Ugh... I've had that issue before (I think closer to W7's launch maybe). I wish I remembered how to get it back, but I think it just was... use the latest drivers from the Realtek website and hope they do something about it. But even then it gets branded MSI (my board obviously). (Or maybe I did find a mod at some point, but after a lot of searching and I'm not sure it was working ideally.)
I can confirm that it is present in Asus (see my specs). Have a look in traditional Control Panel (search for it to see the shortcut). It is Realtek HD Audio Manager. If it is not installed automatically, download the ZIP version of the driver from Realtek's site, extract to a folder and then browse to find the appropriate Setup file. Run it to install the Realtek HD Audio Manager.
@CountMike , Despite what you say about not hearing a differnce between the last 20 releases there are definitely quite major differences to my ears. Build 8018 is a totally different animal compared to the coarse sounding build 8010.
To verify the quality between versions is improved (and not a placebo effect), you must setup two identical PCs and have an A-B comparison with high quality speakers. Again you should have trained ears (musician, singer or other audio professional) to hear any difference. Unless the sound of previous releases was less-than-perfect and in the newer version the bugs have been fixed.
I agree on the trained ears part but musicians don't listen to music in the same way an audiophile would.musician, singer or other audio professional
I was at a Rodrigo and Gabriella gig and the sound was really good, then I got to thinking would I like listening to this at home and the answer was no
I found that out long ago after losing the realtek equalizer presets. I tried 13 different realtek drivers which were made for my system and nothing changed, finally I called dell corporate offices, they directed me to a driver from 2015 and suddenly they were back, I asked the technician why does dell release other drivers if they are flawed like that and he explained the difference between comprehensive installation drivers and periodic driver updates
CountMike, this is most likely the solution to your issue as well. go back to the original stock driver that your system came with, that should restore your equalizer, then update the driver with the newest update with device manager