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Article: Computer Audiophile Pocket Server C.A.P.S. v3 Zuma

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cutting one down in length to fit.

 

How did you do that?

 

They are supposed to be a vacuum with a small amount of coolant that vaporizes and then re condenses.


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Miki. In the images of Zuma, that star shaped metal plate contraption with the "Streatcom" label on it sits right over the top of the chip. So I'm not sure what you mean? Do you mean that the heat pipes under this don't go far in enough? They are connected to that metal plate on top right? So why should this matter...? As heat is collected by the plate, then conducted away via the pipes... I'm no computer engineer, but isn't this how heat dissipation is working?

 

Well, I am a sort of thermal related engineer (in different field though) and my point is this: CPU cooling is implemented by thermal conduction in fanless cases. Convection happens here only by free flow of air trough and around the chassis (unlike the fanned cases where air is pushed around providing more efficient cooling). Cooling by pure conduction works well only if the heat sink is of large enough capacity to, well, conduct unwanted heat away from the source and be cooled enough by little convective air movement in the room and radiation to dissipate the heat.

 

In our case the size (mass) of the case coupled with little air draft should provide enough cooling power (95W for FC5) to keep the CPU in the normal operating range of 50-60 C. However, what conducts the heat from CPU to the case are the copper pipes. If the pipes are connected to the CPU only partially the heat conduction between the pipes and CPU (or the plate on top of CPU) slows down and temperature of CPU goes up. You can think of the connection between the pipes and CPU as a tap - fully connected and the tap is wide open, partially connected the tap is partway shut.

 

If one wants to be annal about this, one can purchase extra set of QuickCool heat pipes, bend them using something like Spring Type Tube Bender from ebay which they use to bend copper pipes on air conditioning units since they kink easily and customize the length of heat pipes.

 

Off course, this is all academic since Chris said that it really didn't matter since the temperature of CPU was normal. If one is patient enough to wait for i7 i3770T or use i5 or i3 3220T (my preference) it is even less important.


DS411+II <-> Mac Mini -> El cheapo 1 ft USB Cable -> QB9 -> Tyr XLR -> YBA Passion Integre 300 -> Auditorium 23 -> Vaughn Cabernets

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A word of warning about using this case. Note very carefully the configuration of the heat pipes and the CPU position. (Google the casing and you'll find an extensive pdf manual online)

 

My mobo didn't fit as standard as the CPU was on the wrong side of the mobo for the heat pipes. Thankfully the rear panel can be detached and reversed (ie upside down) which is what I had to do, and then custom install the pipes, cutting one down in length to fit. However, all seems to run just fine, my less powerful processor only raises the casing temperature to luke warm so the pipes seem to be doing their job.

 

For the PCIe I've had to run a flexible riser across the top of the mobo as the mobo slot and the casing mount are now on opposite sides...

 

If you are willing to use the HD-PLEX H5.S case instead of the Streacom FC5 case, Larry of HD-PLEX will send you whatever length of heatpipes fit your specific motherboard. The level of customer service that he provides is outstanding. Although I agree with Chris that the USB port on the front of the HD-PLEX case doesn't look as nice, the finish seems to be much better (no smeared fingerprint problems) and the heatpipe system has a solid copper baseplate (rather than aluminum) which seems higher quality to me.

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How did you do that?

 

They are supposed to be a vacuum with a small amount of coolant that vaporizes and then re condenses.

 

Crimp first then cut.... worked for me :)


Various >i2s> NAD M2 > Quad 2905s

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Crimp first then cut.... worked for me :)

 

Hmm, wild. Did you solder to seal it then?


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Hmm, wild. Did you solder to seal it then?
No, I was worried about igniting the coolant, I used an hydraulic swage, it would appear to have worked just fine....

