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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, on installed CPU (#1), 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. Xonar D2X looks like another card that's particularly affected. So a motherboard on which a STX II or a D2X card has problems, might actually work with a different Xonar card.

The issue caused by BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B where systems are not booting while the Xonar or other PCI-e card are plugged in the motherboard is a different issue than the compatibility issues described above and which are the main subject of this page. This issue is treated separately in the "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section and it is not reflected in the entries in the compatibility list.


Contents:

  1. Compatibility status list
  2. Possible solutions for BSOD and restart issues
  3. How to verify if it's stable
  4. Why it happens and what else you can do
  5. Other info & ASUS's response about these compatibility issues
  6. BIOS updates
Page updates

  • 13 Jan 2021: Added STX II with MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, STX II with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite, STX II with B450 Tomahawk, STX with ASUS ROG Strix B550-E.
  • 25 Oct 2020: Added STX II with MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk, STX II with AsRock X370 Taichi.
  • 04 Oct 2020: Added STX II with ASUS X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-fi), another report that works with possible solution 9. Added DX with ASUS Prime X570-P.
  • 01 Sep 2020: Updated STX II with MSI MEG X570 ACE. Added DX with ASUS X370 ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO, Xense with MSI B450M Mortar Titanium, STX II with MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi, STX II with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max.
  • 19 Jul 2020: Added possible solution 9. Updated "Why it happens and what else you can do". Updated BIOS updates section. Added
    DGX with ASUS Prime X370-A, STX II with MSI MEG X570 ACE, STX II with ASRock X470 Taichi, DGX with Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI, STX II with ASUS ROG Strix X570-F GAMING, STX II with ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VII HERO X470, STX II with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme, STX II with ASRock B450 Pro4, STX II with Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro, STX II with ASUS TUF B550 Gaming Plus, DX with MSI B450 Tomahawk.
  • 14 May 2020: Updated "Why it happens and what else you can do". Added possible solution 8. Added other PCIe cards that are not based on CMI8788 audio chipset: AIM SC808 with Asrock X470 Taichi and Xonar Phoebus with ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming. Added STX with Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE, STX II with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max, STX II with ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4, STX II with MSI MEG X570 ACE, D2X with ASUS X370 ROG Crosshair VI Hero, STX II with ASRock X570 Taichi, STX II with ASUS Prime B450-Plus, D2X with MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAX.
  • 08 Apr 2020: Added "What else you can do" and "How to verify it is stable" sections. Added STX II with ASRock X470 Taichi, STX II with MSI MEG X570 ACE, DS with Gigabyte GA-A320M-HD2, DSX with Gigabyte B450 Aorus M, D2X with MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus, STX with Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite, DSX with ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus, STX II with ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus.
  • 13 Mar 2020: Updated "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section. Added DGX with MSI B450 Tomahawk Max, D2X with ASUS PRIME X570 PRO, D2X with ASUS ROG STRIX X570-E Gaming.
  • 02 Mar 2020: Added DSX with ASUS PRIME B350-PLUS, STX II with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme.
  • 19 Feb 2020: Updated STX II with MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, added STX with MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, DX with ASUS Prime X570 Pro, D1 with ASUS PRIME X370-A, DX with Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming, removed DSX with Asus Prime x570 Pro because of typo.
  • 31 Jan 2020: Added D2X with ASUS ROG Strix X570-E.
  • 24 Jan 2020: Added STX II with MSI B450 Tomahawk, STX with MSI X370 Krait Gaming.
  • 15 Jan 2020: Added DSX with ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus, STX II with Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming, STX II with Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING, STX II with ASUS Prime B450-Plus.
  • 10 Jan 2020: Added D2X with MSI X570 Gaming Edge Wifi, D2X with Asus Prime X570-P.
  • 04 Jan 2020: Added STX with Gigabyte x470 Aorus Ultra Gaming.
  • 13 Dec 2019: Updated "Possible solutions for BSOD and restart issues" section and added possible solution "7. Disable Xonar's recording devices".
  • 11 Dec 2019: Added STX with MSI Tomahawk B450 Max.
  • 09 Dec 2019: Added STX II with MSI MEG X570 ACE, DX with ASRock X570 Steel Legend.
  • 08 Dec 2019: Added STX II with ASUS TUF X570-Plus (Wi-Fi).
  • 06 Dec 2019: Updated "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section. Added STX II with ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE, DX with ASUS Prime X570-P, STX II with ASUS X570 TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI), STX II with ASRock X470 Taichi, DSX with ASUS Prime X570-Pro.
  • 26 Nov 2019: Updated "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section. Added DX with Gigabyte B450 M, STX II with MSI X570-A PRO, STX with ASUS Prime X570-P.
  • 23 Nov 2019: Updated "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section.
  • 20 Nov 2019: Updated "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section. Added D2X with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, STX with ASUS Prime X570 PRO, STX II with ASUS Prime X570 PRO, DX with ASUS X570 TUF Gaming Plus, DGX with ASRock X570 Taichi, DGX with ASUS X570 TUF Gaming Plus .
  • 16 Nov 2019: Added DX with MSI MEG X570 ACE, STX with MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus, STX with ASUS Prime X570 Pro.
  • 13 Nov 2019: Added STX II with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite, D2X with ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, DX with MSI X370 Gaming Plus, DX with ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE, DX with ASUS Prime X570-P.
  • 9 Nov 2019: Added D2X with ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero.
  • 8 Nov 2019: Added DG with ASUS X370 Prime Pro, DGX with Gigabyte B450 Auros M, STX II with Asus ROG Strix x570-F, DX with Asus Prime X570 Pro, STX with ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, STX II with ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi), STX II with TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi), STX with TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi), STX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus PRO, DX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro Wifi, STX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, D2X with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master, DGX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite, STX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite, D2X with ASRock X570M Pro4.
  • 5 Nov 2019: Added DX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master.
  • 3 Nov 2019: Added "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" section. Added DX with Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro.
  • 31 Oct 2019: Added DGX with Biostar X570GT8 and DX with MSI B350 Tomahawk.
  • 24 Oct 2019: Added D2X with ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI).
  • 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 list (for system resets and BSODs issues)

