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Older Intel CPU working with 256 ASDM7EC


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Hi all, I have been lurking on here for years but have not posted.  


If this has been gone over before, I apologize.  I did quite a few searches trying to find a solution to my problem of too old/slow CPU playing DSD256 with ASDM7EC.  I did not want to upgrade the computer so I experimented a bit and got it working on 44.1. 


My computer is an older Intel 6-core that was strong in its day:


I7-6850K high end desktop CPU 32 GB memory (not overclocked 3.8ghz boost clock). 

Audio out is a EVGA NU Audio Pro  

CUDA -  6GB 1060 loaner upgrade.  (thanks 4est!).


I borrowed the graphics card in hopes it would be the solution.  It was not although CUDA is needed for reliable playback with my CPU.  I could not get this combo to play DSD 256 with the ASDM7EC until now.  At best it would play unreliably.


My struggles led to trying this Intel app:


Intel® Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 Application / Driver

I used the driver panel to assign HQPlayer4Desktop.exe to my CPU's best performing cores.  This assignment seems to exclude other system processes from using the two cores for left and right channels and the HQ Player process stays locked on the assigned cores.  These are the settings I'm using:


Enable checked

add app HQplayer4Descktop.exe

Evaluation Interval 10 (doesn't make a difference in this case)

Utilization Threshold 80  (just needs to be in a range that detects the load)

Affinitize all Demanding work  unchecked  (you don't want other processes getting the CPU resources)

Affinitize to all cores checked (if your CPU has two fast factory marked cores you can select the other option, mine did not although one core is allowed to clock 4.0 ghz)


In HQ Player 4.8.0:  


Multicore either grayed or unchecked (not sure if this matters with the core assignment)

CUDA offload checked (unreliable without)

Adaptive output rate checked (unreliable without) My DAC supports both rate families.

Filters - probably any but sinc-L and the non-2s versions of xtr (had trouble getting core assignments of the threads)

Modulator ASDM7EC


I did not get the good playback until I would monitor two cores running at near capacity and the other 4 cores quiet.  If the process jumped from core to core playback was still unreliable.  On this CPU which is Broadwell family, I get reliable playback starting at around 3.7ghz boost clock for 44.1 source.  The factory Turbo Boost is 3.8ghz which works consistently for me with no drop outs.    There seems to be a noticeable efficiency gain for not jumping around between the cores. 


I realize that Miska has already gone to some lengths to make sure HQPlayer is using the cores efficiently.  I'm not entirely sure why this works so much better for me than than the multicore options.  Maybe it is particular to this CPU family.


It would be great if somebody else could confirm these results or show me how to get the same results with the HQ player settings instead.  Thanks!

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