 

For those forced to utilise either an SMPS supply or DC to DC converters this item would appear to tackle the issues we're concerned with

 

"a range of mains input filters for switched mode power supplies to prevent smps generated noise from getting back onto the mains"

 

Switched Mode Power Supply Filters


Various >i2s> NAD M2 > Quad 2905s

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Hi Chris,

Great design. I am building computers for years and I am happy that you pointed out that passive cooling is not an easy job for everyone. Especially finding the right mix of the motherboard, the location of the processor on the motherboard, the length of the heat pipes, the case and the TDP of the processor. As Streacom recommends a TDP of 65 W for permanent use and I want to use the server for video, also - I selected the Streacom ST-FC5S EVO with the CD slot and the i7 3770T with 45 W TDP. I want to be on the safe side. Better to stay in the middle of a computer equipment’s specification than using the equipment on the edge. The Haswell generation will provide a similar processor with a better graphic unit. Unfortunately there is no drastic reduction of power consumption. Therefore the specification of that Ivy Bridge processor is fine with me.

Next week I will get my processor. Hopefully.

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Hi Chris,

I have a question regarding your SOtM tX-USBexp card.

As I am using the computer as a server for my Linn Akurate via LAN it seems for me useless.

Do you know any improvements for decoupling the LAN interface between the computer and the Linn?

Do you have any experience with galvanic decoupling?

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No, I was worried about igniting the coolant, I used an hydraulic swage, it would appear to have worked just fine....

 

For those forced to utilise either an SMPS supply or DC to DC converters this item would appear to tackle the issues we're concerned with

 

"a range of mains input filters for switched mode power supplies to prevent smps generated noise from getting back onto the mains"

 

Switched Mode Power Supply Filters

 

Hmm, but how is one to know unless you measured the temp on the ends and checked against the others. Kudos regardless!

 

Nice speakers btw. I still own a set of 63's bought in the 80s. Heavily modded, but I need to replace the dust covers, and haven't had the time.


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Your point is fair as I haven't been able to verify the pipe performance but the original piece didn't fit so it was either hack and make do or leave a space. Thankfully my processor is at the bottom end of the performance envelope so any decrease in cooling efficiency isn't critical in my specific application.

 

You like the Quads? Well, the 2905's are a completely different animal to the '63s, they have real bass!! They sound amazing with the NAD M2, it seems to be a special synergy with the slight warmth of the Quads complimenting the hugely detailed performance from the amp. The final presentation can be tweaked by using either copper or silver 'speaker cables, for me copper gives the most pleasing "tone" if that makes sense... An essential part of the equation is the PS Audio Powerplant Premiere which nails the Quads input voltage to 230V to ensure a consistent performance for each session. Nice... :)


Various >i2s> NAD M2 > Quad 2905s

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Your point is fair as I haven't been able to verify the pipe performance but the original piece didn't fit so it was either hack and make do or leave a space. Thankfully my processor is at the bottom end of the performance envelope so any decrease in cooling efficiency isn't critical in my specific application.

 

You like the Quads? Well, the 2905's are a completely different animal to the '63s, they have real bass!! They sound amazing with the NAD M2, it seems to be a special synergy with the slight warmth of the Quads complimenting the hugely detailed performance from the amp. The final presentation can be tweaked by using either copper or silver 'speaker cables, for me copper gives the most pleasing "tone" if that makes sense... An essential part of the equation is the PS Audio Powerplant Premiere which nails the Quads input voltage to 230V to ensure a consistent performance for each session. Nice... :)

 

I hope I didn't seem critical, and I do understand why you tried. It just struck me.


Forrest:

Win10 i7 3770k HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

DSD512>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Chris, excellent article. Zuma IS the CAPS build I was waiting for. Very well thought out. Thanks.

 

I will take your advice regarding power, i7-3770T (to take advantage of the lower TDP), and everything else including battery-powered PS.

I only disagree in your choice of operating system and player. (Once you start using MPD under Linux, there is no point of return).

 

I also prefer this case: A-Tech Fabrication HeatSync Mini-Client 2500 http://atechfabrication.com/products/mini_client_2500.htm

 

Regards.