Audio cardMotherboardWorks[works with]
Doesn't work[works with]
 
Xonar Essence STX II
ASRock X570 Taichi#1
ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4#1
ASRock X470 Taichi#1?#1, #2[9]?
ASRock B450 Pro4#1
ASRock X370 Taichi#1#1
ASRock X370 Killer SLI#1
ASRock AB350 Pro4#1
ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)#1[9]
ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero#1, #2
ASUS Prime X570-P#1
ASUS Prime X570 PRO#1?
ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE#1?
ASUS ROG Strix X570-F gaming#1[3]#1, #2?
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus#1?
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)#1?#1, #2
ASUS TUF Gaming B550-Plus#1?
ASUS Prime X470-Pro#1?
ASUS TUF X470-Plus Gaming#1
ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VII HERO X470#1
ASUS Prime B450-Plus#1, #2#1?, #2
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 Elite#1, #2
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master#1[7]
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Xtreme#1#1, #2?, #3?
Gigabyte B550 Aorus Pro#1?
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7#1
Gigabyte X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING#1
Gigabyte B450 Aorus M#1
MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi#1?
MSI MEG X570 ACE#1, #2[3]#1[3]+[4], #2[3]+[4]
MSI X570-A PRO#1#1
MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk#1,#2
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk Max#1#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk#1, #2[1]#1?
Xonar Essence STXASUS Prime X570-P#1
ASUS Prime X570-Pro#1*, #2
ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)#1
ASUS ROG Strix X570-F Gaming#1
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi)#1
ASUS ROG Strix B550-E#1
ASUS Prime X470-Pro#1
ASUS ROG Strix X470 F Gaming#1
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite#1*, #2
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master#1*
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro#1*
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming#1
Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite#1?
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus#1
MSI Tomahawk B450 Max#1
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC#1
MSI X370 Krait 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 D1ASUS Prime X370-A#1?
Xonar D2X

