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Peter Avgeris

Building a DIY Music Server with custom made parts

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11 minutes ago, Peter Avgeris said:

The basic idea is to start from the already HDPlex H5 chassis, which I consider the best currently in the market and be able to accommodate cooling blocks and accessories for some 'strange' motherboards like dual Xeon machines.

 

I am very happy for this clarification. And I absolutely agree. The cooling is the best of my audio PCs built so far. 👍

 

The project goal is to design a heat sink for the LGA3647 socket!

 

Incidentally, I'm not a fan of a dual CPU at all. The Taiko Extreme, as beautiful and powerful as it is, cannot run EC modulators from the HQPlayer. This would require a clock frequency of 4GHz. The number of cores is of minor importance.

 

But I would be interested in a powerful Intel® Xeon® Silver processor. It would be enough for me to have a suitable heat sink based on the standard HDPLEX H5. In my case, I would attach the heat pipes for ONE CPU to both side walls. There are many ways to Rome. 😉

 

Agreement on a heat sink as an accessory for many specifications (single and dual CPU) would be the key.

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The project goal is to design a heat sink for the LGA3647 socket!

 

I totally agree ;0)

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This is yet again one of my favorite thread!
 

One of the critical aspect of designing a heat sink is the target TDP. The 3647 CPU ranges from 85watts to over 200watts.
 

Are we still targeting 65watts - 95watts as per current H5 specs ? It would be good to increase this capacity. The more the thermal capacity, the better the cooling even if you are running a low TDP cpu.

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Some further thoughts.

 

If we want to use the current H5 case and do some mods to get a cost effective product - fine. I am not against that. I am okay to spend $1000 on a better chassis but that may not be the case for everyone. Plus, if a high quality chassis is designed from scratch and produced in very low quantities it would be more expensive than that.

 

I guess the idea is to use the current Hdplex H5 heatsinks.

19 hours ago, Peter Avgeris said:

The quality of the heat sinks is very good. Larry has done a great job on this, we all know that.

They are not that great, Peter. But I have high standards. I would love to see a better heatsink but not a deal breaker. 

Anyhow, let's assume we use the stock heatsinks and we just want to develop some accessories for the H5 case. How about those:

 

  1. An accessory to stack two chassis on top of each other to make a double-height H5 case.
  2.  LGA 3647 socket mounting, cooling block, etc. for square and long type. I need the square only. 
  3. Cooling pipes for various configurations. Some examples:
    • One CPU / one heatsink.
    • One CPU / both heatsinks (left and and right).
    • Two CPUs / both heatsinks (left and and right).
    • And in the case of double height H5, my most desirable option would be: Two CPUs / four heatsinks.
    • Some people may want: One CPU / four heatsinks for a 100W+ TDP CPUs.
  4. An attachment to the rear plate to support full height PCIe cards. I am sure this is simple to do. And it would be a must have for option #1 above. Here is how another company has done it (not suggesting we copy but just as an idea):

2143475830_ScreenShot2020-05-28at12_47_29PM.thumb.png.99e7ef068f148df8334107ce4051cff1.png

 

If the only goal is to design a heat sink for the LGA 3647 socket, I have already done that without any experience and does a pretty good job.

On 5/25/2020 at 1:03 PM, Nenon said:

Asus SAGE / dual Xeon CPU passive cooling

 

Below is what I did to passively cool the dual Intel Xeon Silver 4210 CPUs in the Asus SAGE motherboard. 

 

I could not find a solution to passively cool the Intel Xeon Silver 4210 CPUs. Streacom, HDPlex, and some of the other common passive computer chassis do not provide a solution for LGA3647 sockets. Also, most of them are limited to 65W TDP or 95W TDP. Cooling down two 85W TDP CPUs is quite challenging. Turemetal UP10 looks like a really nice case, but the ASUS Sage motherboard (12'' x 13'') does not fit inside according to their specs. And even if it could fit, the mounting on the LGA3647 sockets is very unique. You need very precise parts to be able to mount the CPU without damaging anything. 

