Jump to content
IGNORED

Single PC Setup for Audiophile Optimizer


Recommended Posts

Hi to everyone,

I am wanting build an audiophile server based on a single pc using AO. Is there a thread or guide somewhere that discusses/recommends hardware options? I have seen lots of dual pc setup recommendations but not so much for single pc.

 

Ultimately it would be good to have the option to repurpose the single pc as either audio or control pc in a dual setup in the future.

 

I have in mind a hdplex H5 case and their linear power supply for mobo and second lpsu for JCAT usb card + REGEN.I plan to use internal ssd's for music and they will be filtered to reduce noise (SOtM sata filters or JLH shunt regulators).

 

I mainly need suggestions for mobo/cpu/ram/best options for powering the OS ssd(the hdplex 300w lpsu will be atx form factor so maybe just use sata power cable from the lpsu ?).I am thinking of a mini-itx board with integrated graphics for GUI and i7 cpu but I notice a trend for xeons ?

 

Thanks for any pointers

David

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment
Hi to everyone,

I am wanting build an audiophile server based on a single pc using AO. Is there a thread or guide somewhere that discusses/recommends hardware options? I have seen lots of dual pc setup recommendations but not so much for single pc.

 

Ultimately it would be good to have the option to repurpose the single pc as either audio or control pc in a dual setup in the future.

 

I have in mind a hdplex H5 case and their linear power supply for mobo and second lpsu for JCAT usb card + REGEN.I plan to use internal ssd's for music and they will be filtered to reduce noise (SOtM sata filters or JLH shunt regulators).

 

I mainly need suggestions for mobo/cpu/ram/best options for powering the OS ssd(the hdplex 300w lpsu will be atx form factor so maybe just use sata power cable from the lpsu ?).I am thinking of a mini-itx board with integrated graphics for GUI and i7 cpu but I notice a trend for xeons ?

 

Thanks for any pointers

David

 

Hi David,

 

Check this out! The Marouba was designed by Chris Connaker when he updated the CAPS line a few months ago. It contains the new SOTM SOtM txUSBhubin.

 

Computer Audiophile - CAPS v4 Maroubra and Bundoran

CAPS Computer Audiophile

 

There are faster NUC boards available now, so you should ask if they can be substituted.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

Link to comment
Hi to everyone,

I am wanting build an audiophile server based on a single pc using AO. Is there a thread or guide somewhere that discusses/recommends hardware options? I have seen lots of dual pc setup recommendations but not so much for single pc.

 

Ultimately it would be good to have the option to repurpose the single pc as either audio or control pc in a dual setup in the future.

 

I have in mind a hdplex H5 case and their linear power supply for mobo and second lpsu for JCAT usb card + REGEN.I plan to use internal ssd's for music and they will be filtered to reduce noise (SOtM sata filters or JLH shunt regulators).

 

I mainly need suggestions for mobo/cpu/ram/best options for powering the OS ssd(the hdplex 300w lpsu will be atx form factor so maybe just use sata power cable from the lpsu ?).I am thinking of a mini-itx board with integrated graphics for GUI and i7 cpu but I notice a trend for xeons ?

 

Thanks for any pointers

David

 

 

Hi David,

 

I noticed your question earlier in the AO thread but did not have a chance to answer. As far as what you are thinking of doing it sounds great. The case, power supply, USB card, filters and Regen all make a great deal of sense. I use pretty much similar items. As far as motherboards go I and a number of people use the Intel micro-ITX server board S1200KPR . BTW the case you plan to use can also take a uATX board I believe, so it allows more options. Take a look at the AO site, Phil does a pretty good overview of his hardware, I think it is a good direction to go. As far as CPUs yes the Xeon is good, that is what I'm currently using.

 

There is another thing though you might want to look at it depends what software you are thinking of ultimately using. If you intend to use for example HQ player and are really going to up sample 256 or higher DSD you might even want a bit more CPU power. IMO kind of overkill, but just a thought.

 

Another application really sounds great and I've been using is Bughead Emperor. The author recommends an I5-4690 currently. It is a newer and pretty powerful CPU which also supports AVX 2.0 which is advantageous with some applications. He also likes the Asrock OC Pro motherboard as he feels it has a superior power delivery section. I don't know for sure how much overall differences this does make, probably some and I am thinking of trying one down the road. . :-)

 

 

As far as you running a single system I have several computers but currently run a single system just for convenience, and there is really no problem doing so. If you build something like you are planing, which is also similar to what Phil describes you will be able to repurpose the system anytime you want.

