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Article: CAPS Twenty | Part Two

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No up sampling, no fans and no liquid cooling for me 😉.

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Thank you Chris, I'm very appreciative you did this much work on a beautiful machine, giving the rest of us lots of ideas to play with. The ways I would think of to riff on this for my own preferences:

 

- Yes, definitely dual boot with Linux. That's where I prefer to run HQPlayer, on a lightweight Linux OS like Lubuntu, with a low latency kernel installed. It has a GUI, so you can run Roon if you like. I personally feel it's much easier to get rid of stuff you don't need without causing problems in Linux, and in one of the lightweight distributions there's less to get rid of in the first place. Unlike Windows, everything in the OS is open to you (of course that's an advantage and disadvantage, but if you really screw things up you can blow everything away and start over fresh). Then Windows is available for Audirvana, which like HQPlayer has some filter and modulator flexibility, allows sending DSD512 to the DAC, and doesn't require nearly as much horsepower as HQP.

 

- I would save on the case and the water cooling personally. They're gorgeous and very classy, but my tastes run to "open look" cases, and less expensive water cooling that also works well. I don't need silence because my server's in a different room than the main system. I could stay with my ancient but still versatile and reliable Antec Lanboy ( https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Lanboy-Air-Computer-Modular/dp/B003WMX3SY - out of production and the looks aren't contemporary, but very easy to work with ), or I could go with something like one of the open look Thermaltake cases pictured below.

 

- What to do with that money? I'd opt for the ASUS Maximus XII Extreme mobo, which solves the 10G Ethernet problem ( https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-XII-EXTREME ). And maybe I'd be a pig and go for *two* RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI mode (depending on availability). Since I'd be using this computer for more than playing music, I'd also go for very fast storage and try to strike a nice balance between memory speed and latency. I've been happy with Samsung storage and G. Skill memory (lower cost since with lower latency I don't need ultimate speed, and makes pretty LED colors in an open case), though Optane is very tempting for both if I wanted to max out the budget. And yep, I'd go for the i9-10900K, fast as blazes and to me not that hugely expensive.

 

Just some fun thoughts about what I might do, though by the time I get around to updating my Win-Lin desktop machine, all of this stuff will certainly be outdated.

 

 

Thermaltake Chassis.png

Thermaltake Chassis2.png

Thermaltake Chassis3.jpg


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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13 hours ago, Jud said:

Thank you Chris, I'm very appreciative you did this much work on a beautiful machine, giving the rest of us lots of ideas to play with. The ways I would think of to riff on this for my own preferences:

 

- Yes, definitely dual boot with Linux. That's where I prefer to run HQPlayer, on a lightweight Linux OS like Lubuntu, with a low latency kernel installed. It has a GUI, so you can run Roon if you like. I personally feel it's much easier to get rid of stuff you don't need without causing problems in Linux, and in one of the lightweight distributions there's less to get rid of in the first place. Unlike Windows, everything in the OS is open to you (of course that's an advantage and disadvantage, but if you really screw things up you can blow everything away and start over fresh). Then Windows is available for Audirvana, which like HQPlayer has some filter and modulator flexibility, allows sending DSD512 to the DAC, and doesn't require nearly as much horsepower as HQP.

 

- I would save on the case and the water cooling personally. They're gorgeous and very classy, but my tastes run to "open look" cases, and less expensive water cooling that also works well. I don't need silence because my server's in a different room than the main system. I could stay with my ancient but still versatile and reliable Antec Lanboy ( https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Lanboy-Air-Computer-Modular/dp/B003WMX3SY - out of production and the looks aren't contemporary, but very easy to work with ), or I could go with something like one of the open look Thermaltake cases pictured below.

 

- What to do with that money? I'd opt for the ASUS Maximus XII Extreme mobo, which solves the 10G Ethernet problem ( https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-XII-EXTREME ). And maybe I'd be a pig and go for *two* RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI mode (depending on availability). Since I'd be using this computer for more than playing music, I'd also go for very fast storage and try to strike a nice balance between memory speed and latency. I've been happy with Samsung storage and G. Skill memory (lower cost since with lower latency I don't need ultimate speed, and makes pretty LED colors in an open case), though Optane is very tempting for both if I wanted to max out the budget. And yep, I'd go for the i9-10900K, fast as blazes and to me not that hugely expensive.

 

Just some fun thoughts about what I might do, though by the time I get around to updating my Win-Lin desktop machine, all of this stuff will certainly be outdated.

 

 

Thermaltake Chassis.png

Thermaltake Chassis2.png

Thermaltake Chassis3.jpg

Whoa... Two 2080ti? What else are you looking to do with a box like that Jud?


Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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18 hours ago, Jud said:

Thank you Chris, I'm very appreciative you did this much work on a beautiful machine, giving the rest of us lots of ideas to play with. The ways I would think of to riff on this for my own preferences:

Thanks for the kind words Jud. I'm thrilled that you see this build for what it is, a starting point and demonstration of what's possible. 