 

The first thing I did to get started was to buy 2 x Noctua NH-D9 DX-3647 4U CPU coolers. Those are active CPU coolers, but I wanted to make sure everything was working properly. The motherboard posted, both CPU tested well, so I started looking for a way to do the passive cooling. 

 

The LGA3647 comes in two variations - narrow and square. The Asus SAGE motherboard uses the square version. After some research, ordering some parts, returning some, I decided to use the Dynatron B9 CPU cooler as a base. This is how it looks - top and bottom:

852897106_ScreenShot2020-05-25at11_41_20AM.png.bfc0aca1171118d5b07abb5f06a25bea.png

 

1759473458_ScreenShot2020-05-25at11_41_40AM.png.e77384cffa84f1f2523bb21eb83fcf8b.png

 

We don't need the fan, so that can be removed. But we need the mounting mechanism for the socket. After removing the fan, we end up with a heatsink that can be used as a base.

 

The surface area on those Xeon Silver CPUs is much larger than a typical consumer CPU such as Intel Core or AMD Ryzen. I would need two HDPlex passive cooling kits to cover one CPU. I ended up getting four HDPlex H5 chassis for this project. 

 

An explanation of the process with pictures follows below.

 

I started removing some of the material to make space for the HDPlex cooling kit.

IMG_3048.thumb.jpg.7c05824c65785f40f38ac44a8c7c9938.jpg

 

Now we have enough space for the copper HDPlex cooling block.

793609835_IMG_30492.thumb.jpg.3b237d4e71f65e005f8e733c84e8f0dc.jpg

 

We need the surface to be as smooth as possible. Sanded with 400 grit sandpaper, followed by 600 grit, 1000 grit, and 2000 grit. I used wet sandpaper from an auto parts store and some soap water. Here is the result.

IMG_3052.thumb.jpg.1ec55c318415ec5b88d05ed223812618.jpg

 

I did a little more fine sanding and polishing to prepare the surface. It's now ready to install the 2 HDPlex copper blocks. They fit perfectly. My research time was well worth, and the Dynatron B9 looks like the perfect solution. 

1267651969_IMG_30542.thumb.jpg.10a9bac76ff0f2805543541fa2f85341.jpg

 

The next big research was on thermal epoxy. I needed to glue the two HDPlex copper blocks to the B9 with glue that would transfer the heat from one material to another as efficiently as possible. I picked the MG Chemicals 834HTC-A High Thermal Conductivity Epoxy for that. 

 

Cleaned the surface with 90% alcohol, let it dry, and applied a thin layer of the epoxy. I used two heavy duty clamps and let the epoxy cure in my oven on a low temperature for a few hours. All done with that part. Here is the final result. 

502205520_IMG_30552.thumb.jpg.16a1301f98100350bd471f984e1cacbd.jpg

 

I repeated the same process for the second CPU. With two in place, it's time to install them. 

 

Here comes the second problem. No passive cooled chassis is designed to cool two CPUs. The HDPlex H5 (and most others) has two heatsinks, and typically only one is actually used for CPU cooling. The idea is to use one heatsink for each CPU. In order to do that, I had to buy new cooling pipes, a pipe bending tool, and learn how to bend them. I had to do some reading on cooling pipes, learn how they work, learn about the different designs, different materials, etc. I did not know any of that stuff before this project. 

There are quite a few things to consider - the shape, the materials, the quality, how you bend them, etc. They are filled with liquid and you can't cut them. Also, you have to be careful not to crack them when you bend them. The bending radius can impact the performance. They come in different lengths and some are better quality than others. I liked the products a company called "Advanced Thermal Solutions" makes.

 

Bending pipes is a skill that I need to practice more. Here is my first attempt - looks ugly but it worked great.

IMG_3095.thumb.jpg.aa0be78f404b86b0480525eeb093682a.jpg

 

The CPU on the top uses the stock HDPlex cooling pipes. The CPU on the bottom with the six longer ugly-bended pipes is what I did. 

