Jump to content

Euphony Stylus - anyone tried Zotac CI660

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I have been reading lots of posts and am impressed that NUC's with high end linear power supplies, Audio Linux or Euphony are matching, or beating, the performance of high end servers (Innuos, Antipodes etc...).


NUC7I7DNBE is relatively rare / expensive, so has anyone tried Zotac Zbox CI660 (core i7) or CI620 (Core i3) - both based on the new 8th gen.


Seems like a good option for a Euphony Stylus install?


Like other i7 NUC's, the Paul Hynes SR4 is unlikely to power this, it would probably need Pauls new SR5-19 which is an 80W supply capable of 4A continuous, 30A transient - avail Sept.


Any thoughts on this and linear power supply choice?  I'm tempted by the CI660 as this would also work well as a roon server (rock if possible).


As well as linear power supply I would also probably fit a USB regen or TxUltra, but I don't think i'll go as far as clock upgrades in the NUC.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I have the Zotac 620 computer, use it as a roon server running on win 10 with Fidelizer. I bought the 620 because it has two ethernet ports, I use the second ethernet port to connect directly to my sms200ultra.
Haven't tried changing power supply for the 620 and I haven't really compared it to other server. But I guess it sounds better than my mac mini.
Actually I prefer windows over AL with this server and I think it sounds best at 1,5 Ghz.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback Metnoc - good spot with the second Ethernet port.


I have discovered a potential reason why some people are avoiding the new Intel 8th gen NUC's, including the Zotac, it's because the TDP of the processor is 25w compared to 15w of the prior generation.  So if you want to go for a linear power supply like me then this might mean extra cost. 


With a 25w TDP it's also more likely to have CPU throttling as a result (depending upon what you're doing) which is apparently bad for sound.


Obviously power supply to the NUC is not as large an issue if you have an SMS200 ultra in the chain, rather than direct to DAC as I am proposing.


I think I'm going to end up going for NUC7I7DNBE with a Paul Hynes SR5 (SR4 would probably do it, but SR5 has more head room and sounds better).

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The i3-8130U cpu thats in my 620 zotac computer has a TDP of 15W, furthermore I've lowered the frequency to a steady 1.5 Ghz , have everything else at power save of turned off and Fidelizer in purist mode. These changes makes it sound quite a bit better than standard settings. For example 2.2 Ghz compared to 1.5 sounds not as "full", "warm" or "organic" which are attributes that I like.
AL gives more resolution compared to windows but at the expense of a very "thin" sound, therefore I prefer win10/fidelizer.
The direct ethernet connection to sms200ultra sounds better than by going the route of my tp link switch with ifi power.
There are obviously better servers than the zotac 620, but I guess it works kinda well for me.

If someone claims that the server does not matter for sound quality when you have an endpoint such as the sms200ultra, they probably don't have a system that's resolving enough to discern the servers impact. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...