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Design a PC/Server for ROON and HQ Player

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54 minutes ago, mikicasellas said:

Thanks Larry,

 

Are you using a fanless case ?

 

Regards

 

 

 No I’m using a stock fan with a fan filter. Running roonserver it’s  so quiet a fanless case seems like overkill. I guess it would be a good idea to disconnect the fan to hear if that impacts sq.

 

Running hqp it’s likely to get louder. I’ll get to that later in the week.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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The Noctua NH-D15 I use in the Fractal Design Define R case is totally quiet under full load. Fan control profile set to Quiet in BIOS.

 

The standard NH-D15 fits on AM4 as well, but they also have an AM4 special edition version.

 

On my i7-6950X I'm running it with a single fan (because second fan doesn't fit with tall RAM modules) in the middle and it is totally adequate there for full loads while being quiet. But they now have equivalent high-compatibility version called NH-D15S.

 

Note that these coolers are huge, so you need a fairly large case. Fractal Design case is spacious and has built-in sound proofing too. Another reason for the case is that I use ASUS Strix-series Nvidia cards which are also huge and really need a full size chassis. Good side is that they also feature extremely quiet cooling system.

 

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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2 hours ago, Miska said:

The Noctua NH-D15 I use in the Fractal Design Define R case is totally quiet under full load. Fan control profile set to Quiet in BIOS.

 

The standard NH-D15 fits on AM4 as well, but they also have an AM4 special edition version.

 

On my i7-6950X I'm running it with a single fan (because second fan doesn't fit with tall RAM modules) in the middle and it is totally adequate there for full loads while being quiet. But they now have equivalent high-compatibility version called NH-D15S.

 

Note that these coolers are huge, so you need a fairly large case. Fractal Design case is spacious and has built-in sound proofing too. Another reason for the case is that I use ASUS Strix-series Nvidia cards which are also huge and really need a full size chassis. Good side is that they also feature extremely quiet cooling system.

 

 

Noctua will send you an AM4 mounting kit for a previously purchased Noctua cooler for free. You have to show your original Noctua fan purchase receipt as well as a receipt for the AM4 motherboard.

 

https://noctua.at/en/nm-am4-mounting-kit-order-form


nuckleheadaudio.com

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6 hours ago, lmitche said:

Noctua will send you an AM4 mounting kit for a previously purchased Noctua cooler for free. You have to show your original Noctua fan purchase receipt as well as a receipt for the AM4 motherboard.

 

https://noctua.at/en/nm-am4-mounting-kit-order-form

 

And it is sold separately for cheap anyway too. But I think the current models come with AM4 kit...

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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24 minutes ago, Miska said:

 But I think the current models come with AM4 kit...

 

That is what it says on my box!


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer>Win10 NAA

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

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

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Going to try this one more time, after getting blown out of this thread... 

 

This is my FIRST attempt at a home-brew PC build, after owning a Dell Precsision T7910 with dual quadcore Xeon processors and 128k RAM. I am trying to build a new PC for HQ Player and Roon core, to also be used for Photoshop editing. I have already committed to the Intel i9900KS Intel chip, and have on order. Everything else parts-wise is open.

 

This machine will run Windows 10 Pro, Roon core and HQ player. NOT interested in separate machines for each or getting different OS's installed. I'll also likely want super fast OS drive, as well as separate SSD or mechanical drive (doesn't need to be blazing fast) for Dropbox and business files which will need to be at least 1 TB. It would also be helpful to have a decently fast SSD I can use as 'scratch disk' for Photoshop. Lastly, I need A LOT of storage, and think that using USB C or Thunderbolt for external storage of music files, and Photoshop file make sense, since this can be easily added in future. 

 

I will run various USB DAC's that are in a different section of my home via hard-wired ethernet to FMC > USB > DAC.Therefore, I could care less about noise, but DO care about keeping CPU as cool as possible, without getting into liquid cooling, which appears to have its own issues (longer term).

 

I'll also need fast RAM- at least 32 GB, with likely move to 64GB if I see that Photoshop needs more...

 

I am fine with popping for a more expensive vid card if it means better performance for HQP EC, but also don't want to overpay now, when I can easily upgrade the card later (if necessary). I already own an Nvidia K4000 vid card in the Dell Precsision computer that I could pop out and re-use if necessary.

 

I am certainly open to using a different case, but space isn't a concern, and I want flexibility to add components down the line (like Thunderbolt card), if I need to. Cooling and expansion to accommodate upgrades is of primary importance, as well as ability to tweak settings for HQP to optimize EC settings.