To my surprise when I turned on the computer, I realized that the bottom CPU's temperature is lower than the top CPU. One was in the low 40's after a couple of days of playing music and the other was in the high 40's. That's degrees Celsius obviously. We have to be careful with a dual CPU configuration, because one CPU could be hotter because it is doing more than the other. I made sure that was not why the top CPU was a few degrees hotter. 

 

I decided to replace the stock HDPlex cooling pipes with new ones. I did much better job with the bending, but I don't have a picture handy. You will have to trust me on that one :). 

 

One problem with the HDPlex cooling kit is that the pipes are short and don't cover the entire cooling block. I'll refer to this post for more info / picture:

 

By replacing the stock cooling pipes I had the chance to use longer pipes and cover more surface. 

Not sure if the cooling pipes I used are better than the stock HDPlex or it was because they covered more surface area, but I saw about 7-8 degrees lower temperature with the new pipes. I am guessing it's both - better quality pipes and more surface area. 

In fact, now the top CPU is about 1-2 degrees cooler than the bottom CPU. 

 

The thermal epoxy also takes about a week to 10 days to settle completely. It gets more efficient over time. Overall quite happy with the result. CPUs stay in the 40's depending on room temperature. It is 84F degrees in Chicago today, and I saw them running as hot as 49C. I'll go deal with my A/C now that I am done with this post. 

*** with a little more creativity the same idea can be applied to other LGA 3647 based CPUs, but you would have to pick different part. 

 

But if we can increase the heat dissipation capabilities, make the case taller, add support for full height PCIe cards (quite important for me), I would be interested to participate. 

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2 hours ago, StreamFidelity said:

The project goal is to design a heat sink for the LGA3647 socket!

 

Just designing a heat sink for LGA3647 won't work for practical reasons if we want to use the Asus Sage C621 motherboard. The motherboard is EEB form factor which is 12" x 13". This will fill up almost the entire chassis leaving no room for other things like a 800w DC-DC ATX convertor. This means we either need to have a way of supporting it externally via a 24-pin ATX attachment, or we need to go full linear which is again a costly proposition.

 

I think for all practical purpose, if you want to use Asus Sage C621 motherboard with dual CPU populated, you really need to design a new chassis.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Dev said:

 

Just designing a heat sink for LGA3647 won't work for practical reasons if we want to use the Asus Sage C621 motherboard. The motherboard is EEB form factor which is 12" x 13". This will fill up almost the entire chassis leaving no room for other things like a 800w DC-DC ATX convertor. This means we either need to have a way of supporting it externally via a 24-pin ATX attachment, or we need to go full linear which is again a costly proposition.

 

I think for all practical purpose, if you want to use Asus Sage C621 motherboard with dual CPU populated, you really need to design a new chassis.

 

 

somehow this option https://modushop.biz/site/index.php?route=product/product&path=210_273_275&product_id=209 is much better for me, the biggest problem is the back panel because it needs holes for pcie cards and the motherboard itself, but the heatsinks look promising and the front panel can also be used for hdplex 800 dc-atx converter

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41 minutes ago, Aryoh said:

somehow this option https://modushop.biz/site/index.php?route=product/product&path=210_273_275&product_id=209 is much better for me, the biggest problem is the back panel because it needs holes for pcie cards and the motherboard itself, but the heatsinks look promising and the front panel can also be used for hdplex 800 dc-atx converter


if you can do all the CAD work for the back panel they will CNC/drill for you at an additional cost. It’s worth if you don’t have the proper tools. I have actually looked at that chassis for a different purpose. 
 

