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cazzesman

Adding a SSD to DIY Music PC - Advice Please.

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Thanks to you both.  👍🏻

 

i like the idea of the mini pcie to sata card but..........

Pardon my ignorance, where is the pcie slot available on my MB?

 

looking at the internal image above I can't see one. 🤦🏻‍♂️   Unless it is under the raised Sotm usb card.   If so, it wont fit.

 

Feel free to embarrass me and point it out 😝

 

I will certainly be keeping the NAS in play as backup.   I have about 4 backup of my music library 😀

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, cazzesman said:

Pardon my ignorance, where is the pcie slot available on my MB?

 

Under it - you should have two - one full and one half size. They won't look like a usual PCIe slot, more a place where a sort-of-credit-card and sort-of-half-that things go.

 

If it's this board check page 24 onwards ... 

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/motherboards/desktop/dn2800mt/dn2800mt_productguide03_english.pdf

Edited by rmpfyf

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I'm thinking they are under the Sotm USB card........but.......

 

I think after looking at the MB diagram on page 12  it states there are 2 sata 3 inputs.  i think mine are sata 2 but.........    Looking at the image of my pc's internals there does appear to be a 2nd sata input just below the internal  power lume on the left of the MB.   It's the grey connector if I am not mistaken.   

 

If so, bonus 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 

 

Can you confirm?

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Posted (edited)

If you’re genuinely interested in ultimate sound quality (who here isn’t?), here’s a slightly left field suggestion for you: drop Windows and all of the expensive ‘turd polisher’ software for it, and use SnakeOil os.

 

Out of the box it’s (far) better sounding than your current solution - ask me how I know?! I was in your exact situation.

 

Plus, it takes far less space up (<10gb) so you won’t need to purchase more storage for a while and TJ (the author) is very helpful and active.

Edited by realysm42

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😀😀😀

 

I appreciate your post but if I am to believe what you say you need to change your 'Signature'.

 

No mention of Snake Oil there only W10 and plenty of TP addons. 👍🏻

 

Who doesn't love a good TP addon? 🤗

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

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4 hours ago, cazzesman said:

😀😀😀

 

I appreciate your post but if I am to believe what you say you need to change your 'Signature'.

 

No mention of Snake Oil there only W10 and plenty of TP addons. 👍🏻

 

Who doesn't love a good TP addon? 🤗

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

I don’t have the same amp, speakers, rack or cables anymore either. 

 

Changing from Windows to Linux is a significant upgrade in SQ though. I wouldn’t have believed it until I tried it.

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12 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Under it - you should have two - one full and one half size. They won't look like a usual PCIe slot, more a place where a sort-of-credit-card and sort-of-half-that things go.

 

If it's this board check page 24 onwards ... 

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/motherboards/desktop/dn2800mt/dn2800mt_productguide03_english.pdf

A 2nd sata port if I'm not mistaken.

 

Problem solved if so.    I obviously had a man look the first time.   Doh!

 

Regards Cazzesman

P1040540a.jpg

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Started my mini PC music overhaul today.   I will say right out of the gate I am no PC wiz.   I have an IT mate I can call for help but I try and muddle through it myself.   I built my original CAPS Lagoon myself following the guidelines from the Computer Audiophile Site (now known as Audiophile Style).

 

I know enough about building PC's to know that Google is your friend.  There is almost SFA you can't research these days and more often than not there is a Youtube vid to run you through it.

 

After much pondering I have decided to go with what I know best,.   I'm installing WS2019, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer 8.4 and JRiver Ver 24 plus adding an additional internal 2tb SSD on which toi store my music.    SSD was Samsung QVO for $274.   The WS2019 trial download can be reset 5 times over a 3 year period so no initial outlay.    AO, Fide and JRiver are a few extra dollars for some upgrades on what I have so overall not a big outlay...........so I thought.

 

I am a simple listener.  I put on a CD (Flac version) and listen all the way through.   I like it that way.   I don't do Internet Radio, Tidal, Roon, MQA, HQPlayer, DSD files etc, etc.    I use JRiver and my flacs are 24/96 at most.   I try and work with the KISS principle.    

 

It turned out to be one of those '@#$% you' PC days.    Anyone who has worked on a DIY PC knows what I mean.     The case is a LGX_MC500_Mini-ITX .    I removed the PC from the Audio Cabinet, set it up on my desk and took the lid off.

