Jump to content
IGNORED

Best media center motherboard


panosm

Recommended Posts

Hi fellow nerds:)

We talk alot about linear power supplies, batteries, clocks etc. but what of the actual motherboard?

I am currently using one of these as my main music / movie machine, with a Dexa neutron star clock, USB card with its own PSU and a Dexa D-Clock (took my PPA USB out as the one with the Dexa is better) and a battery based linear PSU of 12v/15A and a Pico PSU of 160W.

MSI USA - Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, Mainboard, Graphics and more

Now, the quality of the PICO PSU and especially the quality of the on board regulators must also be of great importance as i see it. So would on of these with the same modifications (clock psu usb) be a better choice and furthermore make a noticeable difference?

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_IMPACT

I am thinking of the complexity of the build in requlators and filtering.

What other motherboards will you recommend?

Link to comment

panosm:

 

Why not go with an embedded solution with a DC-in right on the motherboard?

 

The new Intel Braswell CPUs have decent power for a mediaserver, and are ultra-low power consuming only 7 watts including RAM, Hard Disk, and 1 PCIe card.

 

The DC input on the 'board also bypasses the need for the pico psu electronics, enabling you to go straight to a DC power source.

 

The motherboard I recently purchased is made by ASRock, uses the 4-core Intel 3150 Celeron CPU, upgraded on-chip graphics which supports 4K, HDMI port to feed AV equipment, and even comes with a laptop-type external brick power supply. One could easily replace that with a linear power supply or battery, etc.

 

Here is a link via NewEgg:

ASRock N3150DC-ITX Intel Quad-Core Processor N3150 (up to 2.08 GHz) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo - Newegg.com

 

Including the power supply and CPU, at only $111, an absolute bargain.

 

It also has USB 3 ports.

 

Best Regards,

 

Ron

Custom Linux Server -> M2TECH HiFACE TWO BNC -> Bryston BDA-1 DAC -> Creek Evolution 50A -> Epos Epic 2 & Bowers & Wilkins ASW10CM Sub

Link to comment

What are you doing with your server? (Playing Blu-Ray quality video, Audio-only, etc)...Specifically, what is the process that requires a good cache?

 

I realize the performance of even the new 4-core Celeron isn't going to even approach an i3, but in my case I only ever use a maximum of 10% cpu.

 

Best Regards,

 

Ron

Custom Linux Server -> M2TECH HiFACE TWO BNC -> Bryston BDA-1 DAC -> Creek Evolution 50A -> Epos Epic 2 & Bowers & Wilkins ASW10CM Sub

Link to comment

Nothing that requires CPU power. it idles on a 2% most of the time, but I guess that it does its stuff on the cache and does not need to write that much to the memory. Anyway there is difference. I also tried a celeron on the same mobo, same result. the i7 sounded better.

Link to comment
panosm:

 

Why not go with an embedded solution with a DC-in right on the motherboard?

 

The new Intel Braswell CPUs have decent power for a mediaserver, and are ultra-low power consuming only 7 watts including RAM, Hard Disk, and 1 PCIe card.

 

The DC input on the 'board also bypasses the need for the pico psu electronics, enabling you to go straight to a DC power source.

 

The motherboard I recently purchased is made by ASRock, uses the 4-core Intel 3150 Celeron CPU, upgraded on-chip graphics which supports 4K, HDMI port to feed AV equipment, and even comes with a laptop-type external brick power supply. One could easily replace that with a linear power supply or battery, etc.

 

Here is a link via NewEgg:

ASRock N3150DC-ITX Intel Quad-Core Processor N3150 (up to 2.08 GHz) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo - Newegg.com

 

Including the power supply and CPU, at only $111, an absolute bargain.

 

It also has USB 3 ports.

 

Best Regards,

 

Ron

 

Thanks Ron, like the looks of this board.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

Link to comment
Hi fellow nerds:)

We talk alot about linear power supplies, batteries, clocks etc. but what of the actual motherboard?

I am currently using one of these as my main music / movie machine, with a Dexa neutron star clock, USB card with its own PSU and a Dexa D-Clock (took my PPA USB out as the one with the Dexa is better) and a battery based linear PSU of 12v/15A and a Pico PSU of 160W.