The internal depth is 360x400mm. Assuming that the Hdplex 800w would fit with the Asus Sage, IMO, it’s a great starting point - if we can start doing the CAD for all the back panel cut outs, PCI attachments and heatsink mounts, it would be a terrific option and cheaper even having them CNC it. Then a group buy can further reduce the price 🙂

 

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Yes, I'm using a shorter version for the power supply and I'm very happy with it, except for the way the panels are connected. HDPlex 800 can be mounted vertically on the front panel so that virtually the entire interior remains for the motherboard

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21 hours ago, LTG2010 said:

https://diyaudiostore.com/collections/chassis/products/deluxe-5u-ultimate-amplifier-chassis?variant=12212123204

 

This might be a good case to mod - it has giant heatsinks. Its made by modushop and can also be bought from Italy. They are able to replace the back panel with one for a computer board, ie cut out the openings for the board faceplate and vertical PCIE slots.

They could also cut the grooves for heatpipes but they need cad drawings. I suppose they could also mill the cpu heatsink from the drawings.

It also has more space internally and the height aids passive ventilation.

The alternative is to provide them with a drawing for a case from scratch, but I suppose you already have access to such facilities in Greece.

 

Yes this is a good looking case :) I have been looking at it as well as an interim step to finalise packaging.

 

Its worth thinking about the one or two box build decision a little more. IMHO a single case is the way to go for sound quality, no contest. I have gone down both routes and looked at the impact of umbilical's. A single box setups does take time to optimise component positions, particularly the magnetics and they are just well "big" which is not cool depending on what you looking for. But for sound quality I think they are the way to go.

 

The HDPLEX case is a beautiful piece of engineering, no question its beautifully designed and manufactured but if it doesn't have the volume for an internal power supply of the quality your happy with then its might be worth spending some time considering this point.

 

Powering a PC for SQ is not the same as powering an amplifier. An amp needs a relatively slow transient response from its supplies compared to a PC motherboard. For an amp a two box set up with 0.5m to 0.7m of umbilical and internal wiring and umbilical chassis connectors can be ok. For a Audio PC this setup tends to limit SQ performance particularly on more powerful and current hungry motherboards.

 

Many leading commercial server designs lean towards a single box design, I don't think its by chance, and worth considering.

 

OAudio 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Dev said:

One of the critical aspect of designing a heat sink is the target TDP. The 3647 CPU ranges from 85watts to over 200watts.
 

Are we still targeting 65watts - 95watts as per current H5 specs ? It would be good to increase this capacity. The more the thermal capacity, the better the cooling even if you are running a low TDP cpu.

Cooling technology is quite simple to understand. More power requires more mass to dissipate hit onto. There exists no other way. Passive cooling requires enormously bigger mass to withstand thermal stress and to dissipate it.

 

It seems that quite a few guys here have not well understood the preliminary parameters. Maybe I am wrong here, if so please correct me, but once more I need to underline that convenience and compromises must also be a preliminary specification. Or restriction, if you want...

 

This modification is studied so as to help DIYers build not *ANY* machine with *ANY* motherboard with *ANY* CPU and *ANY* PCI-e card. It is studied in order to offer a solution that is capable of using one specific motherboard of extended ATX (or enhanced ATX) form, with specific dual CPUs, inside a specific PC case, without fans but only with passive cooling. OK, it will be able to house slightly different MoBos with slightly modified CPU positions and dimensional parameters. Dev, you write that it would be good to increase thermal capacity. In the engineering language this is dead wrong. Trust me! You can definitely build a bridge, I can reassure you that you can. This is totally feasible on your side. Equally safe to walk on it. But I can guarantee you that you will never be able to build a bridge the way I can build it. Never. You know where exactly lies the our difference? Being an engineer, I know where should I cut cost and offer the same specs, same weight handling and same safety.

 

What I need to clarfy is that we *need* to go for solution that does not deviate that much from something that is well tried, well tested and very convenient in terms of cost. If one or two guys want to manufacture something out of this world, I can reassure you that I can do it so easily. It is probably the easiest project I will ever handle. But this is not the case here. I have been expressed increased interest for something specific, so I think that we need to focus on this specific thing and not to get lost in space.