 

ASRock X570M Pro4#1[3]?
ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4#1[3]
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4#1
ASUS PRIME X570-P#1?#1
ASUS PRIME X570 PRO#1
ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero#1, #2?
ASUS ROG STRIX X570-E Gaming#1[4], #2[3]+[4], #3?, #4?
ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS (WI-FI)#1
ASUS X370 ROG Crosshair VI Hero#1[8]
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master#1*, #2
Gigabyte X470 Aorus ULTRA GAMING#1
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge Wifi#1?
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus#1[3]
MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAX#1
Xonar DG w/ ASMedia
1083 PCIe-to-PCI bridge
ASUS X370 Prime Pro#1
Xonar DGXASRock X570 Taichi#1
ASRock AB350M Pro 4#1
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus#1
ASUS X370 ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO#1
ASUS Prime X370-A#1
Biostar X570GT8#1
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite#1*, #2
Gigabyte B450 Aorus M#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk Max#1
Xonar DSGigabyte GA-A320M-HD2#1[1]+[7]
Xonar DSXASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus#1, #2?
ASUS PRIME B350-PLUS#1
Gigabyte B450 Aorus M#1
MSI X570 Meg Ace#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk#1
Xonar DXASUS Prime X570-P#1, #2
ASUS Prime X570-Pro#1, #2
ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE#1
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Plus#1
ASUS X370 ROG CROSSHAIR VI HERO#1
ASRock X570 Steel Legend#1
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4#1
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Master#1
Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro#1
Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7#1
Gigabyte B450 M#1
Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming#1?
MSI MEG X570 ACE#1
MSI B450 Tomahawk#1
MSI X370 Gaming Plus#1
MSI B350 Tomahawk#1
Xonar XenseB450M MORTAR TITANIUM#1
Other
Xonar PhoebusASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming#1[4]
AIM SC808ASRock X470 Taichi#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.

  • * Link mentions not working, but that's only with BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B.
  • ? Asked more details or unclear situation.
  • [1] Works with a new BIOS update. BIOS may not be available publicly.
  • [3] Works with possible solution 3 (PCIe slot speed to Gen3/2/1). Usually I place these entries under "Doesn't work" because they involve lowering the PCIe speed sometimes considerably and that can affect the speed of other devices (video card, m.2 storage devices, USB 3.1).
  • [4] Works with possible solution 4 (different PCIe slot).
  • [7] Works with possible solution 7 (disabled Xonar's recording devices).
  • [8] Works with possible solution 8 (m.2 to PCIe adapter). I place these entries under "Doesn't work" because they involve sacrificing the m.2 slot and it requires significant work and additional purchases.
  • [9] Works with possible solution 9 (PCIe USB riser).

Possible solutions for BSOD and restart issues

Here are some things you could do that could fix or workaround the compatibility issues. These solutions are not mutually exclusive, than means sometimes a combination of multiple solutions will make it work.

1. Update the motherboard BIOS to the latest version

But avoid early AGESA 1.0.0.4B BIOS versions (see "BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution" below for more info).

2. Do a clean Windows install

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

For testing purposes you could make a secondary Windows install on a different partition, disk or in a VHD file (#1, #2). If needed, you can use EasyBCD (info, download) to edit the boot entries.