 

DAC I have are:

 

Denafrips Terminator (latest update)

Mytek Manhattan II

Lavry DA2002 (fed via Singxer SU-1)   

 

Photoshop just requires a fast processor (this will be more than adequate) and a decent amount of ram (32GB should be sufficient, but quick upgrade path to 64 GB preferred).

 

I am NOT a tech geek, and won't be going elbows-deep into MB settings, but am willing to go in and make > some < tweaks to optimize performance.

 

Here is the start of my parts list, but please offer suggestions on what you think would be good selections:  https://pcpartpicker.com/list/rmTCL2

 

Thank you in advance.  

 

PS- Storage needs will be in excess of 15-20 TB, since I already have maxed out 10 TB in my RAID 5, and have overflow for my image files of at least 4 TB.

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1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

This is my FIRST attempt at a home-brew PC build, after owning a Dell Precsision T7910 with dual quadcore Xeon processors and 128k RAM. I am trying to build a new PC for HQ Player and Roon core, to also be used for Photoshop editing. I have already committed to the Intel i9900KS Intel chip, and have on order. Everything else parts-wise is open.

 

One option for motherboard is the one I used recently, see here:

Among other things you get special low noise USB ports.

 

For PSUs here's a good option:

https://seasonic.com/prime-titanium-fanless

Or if you want more power:

https://seasonic.com/prime-ultra-titanium

 

2 hours ago, ChrisVH said:

I could care less about noise, but DO care about keeping CPU as cool as possible, without getting into liquid cooling, which appears to have its own issues (longer term).

 

Noisy machines can be annoying though...

 

Noctua NH-D15 or NH-D15S is good option:

https://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15-chromax-black

Note that for this kind of cooler you also need to have big enough case!

 

I have also BeQuiet Dark Rock 4, but I have not yet installed it anywhere, waiting for a new CPU:

https://www.bequiet.com/en/cpucooler/1376

 

1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

I'll also likely want super fast OS drive, as well as separate SSD or mechanical drive (doesn't need to be blazing fast) for Dropbox and business files which will need to be at least 1 TB. It would also be helpful to have a decently fast SSD I can use as 'scratch disk' for Photoshop. Lastly, I need A LOT of storage, and think that using USB C or Thunderbolt for external storage of music files, and Photoshop file make sense, since this can be easily added in future.

 

One of best options for OS drive is Intel Optane M.2 SSD. If you want speed, certainly either M.2 SSD or a separate PCIe SSD card. I've also used Samsung 960 Pro M.2 SSD drive with good results. The motherboard above can host multiple M.2 SSDs.

 

For a lot of storage, you can Seagate Ironwolf Pro and Western Digital Red Pro. These have a five year warranty and can take a lot of disk access too. Available in sizes up to 16 TB per drive.

 

If you choose a suitable case, I would say there's no need for external drive. I would certainly avoid using USB for connecting storage, as it is CPU hungry way to do it.

 

1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

I am fine with popping for a more expensive vid card if it means better performance for HQP EC, but also don't want to overpay now, when I can easily upgrade the card later (if necessary). I already own an Nvidia K4000 vid card in the Dell Precsision computer that I could pop out and re-use if necessary.

 

It doesn't help with modulators, but it helps with filters and convolution engine if needed. And of course with Photoshop. But you can get started with your current one. With 9900KS + K4000, using the K4000 for filters doesn't make sense, it would just slow down compared to the CPU.

 

With something like RTX2080Ti you could still gain something on that front. But likely not horribly important at this point. I'm using ASUS STRIX-series RTX 2080Ti, very powerful but quiet (and massive size thus too).

 

1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

I'll also need fast RAM- at least 32 GB, with likely move to 64GB if I see that Photoshop needs more...

 

When selecting memory, take a look at the table here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_latency#Memory_timing_examples

 

So in addition to plain memory speed, also pay attention to CAS latency value. Since CAS is reported in clock cycles, note that the actual latency time is thus function of frequency and the CAS value.

 

1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

I am certainly open to using a different case, but space isn't a concern, and I want flexibility to add components down the line (like Thunderbolt card), if I need to. Cooling and expansion to accommodate upgrades is of primary importance, as well as ability to tweak settings for HQP to optimize EC settings.

 

This case is both silent, and can host a lot of drives in damped holders:

https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/define/define-r6-usb-c/blackout/

And it can also take big GPU cards too.

 

1 hour ago, ChrisVH said:

Photoshop just requires a fast processor (this will be more than adequate) and a decent amount of ram (32GB should be sufficient, but quick upgrade path to 64 GB preferred).

