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Power Consumption for Audio PC

Home Theatre Systems

Nikhil

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I would like to pose a question to the computer hardware experts on the forum on the Total Power Consumption of a computer for audio. The reason being that I would like to use a Linear Power Supply to power an audio computer.

My Audio PC (headless) configuration is as below:

Gigabit B85M-G Motherboard
Intel 3.1GHz LGA1150 Core i5 4440 Processor
Kingston 128 GB SSD
2 x Transcend 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz RAM
Operating System: Win7 64 bit

My HDPlex Linear Power Supply is rated at 100W (max 160W). I would like to know if this is enough to supply adequate power for the above configuration.

Thanks for any information!
 

sound_cycle

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an i5 from Comparing Intel Core Processor i7 vs. i5 vs. i3 and Atom [ Technical ] is in the 35 W - 84 W range. So I guess the answer to your question is "Yes it will"

My music pc is an i3 powered mini pc. The processor loads with fb2k and dirac live correcting the sound is less than 2%. with this chrome window open it is about 4 %. RAM used ~ 40% of 4GB. It consumes ~ 25 wph. It is seriously overkill for music only.

an atom would be 0.65 W - 13 W (same source) and play/ room correct music just as well.

ciao
gr
 

Nikhil

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Thanks for the info. Does that mean power consumption will not exceed 100W?
My Audio PC does not have a display so no power needed there as well.
 

Nikhil

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Thanks sam9s. That online tool is very nice!
Looks like I'll have to put off using the LPS for now - for this config.

Any suggestions for low power consumption motherboard & chip configurations? The reason I went with this was that I was planning to do some DSD playback with HQPlayer which can at some times need some decent power.
 

druk2004

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Nikhil ... why dont u go ahead and try to see if it works ?

Power consumption values on paper are never true in real world.
 

Nikhil

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druk2004 - I'm in no rush. Getting great sound with the stock SMPS.

I can go for the HDPlex 250W DC ATX-PSU. It can be placed in the machine and fed 19V from my Dell laptop Flextronix power supply.
 

sam9s

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On the contrary in case like these, you add another 50W or so to the actual on paper wattage, just to be on the safer side. For Nikhil the actual wattage came to 150W, adding another 50W gives the safe rating.

@Nikhil, this is a music PC right, and if it will be used only as a Music Server/streamer, lower the processor and ram. An i3 2xxx(second generation) or infact an AMD with just 2 GB ram will easily do the job. When a Raspberry pi can perform wonders as a Music server an i3/2GB ram is much much more than you need.
 

Nikhil

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its not about rush actually. There is no harm in trying. Nothing will go wrong.

Yup I know. I still need the matching DC to DC converter to use my LPS.
Getting a cheap and cheerful pico PS is a possibility but that would really be a step backward.
Might as well get the HDPlex 250W DC ATX-PSU and do it right.


On the contrary in case like these, you add another 50W or so to the actual on paper wattage, just to be on the safer side. For Nikhil the actual wattage came to 150W, adding another 50W gives the safe rating.

@Nikhil, this is a music PC right, and if it will be used only as a Music Server/streamer, lower the processor and ram. An i3 2xxx(second generation) or infact an AMD with just 2 GB ram will easily do the job. When a Raspberry pi can perform wonders as a Music server an i3/2GB ram is much much more than you need.

Yes you are probably right about the power consumption.
Seriously though, I would like to know what actually happens when the machine tops out?

You are right about this being too much. I still have a re-purposed Dell Latitude D610 which I still use.
It had WinXP until recently - now runs Win7. I got the low end covered.

This particular machine which I am enquiring for is a tester for DSD playback. I used a Core i5 to get some computing power to upsample PCM to DSD using filters etc. I'm still experimenting with this. An i3 chip will most likely not cut it as some filters are heavy on computing resources. The heaviest load is DSD to DSD conversion and even this machine has dropouts.
 
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reignofchaos

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Yup I know. I still need the matching DC to DC converter to use my LPS.
Getting a cheap and cheerful pico PS is a possibility but that would really be a step backward.
Might as well get the HDPlex 250W DC ATX-PSU and do it right.




Yes you are probably right about the power consumption.
Seriously though, I would like to know what actually happens when the machine tops out?

You are right about this being too much. I still have a re-purposed Dell Latitude D610 which I still use.
It had WinXP until recently - now runs Win7. I got the low end covered.

