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MacMini setup for DSD256 DSD512


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planning to try the DSD road , what is the minimal Mac mini setup to run HQplayer or other upsampler to do 16/44PCM to

DSD256 or DSD512 conversion ?

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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planning to try the DSD road , what is the minimal Mac mini setup to run HQplayer or other upsampler to do 16/44PCM to

DSD256 or DSD512 conversion ?

 

Your EC dac will not do DSD. If you insist on DSD256 via OSX then exaSound is a real choice, since they have written a nice ASIO driver for OSX. What is your Mac Mini horsepower?

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planning to try the DSD road , what is the minimal Mac mini setup to run HQplayer or other upsampler to do 16/44PCM to

DSD256 or DSD512 conversion ?

 

I don't think there are any Minis out right now that have the requisite horsepower. My current Mini (2.5GHz i5, 8GB RAM) can only manage DSD64 and my MacBook Pro (2.5GHz i7, SSD and 16GB RAM) can just barely handle DSD256 - much more comfortable at DSD128.

 

If I were buying a new Mini today, I'd go with the maximum possible config; i.e., 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz), 16GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM, 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage, but don't know if even that would "do it".

 

I'm toying with the idea of buying a cheap, powerful Wintel machine just for upsampling / music server duties, much as I'd hate to bring Wintel back into the house :/

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Your EC dac will not do DSD. If you insist on DSD256 via OSX then exaSound is a real choice, since they have written a nice ASIO driver for OSX. What is your Mac Mini horsepower?

 

i have try with succeed DSD 128 with my Mini2010 dual core 2.4ghz using hqplayer Polysyncshortmp 2s /DSD7 using dop on the mutec MC3usb ( convert to PCM to my EC dac just to hear if i have drop out )

 

DSD128 works fine , DSD256 don't work at all ..

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My Mac Mini will do DSD256 with no problem (see signature) but for DSD512 it will probable not work. DSD512 takes a LOT of processing power.

 

As a side I will be selling my Mac Mini (with Uptone Audio internal power supply) very soon as I plan on ONLY doing DSD512. Otherwise I love my Mac Mini.

 

You would need to buy an Apple desktop to get enough processing to handle DSD512.

 

As far as DSD256 you should be able to find a very powerful MBP or desktop that could handle it. But I have not looked recently to know witch ones to suggest.

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Al, what OSX drivers even do DSD512, regardless of requisite horsepower? DoP would require PCM at 1.4Mhz. That was my point earlier. At least exaSound and a couple others do 256 raw.

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Al, what OSX drivers even do DSD512, regardless of requisite horsepower? DoP would require PCM at 1.4Mhz. That was my point earlier. At least exaSound and a couple others do 256 raw.

 

it seems that the new XMOS Chip USB/I2S converter don't need any driver on mas OS X , things are moving fast !

XMOS 768kHz DXD DSD512(DSD1024) high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB - DIYINHK

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Al, what OSX drivers even do DSD512, regardless of requisite horsepower? DoP would require PCM at 1.4Mhz. That was my point earlier. At least exaSound and a couple others do 256 raw.

 

Hi Ted. Yes, but I was only talking about horsepower as your post covered the fact that one would need a special driver with using OSX and DSD256 and none exist for DSD512. But I also use my Mac Mini with Windows. I took the OP as just what horsepower was needed to get the job done on a Mac Mini, regardless of OS.

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it seems that the new XMOS Chip USB/I2S converter don't need any driver on mas OS X , things are moving fast !

XMOS 768kHz DXD DSD512(DSD1024) high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB - DIYINHK

 

 

I would not jump to any conclusions. I for one will wait till others with way more tech skills then me confirms what it can and can not do.

 

But if it can that would be great.

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what is the minimal Mac mini setup to run HQplayer or other upsampler to do 16/44PCM to DSD256 or DSD512 conversion ?

 

I can upsample to DSD128 on my mid-2011 dual-core 2.3GHz i5 Mac mini (via DoP). Running Roon Core and HQP, this is workable for listening, but if I try to do anything else concurrently (even if it's just copying files), stuttering will ensue.