 

And can also benefit from a fast GPU, because it is able to offload various operations to the GPU.

 

2 hours ago, ChrisVH said:

PS- Storage needs will be in excess of 15-20 TB, since I already have maxed out 10 TB in my RAID 5, and have overflow for my image files of at least 4 TB.

 

With suitable case you can do 32 TB RAID5 with three 16 TB drives and still have space for another 32 TB drive set if needed.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Thank you, MIska. I will digest your detailed reply tonight and revise my pcpartpicker list.

 

Your first reference though takes me to a page from 2015 (below).

 

Can you state the specific MB you recommend for this?

 

Also, you mention external storage via USB less than ideal (due to processor overhead), which I understand, and I can see this as an issue for the music library which will be on same PC. However, for my photos, this is a different workflow, and less of a concern, so perhaps an external just for that will work. Is Thunderbolt 3 a better solution vs latest USB (for external storage array)? I know it's faster, but if just using mechanical 7200 rpm HD, not sure it's going to make much difference.

 

I currently have RAID 5, and not likely going to do that with the new machine. I'd rather just have a backup copy on another HD. RAID 5 just slows things down, and I don't change my files that often- just when adding music, and I can just backup to a separate drive manually. I've had too many problems with RAID 5 in the past, and that was with using a high-end hardware RAID solution. I also have 'triple' redundancy by storing images off-site on portable 5TB drives.

 

Thank you.

 

>>>>> One option for motherboard is the one I used recently, see here:

Among other things you get special low noise USB ports. <<<<<

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29 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

Can you state the specific MB you recommend for this?

 

This is what I use in the latest build:

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z390-AORUS-MASTER-rev-10#kf

 

It had everything I need plus some extra.

 

29 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

Your first reference though takes me to a page from 2015 (below).

 

If you click the arrow button in top-right corner of the box you get to the recent message from July.

 

29 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

Is Thunderbolt 3 a better solution vs latest USB (for external storage array)? I know it's faster, but if just using mechanical 7200 rpm HD, not sure it's going to make much difference.

 

Yes, Thunderbolt is essentially PCIexpress on a wire. It is totally different beast from USB. Although now the same Type-C connector can be used for many different things such as USB, Thunderbolt and DisplayPort (same connector, different data).

 

For my iMac backup and storage extension purposes I have external Lacie Thunderbolt 3 HDD. But for other than backup purposes, I would prefer to have internal HDD - less cables, separate boxes and PSUs. And less acoustic noise too. My issue is also that it is not clear what HDD is inside if you just buy ready made external drive. Since many of my systems are running 24/7 and under somewhat heavy use, I want to select a specific drive type so I know it'll last. Seagate and WesternDigital have quite a wide range of different drive models for different types of use cases and price points. I always look for drives with five year warranty.

 

29 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

I currently have RAID 5, and not likely going to do that with the new machine. I'd rather just have a backup copy on another HD. RAID 5 just slows things down, and I don't change my files that often- just when adding music, and I can just backup to a separate drive manually. I've had too many problems with RAID 5 in the past, and that was with using a high-end hardware RAID solution. I also have 'triple' redundancy by storing images off-site on portable 5TB drives.

 

Then you won't have much storage challenges, since you can house four or more 3.5" HDD's in the computer if you'd like. Plus two 2.5" SSD's and three M.2 SSD's (with the Gigabyte mobo).

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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50 minutes ago, Miska said:

This is what I use in the latest build:

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z390-AORUS-MASTER-rev-10#kf

 

It had everything I need plus some extra.

Hi Miska,

 

Could you comment on Gigabyte Z390 DESIGNARE compare to Gigabyte Aorus Master?  It has one more LAN port but one less M.2, and with 12+1VRM vs 12 on the Aorus Master.  I am not sure if one is better than the other when looking strictly from a HQPlayer server point of view.

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1 hour ago, elan120 said:

Could you comment on Gigabyte Z390 DESIGNARE compare to Gigabyte Aorus Master?  It has one more LAN port but one less M.2, and with 12+1VRM vs 12 on the Aorus Master.  I am not sure if one is better than the other when looking strictly from a HQPlayer server point of view.

