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AC97 Codecs confusion

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There seems to be confusion about which AC97 audio codecs to use when trying
to update/install the ones corresponding a particular PC/Notebook.

From my own experience there are 3 or 4 popular chipsets hanging around, all
different, and with incompatible drivers.
So, the fact of being an AC97 audio codec (and I'd say decoder, because they
don't serve for coding) doesn't imply that you can use it universally,
ignoring your hardware.

1.- Realtek (, downloadable via their site. My son's
motherboard (ASUS K8N, socket 754) has one of these, and drivers from Realtek
work on Vista x64 rc2 (as well as Microsoft one's) in 2 channel sound (no
room for 5.1 speakers).

2.- VIA ( or, downloadable via their site.

3.- ADI Soundmax, NOT downloadable via their site. They can be downloaded
only from the manufacturer of your notebook, motherboard or whatever you
have. I have one of these in my old (year 2002) Compaq EVO N1015V notebook,
and Vista rc2 found and installed 32bit working drivers! Older drivers for
Windows XP are available at HP's site.

4.- Conexant. Don't know anything about them. Requires investigation and my
ISP is not working since yesterday. Somehow I think their case is similar to

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