Realtek audio drivers for legacy devices
Realtek UAD Driver is a free audio utility for PCs created by indie developer called pal1000. This open-source package contains a universal audio driver for various Realtek audio devices that have been shipped out by OEMs with desktop PC and laptops, specifically those that are no longer supported by the manufacturer.
Realtek UAD Driver functions essentially the same as the company's Realtek HD Audio Drivers software. The main difference is that the latter is meant to serve mainstream consumer hardware. While the former serves as a support package for legacy devices that have stopped receiving support from their respective OEMs.
What is Realtek UAD Driver?
Realtek Semiconductor Corp is one of the world's leading manufacturers of microchips for various computer hardware and applications. Their product lines fall mainly under communications networks, computer peripheral, and multimedia integrated circuits categories. Out of all of these, its offerings for integrated audio solutions for PCs is arguably one of its most recognizable endeavors, with the company holding a large chunk of the market share for this.
As technology moves at a rapid pace and newer and better products are being made, it is inevitable that certain older hardware will fall into obsolescence and eventually lose support from OEMs. Enter Realtek UAD Driver, an open-source project that aims to help and provide support for legacy audio devices with regard to drivers. With it, even PCs running outdated hardware can still work properly, particularly those that don't rely on any special audio enhancement.
Realtek UAD Driver was developed with devices that support the Realtek Legacy HDA FF00 driver in mind. It is a codec pack that only features the essentials, making this project a possibility in the first place. One thing to keep in mind, though, is configuring this utility comes with a slight learning curve. Thankfully, the developer provides a good walkthrough of the process on their web page.
Proper audio for legacy devices
If you're one of those people who are using hardware that has been classified as legacy devices already, but you still want to use them further, Realtek UAD Driver might just be what you need to restore functionality to them. It's a universal package that supports various older hardware, and yours might be included in its list. It's worth a try.