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ASUS Xonar cards and AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboards compatibility report

Some AMD AM4 motherboards (Ryzen CPUs) have some compatibility issues with ASUS Xonar sound cards. These issues will manifest as system rebooting or showing a BSOD when installing Xonar drivers or when changing various Xonar settings such as switching from speakers to front panel headphones. Below you have a list that I’ve compiled with user reported compatibility status of their Xonar card and AM4 motherboard. The list will be periodically updated.

Boards that are listed as having compatibility issues with specific Xonar sound cards may also have issues with other PCI/PCIe cards like other sound cards, network cards, RAID cards, etc.

Note that the compatibility status may vary depending on BIOS version, it may vary depending on which Xonar card do you have, if it’s a PCIe or PCI card, it may be affected by whether the Xonar card was plugged in a PCIe slot that is connected to the chipset or one that is connected to the CPU (1st and 2nd x16 slots on X370, X470, X570 motherboards). Particularly affected by these compatibility issues seem to be the Xonar Essence STX II cards, which have an ASMedia PCI-to-PCIe bridge instead of the PLX PCI-to-PCIe bridge that the rest of PCIe Xonar cards have. So a motherboard on which the STX II card has problems, might actually work for different Xonar card. Xonar D2X might be another card that’s particularly affected, waiting for more reports to confirm this.

Page updates

  • 18 Oct 2019: Added DSX with MSI B450 Tomahawk, STX II with MSI X570-A PRO, STX II with MSI B450 Tomahawk.
  • 08 Oct 2019: Added STX II with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme.
  • 29 Sep 2019: Added D2X with ASUS ROG STRIX x570-E Gaming.
  • 28 Sep 2019: Added STX II with ASUS Prime X570-P.
  • 26 Sep 2019: Added D2X with ASUS PRIME X570-P.
  • 21 Sep 2019: Added D2X with Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING and STX with ASUS ROG Strix X470 F Gaming entries.
  • 17 Sep 2019: Added STX with ASUS ROG Strix X570-F Gaming entry.
  • 15 Sep 2019: Added DX with Gigabyte X470 Gaming 7 entry.
  • 13 Sep 2019: Added DGX with ASUS X370 ROG entry.
  • 11 Sep 2019: Updated intro and “Other info” sections. Added STX with MSI B350 and D2X with ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4 entries. Updated “Possible solutions” with another possible solution (no. 3).
  • 02 Sep 2019: Updated table with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master and ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero. Updated “Possible solutions” with another possible solution (no. 6).
  • 25 Aug 2019: Updated table with additional entries from ASUS ROG forum.
  • : Article published.

Compatibility status

Audio cardMotherboardWorks
Doesn’t work
Xonar Essence STX IIASRock X370 Taichi#1
ASUS TUF X470-Plus Gaming#1
ASUS Prime B450-Plus#1#1?
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master#1
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7#1
Gigabyte B450 Aorus M#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk#1
ASRock X370 Killer SLI#1
ASRock AB350 Pro4#1
ASUS X570
ROG Crosshair VIII Hero
#1
ASUS Prime X570-P#1
ASUS Prime X470-Pro#1?
ASUS X370 ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO#1, #2, #3, #4
ASUS X370 Prime Pro#1
ASUS X370 Prime#1
ASUS X370 Pro#1
ASUS PRIME B350-PLUS#1
ASUS ROG STRIX B350F#1
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme#1
MSI X570-A PRO#1
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC#1
Xonar Essence STXASUS ROG Strix X570-F Gaming#1
ASUS Prime X470-Pro#1
ASUS ROG Strix X470 F Gaming#1
MSI B350 Tomahawk#1
Xonar Essence STASUS Prime B350 Plus#1, #2#1, #2
MSI B350 Tomahawk#1
ASUS Prime X370-a#1
Xonar D2XASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4#1[3]
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4#1
ASUS PRIME X570-P#1
ASUS ROG STRIX X570-E Gaming#1[4]
Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING#1
Xonar DGXASUS X370 ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO#1
ASRock AB350M Pro 4#1
Xonar DSXMSI X570 Meg Ace#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk#1
Xonar DXASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4#1
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7#1

List will be periodically updated. If you have a Xonar PCI/PCIe card and a AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard leave a comment below with the compatibility status.