 

After a couple of days, I have realized that there are too many guys that would probably like to have not a universal, trusted, working and cost effective solution but would rather prefer to have something big, luxurious and exotic. Please correct me if I am wrong. As I explained yesterday, I think that we need to focus on HDPlex H5 chassis mods that are fully compatible with the specific ASUS motherboard. I would be pleased if your interest is expressed here, so as to know if the specific project is viable or not. Increased participation will definitely lead to decreased cost.


Design & Manufacture of High Fidelity Audio Equipment

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3 hours ago, Aryoh said:
3 hours ago, Dev said:


if you can do all the CAD work for the back panel they will CNC/drill for you at an additional cost. It’s worth if you don’t have the proper tools. I have actually looked at that chassis for a different purpose. 
 

The internal depth is 360x400mm. Assuming that the Hdplex 800w would fit with the Asus Sage, IMO, it’s a great starting point - if we can start doing the CAD for all the back panel cut outs, PCI attachments and heatsink mounts, it would be a terrific option and cheaper even having them CNC it. Then a group buy can further reduce the price 🙂

 

somehow this option https://modushop.biz/site/index.php?route=product/product&path=210_273_275&product_id=209 is much better for me, the biggest problem is the back panel because it needs holes for pcie cards and the motherboard itself, but the heatsinks look promising and the front panel can also be used for hdplex 800 dc-atx converter

Have you ever visited a workshop, requesting for precision milling circular shaped grooves onto heat sinks and then again black-anodize them? I am afraid not, otherwise you wouldn't have asked for it. The cost for milling will be greater than the cost buying the whole chassis. I can guarantee you this.


Design & Manufacture of High Fidelity Audio Equipment

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DEV, now you are right.

If you start allover from the beginning, this chassis would be very good indeed.

But you need to consider that there exist so many additional parameters with design & manufacture...


Design & Manufacture of High Fidelity Audio Equipment

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40 minutes ago, OAudio said:

 

Powering a PC for SQ is not the same as powering an amplifier. An amp needs a relatively slow transient response from its supplies compared to a PC motherboard. For an amp a two box set up with 0.5m to 0.7m of umbilical and internal wiring and umbilical chassis connectors can be ok. For a Audio PC this setup tends to limit SQ performance particularly on more powerful and current hungry motherboards.

 

 

 

 

OAudio, you are sooo right!

PCs work on the current domain, they require current, while amps require voltage. Power hungry motherboards do exist. The umbilical cables of thin copper conductors are a catastrophe for powering hungry motherboards.

Even in my audio power amplifiers, I do consider the second chassis and the umbilical cables a very serious restriction that can be worth doing but only following very strict design specs without losing sound quality.

 

Finally! This is a really constructive and supporting comment!


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57 minutes ago, StreamFidelity said:

I don't see any problem at all. In my case, I would limit myself to one CPU, for example this:

 

Intel® Xeon® W-3235 processor
(3.30 GHz - 4.40 GHz, 12 cores)

 

Expensive but very good. This would make the EC modulators of the HQPlayer easy to run.

 

 

Actually this might not easily run EC modulators at DSD256 ... you are better off with the W-2245 which has a higher base clock (3.9 Ghz) or i9-9900k which has an even higher clock ... but not the AVX512 instructions so tradeoff.

 

More cores, and more expensive, is not necessarily better e.g. Xeon Scalable Platinum still doesn't have the best base CPU clock.


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3 hours ago, Peter Avgeris said:

Meanwhile I need to inform you that one motherboard ASUS C621e SAGE, along with two Intel Xeon 4210 CPUs are on their way to me. Probably by next week they will be into my hands.

The 621 platform is good because you have more PCIe lanes but that CPU has a very slow base frequency which is not ideal for audio processing which needs horsepower ... my W-2245 cores run at 1.2 Ghz when not loaded even though the base is 3.9 Ghz....

 

My prior dual E5 server has lots of cores (40) and I am using it for non-audio purposes ... for HQPlayer, for example, you want high clock rates.

