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Mac Pro audio playback performance issues...

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...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Intel NUC NUC8i7BEH Roon Server running Audio Linux in RAM -> Sonore UltraRendu (Roon Endpoint) -> Uptone ISO Regen -> Singxer SU-1 KTE -> Holo Audio Spring Level 3 DAC -> Nord One UP Monoblocks -> Spendor LS3/5as | Music controlled via iPad (Power Conditioning: Audience adeptResponse aR12).  Twitter: @hirezaudio

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What they're really saying is that if you run an external audio adapter or digital audio feed, other applications take about a 20% hit in performance.


Now, is this a bad thing, or is it actually a good thing? What I suspect is happening is that the audio application is getting system priority and slowing computing hardware access for other tasks. So, from the viewpoint of assuring good playback quality, this is possibly a GOOD thing.


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I only use external audio with my late model (December 2009) Mac Pro, either USB or Firewire when I'm doing DAW work; the USB is always connected and in operation; I'm browsing the web now (obviously) and listening to some Jonatha Brooke through the USB audio output, and my CPU utilization is about 0.44% - doesn't hardly register, no unusual heating or activity, and no degradation of other applications.


Soooo, it's not at all clear what's going on here and how universal this "problem" is. One thing I've seen occasionally with Macs is that some keyboard or printer drivers install low level hacks to get some of their functionality, and when they do this, it can mess up other functionality on the system- or even prevent the installation of updates or software working properly. This was a problem with some of the software which wasn't compatible with Leopard when it was released, because programmers were using private API's and violating the published rules.


Could be that those having issues are experiencing an interaction of that kind, too.


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