MSI USA - Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Desktop, Mainboard, Graphics and more

Now, the quality of the PICO PSU and especially the quality of the on board regulators must also be of great importance as i see it. So would on of these with the same modifications (clock psu usb) be a better choice and furthermore make a noticeable difference?

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_IMPACT

I am thinking of the complexity of the build in requlators and filtering.

What other motherboards will you recommend?

You are right that on the Mobo there is still a lot of power conversions going on. For example, the 12V on the CPU gets converted to two other voltages as well. The same thing for RAM where in some cases we have multiple switches to either convert to LPDDR3 or DDR3 or the new DDR4 voltages. In the end I think the best boards

1) Come from the durable series. So, look for those boards that are build for longevity and can withstand high temperatures. look for metal capacitors, good MOSFETs.

2) Look for boards that have lots of phase switches (forgot their technical name). A minimum of three would be good for the CPU and you want additional ones for the chipset and RAM. The more you have, the faster the rotation (only one per piece of equipement works at the same time, i.e. only 1 out of 3 CPU switches). Faster rotation means the phases get to cool down and cooler phases means less ripple

3) Look for quiet mobos. For audio playback, all you need is the PCIe slot on northbridge and possible a network port and some SATA ports or another PCIe slot. All the rest is extra bagage that you pay for which you don't need and will want to turn off.

4) Look for industrial. AS Rock has a separate arm that builds for the server market for example. Much better components on the board. Consider Supermicro as well.

 

These things considering, I would *never* consider a Z or H motherboard for a music server (of course, if it needs to be a multi-purpose machine things change). They are too feature rich and will be noisy. I'd prefer to look at Q motherboards as these have the durability and high number of phases (although not as many as Z boards have) while not skimping on important features like PCIe slots, RAM slots and good network controllers. Last but not least, Q boards are perfect for headless running as they come with vPRO, which means you can also enter the BIOS settings headless.

 

With regards this particular mobo, it's outdated. Skylake has arrived so look at a Z170 board if you want a gamer mobo. The lower voltage DDR4 memory should help and as Skylake gets less warm you should have a cooler PC which will result in slightly less ripple (in theory anyway).

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

Bear in mind that there are likely power supplies on this board akin to a pico PS to develop the required voltages.

panosm:

 

Why not go with an embedded solution with a DC-in right on the motherboard?

 

The new Intel Braswell CPUs have decent power for a mediaserver, and are ultra-low power consuming only 7 watts including RAM, Hard Disk, and 1 PCIe card.

 

The DC input on the 'board also bypasses the need for the pico psu electronics, enabling you to go straight to a DC power source.

 

The motherboard I recently purchased is made by ASRock, uses the 4-core Intel 3150 Celeron CPU, upgraded on-chip graphics which supports 4K, HDMI port to feed AV equipment, and even comes with a laptop-type external brick power supply. One could easily replace that with a linear power supply or battery, etc.

 

Here is a link via NewEgg:

ASRock N3150DC-ITX Intel Quad-Core Processor N3150 (up to 2.08 GHz) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo - Newegg.com

 

Including the power supply and CPU, at only $111, an absolute bargain.

 

It also has USB 3 ports.

 

Best Regards,

 

Ron

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

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

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

Link to comment

Thanks for all input. I know that the mobo i am talking about is outdated, the reason was that i can reuse the CPU /RAM /clock. So the comparison will be the Mobo alone.

I guess that the best way to move forward will be to build a new machine at some point, based on the new chipsets:)

Link to comment
Bear in mind that there are likely power supplies on this board akin to a pico PS to develop the required voltages.

Would that be a bad thing?

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

Link to comment

MoBo, processed, ram, SSD all now all interlinked and one cannot look at the MoBo in isolation.

 

1. Do we need enough computing power for CAS?

2. Which processes?

3. Should the TDP be low?

4. What memory should this support?

5. Should the MoBo support SATA or M.2?

 

Etc.... All these are also my concerns and my view and the path that I will go down is:

 

1. Yes. Specially for software such as BHE and possibly the newer generation of software.

2. Possibly Xeon or at least Skylake

3. Perhaps not. Many of the hardware the XXhighend has this over 70 watts.

4. DDR4? Error correction?

5. I think M.2 SSD is critical and only the newer MoBo supports this.

 

My 2c, welcome enlightening comments.