 

That should be good too. Very similar, but more work/professional oriented (rather than gaming/overclocking), so it has slightly different feature set due to that. And IIRC a little bit more expensive. Maybe less LED-bling too... :D  For HQPlayer and graphics use cases, if the on-board audio is not going to be used, it should be perfectly fine. It was on my list for motherboard, but I ended up with the AORUS MASTER due to price and availability. But for another build with 9900KS I may very well opt for that board too.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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51 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

That should be good too. Very similar, but more work/professional oriented (rather than gaming/overclocking), so it has slightly different feature set due to that. And IIRC a little bit more expensive. Maybe less LED-bling too... :D  For HQPlayer and graphics use cases, if the on-board audio is not going to be used, it should be perfectly fine. It was on my list for motherboard, but I ended up with the AORUS MASTER due to price and availability. But for another build with 9900KS I may very well opt for that board too.

 

Thank you for your input.  This is the board I have on my very short list to get for my next HQPlayer server build with i9-9900KS.

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Thank you very much, Miska. I have updated my parts list, reflecting some of your recommendations: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/chrisvh/saved/XDnf99

 

I have 3 x 6 TB drives in my Dell that I can pull... after I get the data off that RAID and then break-it, so when combined with the 3.5" drive you recommended- I should be covered for a while- at least for internal storage. I'll likely (eventually) add Thunderbolt 3 to the mix for external storage, as well.

 

The one thing I am still fuzzy on is the memory. I checked the link you posted and am not able to dive deep enough to make heads or tails out of it. What do you specifically recommend for the best HQP performance, knowing that I need at least 32 GB for Photoshop, and will likely expand to 64GB.

 

I'll pull my K4000 Quadro and just use that until I get to a point where I am ready for the 2080Ti.

 

Thanks again for your help! 

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6 hours ago, ChrisVH said:

The one thing I am still fuzzy on is the memory. I checked the link you posted and am not able to dive deep enough to make heads or tails out of it. What do you specifically recommend for the best HQP performance, knowing that I need at least 32 GB for Photoshop, and will likely expand to 64GB.

 

"First word" column in the table tells how quickly first item arrives from RAM after making a request for it. Data rate is maximum theoretical transfer speed.

 

The CPU officially supports DDR4-2666 memory. With XMP profiles you can also pull more, but I've been personally sticking to the official CPU specification (and XMP profile within that). Then look for the lowest CAS latency you can for that speed category.

 

If you look for HyperX Predator memory from Kingston, or Ballistix Elite from Crucial (aka Micron) you are likely to get the fastest ones. And get a kit of two or four memory modules!

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Thank you, Miska!!! It appears the Kingston HyperX Predator @ 4 x 16 (64GB) @ 13 CAS latency will work great. 32 GB more than I wanted, but cost seems to be fairly reasonable.

 

One more question if you don't mind? @Elan120 mentioned the Gigabyte Z390 DESIGNARE which seems to already have the built-in Thunderbolt 3. I don't think I'd need the 3rd m.2 slot (but who knows, down road), but it also looks like I lose a PCIe slot. So, comparing apples to apples, assuming I get a Thunderbolt 3 card to go in the extra PCIe slot of the Master, it's a 'wash' for available PCIe (when Thunderbolt 3 added), but I lose the extra m.2. Am I missing something else that would tilt towards the Designare vs Aorus Master?

 

I've updated my parts list here. Do you see anything else I might need... (cabling, 3rd party thermal paste, etc...)? https://pcpartpicker.com/user/chrisvh/saved/XDnf99

 

Thanks again. Your help has been very valuable, and I'll definitely get the HQP4, once I get this built...

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37 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

One more question if you don't mind? @Elan120 mentioned the Gigabyte Z390 DESIGNARE which seems to already have the built-in Thunderbolt 3. I don't think I'd need the 3rd m.2 slot (but who knows, down road), but it also looks like I lose a PCIe slot. So, comparing apples to apples, assuming I get a Thunderbolt 3 card to go in the extra PCIe slot of the Master, it's a 'wash' for available PCIe (when Thunderbolt 3 added), but I lose the extra m.2. Am I missing something else that would tilt towards the Designare vs Aorus Master?

 

There shouldn't be much else. So assuming you'd need Thunderbolt 3, the DESIGNARE is may be better as then you don't need a separate card. Probably the extra connectivity in Designare (extra LAN and Thunderbolt) loads the available PCIe lanes to the amount that they've dropped some M.2/PCIe slots.

 

46 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

I've updated my parts list here. Do you see anything else I might need... (cabling, 3rd party thermal paste, etc...)? https://pcpartpicker.com/user/chrisvh/saved/XDnf99

 

if you can find 970 PRO instead of older 960 PRO for the SSD, that would be probably good. 512 GB 970 PRO costs 170€ here, so it should be cheaper also.

