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Optane SSD as Boot drive - SQ Nirvana?

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40 minutes ago, Quadman said:

 

Larry I am using as OS drives only.  I have not tried the nvme PCIe card as I have a big GPU card sitting there for cuda offload.  Everything I play I upsample to DSD512 and lately have been digging the Closed Form 16M HQP filter which most CPU's will not run without a GPU capable of Cuda offload.

 

As a side note (and off topic) I recently had in my possession a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 MQA, Robert Harley calls it the best digital he has heard.  I was selling this unit for a friend and of course I had to listen to it PCM at its best and MQA decoding vs. my beloved DSD512.  I also had the Berkeley Alpha USB converter so the PC was completely isolated from the DAC (pc server, USB to Berkeley USB, AES digital to Berkeley Dac).  To my ears there was no comparison, the DSD512 setup just trounced the PCM/MQA of the berkeley dac.  DSD512 is alive I am at the recording there is no stereo in the room just sound, The berkeley, tho very good, made me feel like I was listening to a very good stereo, the audio cliche check list would be there with the berkeley, but the feeling, the involvement with the music was not the same.  My T+A at 512 gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.  Hence from this experience I decided to stay the high rate upsampling path rather than the low powered Nuc route.

Hi John,

 

Thanks for your clarification on your Optane use. Are you using a single box solution for your DSD512 upsampling? I've got my Optane in the big x16 PCIE direct to cpu slot you use for your graphics card. That is likely to make a difference in SQ as well. It is tempting to move to a xeon board with more direct PCIE slots.

 

Great to learn you are still enjoying your T+A dac and DSD512 upsampling. Your experience with the expensive Berkeley DAC is interesting.  Many thanks for sharing. I remember a great weekend in the spring of 2016 at my house of listening to the T+A dac and DSD512 upsampling with several CAers. I am not surprised that solution has improved over time.

 

Yes, the NUC/AL combination has moved things here in the opposite direction, all bit perfect and as low power as possible. A quad core I7, 8gb of ram, wifi connected NUC endpoint running from a 12 volt lps1.2 sips power. With AL/Roonserver running on my old custom, linear powered i7-6700k DSD512 upsampling machine music sounds spine tingling here as well.

 

As always, there is more then one way to skin the cat.

 

Larry


nuckleheadaudio.com

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14 hours ago, lmitche said:

I am curious. How are you using these storage devices? Have you tried an externally powered multiple nvme pcie card?

 

Over here using a 32 gb Optane for rambooting AL into memory and for a Roon database means very little activity. There doesn't seem to be any noise when idle, so it's hard to justify investing more.

 

They were used for everything other than the sound files. So OS, Roon and HQPlayer.  Sound files are on a NAS.  That was before AL.  Now that I use AL I load it all into RAM from a USB stick and remove it.  No drive at all anymore.  I moved the Optane drive to my office PC.


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Linear Solution OCXO switch-> Custom 2016 Server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> AL NUC NA->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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12 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Hi John,

 

Thanks for your clarification on your Optane use. Are you using a single box solution for your DSD512 upsampling? I've got my Optane in the big x16 PCIE direct to cpu slot you use for your graphics card. That is likely to make a difference in SQ as well. It is tempting to move to a xeon board with more direct PCIE slots.

 

Great to learn you are still enjoying your T+A dac and DSD512 upsampling. Your experience with the expensive Berkeley DAC is interesting.  Many thanks for sharing. I remember a great weekend in the spring of 2016 at my house of listening to the T+A dac and DSD512 upsampling with several CAers. I am not surprised that solution has improved over time.

 

Yes, the NUC/AL combination has moved things here in the opposite direction, all bit perfect and as low power as possible. A quad core I7, 8gb of ram, wifi connected NUC endpoint running from a 12 volt lps1.2 sips power. With AL/Roonserver running on my old custom, linear powered i7-6700k DSD512 upsampling machine music sounds spine tingling here as well.

 

As always, there is more then one way to skin the cat.

 

Larry

 

Wasn't sure if you were responding to me or Quadman.


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Linear Solution OCXO switch-> Custom 2016 Server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> AL NUC NA->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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22 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Are you using a single box solution for your DSD512 upsampling?

 Yes single box, with regen and isoregen between PC and Dac.  I have experimented with regen in path and out and actually prefer it in at the PC, I turn off USB 5V via bios, and use the regen with LPSU as 5V to the IR which also has LPSU and all DC pwr cables are Gotham Gac 4/1 UP with my variable shielding setup.  Power supplies, in my opinion, are probably 85% of a products sound quality and powering NUC's with high quality LPSU's is a great idea, that and using a low overhead OS like AL makes it tempting to try, but 512 is alive in my room and I have a big addiction to it.  My modded vinyl rig (improved PSU's for phono stages) with the best recordings can hang with it, but the convenience of digital and vast tidal library make digital the king for me.

 

Back to topic and summarizing optane as boot drive= to Sata II SSD (intel X25e) w sotm sata II filter and LPSU and both are > Sata III SSD as OS.

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1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

 

Wasn't sure if you were responding to me or Quadman.

No worries Johnseye, thanks for your answer as well.

 

So when you add new music, you stop ramboot and do the music update with the stick inserted, or do you let Roon find and index new tracks on the fly into ram?

 

I've never tried booting my server from anything but an Optane card. Maybe I'll have a go at that.

 

Most of my recent hardware and software tweaks have been on the server side and they have been significant.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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41 minutes ago, lmitche said:

No worries Johnseye, thanks for your answer as well.

 

So when you add new music, you stop ramboot and do the music update with the stick inserted, or do you let Roon find and index new tracks on the fly into ram?

 

I've never tried booting my server from anything but an Optane card. Maybe I'll have a go at that.