 

  • 1st issue I came across.     The Sata Power cable didn't stretch far enough to connect with the 2nd SSD so off to CPL to buy a Sata Power cable splitter cable.   All good. $8.50 later, back home.
  • 2nd issue.    Plugged in the power supply (PS) and guess what?    It had @#$% died.    The 9 metre trip from cabinet to desk must have been too much for it.       The PS is a 12 vlt - 5.85 Amp and I had nothing similar.   So off to Jaycar for a new one.   $74 later and back home.
  • 3rd issue.   Now PS working but the On/Off button had ceased operation and the PC wouldn't switch on.   WTF!!!!!  Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!  

There may have been a small tear in the corner of my eye but I battled on.    I was dubious whether the On/Off Button had died or the MB had expired, so I had to trouble shoot.     Did some googling and ended up finding out that if the On/Off was dead, I could jump-start the MB with a screwdriver by shorting the MB Power pins on the MB.   With great trepidation I gave it a try.   What did I have to lose I told myself???????     Ahhhhhhhh!!!!

 

'Let there be Light' the machine fired up.    "Hallelujah"!!!!!!       I later fiddled with the connecting pins b/t the on/off button and the MB and guess what?  The On/Off button came back to life.    Go figure.   Maybe just a dry joint.    I gave it the Deox-It Gold treatment so hopefully it will stay working.

 

That was enough for one day.   My brain hurt.         I have the WS2019 OS ready to go on a USB Bootable stick.  I have sorted out what I needed to save and took ipad images of my current settings in JRiver.    

 

Fingers crossed day 2 goes smoothly.

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 2 of the rebuild.

 

When you are working with PC stuff I find it is the nuances of things that just take time.   Being a novice of sorts I have to stop and google stuff all the time to make sure what I am doing is right.    Like most things in life if you do them very infrequently you forget the finer points (No Don't Go There!)

 

Even the simple thing like formatting a USB stick.   If I ever knew I don't recall, but I was trying to put a 4.6gig ISO file onto a 16 Gig stick after it was formatted to a bootable disk using 'Fat32'.  No can fit it Tells me.   I'm like WTF!   I do some googling and find out Fat32 only allows files up to 4 gig.  It's the NTFS file system you have to use.    See it's the little stuff.

 

Used Rufus free software to make the disk Bootable.    Had to workout what FreeDos was vs MS-Dos etc.  More time reading.

 

Then I had to google the difference between a Motherboard with Bios and UEFI as that makes a difference to how you turn the Stick into a bootable one.       In my PS's Bios directory there was an option to enable UEFI so I thought yep that's it and turned it on.   Nope, bootable disk wouldn't work.    Back to the drawing board.    Turns out it was a Bios MB.  

 

Finally got WS2019 installed.  Yippee!!!     Installed JRiver, Fideliser, Dirac Live (for some testing with the free trial) and assorted Drivers for Sotm and Mutec.     Went to pay for the Upgraded version of Audiophile Optimizer 3.0 via the sites Paypal website 5 or 6 times and it just kept 'thinking'.

 

I was using 'Explorer' at the time so I had a hunch based on some old experience.  Downloaded Firefox Browser, went through the AO 3.0 payment scheme via Paypal and it worked in a jiffy.    @#$% Computers!!!!

 

So at this stage I am good to go and day 3 will be 'Make it all work together' day.

 

Regards Cazzesman

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Day 3 of the rebuild.

 

Bit of a slowish start after celebrating the birthdays of my wife and 3 other female friends.   4 Women over 50 are loosely termed as a gagle of 'Pissedheades's'.      Restaurant Pastuso in Melbourne put on a fine spread.  Highly recommended for lovers of Sth American tucker.

 

10ish today it was down to business.   

 

Today was; install the 2tb SSD, load it with 950gig of music, sort out JRemote to drive JRiver on the Ipads, sort Remote Desk Connection (RDC) to the Audio PC as it will be 'headless',  sort JRiver so that it auto loads the Music from the new 2tb 'D' Drive and sort File sharing from Music PC to my main PC plus Mapping network drives.     No probs - 15 mins work. 😮

 

SSD worked fine once assigned a 'Letter' and formatted.  plugged in my External HDD with my music catalogue backup and started the slow process.   MB only has USB 2 inputs so I have split it in halve and the 1st 500gig took 5 hours.   

 

The good news I never expected, was that JRiver automatically picked up my Oppo 105 connected to the network.   Once the Oppo was selected I was able to play any installed music within JRiver from the Audio PC to the Oppo and onto the Kii 3's.   Nice to work and Listen to tunes!!!!!