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My main question is, why an i7? That's some serious horsepower. Any of the Core gen 3 processors should handle any music server load, and most HTPC loads, without breaking a sweat. Going for an i7 seems like serious overkill, especially since this server is designed to offload the music processing to an outboard DAC via the SotM.

I emailed Dirac Live support about adding 24/192 processing. Currently it's limited to 24/96. Even at the rate, Dirac support says it "loads down" many PCs. They are still going to offer 24/192 support in a future update. I think if you are running Dirac Live in the future at 24/192 or 24/176 and in addition using SACD ISO files, you will need a lot of horsepower to make it all work.

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I am wondering if this can do FIR filters? Like room correction or digital XO? Could the HD-PLEX work instead of the the Streacom? Any reason for SSD vs mSSD?

 

I am using Dirac Live for room correction on a laptop with an Intel Core2 Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz without any issues, I suspect even the Topanga with Atom N2800 runs smooth with Dirac Live as it consumes very little processing power during playback, only the generation of the filters will take a few minutes more.


 

EAC -> FLAC -> Oyen Digital miniPro 2TB -> USB -> Lenovo ThinkPad X200 WIN XP -> Dirac Live Room Correction Suite -> AlbumPlayer -> Audioquest USB cable -> Hegel H100 DAC & amplifier -> 2.5mm copper -> AVI Trio loudspeakers

 

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sale on large Samsung 840 drive:

 

Samsung 512GB 840 Pro Series 2.5" Solid State MZ-7PD512BW

 

$456


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I am using Dirac Live for room correction on a laptop with an Intel Core2 Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz without any issues, I suspect even the Topanga with Atom N2800 runs smooth with Dirac Live as it consumes very little processing power during playback, only the generation of the filters will take a few minutes more.
I asked the question as to whether Dirac Live calculated filters and then just stopped running. My assumption is that the processor should not matter, that as you assume as well that it would just take longer. I was told no, the program is not "static," and continues to make "calculations," the entire time. Are you also running SACD iso files at the same time? You didn't mention that? I have an Intel Duo Core2 T4400 @2.20GHZ and it can not run multi-channel SACD ISOs WITHOUT constant buffer and playback stopping. There is no way it can run Dirac live in the background as it can't even run multi-channel SACD iso files alone. My Quad Core Q8200 @ 2.33GHZ barely can since Jriver switched to multi-threaded handling of SACD iso files.

 

I'm not sure how many channels you are using and what formats. I believe 5.1 SACD iso files, expanded to 7.1 with JRSS processed with an active program like Dirac Live will require quite a bit of horse power. My Quad Core has two cores pegged just with multi-channel SACD iso files.

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Thanks for the C.A.P.S. concept and its continued evolution. I especially like what you have done with the v3 and the various models. With regard to your final audition, which server appeals to you the most from a pure sonic perspective? I ask this comparing the Atom vs Ivy perspective taking into account that there is more going on in the higher power server and do you find there is a trade-off with moving to the higher power solution? By more going on I don't mean load, I mean increased power requirements, perhaps additional resources dedicated to the additional components that the Ivy board has vs the Atom board etc...

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I asked the question as to whether Dirac Live calculated filters and then just stopped running. My assumption is that the processor should not matter, that as you assume as well that it would just take longer. I was told no, the program is not "static," and continues to make "calculations," the entire time. Are you also running SACD iso files at the same time? You didn't mention that? I have an Intel Duo Core2 T4400 @2.20GHZ and it can not run multi-channel SACD ISOs WITHOUT constant buffer and playback stopping. There is no way it can run Dirac live in the background as it can't even run multi-channel SACD iso files alone. My Quad Core Q8200 @ 2.33GHZ barely can since Jriver switched to multi-threaded handling of SACD iso files.

 

I'm not sure how many channels you are using and what formats. I believe 5.1 SACD iso files, expanded to 7.1 with JRSS processed with an active program like Dirac Live will require quite a bit of horse power. My Quad Core has two cores pegged just with multi-channel SACD iso files.