This particular machine which I am enquiring for is a tester for DSD playback. I used a Core i5 to get some computing power to upsample PCM to DSD using filters etc. I'm still experimenting with this. An i3 chip will most likely not cut it as some filters are heavy on computing resources. The heaviest load is DSD to DSD conversion and even this machine has dropouts.

Is the dsd upsampler multithreaded? If not the i5 you are considering will actually be slower than the cheap i3 4150 as the latter has higher core clocks.
 

Nikhil

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Is the dsd upsampler multithreaded? If not the i5 you are considering will actually be slower than the cheap i3 4150 as the latter has higher core clocks.

I am using the Sygnalyst HQPlayer on trial right now (Signalyst).
I really don't know if it's multi-threaded - I could check.

Thanks for the tip on the Core i3 4150. Will look it up.
 

sam9s

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This particular machine which I am enquiring for is a tester for DSD playback. I used a Core i5 to get some computing power to upsample PCM to DSD using filters etc. I'm still experimenting with this. An i3 chip will most likely not cut it as some filters are heavy on computing resources. The heaviest load is DSD to DSD conversion and even this machine has dropouts.

I havent much played around with SACDs, but with my limited knowledge the up-conversation is more of a theoretical increase in the numbers that represent the audio quality rather than the actual audible difference. Infact what I have read is its more of a DAC dependent thing rather than the software making the music sound better.

Anyway I cannot argue/state much as I do not have any first hand practical knowledge, but I sure would experiment on the conversion just see what kind of CPU intensive task you talking about. As reignofchaos said a multi thread conversion would be highly beneficial in situation like these .....
 

Nikhil

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I havent much played around with SACDs, but with my limited knowledge the up-conversation is more of a theoretical increase in the numbers that represent the audio quality rather than the actual audible difference. Infact what I have read is its more of a DAC dependent thing rather than the software making the music sound better.

It's a matter of deciding where to do the conversion. There has been some discussion on CA that it's better to do the heavy computing away from the DAC and then feed the DAC it's native format. It's also an option of choosing filters that suit your own tastes rather than leaving it to the DAC manufacturer to fix the sound.
 

sam9s

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^^ I think you are talking about up conversion on the fly. I did a trial conversion of a PCM , wav song to DSD format using jriver inbuilt conversion and I was able to convert a 5 min 52 MB song to DSD in just under 4 minutes on my i3-2330M 2.20 Ghz meek laptop, with CPU utilization no crossing 30% any any given time, so its not that cpu intensive as it might have looked. While selecting 2 tracks the time increased to 9+ minutes, I dont think Jriver up conversion is multi threaded.....

How do you convert on the fly can you share. I can do some more testing then .....
 

Nikhil

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How do you convert on the fly can you share. I can do some more testing then .....

With JRiver you do it in Tools > Options > Audio > DSP & Output format
If you have a DSD capable DAC then you can change the "Output Encoding" to whatever suits your DAC.
That's about all you can do in JRiver. It's not really considered very good but it's fairly decent for DSD conversion.

Foobar on the other hand has an excellent DSD converter.
For those who have Foobar can follow the instructions here.
 

Nikhil

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Nikhil, how does HQPlayer compare to JRiver?

Still experimenting with HQPlayer Josh but there are some features in HQP which are not present in JRiver - mostly apodizing filters.
Apart from the format conversion HQP allows you to use about 16 filters and another 6 odd noise shaping techniques (dither).
Very unique in terms of feature set.

Cost is very high compared to JRiver. And interface is very basic - operates much like one would a physical transport with some bells & whistles.
Takes some getting used to but once you figure it out it's a very minimal look. Sound is it's main focus.

In terms of sound it's effects are highly system dependent.
But when setup right the sound is pretty amazing.
It has the best PCM to DSD conversion available right now.
I can't get JRiver to do conversion without dropouts but no problem with HQP.

Most people end up using HQPlayer for critical listening whereas JRiver is more the all rounder.
JRiver is far easier to use - especially as a media management suite.
 
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sidvee

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Nikhil, how does HQPlayer compare to JRiver?

I downloaded a free sample. For regular PCM tracks 16/44 upto 24/192 I did not hear any significant difference compared to Jriver - I used a few filters and dither settings. The interface is also very bad and unless there is huge change in SQ for me this in itself is a deal breaker. However I did not try with DSD upsampling.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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