3. Switch the PCIe slot speed to Gen 3/2/1

In BIOS, try switching the PCIe connection where the Xonar card is plugged from Gen 4 to Gen 3/2/1 or from Gen 3 to Gen 2/1. 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 and may also vary with BIOS versions. 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\" with options called "PCI_E* - Max Link Speed". For ASUS it may be under "Advanced\Onboard Devices Configuration\" with options called "PCIEX** Mode" (pic #1). For Gigabyte it may be under "Settings\Miscellaneous\" with options called "PCIe Slot Configuration".
  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 the name/number of the PCIe slot the card is placed in by going to MSI's "Board Explorer" or Gigabyte's "System Information\Plug in Devices Info" or by consulting the motherboard's manual.
  4. "PCIe x16 Switch" or similarly named options are for setting the connection speed of the first x16 slot and it's where you usually have the GPU. Some X370/X470/X570 motherboards have the 2nd PCIe x16 length slot connected directly to the CPU. Consult the motherboard specs or manual to find out if the 2nd PCIe x16 slot is connected to the CPU or the chipset. If the 2nd PCIe x16 length slot 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 "2x8" 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 similarly 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 a PCIe slot that is connected directly to the CPU, which is the 1st PCIe x16 slot, and for some X370/X470/X570 motherboards also the 2nd x16 length slot. Consult the motherboard specs or manual to find out if the 2nd PCIe x16 slot is connected to the CPU or the chipset. If it's connected to the CPU, then the 2nd x16 length slot needs to be enabled in BIOS, see the description on  possible solution 3. d. "PCIe x16 Switch".

Also try the other PCIe ports, maybe one will work.

5. Install UNi Xonar v1.71.1 driver

It might reduce the frequency of these issues or even eliminate them. 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.

7. Disable Xonar's recording devices

Especially if your system resets/crashes when using applications that transmits or can transmit sound (such as Discord, Steam, Skype, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) you should try the following solutions:

a. Disable some of Xonar's recording inputs but keep either Microphone or Line In depending on which one you use. To do so, open Windows Sound (right-click on Windows Volume tray icon-> Sounds or if it's missing type in Windows search: “change system sounds”)-> Select Recording tab-> If you use Microphone input, then right-click and select Disable for: Line In(ASUS Xonar...), ALT (ASUS X...) and AUX (ASUS X...). Then right-click on Microphone (ASUS Xonar...) and select "Set as Default" and "Set as Default Communication Device".

b. Disable all of Xonar's recording inputs and use the Microphone from the onboard audio card. Try this is the solution above does not work. To do so, open Windows Sound (right-click on Windows Volume tray icon-> Sounds or if missing type in Windows search: “change system sounds”)-> Select Recording tab-> Right-click and select Disable for: Microphone (ASUS Xonar...), Line In (ASUS X...), ALT (ASUS X...), AUX (ASUS X...), Stereo Mix(ASUS X...) and Wave (ASUS X...). Then right-click on Microphone (HD Audio.../Realtek.../SupremeFX...) and select "Set as Default" and "Set as Default Communication Device".

c. If neither of the above solutions are applicable to you as you need both the Xonar's Microphone and Line In enabled, you could try is to select Microphone (ASUS Xonar…) or Line In (ASUS Xonar…) as input device in each of the recording applications that causes a reset/crash. For Discord-> User Settings-> Voice & Video. For Steam->Friends List window-> Gear icon->Voice->"Voice input device". For Firefox and Chrome you might not be able to do this.

8. Connect the card to the first m.2 with the use of a m.2 to PCIe adapter

This would only work for the first m.2 slot because it's the one connected directly to the CPU. If you have an m.2 SSD and can move it to one of chipsets m.2 slots, know there might be speed penalties involved at least with certain SSDs (#1). If you are interested in this method, you can read here Master-W-Steve recommendation of components in order to do this.

9. Plug the card into a PCIe riser

As it is reported here (#1), plugging the card into a PCIe riser that has a separate power connector, like this one, could work. The theory about why this works is that the PCIe riser has a separate power supply. It could be that the PCIe issues are caused by inadequate power delivery to the PCIe cards by the motherboard.

Please leave feedback in the comment section below if one of these methods worked for you. Mention your sound card, motherboard and its BIOS version, CPU and OS.

How to verify if it's stable

To speedup the testing and see if your system is stable or not, you can the following:

  • Install UNi Xonar drivers multiple times.
  • In an audio/video player, load some audio files and cycle through them for a couple of minutes (thanks Arconas).
  • Launch a voice chat or recording application (ie Discord, Skype etc.) and maybe try a test converstation. Do this a couple of times.