 

I am only using two channels with resolutions up to 24/96, I can imagine that with multi-channel SACD playback you will need serious processing power.

Edited by Johan
quote

 

EAC -> FLAC -> Oyen Digital miniPro 2TB -> USB -> Lenovo ThinkPad X200 WIN XP -> Dirac Live Room Correction Suite -> AlbumPlayer -> Audioquest USB cable -> Hegel H100 DAC & amplifier -> 2.5mm copper -> AVI Trio loudspeakers

 

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This is great machine!

I've built same for my friend 2 months ago, but with 16GB of RAM (same vendor), same CPU model, same case (it is great!!!) but with Sony blu-ray and firewire card (he has Weiss INT202)

It is running foobar and sounds just great! Very quiet also and amazingly fast

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Hello,

 

I have been using a Mac Mini as server with PureMusic, so I am completely new to CAPS V3 Zuma.

 

I have a few basic questions:

 

a) Does it have wifi? If not, how can I use the JRemote app with my Ipad?

 

b) If I buy a CAPS V3 Zuma (Small Green Computer...), how do I connect it to a:

(i) RWA Black Lightning power supply?

(ii) Mojo Joule II power supply?

 

Thank you!

 

VPN


Cable Modem w/Mojo 5 power-> Innuos Zenith SE running Roon+Tidal-> Totaldac server-> Totaldac Twelve SE-> CH Precision L1+X1-> 2x Krell FPB 750mcx-> Modded Dunlavy SC-VI w/ Duelund crossovers  Cables: Kubala Realization (speaker), Echole Omnia 2x XLR and 3x AES, Totaldac Gigafilter USB,  Other: Echole Omnia power cables, SRA Scuttle mk.3 Rack, SRA VR 3.0 platforms, four dedicated 20A lines

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Hello,

 

I have been using a Mac Mini as server with PureMusic, so I am completely new to CAPS V3 Zuma.

 

I have a few basic questions:

 

a) Does it have wifi? If not, how can I use the JRemote app with my Ipad?

 

b) If I buy a CAPS V3 Zuma (Small Green Computer...), how do I connect it to a:

(i) RWA Black Lightning power supply?

(ii) Mojo Joule II power supply?

 

Thank you!

 

VPN

 

a) Doesn't have built-in WiFi. You can connect the server via wired Ethernet to your home network. If the home network has WiFi then you'll be able to use JRemote for remote control. You could also add WiFi via a card like this -> PROVANTAGE: Intel 62205AN.HMWG Centrino Advanced-N 6205 Wifi Half Mini

 

b)

 

i) The RWA has two power cables, one for the motherboard and one for the SOtM card. The Zuma server has a DC input port on the back for the motherboard and the SOtM card has a DC input on the rear of the case.

 

ii) Never used one but I'm guessing it would connect the same way as the RWA supply.


Founder of Audiophile Style

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Chris,

 

Thank you for the prompt response.

 

a) My audio room does not have wired internet, so I guess I would need the suggested wifi card. Do you think Small Green Computer would sell with this option? or quite simple to install?

 

b) Is RWA already selling the two batteries/two voltages 12V regulated version of the Black Lightning power supply suitable for the Zuma? If not, did they say when will it be available?

 

Cheers,

 

VPN


Cable Modem w/Mojo 5 power-> Innuos Zenith SE running Roon+Tidal-> Totaldac server-> Totaldac Twelve SE-> CH Precision L1+X1-> 2x Krell FPB 750mcx-> Modded Dunlavy SC-VI w/ Duelund crossovers  Cables: Kubala Realization (speaker), Echole Omnia 2x XLR and 3x AES, Totaldac Gigafilter USB,  Other: Echole Omnia power cables, SRA Scuttle mk.3 Rack, SRA VR 3.0 platforms, four dedicated 20A lines

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