My Computer is Now the Weakest Link
Jan 23, 2010 at 7:27 PM Post #31 of 46

rds

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juaquin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I did, 500W-100W=400W.


Yeah, 500W is high - I'm running 3 hard drives, 7 case fans, two dual-power-input videocards, etc. Both the videocards and the CPU are overclocked manually and therefore underclock is disabled (gaming rig, as I said). Don't forget to add in the large display which itself runs 25-30W, and all the peripherals.



...and you can hear the noise floor of your usb cable over that
tongue.gif
? I have manually oc'ed my cpu but it still steps down the multiplier when doing regular stuff. As for video overclocking why not just have an oc profile? Two clicks and your card is ready for gaming - a lot easier than booting up the pc. I have two video card profiles: one for gaming and one for regular use (where I've underclocked everything, more to keep noise low than to save power).
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 8:15 PM Post #32 of 46

CodeToad

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Ok, recapping the thread, the problem actually is pretty straightforward. Let me redefine based on what's been posted so far:

1. I need to get my fat ass out of this damn chair. Being tied to the computer bad.

2. Ethernet ok. Wireless bad. see #4

3. Squeezebox duet remote is dead on. (Anyone who uses it regularly please post impressions)

4. Ideally, a system independent of the computer or file server. In fact, the device would itself be the file server for other slave devices. see #2

5. Apple, Google, SONY, Microsoft, et al, all have severe cases of Rockefelleritis and cannot be trusted. An independent platform without surreptitious monitoring/ad serving/data mining/drm-ing/profiling/back door disabling and otherwise undisclosed/undiscovered horse**** is a long term necessity if history is our guide. see ( YouTube - Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Live) )

6. Low power consumption, to the point where it can be left on all the time without worrying about the electric bill. see #5

Of course I realize whatever can be said about this probably already has been posted, but it seems clear to me we are in a paradigm shift into a new era of hifi. It's now possible to have terabytes of bit perfect music controlled by your fingertips. It's possible to literally shake the house with audiophile precision on a twenty watts or less with class D designs.

The weakest link from my perspective right now is the transport.
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 8:34 PM Post #33 of 46

digger945

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If you would care to do some looking/research on the internet, you would find that there are several devices that are designed from the ground up to do everything you want and more, with no other purpose but to rip and store and play music. Heck, some of them you just load a disc and it does everything automatically. One machine you load many CD's on a spool and it robotically loads the discs for you, burns them to whatever storage device you want, and catalogs your music for you, which should be right up your alley.
Computeraudiophile.com is one of many many places to start reading.
The possible hardware and software that can be purchased right now is staggering.
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 8:41 PM Post #34 of 46

Juaquin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rds /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...and you can hear the noise floor of your usb cable over that
tongue.gif
? As for video overclocking why not just have an oc profile? Two clicks and your card is ready for gaming - a lot easier than booting up the pc. .



No, I never said I did this for audio - that happens to be a nice benefit, but no, I never heard a noise floor on a USB cable. I don't even have a DAC right now besides the Bantam I use with my laptop. The video overclocking is done when the OS loads by RivaTuner (set for startup) - I don't have to reboot - the machine is used 90% for gaming so I don't bother with multiple profiles. If I'm not gaming, it's off.

My argument was that having a separate file server WILL save you power, if you're concerned about that. Regardless, this conversation isn't relevant to the OP's problem so I'm going to leave it at that.

CodeToad, if you're looking for low power and simplicity, the Squeezebox is probably a great choice, but I'm not sure why you think Sony, Google, Microsoft, etc can't be trusted and Logitech can. I don't think Logitech is in any way out to get you, but then again I don't think Google is either. Maybe Sony, though
wink.gif
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 8:47 PM Post #35 of 46

rds

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juaquin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No, I never said I did this for audio - that happens to be a nice benefit, but no, I never heard a noise floor on a USB cable.


Oops I had you confused with the OP. Haha, I was like you're hearing a noise floor with THAT on in the background?!
confused_face(1).gif
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 9:03 PM Post #36 of 46

CodeToad

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Juaquin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't think Logitech is in any way out to get you, but then again I don't think Google is either. Maybe Sony, though
wink.gif



It's more about watching the tides than individual ripples in the water. These articles are from the wire today.

CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones | UK news | The Guardian

GOP-linked company tracks online users’ ‘loan-worthiness’ | Raw Story

Anyway, it seems that open source with a large base of followers is a better solution than proprietary stuff that changes with the tides. Just looking at the big picture here, that's all.

I just hooked the M3/s11 up to the kill-a-watt meter....14 watts in all of it's class A beauty. The Little Dot Mk3 I had was twice that. The computer transport is more than 10 times that.
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 10:16 PM Post #37 of 46

vilts

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One previous poster also said, and I totally agree - BeagleBoard looks quite a good choice here. When I get around, my plan is to put Beagleboard, gamma2, one decent power supply (sigma11), and possibly one 2.5" HDD into one box. That power supply can be used for both gamma2 and bboard, both use 5V.

Quite a lot of DIY for media transport, or as much as I'm willing to do. Good thing is that I could configure the combination the way I want, with extra devices I want. Remote control needs a little bit of thinking, but should be doable. Maybe running VLC remote from iPod touch/iPhone... Max power consumption should be around 3W for beagleboard.
 
Jan 23, 2010 at 11:41 PM Post #38 of 46

Juaquin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rds /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Oops I had you confused with the OP. Haha, I was like you're hearing a noise floor with THAT on in the background?!
confused_face(1).gif



Haha, yeah. Another benefit of a server - no wind tunnel noise in the apartment.
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 2:24 AM Post #39 of 46

jeremyrp

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One option you could consider for a low power server is a Windows Home Server, such as the HP LX195. While I haven't used it with a Squeezebox, a quick google search shows plenty of people running that.

