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Windows 7: List of compatible sound drivers

23 Jun 2009   #1

win 7001
List of compatible sound drivers

I have seen a few posts of people trying to get a list together of sound cards that WILL work in Win7. Surely the moderator could compile and forward this request to MS to see what they have to say? I mean, we can't all be dumb! They also can't expect us to throw away our expensive cards just because there are no drivers. Of course, it's not MS's fault that a third party manufacturer doesn't update their drivers, and we all expect Creative Labs to drop us like a hot stone once they have our cash in their greedy little paws, but there HAS to be a solution somewhere? (Solution 1: make mental note not to buy Creative Labs *anything*, and I'm basing this on experience stretching back a bit).
My sound is from an onboard chip, so I will probably have to purchase a new card just to get sound. I have tried everything: BIOS enable/disable audio, get drivers from the Fujitsu site for a SCALEO 800s (you try that one...good luck), uninstall Win7 updates, move IRQs around, allow ESCD reset in BIOS, XP compatibility luck. The chip is a Sis 7012 with ESS ES1968 Maestro-2, according to those lovely driver update applications that are all FREE until you have to put in your credit card; you know the type.
The only thing hardware manufacturers CAN design and implement properly is a cash register, because that's all they seem to want. Once you've made the purchase, they don't want anything to do with you. MS, please come to the rescue with the following:

a) a list of Win7 compatible sound cards - LEGACY - ,
b) a list of new cards on/near the market
c) a more subtle compatibility mode that will say "I haven't found your driver, but in the interests of your sanity, click OK for me to install a compatible one until we get this mess sorted out."

Please forum admin/moderator, compile us a list and we will love you forever...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

Hey Albo welcome.

Most of the time, the vista drivers work when no Seven ones are available. Have you tried those?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #3

7600x64 RTM

HT Omega all products have W7 drivers as of three weeks ago. My Claro plus is running flawlessly w/ all settings under 7100 x64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jun 2009   #4
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Welcome aboard the sevenforums! albo

Sorry to hear you're dissatisfaction with Creative. But I can state right off I've been running both the 32bit and 64bit 7 builds here without a problem on an X-Fi XtremeGamer model card. The 7 beta drivers have moved up lately to regular updates where you simply select the version of Windows(32bit or 64bit) you are running.

Attached Images
List of compatible sound drivers-creative-updates.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #5

win 7001
Report back

I have finally got the sound card to work. I used an app called DriverMax, which I thought was pretty good, and the sound chip turns out to be AC97 based. I must admit to being a bit suprised that such a popular chipset culdn't have been included in the RC build. I as more suprised at myself for not picking up on this obvious chipset, because the Fujitsu site's diagnostic tool only lists ESS as the sound provider and although I had the option to try AC97 anyway just for the hell of it, I didn't because I assumed (bad thing to do) that something so generic had to have been "built in" to the release.

I anticipate that people are still going to struggle, though, because the driver installs "multiple" interfaces; you can set the 5.1 surround from the Control Panel, and in the properties and from Advanced tabs all over,and choose Realtek digital or Realtek speaker from these same windows. When you contradict your previous choice, there is no warning to say that half your apps are using the digital interface and half the old-style speaker interface. Anyway, at least it is working. Maybe in the future, motherboards will have one socket for each of the following: line in, line out, mic in, front rear speakers (rear, centre, sub etc.) and banish the "phonejack" setting to oblivion. Setting these systems up can be taxing because the mobo often won't do anything if it doesn't detect a signal on the jack, which means you have to have everything connected and audio playing when you experiment. Also, don't click "apply" and expect your songs to spring to life; you need to stop a song and enqueue a new one for the settings to kick in (think of it as a fond memory of "You have touched the mouse. Windos needs to reboot").

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #6

win 7001
Report back II

Forgot to mention that I still think:

1) there should be an easily accessible list of drivers and hardware in a table indicating that they:
a) work
b) don't work
c) will work only in compatibility mode, and list the mode
d) are fully Win7 OK

2) It is frustrating that vendors can have a complete list of drivers and revision dates but Microsoft not. OK, obviously they DO have such a thing otherwise Win7 wouldn't install, but they're not sharing it with us, which means we have to pay additional dollars to get that information from third party vendors. Come on, MS, buy them out so we only pay once...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

It is frustrating that vendors can have a complete list of drivers and revision dates but Microsoft not.
It is not, and never has been Microsoft's responsibility to provide a list of drivers. They do have this for Vista,

Windows Vista Compatibility Center

and pretty sure that they will have the same for Windows 7 when it finally goes RTM. It is also not Microsoft's responsibility to provide drivers for anything, that is solely the responsibility of the hardware manufacturer's. If they don't provide driver support, what is Microsoft supposed to do? It is also the responsibility of the manufacturer's to provide Microsoft with a driver if they want there device to have native support in Windows.

which means we have to pay additional dollars to get that information from third party vendors.
Sorry but that comes down to not knowing what the specs are of any and all devices in your computer. There is never any need for any of those 3rd party driver apps. If you have to go to your computer manufacturer's website and look up your specific model and locate the specs for it, and if they don't have updated drivers for it then you go to the specific hardware manufacturer's site and see what they have.

