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What computer will do HQP upsampling to DSD256 in multichannel?


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I asked a similar question several months ago.  Has anyone been able to buy, make, etc. a computer that can upsample a mch file, say DSD64, to DSD256 in HQP smoothly without stopping, burping or otherwise not performing well.  I asked Jussi with no good response.  The HQP website suggests one core per channel, so I would need a six or eight core PC.  I've looked on the web, but I don't want to buy a $4000 machine and find it isn't powerful enough.  I even asked the Sound Galleries people and they were going to see whether their super machine could do the upsampling with a NADAC mch, which is what I have. However, that apparently didn't get done.  Anyway, any help would be appreciated.  Most of my mch files are DSD64 (Channel Classics mch downloads, for example). 

 

Thanks, Larry

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Miska for his multichannel rig uses the intel 6950x CPU which has 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache and 4 memory channels he up samples to DSD256 and uses full convolution.  That processor in the US is $1600.  They have other processors in that family that may also be able to do it (6900 ,$1000, 8 cores; 6850 $600, 6 cores.  Miska's thinking was to have 1 core per channel and 2 extra for other stuff.  For sure we know the 6950x can do it.  I have not read on the forums where other folks have done what you want with the lesser (6900,6850) cpu's.  I would think the 6900 with 8 core would be capable enough.  Jussi hates to tell someone it can do it if he has not verified it himself.

 

Here's the link to his blog of the 6950 build

 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/entry/493-building-a-new-server-for-multichannel-processing/

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5 minutes ago, Quadman said:

Miska for his multichannel rig uses the intel 6950x CPU which has 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache and 4 memory channels he up samples to DSD256 and uses full convolution.  That processor in the US is $1600.  They have other processors in that family that may also be able to do it (6900 ,$1000, 8 cores; 6850 $600, 6 cores.  Miska's thinking was to have 1 core per channel and 2 extra for other stuff.  For sure we know the 6950x can do it.  I have not read on the forums where other folks have done what you want with the lesser (6900,6850) cpu's.  I would think the 6900 with 8 core would be capable enough.  Jussi hates to tell someone it can do it if he has not verified it himself.

 

Here's the link to his blog of the 6950 build

 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/entry/493-building-a-new-server-for-multichannel-processing/

 

Will definitely be nicer when photo links/images work again in the blogs.

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30 minutes ago, Quadman said:

Does the link not work?  It worked for me.

 

No photos on blogs yet.  I meant the various links/attachments for photos accompanying the blog entries aren't working (at least for me - are they for anyone else?).

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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1 hour ago, Jud said:

 

No photos on blogs yet.  I meant the various links/attachments for photos accompanying the blog entries aren't working (at least for me - are they for anyone else?).

 

No, no photos here either.  Interesting read - wish I could afford to build one of these myself!

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4 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

I can downsample DSD256 in multichannel to 24/192PCM and apply Dirac to it but I have not tried upstampling.  If I get a chance this week, I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks, Kal. Much appreciated.

 

2 hours ago, Quadman said:

Miska for his multichannel rig uses the intel 6950x CPU which has 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache and 4 memory channels he up samples to DSD256 and uses full convolution.  That processor in the US is $1600.  They have other processors in that family that may also be able to do it (6900 ,$1000, 8 cores; 6850 $600, 6 cores.  Miska's thinking was to have 1 core per channel and 2 extra for other stuff.  For sure we know the 6950x can do it.  I have not read on the forums where other folks have done what you want with the lesser (6900,6850) cpu's.  I would think the 6900 with 8 core would be capable enough.  Jussi hates to tell someone it can do it if he has not verified it himself.

 

Here's the link to his blog of the 6950 build

 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/entry/493-building-a-new-server-for-multichannel-processing/

Thanks very much.  I had emailed Jussi last year but he hadn't done this computer yet.  I don't follow his blog, so I missed this information.  Larry

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3 hours ago, Quadman said:

Miska for his multichannel rig uses the intel 6950x CPU which has 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache and 4 memory channels he up samples to DSD256 and uses full convolution.  That processor in the US is $1600.  They have other processors in that family that may also be able to do it (6900 ,$1000, 8 cores; 6850 $600, 6 cores.  Miska's thinking was to have 1 core per channel and 2 extra for other stuff.  For sure we know the 6950x can do it.  I have not read on the forums where other folks have done what you want with the lesser (6900,6850) cpu's.  I would think the 6900 with 8 core would be capable enough.  Jussi hates to tell someone it can do it if he has not verified it himself.

 

Here's the link to his blog of the 6950 build

 https://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/entry/493-building-a-new-server-for-multichannel-processing/

Looking at this issue, I'd add a 1080 GPU to the mix.

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10 hours ago, ted_b said:

Larry, My build does it with ease (exaSound e28 via HQP NAA).  My server build is here:

 

 

Thanks, Ted. Much appreciated.  I'm sending this info over to my consultant.  Looks like your computer may be a bit simpler? than Jussi's.  Not sure what convolution is and whether it is good or bad.    Larry

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Larry, convolution is  basically EQ for each channel.  If you don't need then for almost same price get the i7-7700k, it offers about 8% improvement over 6700k.  I do not use convolution, but I do EQ my bass with a parametric equalizer, I use clio 8.x to verify my  EQ.  You can't EQ (convolute) by ear.