But the nice benefit of a WHS compared to some other options is all the other benefits beside file server, such as backup of all computers on your network, remote access to files and computers through your home firewall from the internet, etc. There's a growing number of extensions for everything from TiVo and BitTorrent, to PHP, MySQL, and other development platforms. At the end of the day, WHS is basically a very user-friendly Windows 2003 Server, so just about anything you can run on Windows you can run on WHS.

The LX195 is basic, but expandable. And the important selling feature for me was the low power usage; mine is always using <30W as reported by a Kill-A-Watt. NewEgg has them for $350, with sales/coupons coming fairly often...
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:14 AM Post #40 of 46

Magsy

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I'm not so sure about all this, IT is my trade so I'm fairly handy...

My main rig is 100% overclocked, 15k rpm SCSI drives...etc, basically what you would consider unsuitable as a transport. I have an Emu 0404 pci feeding SPDIF to a DAC.

During my B22 build I decided to try out a difference in transport. I built up a thin client I have, 1ghz VIA, fanless, SSD, no moving parts, PCI Emu 0404 and battery powered via a 12v SLA.

The result was it sounded exactly the bloody same!! I'm not deaf, I can hear a clear difference between optical and coax for example but sadly there was no improvement.

I don't like the Squeezebox and the way it works but I think it probably is the best option. I have a PC in every room of the house....4 media centres! The truth is they never, ever work as reliably and easily as something designed for the job, the SB is designed for its task..
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:22 AM Post #41 of 46

m1abrams

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Magsy /img/forum/go_quote.gif

I don't like the Squeezebox and the way it works but I think it probably is the best option. I have a PC in every room of the house....4 media centres! The truth is they never, ever work as reliably and easily as something designed for the job, the SB is designed for its task..



Curious, what about the way the Squeezebox works is it that you do not like?
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:36 AM Post #42 of 46

Magsy

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I dislike anything that does not give me an easy to use Explorer style interface. I spend 12hrs a day with a Windows interface, it is what I'm used to and what I want, I want folders. Also I'm a chronic random track selector, I never listen to an album, I make a playlist on the fly as I sit there and the mood takes me from song to song. I have over 150gb's of music, 18,000 files and sadly the little displays are not enough...

I have media streamers but they just get used for radio...

(by all accounts the SB is great, I'm just a freak!
smily_headphones1.gif
)
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:39 AM Post #43 of 46

CodeToad

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Magsy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
During my B22 build I decided to try out a difference in transport. I built up a thin client I have, 1ghz VIA, fanless, SSD, no moving parts, PCI Emu 0404 and battery powered via a 12v SLA.

The result was it sounded exactly the bloody same!! I'm not deaf, I can hear a clear difference between optical and coax for example but sadly there was no improvement.

I don't like the Squeezebox and the way it works but I think it probably is the best option. I have a PC in every room of the house....4 media centres! The truth is they never, ever work as reliably and easily as something designed for the job, the SB is designed for its task..



It's interesting that there was no difference in a battery operated transport. I guess it is to be expected with a properly implemented connection and reclocking.

If you think about it we're all basically bypassing Windows anyway. It makes for an expensive, power sucking overkill of a file server that could be done with a much simpler design except for the interface part of it.

A fanless, SSD solution would be noiseless and that's an important point to me.

ADDED: FWIW I also tested the G2/s11 with a Kill A Watt meter and it sits there at 6 watts. So for 20 watts I get mind blowing tunage, a pretty good deal.
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM Post #44 of 46

m1abrams

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Magsy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I dislike anything that does not give me an easy to use Explorer style interface. I spend 12hrs a day with a Windows interface, it is what I'm used to and what I want, I want folders. Also I'm a chronic random track selector, I never listen to an album, I make a playlist on the fly as I sit there and the mood takes me from song to song. I have over 150gb's of music, 18,000 files and sadly the little displays are not enough...

I have media streamers but they just get used for radio...



Well then don't use the little displays. Use your computers web browser, or if you have an ipod touch or iphone use its interface with 3rd party software.

SqueezeCenter software even allow you to browse by folder if you prefer that method, however with 18k files I would find that extremely cumbersome way to find music.
 
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:45 AM Post #45 of 46

sergery

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I have though a while about the computer transport issue. It is something that is a minor catastrophe imho. There are more options for a diy'er than you think, with a little elbow grease.

if noise floor and power consumption are the biggest issues, why not simply build a tread/sigma25/etc for all the noisy bits? Spinning disk's on the 5V are bad according to what I read, but you could seperate them completely using a relay. Fans too! bam! If you really want to go to town you can build linear PSU's and hook them up to your sound card. Another arguably over the top weapon is rfi shielding between soundcard and processors like CPU/GPU.

With something like this you should have very good signal coming from your soundcard. But the initial quality there is probably a BIGGER concern from my experience. My gamma1 sounds better by USB (powered by USB) then it does by spdif via my X-Fi. So, hmmmm. That is not modded - I have always wondered what its SPDI/F output wave trace looks like, probably crappy because the card sounds good in analog.

There are other solutions like external sound cards, I am currently employing this route. Here the power is separate and there is a certain degree of isolation between devices, not to mention async transfer anyway. The clock is then generated in the new less noisy environment.

Of course you have things like the HiFace that supposedly sound fantastic that plug right into the madness, so maybe cleaning up the mess is possible?

I guess what I am trying to say as a fan of diy computer building is that computers can be made cheaply and if you desire tinkerability, they will offer you this. The squeezebox route to me is sort of analogous. A bit pricier for what you get, comparing to an external soundcard, but it is wireless and has a nice interface.

here is an example of a 'media pc' there are many though

good luck on you transport quest!
beerchug.gif
 

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