Why it happens and what else you can do

From what I can tell, the reboot issues are because of some sort of issue with PCI/PCIe signal transmission on some motherboards and this causes in case of the Xonar drivers a error which results in a system crash. Given recent discoveries, it could be that the PCIe issues are caused by inadequate power delivery to the PCIe cards by the motherboard (#1, #2). While the reboot thing could technically be fixed within the drivers, there is no one to fix this as ASUS and C-Media have given up on drivers for the Xonar cards and I have limited access and resources to do such a thing. But even with such a fix, there would still be a problem with the motherboard and how it handles the PCIe signal transmission or power delivery. In some cases these issues will be partially or fully fixed through a BIOS update (#1).

The best course of action would be for you to contact the technical support of your motherboard and let them know of this issue and ask that they look into it. You should include a link to this page to provide them with additional information. If you are having problems getting pass the low level copy-paste support, you can try contacting them through their own support forums or their Twitter or Facebook account.

Ideally this issue should also be brought up directly to AMD. Now, reaching someone there might not be that easy.


Other info & ASUS's response about these compatibility issues

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 STX II and D2X) are not compatible is, at the very least, inaccurate, as it works with some motherboards and those Xonar cards are not the only PCIe cards affected. 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 a solution to the problem. Speaks volumes of how "great" their support is. To make matters even worse, after concluding that the cards are simply 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 sound cards, it's worth noting that you may run into issues with Creative cards as well (#1, #2). 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.

ASUS owns ASMedia, the company that is behind the Ryzen's AM4 chipsets.


BIOS updates

Beta BIOSes and yet to be officially released BIOS versions can be found here.

I urge caution if you have a on a ASUS motherboard or from another manufacturer which does not allow you to downgrade to a previous BIOS version as a new BIOS could also cause new issues. If you have a dual BIOS motherboard, you should be fine.

BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.5

The AGESA 1.0.0.5 changelog mentions "Optimized PCIe® firmware to improve stability and interoperability", but AMD did not clarify what exactly does that mean and we don't know if this targets in any way the issues that people have with their PCIe soundcards. Before you update to BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.5 you should know that these may have some stability issues(#1, #2). If you have a on a ASUS motherboard or from another manufacturer which does not allow you to downgrade to a previous BIOS version it's probably best to wait for BIOSes with AGESA v1 1.0.0.6 or v2 1.0.0.2 (info).

BIOSes with AGESA 1.0.0.4B caution

Users are reporting that after updating the BIOS to a newer version that has AGESA 1.0.0.4B, the system won't boot if you have the Xonar card plugged in the motherboard. This happens with other PCIe cards as well (#1, #2, #3). Most motherboards brands seem to be affected (BIOSTAR #1, Gigabyte #1+, #2, ASUS #1, #2, #3, #4, ASRock #1). If you don't want to go to the hassles of updating the BIOS again to the previous version, you should hold off the update. Also, for some motherboards it is not possible to go back to the previous BIOS (ASUS #1, #2).

Update 13 Mar 2020: The fixed BIOS versions could still have problems with other PCIe cards. As someone reports here, his system does not work when the PCIe Firewire card is plugged. If you have another PCIe card and have a motherboard from ASUS or from another manufacturer which does not allow you to downgrade to a previous BIOS version, you should probably not update the BIOS to any version with AGESA 1.0.0.4B or newer. If you have a dual BIOS motherboard, you should be fine.

Update 06 Dec 2019: ASUS released on their official product pages the fixed BIOSes, at least for some of their X570 motherboards. For some of their motherboards the v1405 is the fixed one. The fix is not mentioned in the release notes, but the BIOS that follows after the initial AGESA 1.0.0.4B BIOS should be the fixed one.

Update 26 Nov 2019: ASRock's fixed beta BIOS versions are now available on products BIOS pages under Beta BIOS section with the changelog listing "Improve PCIe card compatibility". For ASUS motherboards and also other manufacturers, fixed BIOS versions can be found here, for some of Asus's X570 motherboards the fixed BIOS versions are labeled 1405. You should update to these beta BIOS versions only if you are stuck with a broken BIOS with AGESA 1.0.0.4B, otherwise you should probably wait for the final versions.

