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iFi iDAC2,DSD256,MAC specs?


photonblur
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Hello,

 

Just ordered the iDAC2 and am considering

a mac mini or mbp for upsampling PCM to

DSD256.

 

What specs, (processor, memory, drive)

are recommended? If I purchased the micro

iDSD BL same question for DSD512?

 

Thanks,

 

pb-

You want an I7-6700k (92 watts) or a i7-7700(65 watts) at a minimum for dsd512 upsampling with HQplayer. I wouldn't know about apples products that may or may not meet this spec.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Hello,

 

Just ordered the iDAC2 and am considering

a mac mini or mbp for upsampling PCM to

DSD256.

 

What specs, (processor, memory, drive)

are recommended? If I purchased the micro

iDSD BL same question for DSD512?

 

Thanks,

 

pb-

 

Mac Computers do not support ASIO any longer, hence DSD512 is not possible. This requires Linux or Windows and suitable software.

 

While upsampling can be CPU intensive, modern (currently shipping) models of Intel or AMD based computers fit with midrange or better CPU's all have sufficient CPU power. Just avoid "Atom" branded low end Intel CPU's and their AMD equivalent. Generally speaking, CPU power is the least problem nowadays, except for high end gaming.

 

If buying older systems from second hand, usually those with higher end CPU's are depreciated relatively more than those with lower end ones (they often cost the same). So it makes sense to seek out the highest spec CPU available. However any Mac mini from 2015 model year or later should do.

 

Memory is usually on the principle "the more the better", as some software allows you to load the whole song or even Album into memory and play from there, without disk access. So 4GB is a sensible minimum, 8GB is useful and even 16GB can be utilized, going further is unlikely to help much more.

 

Equally, disk drive space. It is best to have a Solid State Disk (SSD) for the system and this does not need to be huge, however 256GB is nowadays a sensible minimum.

 

To store the music it is probably best to use an external Disk Pack with some form of redundancy (e.g. Mirroring or RAID 5) so that if one Hard Drive is damaged, your music collection is safe.

 

Hard drive space has a tendency to be filled up, on the principle that nature abhors a vacuum. If you have a pair of mirrored 3TB disks you will fill them up sooner than you think. If you have a 5 Disk RAID 5 Array filled with 6TB disks it will fill up sooner or later. Getting High Res Audio downloads will speed this process up rather nicely.

 

So buy the best "value for TB" HDD in the market, make sure to keep things flexible and so that you can expand in future. And think about backups, e.g. something like an unlimited "Cloud" account or at least a spare USB disk or two.

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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Hello,

 

Thanks for all the informative comprehensive

advice. My previous digital chain was

squeezebox touch->regen->dac, running

LMS from a multi-purposed iMac in another

room. I recently sold that dac and will

purchase either the iDAC2 or iDSD before

the DSD capable computer upgrade; so

short term my digital chain will be, SBT->

regen->iFi dac.

 

Will the smps powered regen be sufficient

to power the iDAC2 or charge the iDSD?

 

I am hoping that by leaving the regen

allways on there will be no need to remove

the iDSD from the chain for charging; or

to follow the cumbersome connect/

disconnect iDAC2 manual's instruction

when using a squeezebox touch or

similar device.

 

I've spent considerable time searching

this out without finding anything

definitive. There's always trial and

error which pretty much sums up

my audio adventures:)

 

Thanks,

 

pb-

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Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Thanks for all the informative comprehensive

advice. My previous digital chain was

squeezebox touch->regen->dac, running

LMS from a multi-purposed iMac in another

room. I recently sold that dac and will

purchase either the iDAC2 or iDSD before

the DSD capable computer upgrade; so

short term my digital chain will be, SBT->

regen->iFi dac.

 

Will the smps powered regen be sufficient

to power the iDAC2 or charge the iDSD?

 

I am hoping that by leaving the regen

allways on there will be no need to remove

the iDSD from the chain for charging; or

to follow the cumbersome connect/

disconnect iDAC2 manual's instruction

when using a squeezebox touch or

similar device.

 

I've spent considerable time searching

this out without finding anything

definitive. There's always trial and

error which pretty much sums up

my audio adventures:)

 

Thanks,

 

pb-

 

As far as the desktop setup goes, in desktop environment our iDAC2 is a better choice than multitasking iDSD. You'd alson need to ask the 'regen people' to confirm the minimal USB amperage output.

Our PowerStation is here: click me!

 

Check out our Tidal MQA Set-up Guides below. 
Android (Renderer) Mobile
Desktop (Decoder) via USB
Desktop (Decoder) via SPDIF

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