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DO NOT BUY asus xonar essence stx if you have an ATI 5xxx video card

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by joe2, Oct 12, 2010.
  1. joe2
    Based on what i read here at head-fi, the ST and STX were the same thing except the ST was more expensive and theoretically had better fidelity if you used optical SPDIF output.
    since my motherboard is short on PCI slots and i use coax instead of optical, i got the STX.
    my previously very stable windows 7 64bit system (3+ weeks uptime, not one BSOD in the 9 months since install) now BSOD's almost hourly. it often happens when going from silence to any sound playing (music in foobar, video, game or even just a system beep).
    i looked around on asus's site and apparently a lot of people are having BSOD problems with this card - but the drivers are ancient (relative to typical sound card drivers) and there isn't a peep from anyone at asus about this issue.
    a little more googling and i found threads like this
    i tried that fix (uninstall ATI HDMI Audio) and I still get BSOD's. I've contacted Asus and they said the card is not defective so even though i bought it brand new just a couple weeks ago, it's basically trash. The card is 100% fine according to their diagnostic tool but the drivers are simply incompatible with my $700 video card.
    major problem, zero support. i probably would not have had any issues had i bought a $200 sound card from any other company. what a mistake it was to buy an asus product.
  2. leeperry
    oh yes, gotta love the BSOD's on those cards. Send it back, get something that works [​IMG]
  3. Marlene
    I don´t know if this will work but you can try moving the card to another slot if you have one. I had the same problem with the Xonar Essence ST and an Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT. I did have BSOD and the reason for them was the nvlddmkm.sys from Nvidia. The reason was so simple, I´m almost ashamed of myself: the ASUS shared one interrupt with the graphics card.
    Here´s what you can try: if you have another PCI-X slot move the card there. But before you do, uninstall the driver. After you moved the card re-install them. This worked for me, I got no bluescreens afterwards.
  4. Steve-o27
    You should try out the Unified Xonar Drivers. Basically these are some modded drivers made by some bloke. I've been using them for a couple of months now and I can surely say that these are more stable than what Asus has to offer. I'm an ATI card owner, HD4770 to be exact, but I haven't had the problems you're describing.
  5. joe2
    thanks marlene and steve.
    i will try the unified drivers first and if that doesn't work i'll try uninstalling drivers and moving to a new slot. and if THAT doesn't work i'll try the new drivers AND the new slot!
    makes me feel better to have some helpful replies. i've been really frustrated with this sound card. i can't believe a high-end $200 sound card would have so many problems. i paid extra to get a nice card specifically to avoid this kind of headache [​IMG] and i can't even use my computer worry-free anymore - i am constantly wincing every time i start up foobar or hit play on a video, expecting yet another crash.
  6. Marlene


    yeah, I  know the feeling. I got the bluescreens when I connected my headphone to the headphone output - but only if a cable was connected to the line in at the same time. At first the computer freezed and after a week I had the bluescreens. Really ennerving... but now all is good. Hope you´ll have the same, I wish you luck.
  7. hipzilla
    I'm running the Asus betas on my STX and 10.8a's on my 5850 and I haven't had a BSOD yet.  I didn't have any issues with my Creative based cards either, until they died hardware wise.
    Edit:  Guess I should note that I'm using Win7 64, have 8GB of RAM, as well as the fact that I use HiFi mode exclusively for gaming and music.
  8. dlaloum
    This type of issue is not uncommon, and used to be more common with PCI (and ISA before that).... 
    The BIOS on your PC will also usually allow you to mess with interrupt (IRQ) allocation - the PC allocates a specific interrupt to each slots, when there aren't enough to go around (which is always!) - some slots and onboard functions share interrupts.
    If those things that are sharing interrupts are not ALL well behaved..... BSOD.
    So you can -
    • Go into BIOS and see whether you can reallocate the interrupt for that slot
    • Move to a different slot (after checking in the BIOS to make sure it isn't sharing an interrupt)
    • Work to ensure that the Graphics card and the Sound card both have a different dedicated IRQ
    • Current OS's try to be smart about allocating and re-alocating IRQ's - so somtimes removing stuff and reinstalling can resolve this kind of issue
    good luck!
  9. shimm
    I have:
    1. Xonar ST with last driver from Asus
    2. ATI 5450 with last CCC 10.9a fix
    3. Win7/WinXP, both X86
    4. no one single BSOD.
  10. AhhHoNG

    sucks to be him [​IMG]
  11. genclaymore
    I never heard of this issue or even had this issue when I had my HD 5850 with my Xonar STX. And I had orginal Asus drivers installed and 10.8a. But then our config is different. Even tho I didnt have the problem. It could be any thing for you op.
  12. davidc2
    Interesting.  I have an STX with the 1777 driver and an ATI HD 5770 with the 10.9 driver.  No problems with sound or BSODs except that from time to time start up hangs (at the animated W7 logo) just before the Xonar driver loads (you can tell this because the hanging occurs just before the normal audible click from the card).  Also I cannot get the Xonar beta drivers (17731) to load properly - this may be a problem with the driver being unsigned but I have never had a problem with unsigned drivers before.  So something is wrong somewhere.
    I'd like to try the Asus Unified driver.  Grateful if someone could tell me which one I need to install - I am running W7 64bit.
    If I can't sort out this problem I may give the SB Titaniuam HD card a go.
  13. dlaloum
    Worthwhile making sure that the STX and the 5770 are on different interrupts - and if they are sharing.... changing the interrupt manually....
  14. leeperry
    IRQ's >15 are virtual on an ACPI system...they all share the same one, either 9 or 11.
  15. genclaymore
    The 1790 one on uni Xonar 's Ftp, Then when you unzip it. Theres a folder called Normal, that one has the asus control panel. Also if you have Asio 2.0 issues, the asio 1.0 patch is included as well.  If your bios has a option for plug and play os,try with that turned off. That how mine was set during the time I had a HD 5850 in with the STX.

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