 

Also via DoP, I can upsample to DSD256 on my 8-core Xeon Mac Pro — that doesn't seem to stress that machine much. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to upsample to DSD256 on my new quad-core 4.0GHz i7 iMac, but I haven't tested it yet.

 

I agree with John that a current-model "loaded" i7 Mac mini might be able to do DSD256, but no guarantees.

 

The others are right about DSD512 — there's no way to do it directly from OS X at this time. The exaSound DACs can do native DSD with their proprietary ASIO driver, but they "only" go to DSD256. Currently, there's no way, AFAIK, to do DSD512 via DoP. I have a faint hope that I might be able to upsample to DSD512 on my iMac and thence to my Sonicorbiter SE (as HQP NAA), but I won't be able to try this until I have a DSD512-capable DAC at my disposal, which likely won't be for a while.

 

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normally they will be a new generation of mac in junes perhaps with skylake processor , i hope the Mini will be in the same wagon :)

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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normally they will be a new generation of mac in junes perhaps with skylake processor , i hope the Mini will be in the same wagon :)

 

 

Forget everything else for a moment (OSX) and you still could have a major problem. Even with a Skylake Processor you would need an i7 Quad Core to up-sample all rates to DSD512 and probably DSD256 (depending on the Processor). Apple seems to have decided to use Dual Core only in the Mac Mini line. At least from what I have seen.

 

So unless they change their minds and offer a Mini with a Quad Core again you will still be out of luck.

 

But then you have to decide to use W10 on the Mini in order to do DSD256 with all DACs that support that Rate and the few that can do DSD512. Because you will be back to what Ted told you above. Not a big deal to use W10 on a Mac Mini but then why go through all this to stay on a Mac Mini, or Apple for that matter.

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I have an i5 mini with 16g ram. I can easily do DSD256, but it uses 75% of the cpu. So I'm maxed out now. I too hifial want to do only DSD512 only, so I too will eventually sell my mini and build a pc like Teds and Jesus'. Of course I'm looking at buying a better DAC too lol

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don't say the world "windows" or i will transform myself into something out of control :) , so to resume Mac mini with OS X

is DSD256 only for the most powerful , no big deal some goods Lampiz'dacs use this rate :)

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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Interesting thread. I have a 2.6Ghz i7 Quad-core Mac Mini (2012) but can't test as only have a PCM DAC so far. Can anyone comment on its capabilities in terms of DSD upsampling horsepower?

Mac Mini > RME ADI-2 DAC > Hypex Ncore monoblocks > ATC SCM-11 speakers & C1 subwoofer

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it seems that the new XMOS Chip USB/I2S converter don't need any driver on mas OS X , things are moving fast !

XMOS 768kHz DXD DSD512(DSD1024) high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB - DIYINHK

 

Hi, have been following some of the USB bridge threads with interest, but have never used one. Could you kindly explain how one would use this to get higher-rate DSD from a Mac? Would you need a DAC with i2s input? Or how?

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I am too contemplating the possibility of converting PCM to DSD.

Especially after I discovered the Lampi Euphoria at 2K.... or the T+A DAC8 DSD

The fastest available MacMini is a 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz).

There is also the possibility of a Mac Pro - I had planned to spend more on my DAC, so it would not hurt that much.

 

Is there a consensus here: DSD 512 or nothing? Do we get most of the DSD benefits with 256 for example?

 

Thanks

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TIME OUT!!

 

TWO very important points.

 

1) AT this time AFAIK you can NOT do DSD256 with OSX with MOST DACs. One exception as an example is the exaSound. they have a special Driver that allows Native/Raw DSD to be played at up to DSD256. In some cases you can play DSD256 on OSX by using DoP but then your DAC would need to be able to play PCM at 768, most do not. While many feel using DoP is the same as Native/Raw DSD I find that is a case by case and prefer to only use Native/Raw DSD. To each their own.

AND AFAIK, there is NO way to do DSD512 without a special Driver with OSX and at this time none exist.

 

2) Does DSD256 get you most of the way there vs DSD512?!

 

Lets see, how can I answer this....mmmm....ah....NO!!! Oh, did I say NO!! DSD512 is a HUGH improvement!!