 

Most of my recent hardware and software tweaks have been on the server side and they have been significant.

 

I will periodically add the USB stick back to the PC, run a save within AL, then pull the USB stick out again.  The Roon db is maintained in RAM.  I'm using two 8GB sticks in the server so plenty of space.  This is all on the server of course, not the NAA.  I'd be curious to know your recent hardware and software tweaks on the server side, if you're willing to share.


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Linear Solution OCXO switch-> Custom 2016 Server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> AL NUC NA->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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3 hours ago, lmitche said:

It is tempting to move to a xeon board with more direct PCIE slots.

 

A look at the PCIe revision for 4.0 and 5.0 might be useful before making that decision.  For SQ it may be an interesting decision.  AMD is said to be bringing 4.0 to market soon.  5.0 looks to be the more immediate successor in the Xeon and "i" boards.  Intel may or may not issue another rash of Optane SSD in this period.  

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27 minutes ago, rando said:

 

A look at the PCIe revision for 4.0 and 5.0 might be useful before making that decision.  For SQ it may be an interesting decision.  AMD is said to be bringing 4.0 to market soon.  5.0 looks to be the more immediate successor in the Xeon and "i" boards.  Intel may or may not issue another rash of Optane SSD in this period.  

There was a recent release of Optane SSDs just in January. The new version of the 32 gb Optane model is a bit faster and uses 40% less current when active compared to the older model.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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3 minutes ago, lmitche said:

There was a recent release of Optane SSDs just in January. The new version of the 32 gb Optane model is a bit faster and uses 40% less current when active compared to the older model.

How do you tell the new 32GB version from the old one?  The only new Optanes I know about are the 58GB and 118GB (800P series)


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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13 minutes ago, rickca said:

How do you tell the new 32GB version from the old one?  The only new Optanes I know about are the 58GB and 118GB (800P series)

Here is my source.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13825/new-generation-of-optane-m2-ssds-coming-soon

I also read it was faster with an x4 vs. x2 interface. It is also the third generation, as I forgot about the m10 edition.


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33 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Here is my source.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13825/new-generation-of-optane-m2-ssds-coming-soon

I also read it was faster with an x4 vs. x2 interface. It is also the third generation, as I forgot about the m10 edition.

I forgot about that article.  Looks like the new M15 is in fact PCIe Gen3 x4 as you say.  Even the 800P I mentioned is being replaced by the 815P.  Looks like availability is 2Q2019.  Thank you for the reminder.  


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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On 3/18/2019 at 12:56 PM, Johnseye said:

I'd be curious to know your recent hardware and software tweaks on the server side, if you're willing to share

There is nothing new here that hasn't been shared by myself or others in the past.


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Seems like Optane boot has become a standard. Are people using Optane on servers or servers and endpoints? 


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10 hours ago, lmitche said:

Seems like Optane boot has become a standard. Are people using Optane on servers or servers and endpoints? 

Server, but only because its faster boot than USB stick in booting to RAM.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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On 9/22/2019 at 9:44 AM, lmitche said:

Seems like Optane boot has become a standard

On a couple of PC's I've built.  I've used it on the server, but my personal machine I still use the old sata 2 intel X25E SSD, I think it sounds a bit more analogish and more whole.  Optane sounds pretty good and would be my second choice, but for now my heart lies with sata 2.

 

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7 hours ago, Quadman said:

On a couple of PC's I've built.  I've used it on the server, but my personal machine I still use the old sata 2 intel X25E SSD, I think it sounds a bit more analogish and more whole.  Optane sounds pretty good and would be my second choice, but for now my heart lies with sata 2.

 

Funny, I have an old Intel x25e SSD on my desktop machine as well.

21 hours ago, davide256 said:

Server, but only because its faster boot than USB stick in booting to RAM.

 

Are you using Roon? If so, where do you keep your Roon database?


nuckleheadaudio.com

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6 hours ago, lmitche said:

Funny, I have an old Intel x25e SSD on my desktop machine as well.

 

Are you using Roon? If so, where do you keep your Roon database?

With the latest Euphony RAM image, I can load Roon or Euphony to RAM. But the difference has become so great  in favor of Euphony Stylus,

I rarely use Roon anymore


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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11 hours ago, davide256 said:

With the latest Euphony RAM image, I can load Roon or Euphony to RAM. But the difference has become so great  in favor of Euphony Stylus,

I rarely use Roon anymore

Over here, I cannot get Euphony SQ to match AL/Roon. Of course my AL is heavily tuned. The same can't be done with Euphony as it doesn't allow root access.


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I am building a server based on a Supermicro mobo.  If the Intel Optane is not compatible with the mobo (I am still waiting on verification) what is my next best choice?  This would only be for the OS and Roon Server to 32 GB is more than enough space.

 


Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (WS 2016/AO/HQPlayer/Roon)> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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2 hours ago, dminches said:

I am building a server based on a Supermicro mobo.  If the Intel Optane is not compatible with the mobo (I am still waiting on verification) what is my next best choice?  This would only be for the OS and Roon Server to 32 GB is more than enough space.

 

You can always buy a m.2 ngff pcie card and use that. We are just using optane as a ssd.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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4 minutes ago, lmitche said:

You can always buy a m.2 ngff price card and use that.

 

I assume you mean m.2 ngff PCIE card.

 

I guess these cards come with drivers which could circumvent any potential incompatibility?

 


Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (WS 2016/AO/HQPlayer/Roon)> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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5 minutes ago, dminches said:

 

I assume you mean m.2 ngff PCIE card.

 

I guess these cards come with drivers which could circumvent any potential incompatibility?

 

Just what I said . . .

 

No drivers necessary. 


nuckleheadaudio.com

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