A suitable sound card for my PC?

  CurlyWhirly 13:02 10 Sep 2005
Locked

Can anyone please recommend a sound card for me?
I would love to ditch onboard sound as it's a bit cr*p!


I have tried Creative soundcards before they do not work correctly due to a problem known as 'PCI latency'.


I have been to click here


and tried the 2 following solutions but neither of them worked.


"Patch for Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! and Audigy-series drivers - This patch will disable the "turbo mode" feature of newer Creative drivers, which will solve "crackling" or distortion problems for some users. Try this patch if the VIA "PCI Latency" patch does not solve your sound-related problem."


"PCI Latency patch for VIA chipsets - This is a Windows driver that will patch motherboards that have VIA chipsets. It is intended to solve many problems, including: Sounds played by a Creative Labs sound card are distorted"


I have been advised to get an M Audio sound card but does anyone have a ViA chipset (like me) and has experienced crackling noises with Creative sound cards?


If so which sound card would you recommend that *is* compatible with my motherboard which is a Gigabyte GA-7VAXP?


Cheers.

  CurlyWhirly 15:25 11 Sep 2005

Mmm... I don't think I am destined to get a sound card working on this PC as I have this morning bought a Philips PSC724 sound card and after trying to install the sound card drivers towards the end of the installation process I got the dreaded BSOD with the following error message:


STOP (0x0000007E) (0xC0000005), 0xAFE439DB, 0xF78D6C10, 0xF78D690C)


PSC1906.SYS address AFE439DB base at AFE31000 datestamp40A90697


I have sent an e-mail to Philips to see if they can tell me WHY this error message came up!


I did everything in the RIGHT order - first of all I disabled the onboard AC '97 audio chip in the BIOS then when XP loaded I uninstalled the onboard AC '97 drivers in 'Add/remove programs' then rebooted and run a registry cleane rand it was only then that I attempted to install the new Philips drivers.


Unfortunately the installation progress bar got to around 90% and then that's when the BSOD came up!
I have even tried moving the sound card to different PCI slots but it's no good.


Using Google I found an XP driver dated 07/09/04 (which isn't too old) but I don't know whether it's any nexer than the drivers off the installation CD as they never got installed due to the BSOD!


Finally when I rebooted the PC the faulty software installation messed up my CD/DVD drives as in Device Manager I had 2 yellow exclamation marks by the side of both drives saying "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing (code 39)"


Fortunately the drives worked when I attempted to restore my Drive Image 7 backup which was good news as at least I don't have to re-install XP again.


I am awaiting a reply now from Philips which could be a few days and so for the time being it's back to onboard sound - of the joy of computing!

  CurlyWhirly 16:03 11 Sep 2005

Thanks. Also when the BSOD came up it messed up my CD & DVD drives as shown in my screenshot and the only way I was able to get everything up and running again was using my DI7 backup which got me wondering HOW the DI7 CD could be read when I went into the BIOS to alter the setting to boot from the CD (as opposed to the hard drive) as in the Windows environment nothing could be read from either drive. Strange.


Anyway after the BSOD when I got back on to the desktop I also had a QveCplSk.exe error as well.


click here


Perhaps I should have made do with onboard sound after all.


p.s. that's the *first* BSOD that I've had for years!


Let's hope Philips can sort me out when (and if) they reply to my e-mail. I wish I'd never bought the damn card now as I think I may have wasted my money (£50) :0(

  CurlyWhirly 16:09 11 Sep 2005

I don't know how to disable any unused ports! I will send you a screenshot of what I see in Device Manager and perhaps you can guide me if you would? Cheers.

  CurlyWhirly 16:13 11 Sep 2005

click here


FIVE errors. Never had that many before.

  CurlyWhirly 17:22 11 Sep 2005

Thanks for that download but I forgot to say above that I have already tried that download from a different location:


click here


By the way I checked the BIOS settings and *both* the 'Game port address' and 'Midi port address' are DISABLED.
I wonder whether this is the problem as perhaps the driver is trying to activate them but can't because they are disabled in the BIOS?


If so I don't know what to alter them to as there are 3 options: disabled, 201 and 209?

  CurlyWhirly 17:39 11 Sep 2005

I would have liked to have bought a USB sound card but unfortunately PCW didn't stock them at the store I went to!


I checked in my BIOS and all my serial and parallel posts are disabled APART from the one that my UPS is plugged in to.


I will just have to wait for a reply from Philips and hope they can come up with a solution or I will have to take the sound card back and ask for my money back.


The thing is that even though it says designed for Windows XP on the box the drivers are actually unsigned by Microsoft so this is obviously where the problem lies.

  CurlyWhirly 17:53 11 Sep 2005

Well PCW is closed now so I would have to take it back tomorrow but I may as well just wait and see what Philips say.
Besides it clearly says that the soundcard IS compatible with XP (even though the drivers aren't digitally signed) so perhaps I would find it difficult to get a refund anyway!

  CurlyWhirly 19:11 11 Sep 2005

Thanks for staying with me ;0)


I have tried searching for and deleting ALL AC '97 registry entries but there are a few that refuse to be deleted.


To be honest even if I wiped XP and started again and the sound card worked I wouldn't really fancy reinstalling all my applications and programs not to mention XP updates, anti-virus, Ad-aware, spybot, a-squared, etc!


I *will* try reinstalling XP and seeing if the soundcard will work on a bare O/S just to satisfy my curiosity!

  CurlyWhirly 20:21 11 Sep 2005

Thanks.
I haven't heard of leaving the AC '97 drivers on the PC.


This is what the wording is in the manual:


Disable integrated audio if present on your PC (done that)


Uninstall any previously installed sound cards and sound card drivers.(also uninstalled the AC '97 drivers even though I *didn't* have an old sound card installed so this *could* be where I am going wrong!)


Now you *may* have hit the nail on the head as it does say installed sound cards and I didn't have one as I was using onboard sound!
I will try this out as I have got nothing to lose!


Cheers!

  CurlyWhirly 13:33 12 Sep 2005

I rang up the Philips customer helpline this morning and I was just told to download the latest XP driver which I have already done and so I was none the wiser!


Earlier on today I took the sound card back to PC World and they were only too willing to give me a refund but I decided to buy the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS and it installed FIRST time with NO trouble whatsoever and it was only £25 more than I paid for the Philips card!


Also the crackling noises that I had on the Audigy 1 card (which I had before) have now gone so I am a lot happier now.
Creative must use WHQL approved drivers unlike Philips!


I will stick with creative sound cards in the future! :0)

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