 

I think your gorgeous metalwork would be best off in, for example, an i9-10900k, i9-9900ks and Xeon W-2200 series which can generate some real single core heat ;) 


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28 minutes ago, jabbr said:

ock rates.

 

28 minutes ago, jabbr said:

The 621 platform is good because you have more PCIe lanes but that CPU has a very slow base frequency which is not ideal for audio processing which needs horsepower ... my W-2245 cores run at 1.2 Ghz when not loaded even though the base is 3.9 Ghz....

 

My prior dual E5 server has lots of cores (40) and I am using it for non-audio purposes ... for HQPlayer, for example, you want high clock rates.

 

I think your gorgeous metalwork would be best off in, for example, an i9-10900k, i9-9900ks and Xeon W-2200 series which can generate some real single core heat ;) 

You are so right.

I have experienced cases where additional cores do nothing at all. If you need high processing power, you do not need many cores, unless you go for parallel processing, embedded into the source code of the program.

I am not experienced in ASUS C621 SAGE and dual Xeon CPUs. If they draw too much current, thermal stress could rise to the sky, if not then even one side (right side) of aluminum heat sink might be more than enough. On the other hand, with a single CPU on the MoBo pictured above, running at full speed, a full heat sink dedicated to 1x CPU is not enough.

This is the reason that I strongly prefer to stick in something that can be realized as a whole, eg one specific MoBo (eg ASUS) and two specific CPUs. Or even the above-pictured MoBO with one CPU only.


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A lot of speculations of what works and what does not. Having tested and retested some of the stuff multiple times, I disagree with quite a few things said here about what works better and what is worse. But I don't think that's the right thread for these discussions and don't really have the time to go into hot debates. I suggest we focus on how the Hdplex can be modded for more versatile DIY usage with some of the specific motherboards and CPUs mentioned here. It's obvious that @Peter Avgeris's intentions are not to design a new case from scratch. He seems open to that idea, but the topic here is about the Hdplex H5 case. 

 

Our common friend from Germany has shipped him his Asus Sage motherboard and dual CPU after discussing with me. Big thanks to him for that! He is also willing to deal with receiving any components from Peter and shipping outside of the EU (i.e. to the US for instance). Plus shipping from Germany to the US is not that expensive. 

 

Can we go back on track?

Peter - I had four suggestions given your feedback. Which ones do you think are doable? Appreciate your help with this.

On 5/28/2020 at 12:56 PM, Nenon said:

Some further thoughts.

 

If we want to use the current H5 case and do some mods to get a cost effective product - fine. I am not against that. I am okay to spend $1000 on a better chassis but that may not be the case for everyone. Plus, if a high quality chassis is designed from scratch and produced in very low quantities it would be more expensive than that.

 

I guess the idea is to use the current Hdplex H5 heatsinks.

They are not that great, Peter. But I have high standards. I would love to see a better heatsink but not a deal breaker. 

Anyhow, let's assume we use the stock heatsinks and we just want to develop some accessories for the H5 case. How about those:

 

  1. An accessory to stack two chassis on top of each other to make a double-height H5 case.
  2.  LGA 3647 socket mounting, cooling block, etc. for square and long type. I need the square only. 
  3. Cooling pipes for various configurations. Some examples:
    • One CPU / one heatsink.
    • One CPU / both heatsinks (left and and right).
    • Two CPUs / both heatsinks (left and and right).
    • And in the case of double height H5, my most desirable option would be: Two CPUs / four heatsinks.
    • Some people may want: One CPU / four heatsinks for a 100W+ TDP CPUs.
  4. An attachment to the rear plate to support full height PCIe cards. I am sure this is simple to do. And it would be a must have for option #1 above. Here is how another company has done it (not suggesting we copy but just as an idea):

2143475830_ScreenShot2020-05-28at12_47_29PM.thumb.png.99e7ef068f148df8334107ce4051cff1.png

 

If the only goal is to design a heat sink for the LGA 3647 socket, I have already done that without any experience and does a pretty good job.