 

JRemote setup easily and JRiver Library creation was pretty simple.   The Music files were going from External HDD to internal 'D' Drive where JRiver software sucked the files from the 'D' drive into the JRiver Library.    It was a joy to watch the Album covers pop up on screen.

 

RDC went pretty smoothly with only a few google searches needed.   It is now again possible for me to log in from my main PC to the Audio PC.

 

Today's tricky bit was the Sharing Folders and Having them appear in my Main PC's Windows Explorer Tree.    Lots of Google searching and Youtube watching to nut that one out.    The main hurdle was working out why WS2019 would not retain the selection I kept making with 'Discovery Network'.    I would turn it to 'On' and each time I left the screen it Auto Reverted to 'Off'.    

 

Eventually a great Youtube video, on just that problem, informed me WS2019 had a number of File settings within the back end of Task Manager that aren't enabled off the bat, to allow network discovery.    Once those files were 'Enabled' and set to 'Auto' instead of 'Manual' the Network Discovery button stayed On and Enabled me to find the Audio PC on my Network.

 

File sharing of Folders with the Audio PC and my Main PC also took abit of work to figure out, via more Google searches.    WS2019 has more fail safes than W7 it would appear.    More boxes to tick and unticked to get it working.    

 

Finally got the Audio PC recognised on the network on my Main PC and I now have access to swap and play with my Music files.      What this now means is I can 'Acquire Music' on my main PC, copy it onto the Headless Audio PC 'D' drive (JRiver software will auto load it to the Library) and I can also copy it onto the NAS.   I will now have 3 backups of my music catalogue.

 

By tomorrow all music files should be downloaded then it will be all about setting up AO3.0 and Fidelizer 8.4.

 

All going well, I will put the Audio PC back into the system and 'Audio Nirvana' will be fully revealed. 🤗

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Day 4.     Someone within my workforce once reiterated the old adage.......

 

'Prior Preparation Prevents Pi55 Poor Performance'.      Words to live by I guess and hopefully the last 3 days will put it all into practice.   With that in my mind I installed Audiophile Optimzer (AO)  3.0 and then Fidelizer 8.4.

 

All looked good and so back in the System the Music PC went.     Now it's Music PC - USB cable from Sotm PCIe into Mutec - AES cable out to Kii3.    Simples (sic)

 

Plugged it all in, opened JRiver, selected a Track to test and............................................................

 

@#$% Me It Worked First Time!!!!!!!    There was glorious music filling the room.   

 

I may have shed a small tear, but only one.    🤗

 

About this Project.................

 

Since I bought the Kii 3's I have really wanted to make sure they were being provided with the best source material I could find.    Yes I could have bought an Off the Shelf item but as a SNA mate tells me 'Buy stuff that is future proof as best you can.'   

 

In the digital world Future Proof is about 3 1/2 weeks.  With this project I can move with the times as and when.   With an Off the Shelf' device you are locked into what the Manufacturer wants to do.       Also I think the cost of an Off the Shelf unit that sounds as good as my DIY unit, would be many $1000's.

 

I am happy with my Room Treatment, Kii 3's, Isolation Transformer for Power and the Mutec for Re-clocking the USB signal.   

 

All I had read on the Audiophile Style website suggested Phil at AO had done a brilliant job with AO 3.0 running on WS 2019 in GUI mode.

The general consensus was that the SQ of WS2019/A0 3.0 in GUI mode easily bettered WS2012/AO2.2 in Core mode so that's the way I have gone so far. 

 

I included the 2tb additional SSD to store the music within.     Certainly the speed of music retrieval so far via the SSD is almost instant.

 

What did it cost?   Not including the hours spent of course, which was priceless 🙄

 

2 tb SSD    $274

Sate Power cable Spliter   $8.50

New Power supply (Unexpected cost)    $74.

Upgrade to AO 3.0    $69

JRiver upgrade 18 to 25  $40

Total $465.50

 

As for WS2019 the cost is unknown as it is not applicable for 3 years.   You can install it and run it for 180 days.  You then type in a simple command prompt to re-arm the trial for another 180 days.  You can do the re-arm 5 times in total.    So in 3 years I would hope whatever the cost of it is today will be cheaper by then.

 

I obviously leaned plenty during the rebuild and one of the reason I have written about it is a) to inform those on SNA that might be vaguely interested and b) So that these words might jog my memory on the nuances the next time I decide to go around again.  

 

Time to get a Cuppa and a sandwich, put the chair in position 1A and chill out with some fine tunes.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Regards Cazzesman

 

 

Edited by cazzesman

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