 

I think the Regen is also an excellent idea and I do intend to pick one up eventually. I did not really rush to get one initially as I'm using a PPA studio USB card which really improved my USB and is somewhat similar to the region in function so I didn't see the immediate necessity, but overall I also think the Regen is an excellent upgrade.

 

You can also check out the Jplay forum as there is a great deal of information over there on what systems people are running. I think when you're done you will have a cutting-edge system that you will really be happy with. Good luck.

 

Regards

Bob

Link to comment
Hi David,

 

Check this out! The Marouba was designed by Chris Connaker when he updated the CAPS line a few months ago. It contains the new SOTM SOtM txUSBhubin.

 

Computer Audiophile - CAPS v4 Maroubra and Bundoran

CAPS Computer Audiophile

 

There are faster NUC boards available now, so you should ask if they can be substituted.

 

I think the NUCs are somewhat limited and not the overall best choice. You are also limited to the SOTM card.

Link to comment

I concur with @BobSherman - I also run a single PC (Win Server 2012 R2, Intel i7) for convenience & for DSD /upsampling you might need more than a NUC. (I use a NUC for Spotify streaming - good enough for background music).

 

My Regen is on order - seems like a good bet.

PS Audio DirectStream DSD Bridge -> Classe CA-2200 - >B&W 803-D2, Nordost Tyr cabled. Synology NAS, MinimServer, BubbleDS.

Link to comment
Hi to everyone,

I mainly need suggestions for mobo/cpu/ram/best options for powering the OS ssd(the hdplex 300w lpsu will be atx form factor so maybe just use sata power cable from the lpsu ?).I am thinking of a mini-itx board with integrated graphics for GUI and i7 cpu but I notice a trend for xeons ?

 

Thanks for any pointers

David

 

ok, here is my suggestion:

1) notice how the CAPS IV uses a mobo that gives you remote access even to the BIOS and even when the PC is off? There is a poor man's version of that in the form of the Q87 chipset (some AMD models have it too but AMD is a bit too power hungry so I do not consider them. If you want to run headless but always want to be able to see what is going on the PC itself, even in the BIOS, then buying a server board with IPMI or a Q87 board (together with a vPro CPU!) makes sense. Also, it means you don't have to mess about with finding services that AO shut down but windows needs to have running to support remote desktop.

 

2) It seems the amount of cache on the CPU matters. Core i7 and Xeon E3 1200 series support the largest amount of cache. The i7 is a tat faster and has a video chip. That last bit will help when you build the PC and install the OS. If you don't have video on chip, you need a dedicated videocard to at least get you to the point where you have set up AMT or IPMI and can run headless. If you have a card lying around, fine. But otherwise this is an added expense you'll literally only use once (or when your BIOS gets whiped and you need to redo AMT / IPMI.

 

Another thing is that i7 is expensive compared to i5 and Xeon E3 1200 is slightly cheaper than i7. Cost / benefit wise an i5 makes more sense.

 

Btw, this is all considering the 1150 socket. If you down the path of 2011, you need to look for a C226 chipset on a server mobo to get AMT / IPMI. It gets expensive and problematic as the RAM sits on the side and could block the heat pipes.

 

3) The power sources on the mobo are all switching supplies. So, for audio it kind of looks like it is a choice between crap and less crap. That said, look for boards with good components (ferrit RDS-on chokes, all solid capacitors, plenty of PMRs (4 minimum) and digital VRMs). Military class certification is a sign of that. However, there is a problem. Most server mobos and Q mobos have 4-5 VRMs. Most Z87 / Z97 go up to 12. In theory, the Z87 / Z97 mobos should have a better power supply. I've never seen measurements though. And when you go Z, you lose the headless advantage of Q and server mobos. Personally, I think a good trade of is the Asus CS-B (a Q87 board for 24hr uptime) or a Supermicro X10SLQ-O (has one VRM more than the Asus but costs 25% more as well).

 

4) Not too much to say about RAM. Go for low voltage RAM if the mobo supports it. Don't overclock it. Consider getting plenty to run a RAM disk (note: RAM disk software required under Windows, but under Linux it is free.). A RAM disk effectively moves your harddisk from Southbridge to Northbridge, making for a shorther path for data to travel. Of course there is also the expanded bandwith. It basically means: less CPU time to do stuff. "Plenty" means 16Gb, of which 10Gb or so goes to the RAM disk. That should be plenty for the OS, a bit of TEMP and CACHE and any software.