[3] works with solution 3 from possible solutions section

[4] works with solution 4 from possible solutions section

Possible solutions

Here are some things you could do that could fix or workaround the compatibility issues:

1. Update the motherboard BIOS to the latest version.

2. If you’re using the Windows installation from your previous system, do a clean Windows install.

3. Try switching the PCIe connection where the Xonar card is plugged from Gen 3/4 to Gen 1 in BIOS. This method has been described in detail here by b1tmaster0 for his ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4. Such an option is not available for all the motherboards. Some info and other ways to do this:

  1. Location and name of the settings is board specific. For ASRock it may be under “Advanced\AMD PBS\” and may be only listed as “M.2 PCIe Switch”. For MSI it may be under “Settings\Advanced\PCI Subsystem Settings\PCI_E* – Max Link Speed”.
  2. For his ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4, b1tmaster0 changed the “M.2 PCIe Switch” connection speed, which was for his M2 slot that was also shared with the PCIe slot where the Xonar card was placed. You can check which M2 and PCIe slots share the same connection by consulting the motherboard manual.
  3. You can figure in the name/number of the PCIe slot the card is placed in by going to (MSI) “Board Explorer” or (Gigabyte) “System Information\Plug in Devices Info”.
  4. “PCIe x16 Switch” or similar named options are for setting the connection speed of the first x16 slot and it’s where you usually have the GPU. If you have a X370, X470 or x570 motherboard which has a second PCIe x16 length slot that is directly connected to the CPU, you could place the Xonar card in the 2nd x16 length slot, enable the slot by setting “PCIe x16/2×8 Switch” or similar to “2×8” and change “PCIe x16 Switch” to “Gen 1”. If it works your could also try with the speedier Gen 2. Your GPU may run a bit slower, see benchmarks here and here, which depending on your computer use case and GPU may or may not be important.
  5. “Promontory PCIe Switch” or similar named options are for controlling the connection link between the chipset and CPU. If you don’t have the option to set the connection speed for a specific PCIe slot you could try setting this to Gen 1 and if it works your could also try with the speedier Gen 2. This may limit the speed of the devices connected to the chipset (NVME M2/PCIe SSD), USB3.x flash drives, other PCIe cards.

4. Move the card to a different PCIe slot, try one that is connected directly to the CPU which are the 1st and 2nd x16 length slots on X370, X470, X570 motherboards. The 2nd x16 length slot needs to be enabled in BIOS, see the description on  possible solution 3. d. “PCIe x16 Switch”.

5. Install UNi Xonar v1.71.1 driver as it might reduce the frequency of these issues. For STX II cards these drivers might cause a loss of audio quality (#1), waiting more confirmations on this claim.

6. Unlikely: Avoid IRQ sharing between Xonar card and other devices. To do so you could try switching the other devices interrupts from Line-based to MSI, see info here. Do not switch the Xonar card to MSI as it will prevent your system from booting. You can try this in conjunction with moving the card to a PCIe in which the Xonar card IRQ is shared with less devices.

Please leave feedback in the comment section below if one of these methods worked for you.

Other info & ASUS’s response

Threads discussing these issues on ASUS ROG forums here and here.

ASUS official FAQ response about these issues here and here. The statement from ASUS that the cards (at least STXII and D2X) are not compatible is, at the very least, inaccurate. Furthermore, you would think that making both the Xonar sound cards and their own AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboards, most of which are affected by these compatibility issues, would make it much easier for ASUS to find the problem. Speaks volumes of how “great” their support is. To make matters even worse, after concluding that the cards are not compatible, they closed the main forum thread discussing this issue, thus roadblocking any community driven investigation for a possible solution.

On the topic of ASUS motherboards compatibility with soundcards, it’s worth noting that you may run into issues with Creative cards as well (#1). It’s unclear at the moment if you will have the same problem with other motherboard brands or this problem affects mostly ASUS X570 boards.

Useful for:

  • ASUS Xonar DG, Xonar DGX, Xonar DG SI, Xonar DS, Xonar DSX, Xonar D1, Xonar D2, Xonar DX, Xonar D2X, Xonar HDAV, Xonar HDAV Slim, Xonar Essence ST, Xonar Essence STX, Xonar Essence STX II, Xonar Xense.
  • Other C-media CMI8786 and CMI8788  audio chipset cards:
    • Auzentech: HDA X-Purity 7.1, X-Meridian 1G, X-Meridian 2G.
    • HTOmega: Claro, Claro Plus, Claro II, Claro Halo, eClaro.
    • Razer Barracuda AC-1.
    • TempoTec HIFIER Serenade.
  • AMD B350, X370, B450, X470, X570, A320, x399 chipset motherboards.