In the case of what you are referring to in this thread (sound cards), there is a rather limited number of audio chipset/card manufacturers,

- Creative
- Realtek
- ADI/Soundmax
- C-Media

pretty sure I missed one or two, but those are the most common in use today. And all of them with the exception of ADI/Soundmax have and do provide downloads for drivers for their audio solutions. ADI/Soundmax have never released a driver from their site, and have always only provied updates to the motherboard and/or computer manufacturer that used their audio chips.

Creative has Windows 7 drivers out for all of their current line up of cards (X-Fi series) as well as for the Audigy SE/DE/Value line (only because these cards are virtually identical to the X-Fi Xtreme Audio), with plans for drivers for the rest of the Audigy (1, 2 and 4) series (and there is the daniel_k drivers that work now).

Realtek has updated drivers for all of their HD series of chipsets available on their site, and quite possibly for the older non-HD chips (site is not loading ATM so can't check). The only thing you lose by using the reference Realtek driver over getting them from the computer or motherboard manufacturer, is the manufacturer's branding that shows up in the cards control panel. Other than that the drivers are identical.

VIA also has working drivers (some would say with the exception of the Envy 24 based cards, not) for Vista that work with Windows 7.

C-Media like Realtek is a chip make, they do not make the sound cards themselves. They do provide reference driver just like Realtek, and just like the Realtek driver the only thing you use is the vendor specific branding and/or modified control panel.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #8

win 7001
Reply to stormy13

Thanks for your detailed response, and the references. I do get your point, but I was speaking on behalf of the average user who is not that adept at driver searching. Do you also know all the components and revision dates of your car's engine? Your refrigerator? Your air-conditioner? Or do you get expert help? A PC is as much a part of our everyday life as all the other machines we rely on.

Granted, a Release Candidate is probably not the intended market for the average user, but with 7 so close to being released it just makes sense that they would be accommodating. A car manufacturer could say that the global move to unleaded petrol means that you have to figure out what to do with your old engine - perhaps throw it away and get a new one, or, in the interests of keeping their business going, make it easier for you to do the conversion yourself (look up compatible engine parts) or pay a motor mechanic (third party vendor) to do the job for you.

As you point out, they do have such a list for Vista, which could be an indication that MS gets the above.

If you were a manufacturer, wouldn't you make friends with MS? Wouldn't it make good business sense to be able to reassure your customers that they will almost always be able to rely on your product without masive effort? The personal computer is now a standard item in the average home; decades ago the technology required greater skill-sets. In the workplace, the PC is a business tool, and as such should "just work", and in the home, the move by the industry, especially MS, is to converge data, media, communication etc. into one box.

Wouldn't it be nice if that box worked "out of the box" so close to RTM?

You say: " It is also not Microsoft's responsibility to provide drivers for anything, that is solely the responsibility of the hardware manufacturer's. If they don't provide driver support, what is Microsoft supposed to do?"

Answer: list their devices as not compatible, in a list accessible by all of us. If the manufacturer won't budge, simply make it public knowledge so we don't waste time.

You also mention that there are only a handful of chipset manufacturers, which would seem to make the onus (not necessarily responsibility) on MS that much more tangible.

As I said, the RC is probably not the best place for unskilled people to be fiddling, but when the average user doesn't possess the requisite knowledge and resource to make a product work for him/her, that's not bad technology, it's bad marketing. Fortunately, there are forums such as this one, where people in the know can impart insights based on experience, and for that we are genuinely grateful.

An RC is more of a marketing tool to get the hype at max level before flooding the shelves;typically through "technology evangelists" - early adopters such as me and you, and the different needs, wants, skills, assumptions and expectations each of us brings to this new journey.

By definition a Release Candidate is almost ready to rock'n roll, and I, for one, DIG (one "G") the new interface, the screen gadgets, aero, improved troubleshooting, compatibility mode and a very general sense that MS has listened to their users. My whingeing was predicated on the assumption that in the software world, a Release Candidate is a moment for reflection and afterthought - by this stage all the bug-fixing and redevelopment, testing cycles etc. are out of the way. In other words, everything should be in place bar one or two glitches and unforeseen elements.

And a sound driver is far from an unforeseen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #9
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

One thing that helps a great deal for finding various 3rd party drivers is the regular use the Windows updates. When reviewing those you will note the optional software/hardware updates as well as the regular MS updates for Windows itself.

The board used here as of late finally saw Vista 32/64bit updates at the Asus support site! A previous trip to NVidia's own download site revealed the chipset drivers were already onhand. That however was after the Windows updates saw the 5 main driver sets listed as options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Well here we are in 2010 and the same problems mentioned by Albo continue ... still wasting time inserting/removing/inserting/removing Creative Audigy card and drivers, playing with Realtek drivers for my Asus motherboard ... no, I take that back. I'm done wasting time. I'm going soundless until I find a card that is both Windows 7 compatable and Sims3 compatable and cheap to boot.........
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 List of compatible sound drivers

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