 

5) SSD: Samsung 850 EVO (not Pro as the EVO is lower power usage) or Sandisk Ultra II

 

6) Haswell update! All these Q boards were created before the Haswell update came out. As such, their first BIOS versions did not support these new Haswells (goes for anything that came out as 87/85 chipset). So, check with the vendor which BIOS version you'll get (should be on the box) or else order a cheap pentium or celeron to update the BIOS with, toss it out and run your iCore.

 

And don't forget to earth yourself and the mobo while you're putting this all together.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

Link to comment

im not sure what your budget is like... but there are plenty of great audio grade items for pcs.

 

take a look at paul pangs website if you really want to spend some coin! You can use his ram, SSD drives etc.

 

also, instead of a linear power supply for the SSD's you could always use the JCAT battery power supply. one for each SSD

Link to comment

Hi Bob thanks very much for your input

 

 

As far as motherboards go I and a number of people use the Intel micro-ITX server boardS1200KPR . BTW the case you plan to use can also take a uATX board I believe,so it allows more options. Take a look at the AO site, Phil does a pretty good overview of his hardware, I think it is a good direction to go. As far as CPUs yes the Xeon is good, that is what I'm currently using.

 

This has me stumped a bit, out of ignorance, more than anything else. Is there some reason to use an Ivy bridge "server" board per se or the Core i3 Xeon CPU? I would have thought a low powered haswell build with i5 or i7 cpu with integrated graphics,usb3 was the way to go?

 

Yes I noticed Phil's site with "reference" build included the Intel XEON E3-1265Lv2 (45W)for both audio and control pc (one says shielded, not sure if they are different) which got me wondering in the first place. The spec also seems lighton RAM @ 4GB ??

 

There is another thing though you might want to look at it depends what software you are thinking of ultimately using. If you intend to use for example HQ player and are really going to up sample 256 or higher DSD you might even want a bit more CPU power. IMO kind of overkill, but just a thought.

 

Initially I will just use Jriver but the start to try the audiophile players of which HQP is definitely on the list. I will want to try all the advanced options once I get over the initial learning curve.

 

 

Another application really sounds great and I've been using is Bughead Emperor. The author recommends an I5-4690 currently. It is a newer and pretty powerful CPU which also supports AVX 2.0 which is advantageous with some applications. He also likes the Asrock OC Pro motherboard as he feels it has a superior power delivery section. I don't know for sure how much overall differences this does make, probably some and I am thinking of trying one down the road. .:-)

 

Thanks I will explore these. The I5-4690 looks good except maybe for the TDP of 84W. I can supply it with the 300W lpsu but still the case is a fanless design in terms of heat dissipation.

 

 

As far as you running a single system I have several computers but currently run a singlesystem just for convenience, and there is really no problem doing so. If you build something like you are planing, which is also similar to what Phil describes you will be able to repurpose the system anytime you want.

 

Okay great and presumably reborn as a control pc.

 

Thanks again,Bob.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks completeluxury for your input

 

im not sure what your budget is like... but there are plenty of great audio grade items for pcs.

 

take a look at paul pangs website if you really want to spend some coin! You can use his ram, SSD drives etc.

 

also, instead of a linear power supply for the SSD's you could always use the JCAT battery power supply. one for each SSD

 

Yeh things get expensive quickly on the JCAT and PPA sites,lol. I was thinking of spending some coin on a "good" usb cable as John Swenson says this can still make a difference with feeding the REGEN.

 

With SATA cables I am really just thinking the newer 6GB/s III and ensuring they are shielded

 

I did notice the battery powered trend in powering ssd's. It seems fairly expensive and wondered why they were favoured over say a dedicated linear lpsu?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Pepsican, I really appreciate your advice and will need some time to digest it since some of the terms are unknown to me. Just on the headless thing, what I use now is simply VNC remote desktop over the network. I will have to explore the whole IPMI KVM thing and other things you mentioned and get back to you with questions that hopefully don't sound completely stupid :-)

 

ok, here is my suggestion:

 

And don't forget to earth yourself and the mobo while you're putting this all together.