Qnap NAS (LPS) >UA ETHER REGEN (BG7TBL Master Clock) > Grimm MU1 > Mola Mola Tambaqui /Meridian 808.3> Wavac EC300B >Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

HP Rig ++ >Woo WES/ > Stax SR-009, Audeze LCD2

Link to comment
MoBo, processed, ram, SSD all now all interlinked and one cannot look at the MoBo in isolation.

 

1. Do we need enough computing power for CAS?

2. Which processes?

3. Should the TDP be low?

4. What memory should this support?

5. Should the MoBo support SATA or M.2?

 

Etc.... All these are also my concerns and my view and the path that I will go down is:

 

1. Yes. Specially for software such as BHE and possibly the newer generation of software.

2. Possibly Xeon or at least Skylake

3. Perhaps not. Many of the hardware the XXhighend has this over 70 watts.

4. DDR4? Error correction?

5. I think M.2 SSD is critical and only the newer MoBo supports this.

 

My 2c, welcome enlightening comments.

 

All cool, newer technology stuff. For raw speed and processing power, the kind of stuff I'd love to build into my general purpose home PC.

 

What is the evidence that shows it's better suited to audio applications than, say, a SATA SSD, or a Haswell processor? I'm aware that some commercial (and well-known, respected and popular) media server builders often prefer devices with proven stability and reliability.

Link to comment

SSD speed via SATA interface is not great, SATA interface is the bottle neck. You already know this. If you are going to provide maximum bandwidth in your system, the PCI interface seems to provide this.

Do I know this to be true? Not really. I have read and am making my decision based on people who have opted for this in various forum and primarily in the XXhighend users group, where the software/DAC/PC interface seems to be most resolved?

Qnap NAS (LPS) >UA ETHER REGEN (BG7TBL Master Clock) > Grimm MU1 > Mola Mola Tambaqui /Meridian 808.3> Wavac EC300B >Tannoy Canterbury SE

 

HP Rig ++ >Woo WES/ > Stax SR-009, Audeze LCD2

Link to comment

My .02

 

The best way to go is with an OS that runs from RAM like Linux. RAM is way faster than anything else and it reduces the need for and cost associated with solid state drives.

 

FWIW ARM boards like Beagle bone etc give 99% of the performance of any x86 board. Having used multiple boards in every configuration I could think of... Including linear power supplies, CPU affinity, running the operating system from RAM, high powered i7 CPU, low powered Atom boards etc. With a good ARM board I doubt anyone could tell the difference, in fact people will probably prefer the sound.... IMO

Link to comment

I've been tossing ideas around for a fairly standard server and want to commit to a build only after I've seen what all the component choices are. Someone brought this new mobo to my attention, what do you guys think? Nice feature set, Q series, VPro, M.2, probably use an i5 or i7 with Server or W10. Haven't paid much attention to Supermicro before but they seem like very robust boards, they do a lot of pro work for servers and commercial applications.

 

Supermicro | Products | Motherboards | Xeon® Boards | X11SSQ

Link to comment
My .02

 

The best way to go is with an OS that runs from RAM like Linux. RAM is way faster than anything else and it reduces the need for and cost associated with solid state drives.

 

FWIW ARM boards like Beagle bone etc give 99% of the performance of any x86 board. Having used multiple boards in every configuration I could think of... Including linear power supplies, CPU affinity, running the operating system from RAM, high powered i7 CPU, low powered Atom boards etc. With a good ARM board I doubt anyone could tell the difference, in fact people will probably prefer the sound.... IMO

...and I'm one of them. I currently have a serious Intel board & processor in a white box I built to be my main computer a few years ago, an old Celeron MOBO in another I built as a media center, plus a stock 2nd gen BeagleBone Black and an Asus Chromebox (Celeron) with 4G of RAM. All 4 are now set up for music only, with Debian on the BBB and Ubuntu Studio on the big boxes and the Chromebox.

 

All use JRMC to serve up the same FLACs from the same NAS through the same system and cabling. I also run a few different players on each to see how they are, but I find the SQ from JRMC, MPD, and Daphile to be interchangeable (I ran Daphile from a USB stick to try it).

 

I use the BBB for all music now, as I couldn't pick out any of these from the rest by listening. Maybe I'm just not that sensitive, but there's no consistent, describable difference. I'm very happy with my ARM-based Linux system and can't imagine going back to a traditional PC or Mac platform for music.

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...