Originally Posted by smallmany
valid point, but when has fan noise ever effect your music listening pleasures. Maybe if he was using gpu/cpu extensive programs, then that fan is going to be so loud hence degrade music time.
Edit: This is assuming that no one listens to music at a whispering level
Fan noise is the #1 issue to deal with when building a computer based system... It raises noise floor and jitter big time and if you own a proper DAC it needs to be adressed.
Originally Posted by Musica Amantem
Good points, all of you. But,
1. I need the extra RAM to make sure the player works with the music files in the RAM domain and does not need to access the HDD and therefore create noise. My files tend to be quite heavy at red book and 24-96, but I plan to get and also up-sample at 192K and their size will be increasing exponentially.
2. I cannot get around the idea of spending over $600 just in SSD's. There are other opportunity costs out there.
3. I've worked with my laptop so far without issues, but I'm guessing better SQ would be available with less fan noises (plus maybe some jitter getting in there).
4. I don't need portability for a dedicated music source and yes, my current DAC works fine over a 2.0 USB connection. I'm upgrading the DAC soon, though.
5. I need enough L3 cache to accelerate the I/O and protocol interactions stemming from real-time player operation (to avoid latency issues).
6. Let's just say 4 Gb RAM is barely enough, and lets assume a dual core Intel at just over 2.0 Ghz is enough processing power. I'm still missing on the L3 cache in this case.
7. Then there's the cost issue. Like someone pointed out, its significantly cheaper to go with a desktop other things being equal, which is the cost of portability and convenience.
What to get, then?.
1. You don't need that much RAM. Everytime you open a new file the HDD will need to be accessed and 2GB is plenty enough for a single FLAC file even at 24/192.
2. You're right, with how big your collection is (mine is even bigger so I get it), it's a waste of money.
4. I doubt you'll be upgrading to a DAC without USB? Unless you go for something that's obsolete, which isn't the best idea.
5. Latency issue for music playback is inexistent, you don't really need a big L3 cache to avoid latency, especially if you're running a small XP installation and limited services/processes.
6. See above.
7. I don't know about convenience. Like I said if you own a smartphone, you use that as a remote control for foobar or other music players and it becomes a lot more convenient than having to walk around your house with your laptop or tablet.
Originally Posted by whitedragon551
His point was a desktop you always have the option to upgrade down the road if you see fit. With a laptop you are stuck with the hardware you order. What happens when he gets a new DAC that doesnt have USB but optical only? SOL unless he has a desktop that he can swap cards in.
Nobody buys a DAC with no USB input these days. And if he happens to, then he can buy a USB/SPDIF converter for ~100usd and still use his old computer just fine.
Originally Posted by Musica Amantem
Ok, sound wise, which is better in equivalent conditions? If both produce essentially the same result, I can certainly use other criteria, but I need to make sure and take advantage of my imminent laptop replacement opportunity not to make a mistake. Thanks for the help.
Once again, a desktop is cheaper to build and you have the option to eliminate fan noise, so for a music based server for your home where portability isn't an issue, a desktop is by far the better choice.