 

While DSD256 is a very noticeable jump in sound quality from DSD128 vs the jump in sound quality from DSD64 to DSD128, it is a much smaller difference in the jump of sound quality from DSD256 to DSD512.

 

That leaves you with using a PC and HORRORS, W10. To do DSD512 an i7 Quad Core should do it. Add an Nvidia Graphics Card with CUDA if you can.

 

The above is IMHO and what I have witnessed. Other witnesses may disavow and deny.lol

 

I hope the above helps.

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1) AT this time AFAIK you can NOT do DSD256 with OSX with MOST DACs. One exception as an example is the exaSound

 

that's why Sonore MicroRendu exist :)

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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TIME OUT!!

 

TWO very important points.

 

1) AT this time AFAIK you can NOT do DSD256 with OSX with MOST DACs. One exception as an example is the exaSound. they have a special Driver that allows Native/Raw DSD to be played at up to DSD256. In some cases you can play DSD256 on OSX by using DoP but then your DAC would need to be able to play PCM at 768, most do not. While many feel using DoP is the same as Native/Raw DSD I find that is a case by case and prefer to only use Native/Raw DSD. To each their own.

AND AFAIK, there is NO way to do DSD512 without a special Driver with OSX and at this time none exist.

 

2) Does DSD256 get you most of the way there vs DSD512?!

 

Lets see, how can I answer this....mmmm....ah....NO!!! Oh, did I say NO!! DSD512 is a HUGH improvement!!

 

While DSD256 is a very noticeable jump in sound quality from DSD128 vs the jump in sound quality from DSD64 to DSD128, it is a much smaller difference in the jump of sound quality from DSD256 to DSD512.

 

That leaves you with using a PC and HORRORS, W10. To do DSD512 an i7 Quad Core should do it. Add an Nvidia Graphics Card with CUDA if you can.

 

The above is IMHO and what I have witnessed. Other witnesses may disavow and deny.lol

 

I hope the above helps.

 

+1 (in that I've already argued this, and somewhat with you Al :) ) Yes, DSD512 is a big improvement, not only as reported with chipless designs like the T+A but with the SABRE chip too.

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that's why Sonore MicroRendu exist :)

 

Still no free lunch, in that Linux is not terribly DSD512-rich (yet) either. A few, but nothing like the selections in Windows ASIO. The momentum is Linux, though. Note: I have no idea whether the momentum in Linux will bleed over to OSX (automatically or even culturally). I don't know that world well enough.

 

The uRendu exists cuz they have carefully kid-gloved the USB interface like no other.

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+1 (in that I've already argued this, and somewhat with you Al :) ) Yes, DSD512 is a big improvement, not only as reported with chipless designs like the T+A but with the SABRE chip too.

 

Ted, I never argue with you,lol.

 

Heck, I had to wrap my head around this too at one time, with some help from you no less.

 

I was just being lazy with my post and see what it got me. A spanking.lol

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What's the point of the best playback gear with the highest resolution recordings if the music listened to is crap? How many DSD512 recordings, or for that matter DSD256 recordings are available anyway? I've never understood desire to hear the same old tired banal pop music recordings yet again, albeit in higher resolution. Crap is still crap. Dig a hole, toss them in and bury them.

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What's the point of the best playback gear with the highest resolution recordings if the music listened to is crap? How many DSD512 recordings, or for that matter DSD256 recordings are available anyway? I've never understood desire to hear the same old tired banal pop music recordings yet again, albeit in higher resolution. Crap is still crap. Dig a hole, toss them in and bury them.

 

I think the point isn't so much playing only actual DSD512 material, but more the perceived benefits of upsampling all other material to DSD512, 256, using software like HQPlayer etc

Mac Mini > RME ADI-2 DAC > Hypex Ncore monoblocks > ATC SCM-11 speakers & C1 subwoofer

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What's the point of the best playback gear with the highest resolution recordings if the music listened to is crap? How many DSD512 recordings, or for that matter DSD256 recordings are available anyway? I've never understood desire to hear the same old tired banal pop music recordings yet again, albeit in higher resolution. Crap is still crap. Dig a hole, toss them in and bury them.

 

 

Format conversion and upsampling software such as HQ Player allows you to enjoy pretty much any Format and sample rate music beautifully transformed to DSD 512

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