Analog speakers giving better sound at old "analog-only" soundchip?



I have a Logitech 2.1 speaker set. It had given very good and clear sound
connected to my old mainboard with Realtek AC 97 soundchip.

Now I got a new board with Realtek ALC889 HD audio, and the same speakers give significantly worse dynamics-lacking sound here.
I then tried an Asus Xonar DX soundcard and found the speakers giving better sound than from the new onboard chip, but still inferior to the old board’s Realtek AC97.

Question: Can it be normal that old analog speakers sound worse on analog jack of modern HD soundchips or cards, than on old chips that have exclusively analog output?



No the newer chip should sound better, but it should be by a very small amount. The quality of the sound is more largely dependent on the quality of the speakers and the quality of the amplifier in the speakers, 99% of computer speakers are junk quality.

I’m going to guess that you installed windows 7 and when installing it windows used its own built in driver instead of the one from Realtek. I don’t know if this problem has been resolved or not but a lot of people were having trouble with it. Anyway, what people were doing is before installing the OS they were disabling the audio in the MB’s BIOS, then installing the OS, then installing the Realtek HD driver, then going back into the BIOS and enabling the audio.

I should hope that this has been fixed with the latest Realtek audio drivers (downloaded from realtek directly).


No the problem with alc889 on the new board persisted with the newest Realtek driver, and even with the Asus soundcard the sound is inferior to the Realtek AC97 of the old board.


It isn’t just the sound chip, there are also a handful of other components like capacitors and resistors that handle the sound. Perhaps these are of inferior quality on your motherboard.


Would this affect the Asus soundcard also?.-
The mainboard is an MSI 790GX-G65 btw.




Sounds more like you have some EQ or something enabled on the older AC97 Realtek chipset. I’m very sure that both your newer sound cards are better than your older one.


Make sure you select the correct speaker type, as the “.1” in a 2.1 is broken out by the speaker amplifier, while the “.1” of a 5.1 is driven by a seperate jack.

A 2.1 is just a 2 speaker system, according to the computer.


Thanks for all answers.
The driver software is correctly set to “2 speakers”.
I actually did have EQ enabled with old realtek chip, and now I have, too, but cant get the full sound quality back.

I agree both the new realtek and the Asus card are “theoratically” better than my old realtek.
I was wondering if it’s possible that they’re “too good” for the speakers.


I just tested another 2.1 speaker system.
This one also gives clearly weaker sound on the ALC 889 as well as on the Asus soundcard
(compared to the sound I had with the first speaker set at the AC97 chip of my former board).
In which way can this be due to my new MSI mainboard (which doesn’t make problems apart from
this strange sound issue)?
Question is is if I should make the effort to rma the board.


Well, the integrated amp is probably weaker than on old AC97 card. I know old SB16 cards had a very powerful line out compared to todays sound cards.


I would give this a try if I were you and wanted the best out of my audio.

Removing old drivers from windows 7

Before trying the above I would first disable audio in you BIOS. Also download the latest driver. Do as above and remove all the old audio drivers/devices, then install the latest driver, then reboot into the BIOS and enable the audio. Worth a shot!