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Old 10th December 2012, 06:15 AM   #31
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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freax,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - never knew about the RFI part. Will read up on that.

Never suggesting that you throw away what you have, rather asking if you have had experience with the stuff mentioned above.

I am not the one to set a "standard" on what is audiophile and what is not, but I have the Xonar and it does sound better (more detailed, layered, more depth vs the Creative cards I have used over the years (SB Live!, Audigy, Audigy2, and also EMU0404 PCI). Beyond the marketing speak the products perform pretty well, and I've found an opamp swap helpful in my case. And BTW, I am not saying that these are ultimate products in any way, and am planning to get a USB DAC hopefully early next year:

Hifimediy CS4398 DAC "direct out", TCXO oscillator


As far as opamps go, yes they might be an easy way to play around with the tone and presentation, but what equipment/system is 100% transparent and non-colored? Multiple manufactueres all claiming "high fidelty" and "ruler flat response" will have equipment that is different sounding. A different DAC might have another opamp and I/you might prefer the sound or otherwise. I believe in system synergy and have no qualms about having preference to a certain "sound" or to certain genres of music.
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Old 10th December 2012, 06:40 AM   #32
freax is offline freax  Australia
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if it sounds good to you then it must be good, but if you asked me to go out and buy an interface between my computer and my pc, I wouldn't even bother with the asus xonar range, I'd go with a usb to i2s converter for sale on diyaudio.com

The I2S bus isnt the best for rfi ingress into your amp either but it can be isolated or filtered.

If you want a good unbiased opinion on what I/V stage to use then you should start a new thread and ask there, not here.
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Last edited by freax; 10th December 2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 10th December 2012, 07:09 AM   #33
zman01 is offline zman01  Bangladesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
If you want a good unbiased opinion on what I/V stage to use then you should start a new thread and ask there, not here.
Agreed - enough OT.

Back to topic: Motherboard question - boards that run on power bricks? Any pros/cons when it comes to audio applications?

Intel® Desktop Board DH61AG
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Old 12th December 2012, 08:15 PM   #34
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Default GIGABYTE boards usually have the best BIOS flexibility

And this is very important for audio.

I have found the simplest boards are usually better than the more complicated ones.

If this is for dedicated audio use try removing unneeded chips and connectors.

My favorite board for the moment: H61MA-S2H. The new cheap CELERON branded processor works extremely well with this board. You can get voltages lower than ever - memory runs at 1.12 volt - CPU under 0.8 volt. see here: Newegg.com - Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge 2.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G530

I must give credit to Mr. Jack Wong for his recommendation of the board and his intrepid experiments with removing components from the board. It makes a difference.

At the same time I must admit I am a cMP user and a minimal XP PRO OS adherent. My OS is 18mB and is stable as can be.

Other brands of boards I have tried offer little choice in BIOS. Only GIGABYTE allows the low voltages in my experience.

Powering P4 with a linear supply is important - same with your hard drives. Use PS2 mouse and keyboard - dismantle all USB if using a sound card. If using a sound card power it separately with its own linear supply. Break the connections on the card edge to the computer supply.

I have built a linear supply for the P24 connection but can't get it to work (yet) with the sound card installed - works fine without the sound card but that doesn't do me any good!
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Old 12th December 2012, 08:33 PM   #35
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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no recs for fanless, SSD??

fanless usally also enables linear supply do to lower pwr demand

there is a whole silent/quiet PC subculture out there
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Old 12th December 2012, 09:55 PM   #36
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Default I thought fanless was obvious ...

no need to mention. My music PC has been fanless for five or so years.

My CPU runs around 30 degrees C with a large THERMALTAKE heatsink.

On the hottest days I will run a super low speed fan as a general case fan though my case is a very sturdy (two inch laminated baltic birch/MDF walls) wooden box that is open to the top.

I have found I am happy with an OCZ SSD for OS (30 gB was the smallest they offered when I bought it)

I do not find any advantage to SSD for music files. Maybe as refinements are added it might make a difference but I doubt it.
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Old 12th December 2012, 10:27 PM   #37
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You don't need to bother with ant of that power supply malarkey if you use a USB DAC just make sure the DAC itself has good power.

Also, ivy bridge processors use a lot less power than sandy bridge, you done need 16 phases unless you are doing extreme overclocking and want all the noisy fans that go with it.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 02:37 PM   #38
Telstar is offline Telstar  Italy
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I have used a gigabyte board, of the 2oz copper series with G45 chipset i think and i was pleased with stability, bios and sound. I dunno about the newer boards, but i'm waiting for 22nm 8-core low-power CPUs before upgrading my audio pc.
The little m-atx boards work well for me.

Rather than overclocking, i do undervolting which helps in my totally passive pc. Few bioses have this option.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 03:29 PM   #39
skibum is offline skibum  France
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I thought this thread was dead but glad to see some interest again. I have yet to find any information anywhere that has measurements of different motherboards. Things like noise levels, frequency range of the noise, slew rate, etc I know are very important if a motherboard is being used in a "high end" audio server.

I do not know if a motherboard that is designed for massive overclocking and has 60+ phase voltage regulation will actually sound better or worse than a simple motherboard with 4 phase voltage regulation.

I have no interest in overclocking. In fact I think sometimes underclocking the cpu can provide better sound quality.

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Old 27th December 2012, 01:06 AM   #40
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I Just got a new ASrock 990FX Extreme4 yesterday and I have a FX-6300 in it running stable at 4.8Ghz.
I am using 8GB of some Gskill Ripjaws X series 2133Mhz ram and it is running at full speed as well.
Right now I am just using a Cheapy Thermaltake 450 watt power supply left over from the Gigabyte 990XA-UD3 build.

It was very easy to get it up to speed as it being the new Piledriver chip.
I had it at 4.9Ghz and almost 5.0Ghz but but not stable at my current voltage of about 1.488v.
The heat rises quickly beyond this point.
The ram is solid at 2133Mhz as well.
I am using a Coolermaster 212+ air cooler with two fans for now and my temps stay at or below about 64c to 63c on a 100% cpu load.
Not bad for air and this will hold me over until I get a water cooling setup.

The newer FX-6300 is certainly better than the not so old FX-6100 and I got it for the same price as the 4 core version!!

I don't have it hooked to my audio system yet but I did take a screen shot of the noise level input with nothing hooked to it and open as it sits stock using XP64 and Visual Analyzer 2011.

The board is advertised at -108db for noise or at least THX compaiable.
Clearly by this shot the inputs are better than that and there are a few pulses of noise but they never go above -108db.

I will have more on this later and I will do the same tests on the UD3 board for comparison as well.

The Hard drive used is a Seagate 1TB ST1000DM003



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