 

I do understand this though. It means drinking plenty of wine when assembling the pc so that you feel closer to the earth, right ? Well as leonard Cohen once said in a TV interview many years ago, I drink the wine until I can feel the vine ;-)

 

Cheers and thanks again

David

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment
Hi Pepsican, I really appreciate your advice and will need some time to digest it since some of the terms are unknown to me. Just on the headless thing, what I use now is simply VNC remote desktop over the network. I will have to explore the whole IPMI KVM thing and other things you mentioned and get back to you with questions that hopefully don't sound completely stupid :-)

 

 

 

I do understand this though. It means drinking plenty of wine when assembling the pc so that you feel closer to the earth, right ? Well as leonard Cohen once said in a TV interview many years ago, I drink the wine until I can feel the vine ;-)

 

Cheers and thanks again

David

 

You can PM me on here or on HD-PLEX if you have additional questions. Perhaps organise a Skype if need be.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

Link to comment
Hi

 

Don't miss to browse these parts as well: Highend-AudioPC | Shop

 

best,

Phil

Hi Phil,

Yes, I have seen the Highend-AudioPC | Shop. It is well set out and offering discounts on the PPA products,thanks.

 

Phil,on your website, what is the reason you recommend the Ivy bridge "server" board Intel S1200KPR and Intel XEON E3-1265Lv2 CPU over say a Haswell board and i7 CPU ?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

Hi

 

i think regarding to maimboards the most important aspect is not to have it stuffed full with features you would disable on BIOS anyway in the end. I highly prefer XEON Cpu's (server grade) over any desktop cpu. Why that? Because a XEON is the creme de la creme of what intel can deliver. It's not really about the clock rate, it's about stability and accuracy. ECC RAM on the other side will save you about 4'500 errors per year, thats about 12-13 a day. Of all the hardware tweaks i've done, excellent quality ECC RAM is among my top 3.

 

just my 2 cents

ıllıllı [  ...AO 3.00 IS HERE... ] ıllıllı
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Shop | Reviews | Reference System | AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 | PDF Guide

 

Link to comment
Thanks Phil

 

I was considering trialling AO on my laptop (in a dual boot) while waiting to build my server. I gather the license is for 1 machine only, non transferable. So should I purchase AO for laptop and then get refund within 14 day trial period ? Then purchase AO for server when ready ?

 

Hi

 

no that's not needed, you'll get 5 Acrivations anyway :-)

 

https://www.highend-audiopc.com/ao-order

 

[TABLE=align: center]

[TR]

[TD=class: auto-style57, align: center]AUDIOPHILE OPTIMIZER

ıllıllı

[

current release: 1.30, change log ] ıllıllı

 

 

logo500.png

- Get immediate access to the latest version of the AudiophileOptimizer

- Premium email support for topics directly related to AudiophileOptimizer

- Unlimited activations on same hardware, five Activations included (extendable)

- Supported OS's: Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Foundation & Datacenter)

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard, Essentials, Foundation & Datacenter)

- Test DAC/DDC/NIC driver compatibility with Server 2012 R2 before you order

- Terms & conditions may change at any time without prior notice

- AudiophileOptimizer license is personal and non-transferable

- You have any questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us

[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

ıllıllı [  ...AO 3.00 IS HERE... ] ıllıllı
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Shop | Reviews | Reference System | AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 | PDF Guide

 

Link to comment
Hi Phil, what are the other 2 top tweaks?

 

Using a linear or battery power supply to power the OS Disk and the PPA I2S/LAN cable for my Dual-PC setup: Paul Pang Audio PPA TZ YUN RED LAN/I2S CABLE

 

but maybe the REGEN I am going to receive will change that order :)

ıllıllı [  ...AO 3.00 IS HERE... ] ıllıllı
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Shop | Reviews | Reference System | AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 | PDF Guide

 

Link to comment
Hi

 

no that's not needed, you'll get 5 Acrivations anyway :-)

 

https://www.highend-audiopc.com/ao-order

 

[TABLE=align: center]

[TR]

[TD=class: auto-style57, align: center]AUDIOPHILE OPTIMIZER

ıllıllı

[

current release: 1.30, change log]ıllıllı

 

 

logo500.png

- Get immediate access to the latest version of the AudiophileOptimizer

- Premium email support for topics directly related to AudiophileOptimizer

- Unlimited activations on same hardware, five Activations included (extendable)

- Supported OS's: Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Foundation & Datacenter)

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard, Essentials, Foundation & Datacenter)

- Test DAC/DDC/NIC driver compatibility with Server 2012 R2 before you order

- Terms & conditions may change at any time without prior notice

- AudiophileOptimizer license is personal and non-transferable

- You have any questions? Please don't hesitate to contact us

[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

Hi Phil, the part in red says on same hardware. If I install on a laptop now and then on a custom built server later (different hardware) wouldn't that require a separate license?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Pepsica, many thanks for your long reply

 

 

buying a serverboard with IPMI or a Q87 board (together with a vPro CPU!) makes sense. Also,it means you don't have to mess about with finding services that AO shut downbut windows needs to have running to support remote desktop.

