Something is wrong with my STX card and I think it has to do with my mobo, bios or psu.
Some weeks back I reinstalled Windows 7 on my PC and one of the things I noticed was that my STX 'suddenly started working.' Prior to this I had only enjoyed truly good sound from this thing intermittently, but now it was sound much richer, fuller somehow. Some noticable differences. Star Craft 2 had this weird echoey and ME3 on sounded muted when I set the dynamic range to high (which I understood to mean my Senn PC 360's weren't up to dealing with games dynamic range or something). Then I had had to go and spoil everything.
You see I got it into my head that my cpu fan was too loud. So I went to reseat it. Long story short I ended up having to clean some thermal paste from the under side of my CPU to get my computer working again.
During this process I noticed the Asus logo on startup changed from a big blurry version on the middle of the screen to a smaller more sharp version located higher up. Since then my card has not sounded right. I compared the sound of the card to the onboard sound and I can't tell any difference. I even compared it to my cheap laptop sound via the same headset (PC 360) no difference.
Desperate I moved the card from the PCIe 16 slot to a PCIe 1 slot right between my GPU and Heatsink. At first it seemed my problem was solved. The sound seemed different. Louder and smoother. This was short lived as I started getting headaches from the sound. I opened my system and noticed the pins on the underside of of the card were touching the heatsink. Yikes! I changed the orientation of the heatsink. It still sounds sounded louder and maybe even clearer but there is something big missing. Today I reinstalled windows again to see if that was the problem. Nope nothing. Same rubbish sound. I don't know what is wrong. The red light on the spdif thing is on and the card clicks as it is supposed to. Has anyone had this problem.
I have had some epic shut downs due to power outages so I am thinking that possibly my PSU is messed. I have heard that a faulty PSU can cause all sorts of problems. Then that weird logo change has me thinking as well. It changed to the big blurry logo when I flashed to the latest Bios a while back but when I reseated the heatsink it changed rather mysteriously. I have flashed to an older bios with a similar fat logo (I think) to see if that helps. Nope. I will flash to the oldest Bios to see if that does anything.
Interestingly, I had an issue a while back (earlier in the year) where my keyboard was not working until windows started which is what caused me to flash my Bios in the first place. I couldn't access the bios because the keyboard wouldn't work till windows started. I heard that that could be because of a failing mobo. Ever since the flash I have had no keyboard problems (though I notice my keyboard light settings don't show up on a fresh boot, only from a restart within windows or the login screen). I think prior to that I was pleased with the card though I can't be sure. In any case I know this card should sound better than it does even with my modest (sorta) headset. I have heard people claim they are unimpressed with the sound of the card while I have heard people compare the sound of it vs onboard to a rocket ship (stx) and a Kia (onboard). I have had both experiences. From being unimpressed to being moved deep inside my very being. Is the card defective? Is it a mobo issue? Or is it a PSU thing?
Any hints or even downright technical papers that will help me fix this issue would be appreciated. I am on the verge of buying a brand new mobo and PSU but I thought I would try here first. Any help would be appreciated. Please. Help.
I am using the unified drivers if that helps and hearing tests I performed were with foobar Wasapi (stx wasapi vs onboard wasapi) I also did more general test with with VLC (and I think some games).
Edited by lumzi23 - 12/16/13 at 2:49pm