I just completed assembling a new Core i3 computer. It is not a first mackintosh for me but turned out to be most challenging so far. I have never encountered such problems with audio with my previous computers, namely ASUS based P5G41 (which now I miss! with Mountain Lion and ASROCK based one with Lion. I assembled this computer mainly for working on my hobby, Garageband recording. I could not find and buy Gygabite - I knew - it had better audio, it just wasn't available for me.
Based on posts in this forum I bought Asus P8H61-M LX R2.0 board and basically is happy with everything except one thing: AUDIO!
My previous ASUS P5G41 also created problems with audio, I had hiss and other things, but at least I had stereo.
Now this board has Realtek 8 channel HD audio. I connect usually stereo speakers to main board rear connection and on front I use the audio jack for headphones.
Now, this board does not work with any kind of AppleHDA and VoodooHDA which I could think of. For some AppleHDA, only internal speaker is available while line-out doesn't work completely. VoodooHDA works but in following way: when I connect headphones to front panel, ONLY one channel, right, is available. If you put in jack halfway, you can get only LEFT channel. The mainboard connection is fine, it seems, only front panel. In BIOS, it can be either HD audio or AC97, but this problem persists for all.
I tried combinations of all possible things and I simply can't use front panel at all. I am very disappointed.
It seems that in Windows the Realtek 887 also has this problems, sometimes people can't use front panel at all or get only one channel at a time. It seems to be purely software related. Can someone help me?