 

If I get a board without these features I am hoping RealVNC Enterprise Edition which I presently use will still function. Not sure if it needs a particular service running which AO might shut down.

 

The i7 is a tat faster and has a video chip. That last bit will help when you build the PC andinstall the OS. If you don't have video on chip, you need a dedicated video card to at least get you to the point where you have set up AMT or IPMI and can run headless.If you have a card lying around, fine.

 

Yes good point. The SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SLH-F-O uATX used in CAPS Pipeline does have Onboard Video Chipset, Aspeed AST2400. Not sure about the Intel S1200KPR. It begs the question of how people cope with this apart from temporarily installing a video card when required.

 

Personally, I think a good trade of is the Asus CS-B (a Q87 board for 24hr uptime)

 

This does look interesting. It doesn’t list compatibility with xeon processors or ws2012 OS. I wonder if that means it is not possible to use them?

 

or a Supermicro X10SLQ-O (has one VRM more than the Asus but costs 25% more as well).

 

This is listed as a "server" board but is Q87 chipset and uses unbuffered non-ECCDDR3

 

SUPERMICROMBD-X10SAE-O ATX seems to tick many boxes but is ATX, more expensive, and no integrated graphics.

 

RAM disk ……"Plenty" means 16Gb, of which 10Gb or so goes to the RAM disk. That should be plenty for the OS, a bit of TEMP and CACHE and any software.

 

I was planning on aRAM disc but just for music playback. Im confused, the OS on the SSD is somehow loaded into RAM, as is software etc ?

 

 

Haswell update! All these Q boards were created before the Haswell update came out. As such, theirfirst BIOS versions did not support these new Haswells (goes for anything that came out as 87/85 chipset). So, check with the vendor which BIOS version you'll get (should be on the box) or else order a cheap pentium or celeron to update the BIOS with, toss it out and run your iCore.

 

So this was the"refresh" Haswell, not a "tick tock". Um, can't you flash the BIOS some easier way, why do you need another cpu?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

The Intel S1200KPR can be used with a Xeon with integrated graphics such as the Xeon 1265L V2. The reason this board is still popular is it sounds great (I still have it) and there are not too many choices in S1150 or X99 in miniITX (Asus P9D-I in S1150 I currently have, ASRock X99E is the only X99 mITX board I know of). This refers to server motherboards which it would make sense to use if you are using ws2012.

 

If you are waiting for the H5 you have a much larger choice of boards and I wouldn't go with a mITX in that case unless you had some reason to fill the massive space that would be left.

 

An older article but still a good one I've posted a few times describes the quality of a motherboard and the voltage regulation:

Everything You Need to Know About The Motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit | Hardware Secrets

 

A lot depends how you use your server and what player you use etc. Jussi recommended a 3.4GHz CPU for HQPlayer in the HQP thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
The Intel S1200KPR can be used with a Xeon with integrated graphics such as the Xeon 1265L V2. The reason this board is still popular is it sounds great (I still have it) and there are not too many choices in S1150 or X99 in miniITX (Asus P9D-I in S1150 I currently have, ASRock X99E is the only X99 mITX board I know of). This refers to server motherboards which it would make sense to use if you are using ws2012.

 

If you are waiting for the H5 you have a much larger choice of boards and I wouldn't go with a mITX in that case unless you had some reason to fill the massive space that would be left.

 

An older article but still a good one I've posted a few times describes the quality of a motherboard and the voltage regulation:

Everything You Need to Know About The Motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit | Hardware Secrets

 

A lot depends how you use your server and what player you use etc. Jussi recommended a 3.4GHz CPU for HQPlayer in the HQP thread.

 

Thanks Gabriel for the link to your article !

 

Well I want to be able to fully take advantage of players like HQP, so whatever grunt that takes.

 

Do any microATX or ATX mobos, or mobo/cpu combos, stand out in your mind?

 

Cheers

David

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...