 

Thermal paste comes with the Noctua cooler. PSU comes with power cables and motherboard comes with SATA cables and such. So shouldn't need anything extra.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I recently switched to the Holo Cyan DAC (DSD only) which doesn't handle 48-based format files.

 

Previously, my previous DAC handled both 44.1-based and 48-based files. My server (4 core i5, 16GB RAM, Ubuntu Studio, fanless, Intel X520-DA1 NIC) could upsample most things (non-EC) to DSD256 using HQP Desktop 4. However, now with having to convert 48-based format to 44.1-based format, my server has started to stutter with some settings (non-2s).

 

I have been considering upgrading to a new server anyway and am strongly considering one from SilentPC because I don't want to mess with building a server myself. Here is what I am thinking and would appreciate any comments. Note that I am not looking for the holy grail, just a decently configured server running HQP Desktop 4 and Roon Core. SilentPC does appears to allow some options not listed in their configuration sheet but I don't want to complicate things. So, unless you see a serious misstep below, then I am good to go.

 

Noiseless Streacom FC9 PC

i7-9700 (8 cores, 8 threads)

Gigabyte Z370M DS3H Motherboard

Corsair DDR4 3000 CL15, 16GB

Samsung 970 EVO Plus, 256GB

Ubuntu Studio 18.04

 

I will move my existing Intel X520-DA1 NIC over to the new server as well. From what I can tell, this new server has one PCIe half-height expansion card.


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Goldpoint passive preamp > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala

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19 minutes ago, ericuco said:

Note that I am not looking for the holy grail, just a decently configured server running HQP Desktop 4 and Roon Core.

If running DSD256 using EC modulators is the goal, then go for 9700K instead.  i7-9700 might only do up to DSD128 with EC modulators.

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2 minutes ago, elan120 said:

If running DSD256 using EC modulators is the goal, then go for 9700K instead.  i7-9700 might only do up to DSD128 with EC modulators.

Thanks for the suggestion. My goal isn’t EC at DSD256 but who knows. My i5 does EC at DSD128 for some filters. I prefer the ext2 for higher material which is currently out of reach for 48-based format upsampled to DSD256. 


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Goldpoint passive preamp > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala

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1 hour ago, elan120 said:

Here is the Gigabyte spec comparison between Aorus Master vs Designare

 

Thank you, Elan - yes, I also saw that. Just looks like I am giving up an m.2 AND PCIe slot, but gaining Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Given that I don't anticipate a need for 3rd M.2, I think that Designare might fit my need a little better, since I won't need to buy an additional Tbolt card...

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Question for @Miska, on the Signalyst Consumer webpage in the download section, you had for years referenced "Ubuntu Studio" as the preferred version but now it just references "Ubuntu".

 

As I am going to have SilentPC install the OS, which one would you recommend? Ubuntu Studio or Ubuntu? My understanding is the Unbuntu Studio includes additional tools for audio & video which I probably don't need but thought I would ask. Thanks as always.


Eric


Ubuntu Studio Linux box (i7-9700, 8 cores, 16GB RAM, Roon, HQP) > fiber optic > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber optic > opticalRendu (HQP NAA) > Holo Cyan (DSD version) > Goldpoint passive preamp > Nord One UP NC500MB mono blocks > Klipsch La Scala

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32 minutes ago, ChrisVH said:

 

Thank you, Elan - yes, I also saw that. Just looks like I am giving up an m.2 AND PCIe slot, but gaining Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Given that I don't anticipate a need for 3rd M.2, I think that Designare might fit my need a little better, since I won't need to buy an additional Tbolt card...

I am leaning more towards Designare at the moment for its dual GbE LAN ports and perhaps a bit better VRM section since I am not certain how much OC I will be running on this build.

 

On the cooler side, my current plan is to go with liquid cooler, but if I was to go with Noctua on Designare, I will look at NH-D15S closer instead of NH-D15 so it will clear the first PCIe slot.

 

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18 minutes ago, elan120 said:

I am leaning more towards Designare at the moment for its dual GbE LAN ports and perhaps a bit better VRM section since I am not certain how much OC I will be running on this build.

 

On the cooler side, my current plan is to go with liquid cooler, but if I was to go with Noctua on Designare, I will look at NH-D15S closer instead of NH-D15 so it will clear the first PCIe slot.

 

 

Have you confirmed that the D15 will be an issue clearing the PCIe slot (vs D15S), or are you just wanting the little extra 'wiggle-room'. Looks like the 15 is a little bit better for cooling, which is why I chose that one, but if I am compromising that cooling if I use the PCIe slot, then you're right and the 15S would make more sense...

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