31 Comments

  1. RomBazz08 Sep 2019 @ 19:55

    Xonar Essence STX.
    Works on MSI B350 Tomahawk, Ryzen 5 1600+, Win10 x64 all from 1709 to latest 1903. Installed driver – UNi Xonar 1825 v1.81a r2

    Reply

  2. Malix17 Sep 2019 @ 21:24

    Xonar Essence STX, seemingly works perfectly on Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming, R9 3900x, Win10 1903, v1.80a r3 drivers

    Reply

  3. boombastik21 Sep 2019 @ 04:00

    You both have stx that have plx bridge. The problem is cards with asmedia bridge. Asmedia is an integrated circuit design company owned by Asus.

    Reply

  4. DonPromillo21 Sep 2019 @ 18:51

    Xonar Essence STX, works with ASUS ROG Strix X470 F Gaming.
    Win 10 1903 Uni Xonar v1.80a r3 driver

    Reply

  5. helge21 Sep 2019 @ 19:00

    HW:
    Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING (rev. 1.0)
    R7 2700x
    Asus Xonar D2X
    latest unixfi drivers
    Windows 10 LTSC 1809, Windows 10 1903

    => Instant reboot after playing audio. If i play audio right after reboot and continue to do so, pc keeps running. If you leave it alone and don’t play audio – 99% of the time system hard resets. I am also missing the click of the relay, which the card does on every powercycle, after waking the card up from possible idle (long time no audio)

    can get quite frustrating if you forget that and “just want to turn on some music” and all your vms and open work just closes out of nowhere… Did i mention to better disable all windows sounds? An error sound could crash your pc 😀

    Reply

    • CarvedInside21 Sep 2019 @ 21:50

      Thank you for the info. If you can, please take a screenshot of devices and their IRQ (guide here) and send it to me via e-mail or upload it somewhere(imgur,imgbb, etc.). Only those (PCI) entries are important and make sure that all (PCI) entries are included in the screenshot.

      Have you tried any of the possible solutions presented in the post above?

      Reply

      • helge24 Sep 2019 @ 02:33

        Hi CarvedInside,

        tried all solutions i found on the internet, including yours 🙂
        Here is the requested IRQ pic. The card works best in second pcie x16 slot. IRQ is not shared.
        https://ibb.co/WHsh6Jk

        ATM it seems pretty stable. I am on vacation the next days, maybe i’ll remember to get back here and post my current bios config.
        Last changes i did:
        – changing the psu settings from auto to “new model psu”.
        – Turned of XMP (3000MHz) to custom 2933 Mhz ram clock.
        – SMT and SVM still active as i need these features.
        – onboard sound is disabled.
        – HPET active as my applications perform way better with it enabled.
        – Forcing a specific PCIe version made it worse so its back to auto.
        – F42 BIOS too bad they removed PCie v4 support in this version – but with this kind of issues you update and hope for the best 😛

        Reply

        • CarvedInside26 Sep 2019 @ 01:52

          Thank you. Which UNi Xonar driver version you have now installed? If it’s v1.71.1, could this be what resolved or mitigated the issues?
          Any information that might be helpful for others is welcomed.

          Reply

  6. Sascha29 Sep 2019 @ 13:11

    I’m using a “ASUS ROG STRIX x570-E Gaming”-Board with a Ryzen 9 3900x and installing my good old Xonar D2X in a PCIe-x1 Slot always results in an instant reboot at the drivers installation (1825 v1.81a r2).
    Except when I put it in the second PCIe-x16 Slot. It works there but then my Graphics Card runs only at PCIe-x8. So that’s not really a solution for me. Putting it in the third long PCIe (4x, 2x) is stopping the pc from booting at all.
    I hope this won’t be the end of the D2X, I got it for nearly 10 years. using onboard meanwhile, which is not even remotely as good.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside29 Sep 2019 @ 22:51

      Thank you for the information. According to these benchmarks you would only lose about 2-3% on a RTX 2080Ti when going in a PCIe 3.0 x8, lower performance cards than that will lose even less. I think it’s definitely worth it if you can still use the Xonar D2X that way.