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On 3/22/2017 at 2:44 AM, astrotoy said:

I asked a similar question several months ago.  Has anyone been able to buy, make, etc. a computer that can upsample a mch file, say DSD64, to DSD256 in HQP smoothly without stopping, burping or otherwise not performing well. 

I tend to use Jriver most of the time but I switched over to HQPlayer and just gave it a shot on my older, slower maching (i7-4770K).  No trouble running DSD64 to DSD256 playback.  Only played 3-4 tracks, fwiw.

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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7 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

I tend to use Jriver most of the time but I switched over to HQPlayer and just gave it a shot on my older, slower maching (i7-4770K).  No trouble running DSD64 to DSD256 playback.  Only played 3-4 tracks, fwiw.

Thanks, Kal. 

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I am currently investigating the same question because my first PC build did not cut the mustard. My current PC is specified as follows: i7-6700, B170 motherboard (with on-board graphics), 16GB RAM, and no graphics card. It is able to take a FLAC file and upsample 8 channels to DSD256, but it eats up 80% CPU and it sometimes stutters. If I attempt to take a DSD file and upsample 8 channels to DSD256, the CPU maxes out and the system grinds to a halt. 

 

My reading suggests that Jussi thinks that you need one CPU core per channel, and that having adequate cores is more important than pipeline speed. 

 

The reason this is important is because - for a hundred bucks more than a i7-6950X, you could buy a Xeon E5-2699 v4. It has 22 cores (vs 10 for the 6950X), but each single thread having less speed (1768 vs. 2129). The Xeon also runs a tad bit hotter than the 6950X (145W vs. 140W). I am quoting from this source: 

 

- [url=https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html]Table comparing CPU's[/url]

- CPU Benchmark Xeon E5 2699 v4

- CPU Benchmark i7-6950X

 

As to whether HQPlayer can actually take advantage of 22 cores, Miska hasn't said anything. So I presume the answer is no. 

 

So there you have it. For almost the same price as a 6950X, you could have a Xeon which has more than twice as many cores, albeit slower thread speed. As for why Miska himself didn't choose a Xeon, I have no idea. I wish he would enlighten us. 

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On 3/24/2017 at 10:59 AM, Keith_W said:

As to whether HQPlayer can actually take advantage of 22 cores, Miska hasn't said anything. So I presume the answer is no. 

 

So there you have it. For almost the same price as a 6950X, you could have a Xeon which has more than twice as many cores, albeit slower thread speed. As for why Miska himself didn't choose a Xeon, I have no idea. I wish he would enlighten us. 

 

There are couple of important factors:

  • Base frequency
  • Per-core memory bandwidth
  • Amount of cache (per core too)

Base clock rate matters, because there's a limit how much things can be spread to cores, so one needs to balance between number of cores and speed of a single core.

 

If you go for Xeon, it is better to get dual-socket one (E5 2xxx v4) with less cores but higher clock speed, because you gain both higher per-core speed, and also double the memory bandwidth because each socket has four memory channels (you also need to populate those!).

 

In 3.16.0 already improved multicore support for CPUs with 8+ cores. 3.16.1 will take this further to higher number of cores. But in any case, one cannot keep increasing number of cores and dropping base frequency too much, but that can be addressed by adding more sockets.

 

How many cores can be optimally utilized also depends on HQPlayer configuration.

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

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19 hours ago, Miska said:

 

There are couple of important factors:

  • Base frequency
  • Per-core memory bandwidth
  • Amount of cache (per core too)

Base clock rate matters, because there's a limit how much things can be spread to cores, so one needs to balance between number of cores and speed of a single core.

 

 

 

Quick but relevant question for Miska. Do you think if the upcoming E5 Skylake Xeons have AVX 512 instructions or a subset of the AVX512 instruction set enabled as expected, that would allow HQ player to required lower minimum base frequency requirement? My understanding is that AVX 512 should allow doubling the floating point operations executed per clock cycle.

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On 3/27/2017 at 8:22 PM, Sagittarius said:

Quick but relevant question for Miska. Do you think if the upcoming E5 Skylake Xeons have AVX 512 instructions or a subset of the AVX512 instruction set enabled as expected, that would allow HQ player to required lower minimum base frequency requirement? My understanding is that AVX 512 should allow doubling the floating point operations executed per clock cycle.

 

AVX512 will help to some extent, but I don't have any figures yet how much...

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 3/23/2017 at 11:40 AM, Kal Rubinson said:

I tend to use Jriver most of the time but I switched over to HQPlayer and just gave it a shot on my older, slower maching (i7-4770K).  No trouble running DSD64 to DSD256 playback.  Only played 3-4 tracks, fwiw.

 

My experience has been that DSD64 to DSD256 upsampling isn't that resource intensive with HQ Player.  But when you try to go from PCM files to DSD256, that's when the serious computing power needs arise.

 

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7 hours ago, bmoura said:

 

My experience has been that DSD64 to DSD256 upsampling isn't that resource intensive with HQ Player.  But when you try to go from PCM files to DSD256, that's when the serious computing power needs arise.

 

Probably but I have not tried that yet since it is not part of my general listening configuration.

Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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55 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Probably but I have not tried that yet since it is not part of my general listening configuration.

 

Well as my mother used to tell me when I refused to eat something green, "Just try it!" ;)

 

I think I can speak for many others that a (if not the) real advantage of HQ Player (at least as a SQ tweak) is up-sampling 16/44 (or even 24/96) PCM to DSD...

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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