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A Motherboard with usb dac's in mind

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by fluidz, Dec 6, 2013.
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  1. fluidz
    Has anybody heard of the gigabyte GA h81 amp-up motherboard? Gigabyte claim it has a noiseless USB port on board, has anybody actually used one?

    I'm looking to upgrade my system and this looks appealing, although I would prefer a motherboard with gaming in mind as well as audio.



  2. suicidal_orange
    Never heard of it let alone used it but the idea is great - USB power is known for being dirty so a dedicated DAC port is ideal.  I'll be hoping they stick with the idea and it would influence my choice when I next upgrade if they do, thanks for mentioning it!  Strange choice only having 2 memory slots though...
  3. ToddTheMetalGod
    Cool [​IMG]. It's too bad the board isn't higher end, it would be nice to have a high-end overclocking motherboard with a noise-filtered USB port.
  4. fluidz
    Guys I've found the g1 sniper z87, more of a gaming motherboard, same usb implementation.

    Could be my next board to go with a 4770k :)

  5. fluidz
    Manual For the z87 sniper, explains that the usb is isolated and power can be switched off!



  6. suicidal_orange
    So did they do a good job making the power clean or is it still bad enough that you need to turn it off for maximum performance?  I guess there would still be power in the cable next to the signal and that could cause interference on a poorly shielded cable...
    I don't know about other DACS having never lived with them but both the Beresford and iBasso ones I use have external power but still appear connected to the computer when switched off, which means no need to mess with soundcard priorities (I use Linux) when you turn them on and from what I remember from uni the USB connection process starts when the power is connected, which in this case will never happen.  Does that mean it polls the port constantly, whether in use or not?  I'm going to have to experiment with this theory - a bit of tape in a USB socket can replicate this if it's standard behaviour [​IMG]
  7. fluidz
    Ordered the g1 sniper, on its way. Will update the thread when I've tested it with my m1a dac.
  8. fluidz
    Received my gigabyte G1 Sniper z87 board.. thought I'd update the thread as there may be some of you who are wondering if the Usb Dac feature is a gimmick.. 
    I've been testing it along with a Musical Fidelity M1a (async) Dac, which unfortunately doesn't offer galvanic isolation - hence why I bought the Sniper Z87 board in the first place, hoping it would offer a solution.  Compared to my old motherboard, which was also a Gigabyte, using the new board's Dac-up port (opposed to a standard usb on my old motherboard) combined with Usb power switched off in the Bios, the Sniper Z87 is doing a really good job at cleaning up the audio (the blackground is more apparent) making the audio much more Rich and airy, seems to offer cleaner Dynamics (can pick out highs from lows better and much more space around each sound. 
    Before buying the z87 motherboard I had tried many things to try and solve what I believed was a deterioration in sound caused by the computer, including removing both ground and Power wires from the Usb cable, which solved half the problem, the audio sounded better, but the computer was still sending noise into the data wires..  
    I was constantly switching back and forth from optical to Usb and never pleased with both.  I believe I've found a solution and it hasn't cost me an arm and leg. For the last two days I've been happy with just Usb, surely that means something. :)
    In case you're wondering what type of gear i'm using to test the differences.. here's my Audio chain - Computer [usb] > m1a Dac [rca] > Emotiva Mini [speaker taps] > Hifiman He-500
  9. ToddTheMetalGod
    Nice, I'm glad it works well for you :). I'm surprised it wasn't a gimmick and worked in your case. I'm sure it isn't beneficial to all situations, but for those that need clean USB power this is a good solution.
  10. itchyears
    thx fluidz for getting back to us, I wondered why so many people were going for the sniper board.
    Guess a clean usb port and stable one will offer a clean accurate sound experience :)
    Shame they don't make an addon usb board designed for DAC outputs/usb devices that need it.
  11. Bamadawg

    SOtM tx-USB US$ 300


    A audiophile PCI to USB card with ultra low noise regulator for digital, clock, PLL and USB power circuit and ultra low jitter clock for USB clock.
    Compliant with USB 2.0
    All ports can handle high-speed (480 Mbps), full-speed (12 Mbps), and low-speed (1.5 Mbps)
    32-bit 33 MHz host interface compliant with PCI specification revision 2.2

  12. suicidal_orange

    Haha!  That costs nearly as much as the expensive Gigabyte board above and it's old school PCI - I've not had a socket it will fit in for years.  Bet it does the job just as nicely though, as long as you want/need power in the cable [​IMG]
  13. Bamadawg
    It's PCI-Express... just like any soundcard is. That is a pic of the old card... sorry. It is over-priced... they also have SATA and fan filters.
  14. suicidal_orange
    Good to know they've kept up with the times, if I stumble on one for a bargain price I'm interested [​IMG]
  15. ToddTheMetalGod

    It would probably be better if they designed it to draw power straight from the power supply. I mean, drawing power from the board sort of defeats the purpose of having a dedicated USB port card. There's only so much that can be done through power filtering. Then again, I've never even heard the noise floor on my USB DAC and I'm not too obsessive so I wouldn't really be interested in a product like this.
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