*** with a little more creativity the same idea can be applied to other LGA 3647 based CPUs, but you would have to pick different part. 

 

But if we can increase the heat dissipation capabilities, make the case taller, add support for full height PCIe cards (quite important for me), I would be interested to participate. 

 

Thank you!

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Wouldn’t it be good if HDplex themselves come up with a chassis with dual 3647 support ? In that way they will make sure that it supports many different use cases. As Peter said, these things aren’t hard to design, so they might be already working on it, I guess.

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1 hour ago, OAudio said:

It's the combined architecture of the Scalable CPUs and c621 PCH together that really matters. Intel have really delivered a hand up with this platform.


That’s your personal opinion however if you can’t run EC modulators in HQPlayer that’s a complete deal breaker for me. I place real math capabilities way over theoretical differences. 


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1 hour ago, jabbr said:


That’s your personal opinion however if you can’t run EC modulators in HQPlayer that’s a complete deal breaker for me. I place real math capabilities way over theoretical differences. 

Jabbr hi,

 

I didn't claim any experience running the EC modulators I don't know them (I think I mentioned them as DSPs in my post) so defiantly take your views on that.

 

I am a relatively new user of this forum so its understandable to assume that I may by putting forward baseless ideas or opinion about the 621 architecture for instance. I want to reassure you that the comments are not purely speculation and are in fact based on many, many years of research both practical and paper based into a number of Intel Architectures. For sure I would say I am not your typical server builder. Where I haven't had direct experience of something you will see that I have been calling this out in my posts and then may offer opinion or just leave the matter as I cannot add any value.

 

A few examples of what I have been up to and the type of activity that leads me to be confident about the statements made about the c620 architecture.

 

Worth mentioning I am on the 5th instance of the c621 board I use this is because a lot of the stuff I do is at board level and can and does break stuff. I risk the expense this brings because much of the time it helps learn. Thinking about it I also got through 4 x X99 boards and 5 x X79s boards for the same reason. I don't just put parts together in different combinations.

 

How can I claim understanding the importance of locked clock domains ?

 

Well as a small example (but there is much more experience behind the statement) many years ago I built an X79 system 3 separate commercially available reference level clocks (quite unusual for the time) which were set up especially to be able to "pull" each oscillators frequency from nominal by up to a few thousand herts. The clocks drove 1) the CPU / RAM domains 2) the PCIe buss domain and 3) the USB domain. I then spent months working on what the optimum relative frequencies were between each domains for best audio performance. Pulling clocks by as little as 0.000002 % can be heard. Get the set frequencies right and the music really comes to life... very important to SQ. After much subsequent work in the many builds following that I "know" that interdomain clock speed matters and how to set them. The 621 does much of this for you which is a gift I think to us as music lovers from Intel :).

 

How do I know how the c621 clock sub system is powered and why this is important and what the c621 clock subsystem architecture is ?

 

I read the relevant Intel technical documents (and have done at least as far back as the X79 architecture) and then I experiment hands on with the boards to work this stuff out (sometimes breaking them :( but its worth it for the SQ). I used to use expensive commercially available clocks but found that they do not meet the specifications I want so I build my own these days. There is simply a huge amount or work needed to work out how to make a clock really work well within a specific audio server environment - as apposed to simply bolting in a commercial clock and crossing fingers - but that is probably for another thread maybe.

 

RAM Channels ?

A simple test of ram memory channels (but not the only evidence I base the observation on) just take out DIMM pairs 2 at a time to drop from 6 to 4 to 2 channels and listen. You should clearly hear the impact. Other things would be in play too doing this but believe me your listening to the channel numbers in play as well.

 

I don't want to be rude or get into post exchanges, but I did want to provide just a very small bit of background on type of activity behind the views I'm posting. Of course that doesn't mean they are guaranteed to be right :)

 

Best regards,

 

OAudio

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