      Reply

      • Sascha30 Sep 2019 @ 07:56

        I did exactly that after 2 days of onboard sound. It’s so good to hear the familiar quality again. And of course you are right and I knew that I would not notice a difference in performance in everyday situations….it’s just an itch in my brain. I just upgraded my pc after 10 years and now I can’t use it at peak efficiency. that’s somehow very annoying to me and I think about updating my soundcard too. I guess hoping for a bios / software fix is not really fruitful? But where would I go? I still need analog 5.1 output.
        Well. For now it is working.

        Reply

        • CarvedInside04 Oct 2019 @ 02:56

          Let us know if run into problems while having the D2X in the 2nd x16 slot.
          Well, probably only other option is a Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 or better, but as you can see here, that also might not work.
          I would not be hopeful for a solution. It might not be possible for me or anyone else in community come up with a fix. On the other hand, ASUS does not care solving these issues. Unless there is significant community uproar towards ASUS, they won’t do anything.

          Reply

          • Sascha08 Oct 2019 @ 06:44

            It works so far. The only weird problem at the moment is that when I tell Windows to “Reboot”, it turns the PC completely off and then on again, instead of a normal reboot. But I don’t know if that’s soundcard-related.

            Reply

  7. Jürgen08 Oct 2019 @ 12:22

    Hi.
    Hardware:
    Ryzen 3700X
    Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme Bios AGESA 1.0.0.3 ABBA
    Asus Xonar STXII

    Issue: Crash/Reboot when changing rear to frontpanel. Also reboot when starting Discord.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside09 Oct 2019 @ 03:50

      Thank you for the report.
      Have you tried any of the possible solutions listed above?

      Reply

      • Jürgen13 Oct 2019 @ 00:50

        I will try this weekend and give you my feedback.

        Reply

      • Jürgen17 Oct 2019 @ 00:20

        Tried Unixonar 1823 v1.80.. But it won´t let me start the Control Panel.

        Reply

        • CarvedInside17 Oct 2019 @ 05:32

          For v1.80a and STX II cards you need to download this patched version of Asus Audio Center and copy paste it over “C:\Program Files\UNi Xonar Audio\Customapp\”.

          Reply

          • Jürgen18 Oct 2019 @ 18:05

            Hi.
            I tried the UNi-Xonar-W10-1825-v1.81a-r2.
            With this one the Control Center worked properly but when i switched from 2 Speaker to Headphones i had an immeadiitly crash.
            After reboot it worked fine a couple of trys to change fp and rp but than crash again.

            Reply

            • CarvedInside18 Oct 2019 @ 22:07

              When it comes to your problem, changing between different drivers won’t do much, except maybe v1.71.1 drivers. You will have to try the possible solutions, particularly no. 4 and no. 3.

              Reply

  8. VJA16 Oct 2019 @ 10:58

    Hello to all. I have the MSI X470 Gaming Plus. I recently became the owner of Xonar DX. After installing the drivers, the card confuses the channels. Any channel can play from any speaker. (I have 5.1 JBL-631). Tell me, is this a problem of incompatibility between the motherboard and the sound card or is there a problem in the card itself and is it faulty?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside17 Oct 2019 @ 06:08

      In your case the problem might be from the Xonar DX. Check the instructions that I’ve written at FAQ Q&A 20. Let me know if that fixed the channel problem and if the card works fine or there are other issues.

      Reply

  9. Alex17 Oct 2019 @ 14:39

    Essence STX II is not working on MSI X570-A PRO.

    Known good card (was being used prior to system upgrade). Running on latest BIOS, have attempted a clean windows install, and switching PCIe slots / speeds. Regardless of configuration, any attempt by windows to use the card (including installing the drivers) results in an immediate system crash.

    Reply

  10. FunStyle18 Oct 2019 @ 16:48

    Hello everyone, today I bought Asus STX II 7.1, put it in my “PCI_E5” slot with this configuration – AMD R5 2600, MSI B450 Tomahawk, flashed with the last BIOS, reset BIOS settings in advance. The card works stably with official drivers and the UNi Xonar W10 1825 v1.81a r2, the devices switch normally, there is no blue screen. I am glad.

    Reply

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