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Thread: ways to tell if PSU power is too low before RMA? (b/c I can't get any sound)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default ways to tell if PSU power is too low before RMA? (b/c I can't get any sound)

    Just finished my first build (ASRock 970 Extreme4, AMD FX-6300, Windows 8.1, Sapphire R9 270, Corsair 500CX PSU). The only issue is I can't get any sound at all, and both the rear and front panel audio ports act very strangely: ie. Realtek manager shows the rear analog ports greyed out but a few become lit up when I disable front jack detection, I also get notifications saying I've unplugged speakers when I've actually just plugged them in, etc.
    I've done a few tests with new drivers, turning off and on HD Audio in UEFi, and so on, and I'm deciding whether to RMA the board back to ASRock. Before I do so, if possible I'd like to eliminate the possibility of this being a power issue, particularly as I'm only powering the machine with a Corsair 500CX and I've read this might be underpowered.

    Since there are no other problematic symptoms with my machine as of yet, my question is whether there are any tests one can do or ways of telling if a lack of power might be responsible for the audio ports acting up. I did not mention it before, but one of the two front USB ports on the NZXT case also does not seem to work (it's the USB 2.0, the 3.0 works). Not sure if this could be related or not.

    I'm also going to try using my USB M-audio music box to see if I can get sound through that, but if this is determined to likely be a motherboard/hardware issue, and not a PSU or other issue, I'll return the board.

  2. #2
    Britgeezer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    New Jersey

    Default Re: ways to tell if PSU power is too low before RMA? (b/c I can't get any sound)

    I don't think power is your main problem unless you have a lot of add-in components not listed.
    Go to control panel and system - how many! do you see? I don't think your sound drivers are properly installed. Is this a clean install or you trying to update?
    I'm a W7 guy but surely 8.1 isn't so different?
    PS a new NZXT case only has USB 3.0 outputs, what case do you have?

  3. #3
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Third stone from the sun

    Default Re: ways to tell if PSU power is too low before RMA? (b/c I can't get any sound)

    I agree that power is not the problem.

    Since this is your first build, one explanation is the front panel audio cable is not connected correctly, sorry to say. Most PC cases still have two different audio connectors on the front panel audio cable, "AC97", and HD Audio. You need to use the HD Audio connector.

    It is all to easy to connect a cable to the wrong header on a mother board. Check the board's manual for the various header locations. Only noobs don't read manuals.

    The problem that you have with the front panel USB port also may be caused by its cable not being connected to the correct header on the board.

    Another explanation is the circuit board in the PC case for the front panel connections is defective or broken. I've had two cases that I had to replace that circuit board, one case had a bad board from the factory.

    Every PC case I've used has a power connector for the front panel circuit board, be sure that is connected and if a four pin molex connector, that all the pins are in the correct position, and not moved out of place.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Default Re: ways to tell if PSU power is too low before RMA? (b/c I can't get any sound)

    Thanks for your replies.
    I certainly don't mind the suggestion of incorrectly connected cables due to my inexperience, and in this case it turned out to be true, though not the sole cause of the problems.
    To follow up:

    1) Front USB 2.0 port was not working because I had it's cable plugged into the 1394 header. On my board at least (970 Extreme4), the USB 2.0 headers and 1394 header are the same size and feature 9 pins in the same configuration (two rows of five with, I think, the fourth pin going left-to-right missing from the top or the bottom; can't recall which this second). I was nervy and tired by the end of my installation and the cable fit, leading to my mistake. The 2.0 port is now plugged into the correct header and works fine.

    2) I was unable to get any audio working on the machine with the exception of external USB from a Fast Track Pro recording interface, and ASRock has approved the RMA; tech support told me they think it's a hardware issue since the rear ports appear greyed out in Realtek Manager. And in case I didn't mention it before, I bought this board refurbished. I'm pretty sure I have the connection right because the front panel audio cable is labeled HD_Audio and the only place it fits on the board is the HD_Audio header right next to the rear ports. I made sure it was in there snug, tried leaving it unplugged, enabling/disabling HD_Audio and front panel in UEFI, fiddling with Realtek Manager, driver updates, etc. until I needed a stiff drink.

    I will follow up on this thread once I receive the board back from ASRock.

    Thanks again

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