Update 23 Nov 2019: ASUS started distributing through forums and technical support a fixed beta BIOS for some of their motherboards (#1, #2, #3).

Update 20 Nov 2019: Gigabyte(#1) and MSI(#1, #2) released updated BIOS versions with AGESA 1.0.0.4B that do not have this issue. It seems Gigabyte replaced the previous BIOS and does not list the fix in the changelog, thus I am not sure all of Gigabyte's motherboards have the fixed BIOS, but BIOSes released on 2019/11/08 or later should have the fix. MSI list in their fixed BIOS change log "Improved PCI-E device compatibility". ASRock does offer through technical support a beta BIOS for some their motherboards that also works fine (#1, #2). I am not aware that ASUS or BIOSTAR have anything yet.

If you've updated the BIOS and the system no longer boots, you could try this: remove the sound card, start the PC and enter the BIOS, look for a setting a called “Initial Display Output” or similar, set it to the PCIe slot in which the main video card is plugged in, save settings and shut down the PC, reinsert the sound card and see if system boots. If it does not, remove the sound card again and revert back to the previous BIOS.

If you run into these issues you could contact your motherboard support letting them know of the issue.

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.
  • Creative Sound Blaster Z, Sound Blaster ZxR, Sound Blaster AE-7, Sound BlasterX AE-5, Sound Blaster AE-7, Sound Blaster AE-9.
  • AMD A320, B350, X370, B450, X470, B550, X570, X399, TRX40 chipset motherboards.
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471 Comments

  1. Essence19 Mar 2021 @ 10:44

    In December, I've upgraded to a Ryzen 5800X and an Asus TUF Gaming x570 Plus (without WiFi). So far, there have been no forced restarts when using audio or switching between speakers and headset with an Asus Essence STX II. The sound of this card is simply amazing and detailed.
    However, very rarely when watching videos, it can happen that the card produces a continuous and annoying sound. However, I can quickly get rid of that by causing other sounds.

    Reply

  2. chrisr3400031 Mar 2021 @ 15:10

    Hello guys,

    after one hour of trying around, I have successfully gotten the Asus D2X to work on a MSI Tomahawk X570 WiFi mainboard.

    What worked for me was the following:

    1) Install the Asus D2X in the PCIE_E3 Slot of the mainboard (the second PCIe port for a GPU, yes, the "large" one!). I left everything on Auto in BIOS/PCI settings.

    2) Install UNi-Xonar-W10-1825-v1.81a-r2.exe drivers under Windows 10.

    When the card was installed in PCI_E4 slot (bottom "small" PCIe slot), I got constant reboots when trying to install the driver. I did not test if it works with the PCI_E2 slot (the "small" PCIe slot connected to the CPU).

    Reply

  3. Bad Joker05 Apr 2021 @ 22:45

    Also wanted to confirm Xonar D2X to work with Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro with latest 1.2.0.0 based AGESA F60 BIOS with Ryzen 5 3600 and 32 GB DDR4 3600 MHz RAM @CL14. Just as a sidenote: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z had the known issues in this system since I upgraded to 3600 MHz RAM Kit.

    I'm on latest Windows 10 Pro 20H2 Build 19042.870 with 1.81a r2 drivers.

    Gaming and listening to music works great.

