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Time to buy a new audio-oriented pc

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm new in the liquid music "thing", so need some good advices.

First of all, need to buy a pc (already have two, but both are quite noisy...), possibly fanless, which will be used just for audio playback, but might be better it can play HD films flawlessy.

So I'm learning about these new arm-powered linux/android pcs.

But are them going to be underpowered? I've only seen some raspberry videos on youtube, but seems like xmbc doesn't run really smooth, but it's one of the less powerful minipc out there.

In your opinion would any quadcore arm device suit my needs?

And to help it along, should i rip my CDs in any particular format? (maybe some are easier to decode...)

Thank you for your help ;)

post #2 of 8
 And to help it along, should i rip my CDs in any particular format? (maybe some are easier to decode...)

rip as a lossless file.

 

As for the rest of your post, I do not understand what you are trying to achieve. your're like jumping back and forth between subjects. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I need a pc for audio playback. I want it to be fanless and with coax out.

I thought and arm based android pc might be fine,but I'm wondering if these pc are underpowered for the task since I've seen youtube videos of a raspberry running xbmc, and seems like it's really slow. So the first question is: "Are arm devices underpowered to install a decent audio player an stream to a dac flawlessy?"

And then: "Will a different lossless format (ALAC, FLAC, DST, MLP, APE, WAV, WMA...) help an underpowered pc to decode the audio, or the same file, in FLAC or WAV, take the same amount of cpu when played?"

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinguinkiller View Post
 

 

And then: "Will a different lossless format (ALAC, FLAC, DST, MLP, APE, WAV, WMA...) help an underpowered pc to decode the audio, or the same file, in FLAC or WAV, take the same amount of cpu when played?"

i might be wrong, but i think wav should use less of the cpu because it does not have to decompress the file before playing.

Quote:
 

I need a pc for audio playback. I want it to be fanless and with coax out.

I thought and arm based android pc might be fine,but I'm wondering if these pc are underpowered for the task since I've seen youtube videos of a raspberry running xbmc, and seems like it's really slow. So the first question is: "Are arm devices underpowered to install a decent audio player an stream to a dac flawlessy?"

which android device do u have im mind? Also, not all android device supports USB OTG and when they do,USB DACs do not always work. 


Edited by imeem - 12/1/13 at 7:11am
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imeem View Post
 

i might be wrong, but i think wav should use less of the cpu because it does not have to decompress the file before playing.

which android device do u have im mind? Also, not all android device supports USB OTG and when they do,USB DACs do not always work. 


Yes, that's why I want coax output (and they usually have 1 or maybe 2 usb ports, in which I have to put an external HDD, mice and keyboard. And I already have a coax dac :D )

I have in mind something like a dual core Utilite or Cubox, they should be more powerful than a raspberry but non really more expensive, and support xbmc and who knows maybe someone will port some pure audio-centric OS..

 

Is really needed an x64 multicore cpu to play some good music, or a smartphone cpu could handle this whithout losing any detail (or worse)?

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinguinkiller View Post
 


Yes, that's why I want coax output (and they usually have 1 or maybe 2 usb ports, in which I have to put an external HDD, mice and keyboard. And I already have a coax dac :D )

I have in mind something like a dual core Utilite or Cubox, they should be more powerful than a raspberry but non really more expensive, and support xbmc and who knows maybe someone will port some pure audio-centric OS..

 

Is really needed an x64 multicore cpu to play some good music, or a smartphone cpu could handle this whithout losing any detail (or worse)?

 

I know that a dual core may not be enough for HD video playback, at least for my tablet that is. For audio, a dual core should be enough. I would youtube some videos on the Cubox and Utilite. IMO, i wound't get the cubox for android because it's using a super old version.

 

I was about to suggest the Ouya but it doesn't have spdif.

post #7 of 8

If your aim is to build a quiet / silent PC platform with the ability to play 1080P video and at low cost then look at something like the AMD Zacate platform. I used this to build an HTPC, and using a Pico PSU (which is basically a laptop power brick that is fanless and noiseless) I have a virtually silent PC that happily plays 1080P.

 

There's no PC I've used in the last 10 years that has any issue at all decoding sound files.

 

The MoBo is cheap, tiny and cool running (the tiny cpu fan can always be updgraded to something quiter or silent) and of course has Coax Out for your DAC.

 

The CPU doesn't do the video decoding, the GPU does. There's the equivalent of an HD6130 built into this MoBo.

 

Hope this helps

 

Miraboy

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I was very interested in ARM architecture, given the low idle power consumption (and the fact that now there are also external dac for smartphones -> they can't be so bad). But if you advise me to focus more on x64/x86 think I will try some intel notebook platform. However that's not really cheap for a low power mediacenter

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