Given these requirements, you should be looking very hard at models from the business sector plus a corresponding port replicator or dock. Anything with plentiful spares / accessories and available service documentation would be good. (That's pretty much Lenovo, Dell and HP and not a great deal else.) Doesn't have to be new at all - in fact, you might prefer a more rugged oldschool model to later, increasingly thinner and lighter ones.
Being able to turn off higher processor C-states in BIOS for audio troubleshooting may be useful, although I think Throttlestop should do much the same.
If you are using the USB input on the DACmagic Plus, sample rate is a function of the USB driver and sound device settings used (or application settings when using ASIO or WASAPI in exclusive mode). Not a function of the machine at all, pretty much.
What are the symptoms that lead you to believe that the old machine may be on its last leg, and what model is it anyway? In my time as a Resident Computer Guru, I've seen plenty of loose screws, dried-up heatsink compound, plugged heatsinks (though primarily on consumer machines), a broken display, the odd depleted CMOS battery, machines that treat their aging batteries like garbage and charge them to the point of overheat disconnect (the last Toshiba Tecras), dodgy WiFi adapters, and a weak +5V supply that shuts the machine down when connecting USB devices (a Fujitsu theme, apparently). I've also heard of failing SATA ribbon cables and display cables. Oh, and I managed to kill standby power on one machine (mine no less) by installing memory modules it didn't like.
At home, I'm still on my trusty Dell Latitude E6520 that I bought in... 2015-ish? All kitted out with 8 gigs of RAM and a 1 TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD (used) by now. I have yet to upgrade the WiFi card (which would be easy enough) as I'm still on an 11n router and the Intel 6205 is fine for that, and the Sandy Bridge i5 isn't particularly challenged by the usual music playing and light web browsing either. I still have an additional harddrive module (I could put another SSD in there if I wanted) but generally keep the optical drive module in, which is a fairly nice Toshiba TS-L633 DVD burner. The FHD display (a Samsung TN panel) is OK once calibrated, later generations weren't any better. BatteryInfoView says that it only draws about 5.4 W when playing music over the built-in audio chip, display off (a little over 6 with display on but dim), and reckons that the big nominal 100 Wh battery would give about 12 hours worth of playtime.
Not sure whether I would get a newer Dell again, the 7000 series seemed to have more than its share of lemons. Up the 6x40 should definitely be OK though.
It is an older Dell, the Ram is 8 which was a surprise.
Why worried -- he screen went crazy-fuzzy when I moved gently (it was running), this happen more than once.
It also stated to jitter when the processor was working hard with all the connections.
I did what I could this morning with cleaning and ran defrag, which did help a lot.
Looked at Costco and Walmart in the $500 range, they were ok, no 3.0/4.0 usb ports tho.
In the end would I be better off going lower and simply going with a music streamer?
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