    Reply

  4. schkwiksch07 Apr 2021 @ 20:55

    Hey CarvedInside,
    I build a new PC and only the ASUS STRIX 1080 and ASUS Essence STX II stayed. I run Win10 Pro with an ASUS TUF X570-Plus. I thought getting an ASUS motherboard would assure compatibility... well.. it did NOT.
    My system first rebooted yesterday when I joined a Discord voice channel (VC). I figured quickly that my soundcard is the problem. I get reboots when switching in the STX II software from headphones to speakers and vice versa. Also when switching VCs in Discord. Win10 is freshly installed. The BIOS and motherboard drivers are up to date. What I tried to solve the problem:
    - Switched to another PCI slot, but unfortunately I can't put it in a x16 slot as I need them for a SSD and the graphics card (no onboard graphics). I also can't switch the graphics card without rebuilding the whole tower.
    - Set the PCIe slot to Gen 3, 2 and 1.
    - Installed your soundcard drivers
    I don't have an M2 adapter and I need that one for another SSD. I also need the recording devices so I did not turn them off and test it.
    The problem is still the same. Sometimes it directly reboots when starting Discord. Two times I could switch in the software between headphones and speakers 100 times without a crash, after that I joined Discord and it crashed after 10 VC switches. Sometimes it crashed on the 6th time of when switching between headphones and speakers. Once it crashed while installing the drivers.

    I will definitely return the motherboard. Not only because of this problem but also the fact that the chipset fan is covered by 100% by the graphics card, which is a total stupid constellation. Also the chipset fan can not be controlled by BIOS or whatsoever... it runs in idle mode with 3375 rps (!!!) right now without any need and is the loudest part. What were they thinking? Also the problem with the soundcard and AM4 chipset is known since 3+ years or something? Last drivers update is from 2015. They don't give a **** about solving this obviously. I don't think I will buy ASUS producs in the near future.

    If there would be an AM4 motherboard that I know that runs 100% free of errors with the Essence STX II I would buy it. But I also read some comments here from people claiming that it runs without problems and I'm afraid of that some didn't test it enough to be sure. Like I said it worked two times for 100 switches, but still remained.

    Thank you for your info and help. I hope this helps you.

    Reply

    • Abue08 Apr 2021 @ 01:37

      What BIOS version are you running, from previous reports it seems like most of the issues stem from the AGESA versions which are dated. I personally haven't had the time to upgrade my BIOS to the newest AGESA (i'm actually behind like 5 BIOS versions at this point). For now, my sound card is on standby and I'm using a FiO K5, not as good as the STX E II but it's what it is for now.

      Reply

      • schkwiksch08 Apr 2021 @ 10:08

        Hello Abue. I'm running BIOS Ver. 3603. My RAM is btw 32 GB of DDR4 G-Skill RipJaws V 3600 @16CL running on 3600 if that's of interest.

        Reply

    • TeaTime08 Apr 2021 @ 09:04

      If you don't need the Features of the X570 Chip whats mostly more Pcie4 Lanes you may want to go with a B550 since they are almost all passive cooled.

      I'm on a B550 Aorus Pro v2 and the STX II is kinda working, but not good enough to recommend it. I also running in the Loud Noise out of nowhere which will damage your hearing Problem again after i've switched to that Platform. This may or may not get fixed with new AGESA Versions but ultimatly it seems that Asus just don't give a f*ck and let us Customers behind. I recommand to get in contact with them to put some pressure on this hole Topic tho.

      Im going to replace mine in the Future and going for an external DAC + AMP Combo what is sad, cause i've liked the STX II and would like to keep useing it. But with all this issues it's just not worth it and im not happy about it. I have payed 200 Bucks for this and it's got a universal Pcie port and now this... Great Asus... just great

      Reply

  5. DDRRE09 Apr 2021 @ 21:58

    Hi,

    Just wanted to update that the Essence STX II 7.1 works just fine on ASUS X570 VIII Dark Hero running the latest BIOS.
    Tested on two different builds (one with Ryzen 5950X and one with Ryzen 5800X, both X570 Dark Hero), Windows 10 Pro fully patched.

    Best,
    DDRRE

    Reply

    • CarvedInside11 Apr 2021 @ 11:38

      Hi. Thanks for information. In which PCIe slot the STX II was placed on each system?

      Reply

      • DDRRE13 Apr 2021 @ 01:30

        Used the PCIEx16 slot on the 5800x build, and the PCIEx1 slot on the 5950x build.

        Also note that I'm running "UNi Xonar STXII 11.5 v1.80b r3". I'm using the C-Media control panel but I think I also used the ASUS media center in the first test (with the 5800x).

