables and the onboard ALC889 has more connecting points (five, as I remember). I have NO SOUND from my rear speakers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2011   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by C32C3 View Post
I received my new pc Saturday. I am using the onboard RealTek ALC889 HD audio codec. It supports 7.1 surround sound speakers but my speakers are 5.1. The 5.1 speaker setup uses three connecting cables and the onboard ALC889 has more connecting points (five, as I remember). I have NO SOUND from my rear speakers.
There should be a way to make that setup work.....unfortunately, I can't tell you how to do it. Don't give up hope yet!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2011   #6

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Post Update:

The problem regarding the speaker up is solved. It was a matter of plugging the cables of my Creative 5.1 speakers into the appropriate I/O's on the back of my computer.

I must add that I am quite surprised at the quality of sound that I am hearing from the onboard ALC889 HD audio codec. I am still evaulating it as it is different from the sound that I am accustomed to hearing from the Creative Xi-Fi Xtreme card on my other pc.

Many thanks to you all for your help and encouragement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by C32C3 View Post
I must add that I am quite surprised at the quality of sound that I am hearing from the onboard ALC889 HD audio codec. I am still evaulating it as it is different from the sound that I am accustomed to hearing from the Creative Xi-Fi Xtreme card on my other pc.
I have an ASUS P5Q3, with onboard Realtek ALC1200 sound. I also have a Supermicro C2SBX, with onboard Realtek ALC883 sound.

I have the same high-quality Altec-Lansing speakers on both machines... but the 621 (2.1, fed from just the L/R front speaker outputs of the Realtek ports) version on the ASUS machine and the 641 (4.1, fed from the L/R front and LB/RB speaker outputs of the Realtek ports) version on the Supermicro machine. Neither of these is 7.1 sound.

For some reason, I found the ASUS sound (ALC1200) unsatisfying. In contrast I found the Supermicro sound (ALC883) terrific. Yes, one is playing through a 2.1 speaker system and one is playing through a 4.1 speaker system, but I'm trying to compare apples-to-apples, such as listening to the identical 2-channel stereo music CD audio on both as my reference.

Anyway, I ended up installing a Creative X-Fi Titanium card in the ASUS machine, and find the sound more satisfying than the onboard Realtek ALC1200 sound.

But that's just me. And again, I'm not using a 7.1 implementation... it's really just 2-channel stereo or 4-channel quadrophonic.

Have you used the Realtek HD Audio Manager software? There is a 10-band EQ (on the sound Effects tab, of the Speakers page... it's in the lower section named "Equalizer", push the button to the right of the RESET button to reveal the EQ) which can really improve the sound to your tastes.
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22 Feb 2011   #8

Win7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I used the RealTek HD Audio Manager to setup the 7.1 surround sound (with my 5.1 speakers, that is ). It's a very useful tool. But no, I haven't made use of the Equalizer. I am so glad to have resolved the other problem I am quite satisfied to just sit back for awhile. I received delivery of this pc Saturday and I have been busy "discovering" it every since (a pleasant "journey", I might add ).

Later I will most likely invest in some quality speakers but that's not a priority. The sound quality that I am now experiencing is satisfying. Oh yeah, I am adding some playlists to Cyberlink PWDVD 10 Ultra, a software that's proving very useful. PWDVD 10 Ultra has its own sound enhancing features. Cyberlink offers a fully functional 30 day trial version. Even if you don't think to purchase it its worth a "look and see".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

dsperber, how is the C2SBX working out, I almost bought two of them a while back, but found the C7P67
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Biker View Post
dsperber, how is the C2SBX working out, I almost bought two of them a while back, but found the C7P67
Well, back in March 2008 when I built this machine there was no i3/i5/i7. So I was looking for an LGA775 board.

I also had a desire to have PCI-x slots, as at the time I had SCSI U320 drives and wanted to use an Adaptec 29320 host adapter, which required a PCI-x slot to run in U320 mode. Otherwise I would be "under-utilizing" these U320 drives in U160 mode as I always had until then.

The C2SBX was the board I settled on which looked fantastic, and also had PCI-x slots. I've been using it for what now is coming up on 4 years and this board (and the whole machine) has been FANTASTIC! Zero problem ever. Initially I ran WinXP Pro on it but in December 2009 upgraded to Windows 7 x64.

It's now my HTPC machine, with 4GB, 3.0GHz DualCore CPU, passively cooled ATI Radeon HD4850 video, dual-monitors, and both an ATI TV Wonder 650 PCI OTA/ATSC TV tuner card as well as a cablecard-enabled 4-tuner Ceton InfinitTV card in it, running under WMC. I have three extenders/HDTV's around the house that are fed from it.

As it turns out, over the past three years I've now replaced three of my four U320 (10K rpm) SCSI drives with three new SATA2 drives... both for increased size capacity, increased access speed, and much reduced noise and heat. In retrospect, I don't think I really needed the U320 capability for my modest needs. But I still love my decision to go with the C2SBX.

Anyway, I'm now a loyal supporter of SuperMicro. The C7P67 you bought looks terrific, and if/when I upgrade or replace or supplement my C2SBX machine.


The only thing I kind of miss from my other ASUS P5Q3 machine is the presence of something like ASUS's EPU-6 software to reduce core voltage and fan speeds when not needed. I don't have that firmware/software control on the C2SBX, although it looks like it might now be possible with the C7P67.

Is there a software product from SuperMicro that controls voltage and fan speeds by monitoring CPU demand and temperatures?


But again to answer your question, I think the C2SBX is a terrific board that's been my 100% reliable workhorse since March 2008.

Love it.
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 Realtek ALC889




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