 

Some people are building the identical system and I know it's the right move for them. Others are picking and choosing the best parts that fit their needs and building from there. 

 

Love the case in your images. There's nothing wrong with this stuff looking better than a Compaq Presario.

 

Now I need to install my M.2 that's on my desk, to dual boot Linux. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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On 7/25/2020 at 9:04 AM, EdmontonCanuck said:

 

Why would you care to split up Roon and HQPlayer in a server machine that's sending a digital output stream to a renderer? As long as the machine is powerful enough to handle the load, splitting them across different servers would be complete overkill.

 

The same goes for a fancy linear power supply....why? The point of the server is to produce a digital stream that can be sent to the renderer. Put a good power supply on the renderer where the DAC is attached if you're worried about electrical noise.

 

As for liquid cooling, that would be to keep the server as silent as possible, something to consider if the server is in the same room as your audio gear. I wouldn't bother with it at all if the server were in a closet in a separate room where you couldn't hear it in operation.

 

The server doesn't *play* music per se....it just produces the stream to send to the renderer.

 

My thoughts as well. There is no need to split anything on this workhorse PC. 

 

A linear PSU on this machine would be insane. The amount of power required by the CPU and GPU is well over what any linear solution that I'm aware of could supply.

 

The main reason I like liquid cooling is to run the CPU and GPU at low temps and prevent thermal throttling. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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I missed it; is solitaire still included? Lol. 
 

Incredible project vastly beyond me. Congratulations!


- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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On 7/26/2020 at 11:34 PM, Jud said:

Thank you Chris, I'm very appreciative you did this much work on a beautiful machine, giving the rest of us lots of ideas to play with. The ways I would think of to riff on this for my own preferences:

 

- Yes, definitely dual boot with Linux. That's where I prefer to run HQPlayer, on a lightweight Linux OS like Lubuntu, with a low latency kernel installed. It has a GUI, so you can run Roon if you like. I personally feel it's much easier to get rid of stuff you don't need without causing problems in Linux, and in one of the lightweight distributions there's less to get rid of in the first place. Unlike Windows, everything in the OS is open to you (of course that's an advantage and disadvantage, but if you really screw things up you can blow everything away and start over fresh). Then Windows is available for Audirvana, which like HQPlayer has some filter and modulator flexibility, allows sending DSD512 to the DAC, and doesn't require nearly as much horsepower as HQP.

 

- I would save on the case and the water cooling personally. They're gorgeous and very classy, but my tastes run to "open look" cases, and less expensive water cooling that also works well. I don't need silence because my server's in a different room than the main system. I could stay with my ancient but still versatile and reliable Antec Lanboy ( https://www.amazon.com/Antec-Lanboy-Air-Computer-Modular/dp/B003WMX3SY - out of production and the looks aren't contemporary, but very easy to work with ), or I could go with something like one of the open look Thermaltake cases pictured below.

 

- What to do with that money? I'd opt for the ASUS Maximus XII Extreme mobo, which solves the 10G Ethernet problem ( https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-MAXIMUS-XII-EXTREME ). And maybe I'd be a pig and go for *two* RTX 2080 Ti cards in SLI mode (depending on availability). Since I'd be using this computer for more than playing music, I'd also go for very fast storage and try to strike a nice balance between memory speed and latency. I've been happy with Samsung storage and G. Skill memory (lower cost since with lower latency I don't need ultimate speed, and makes pretty LED colors in an open case), though Optane is very tempting for both if I wanted to max out the budget. And yep, I'd go for the i9-10900K, fast as blazes and to me not that hugely expensive.

 

Just some fun thoughts about what I might do, though by the time I get around to updating my Win-Lin desktop machine, all of this stuff will certainly be outdated.

 

 

Thermaltake Chassis.png

Thermaltake Chassis2.png

Thermaltake Chassis3.jpg

 

Lots of fans, colors and other bling, are they perhaps some fancy juice machines? :o

 

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Very nice work Chris.

Do you plan to do any listening comparisons (or have I missed it)?

How does it compare to a simple NUC server with a good power supply (HDPlex or better) streaming to something like an ultraRendu?

 

There is a lot of space between that and a Taiko extreme.

I think a lot of us want to know where your design falls in that range.........and only you have one!

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17 hours ago, cat6man said:

Very nice work Chris.

Do you plan to do any listening comparisons (or have I missed it)?

How does it compare to a simple NUC server with a good power supply (HDPlex or better) streaming to something like an ultraRendu?

 

There is a lot of space between that and a Taiko extreme.

I think a lot of us want to know where your design falls in that range.........and only you have one!

HI Cat6man, good questions. 

 

This is kind of a strange spot to be in because there is only one CAPS Twenty and it's the only server that does what it does. I can't compare to a NUC because the NUC can't come close to running EC modulators at DSD256. The whole reason for this much computing power is to run DSP that requires it. A NUC is a different animal entirely and for a different use case. 

 

If someone doesn't want to run heavy DSP, s/he should stick with a NUC or one of the many commercially available options. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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