        Reply

    • schkwiksch11 Apr 2021 @ 12:38

      Hi,
      can you tell me how and how often you tested its stability?

      Reply

      • DDRRE13 Apr 2021 @ 01:29

        It's been running for several days now. Running in 8CH mode and never switch modes but I did it for testing, several times - no issues. Disabling mic & line in - no issues, switching to headphones - no issues. Had several-hour-long gaming sessions (several games) - no issues.

        Reply

        • schkwiksch13 Apr 2021 @ 09:50

          Ok, thanks for the info. I also could sometimes switch 100 times between headphones and speakers without crashing. And then again it crashed after 7 switches. So switching several times is unfortunately not meaningful. Also hour-long gaming sessions do not trigger the problem but switching Discord voice channels does. In my case it crahed after 6 to 40 switches of voice channels, also on starting Discrod. Once you can start Discord and join a voice channel without crash it is stable and you can play without problems.
          It depends on how intensive you use the hardware switching of your soundcard and how much you use Discord. I did not use it so often in the last 4 days and it only crashed once yesterday on Discord startup.
          Either you have been lucky so far or you are very lucky and it is stable with you motherboard, in which case I am very happy for you =).

          Reply

  6. Steve28 Apr 2021 @ 18:46

    I have an Asrock X470 Taichi running the 4.60 BIOS from https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/X470%20Taichi/index.asp#BIOS while having issues with the Essence STX II card with both 1.8 & 1.81 UNi Xonar drivers. During the install process a crash occurs which restarts the computer. Tried with the driver uninstall option ticket off as well.

    The weird thing was, I had an Essence STX I before this and that worked fine, had also Xonar DGX cards which worked fine with the latest drivers regarding both STX I & DGX. But now if I try to install the UNi or even the ones provided by Asus themselves for the STX II, the system crashes as the installer tries to install the drivers.

    Used Driver Fusion to clean out all possible driver information. But still no luck. Disabled Driver Signature Enforcement during installations.

    Reply

    • Steve28 Apr 2021 @ 19:51

      I installed the UNi-Xonar-STXII-11.5-v1.80b-r3 drivers for the STX II solely and installation went fine. Driver cleaning does cause the setup to crash during install though. But the install process works fine without even without having to disable driver signature enforcement.

      I however seem to be getting the "Can't find any device" error from the Xonar Audio Center, UNi Xonar Audio and the C-media audio panel. Tried even disabling onboard audio. Nothing seems to work unfortunately. The card is in a PCIe 16x slot currently on my Asrock Taichi X470 with the 4.60 BIOS.

      Reply

  7. Kinski07 May 2021 @ 16:30

    For some reason my AsRock Taichi X370 didn't have many problems with the Asus Essence STX II in 2017-2018 with early BIOS versions. I could run it without problems.
    But once I updated the BIOS the problems started. Constant restarts when I try to shut down the PC and constant restarts when I change the microphone, start an audio player, switch the channel in Discord or while I play a video game. Therefore I disconnected the sound card and switched to onboard sound again.

    Lately I upgraded my CPU from a Ryzen 1700X to a 3800XT and updated the BIOS to the latest (and probably last) version 6.40 with AGESA 1.0.0.6.
    I wanted to know if the problems with this sound card are fixed by now so I pluged it in again and started the installation of the latest ASUS driver - instant crash at the installation. After several attempts I gave up and tried the UNI Xonar 1.81a and 1.80a drivers. The installation worked but I suffered from constant crashes while trying to switch the headphone and microphone IN/OUTputs. Therefore I uninstalled all drivers and switched to onboard sound again.

    My AsRock Taichi 370 doesn't work with this sound card. Too bad that ASUS doesn't care.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside08 May 2021 @ 23:45

      In which PCIe slot did you placed the STX II card? Could it be that prior to the new bios update you had the PCIe slot where the card was placed set to Gen 2/1 and with the new BIOS those settings where reset?

      Reply

  8. shouX09 May 2021 @ 10:04

    Works with Ryzen 1700 and Crosshair VII Hero, all drivers tested

    Reply

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