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Off topic: Home PC question for computer geeks


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I'm thinking of replacing my 10 year old Dell family computer sometime this year. I've really grown to like the low power/heat (12-13 W running foobar; ~32 degrees C) and silence of my audio PC and am thinking of a passive solution for family use (Office applications, Internet, E-mail). Zotac makes a several barebones models that have a lot connectivity and are otherwise appealing. One uses a Celeron N2930 (cpubenchmark.com 1709) and another uses a Core i-3 4020Y (cpubenchmark.com 2235).

 

Would I be happy with either of these? More specifically, would the cheaper (and slightly less power hungry) Celeron CPU be suitable for the demands I described?

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I'm thinking of replacing my 10 year old Dell family computer sometime this year. I've really grown to like the low power/heat (12-13 W running foobar; ~32 degrees C) and silence of my audio PC and am thinking of a passive solution for family use (Office applications, Internet, E-mail). Zotac makes a several barebones models that have a lot connectivity and are otherwise appealing. One uses a Celeron N2930 (cpubenchmark.com 1709) and another uses a Core i-3 4020Y (cpubenchmark.com 2235).

 

Would I be happy with either of these? More specifically, would the cheaper (and slightly less power hungry) Celeron CPU be suitable for the demands I described?

 

Wouldn't describe myself as a geek but I have the Celeron version of the Zotac C series and I've found it fine for basic office, email & web .

 

Cost me under £200 in UK including 128 gb SSD and 4 gb memory, so not much to complain about.

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Thanks for the reply!

 

Yes, I'm considering the CI320 (Celeron) and CI520 (Core i-3). What OS did you install? I'm thinking Win 8.1. I will likely also get a 128 GB SSD and put in the full 8 GB RAM.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Thanks for the reply!

 

Yes, I'm considering the CI320 (Celeron) and CI520 (Core i-3). What OS did you install? I'm thinking Win 8.1. I will likely also get a 128 GB SSD and put in the full 8 GB RAM.

 

Yes I have the 1320, but use Linux Mint. I actually bought it as a cheap try out as a silent PC for audio use running JRiver.

As I recall, I concluded that the particular versions of Celeron and I3 involved were so close in performance that it didn't seem worth almost

double the barebones price to get the i3.

 

If it's audio performance is any guide for general use, using JRiver the 1320 could upsample/convert on the fly to 24/192 or DSD 64 without problem,

but fell apart on DSD128.

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My CAPS server taught me the ways of SSD, now all my computers at home boot and run off of SSDs (with an HHD for data storage). Anytime you need a computer and you can go from zero to fully booted in less than 20 seconds you are going to have a pleasant experience.

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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Yes I have the 1320, but use Linux Mint. I actually bought it as a cheap try out as a silent PC for audio use running JRiver.

As I recall, I concluded that the particular versions of Celeron and I3 involved were so close in performance that it didn't seem worth almost

double the barebones price to get the i3.

 

If it's audio performance is any guide for general use, using JRiver the 1320 could upsample/convert on the fly to 24/192 or DSD 64 without problem,

but fell apart on DSD128.

 

Thanks again. Yes, the Celeron benchmarked ~76% of the i-3's benchmark but it only costs 53% as much. Meanwhile, I looked up the benchmark score of our current family PC (Pentium 4) and it is ~19% of the Celeron. Moore's law seems to be endless. I should be happy with the Celeron version.

 

I barely have any DSD files, nevermind DSD128 but I don't plan to use this for audio.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I use a Fit-PC for my desktop. Small silent and works well.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I just purchased the ZBOX PI320 W2 to add Windows Media Center (and therefore cable) to an old HDMI monitor I placed in the kitchen for the wife, and the thing handles 1080i video (hardwired ethernet) no problem; I have yet to play around with jRiver on it because I have a nice Rasbpi/DAC combo in the kitchen already, but it's sort of frightening how nice a computer this is for $180*

 

If you're really saying all you'll do is light work, I don't personally see the necessity to move out of the Atom/Celeron familys into the i3 based on the price.

 

(*This coming from someone who spends $700 on graphics cards alone on the other computers around the house and has been building CPUs for 15 years)

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