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Building the ideal(ish) Music Server

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18 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

I meant the motherboard clock.

 

So did I, sorry - ambiguous use of language.

 

Although the SOtM clock does come on a card (@JDWest am I right in saying this; it's got the same foot print as the upgraded clock for the SOtM card itself?)it's an awful lot larger looking than other clock I've seen. 

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2 minutes ago, realysm42 said:

 

So did I, sorry - ambiguous use of language.

 

Although the SOtM clock does come on a card (@JDWest am I right in saying this; it's got the same foot print as the upgraded clock for the SOtM card itself?)it's an awful lot larger looking than other clock I've seen. 

 

If high performance most are. Probably a VCXO or OCXO

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19 minutes ago, realysm42 said:

 

So did I, sorry - ambiguous use of language.

 

Although the SOtM clock does come on a card (@JDWest am I right in saying this; it's got the same foot print as the upgraded clock for the SOtM card itself?)it's an awful lot larger looking than other clock I've seen. 

 

Yes, the SOtM mobo clock upgrade is a kit comprising a populated PCB of about 12x8 cm that has the clock and a heap of power filtration including ultra low noise regulators and an active noise cancelling circuit.  Also, the clock signal output is transformer isolated.  This approach is not just about using a better clock but providing the clock with cleaner power and isolating the clock power (and signal) from other circuits in your server. 

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22 hours ago, realysm42 said:

 

With your current experience. have you found cache size is a spec that just keeps giving or does it eventually plateau/begin to degrade sound?

 

Is the logic the less work the CPU has to do the better the sound?

 

50mb is nuts.

 

 

21 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

(my bank balance is fearful of the answer to this last question)

 

I can only give you my experience following someone that knows more about this than I.

 

Identical mobo/ram/power supply/software and settings...the 6 core cpu with 12MB cache does not sound as good as 8 core 20MB cache.  It is quite noticeable.

 

The question now is if 20 core 50MB cache sounds better than 8 core 20MB cache.  Indications from others that have very similar digital systems to me are that increasing cpu cores (which increases cache sort of by default) can improve the sound further when the playback software is written to take advantage of those things (all bets are off if the playback software does not manage the cpu)...others have tested to 10, 12 and 14 cores with more sounding better each time.

 

Will 20 cores in my situation sound better again?  I will have to wait and see.

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@acg Thanks - what software do you use that does take advantage of more cores and cache?

 

Holy moly, is this the CPU you're going for? A $6k badboy?

 

Edited by realysm42

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3 hours ago, acg said:

Indications from others that have very similar digital systems to me are that increasing cpu cores (which increases cache sort of by default) can improve the sound further when the playback software is written to take advantage of those things (all bets are off if the playback software does not manage the cpu)...others have tested to 10, 12 and 14 cores with more sounding better each time.

 

I'll chime in here - I hope others do to round it out. 

 

I don't use multicore playback (yet!). Increasing the cache has a nice effect - quite audible here. Seems Intel Smartcache - what they're calling a bit of tech that allows any number of CPU cores to use the whole cache - really does work. 

 

I've doubled cache from 3Mb. I have some Xeon chips though not on this motherboard.

Edited by rmpfyf

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4 hours ago, realysm42 said:

@acg Thanks - what software do you use that does take advantage of more cores and cache?

 

Holy moly, is this the CPU you're going for? A $6k badboy?

 

 

No, not an E7, I have an E5.

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Quick question for you experts.

An old friend of mine has just given me an IBM X3630 M4 rack mount server his company never ended up using. Only one Xeon E5 cpu in it but a socket for a second.

Would this work as a music sever or is it total over kill?

Windows Sever 2016 coming shortly as well.

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Are you asking if the case or cpu is overkill? Sounds like the cpu might be ideal. Idk how I'd feel about the case though, if only for aesthetics! Looks like you've got all the storage space you could ever need too!

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@Gieseler Audiothink (I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong) that the CPU in that is LGA2011 socket.

 

If so get a motherboard with a X79 chipset, something as small and simple as you can. There are no mini ITX motherboards AFAIK but you'll find something mATX. It's possible to build something quiet/passive/low power around that. Should cost ~$100 for the motherboard. There's no reason you can't use what's there but that motherboard will power a lot of other chips etc... not what you want for audio use IMHO.

 

Find out what's in there first insofar as the CPU. You could have something awesome, you could have something average (e.g. dual core).

 

if you're happy with the CPU for something else, I'd put something average back into this, load it with hard drives and Linux and use it as a NAS.

Edited by rmpfyf
Spelling. Blargh.

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4 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Quick question for you experts.

An old friend of mine has just given me an IBM X3630 M4 rack mount server his company never ended up using. Only one Xeon E5 cpu in it but a socket for a second.

Would this work as a music sever or is it total over kill?

Windows Sever 2016 coming shortly as well.

image.png

image.png

 

Clay, what is the cpu?  

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2 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

@Gieseler Audiothink (I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong) that the CPU in that is LGA2011 socket.

 

If so get a motherboard with a X79 chipset, something as small and simple as you can. There are no mini ITX motherboards AFAIK but you'll find something mATX. It's possible to build something quiet/passive/low power around that. Should cost ~$100 for the motherboard. There's no reason you can't use what's there but that motherboard will power a loot of other chips etc... not what you want for audio use IMHO.

 

Are you sure that that IBM case complies with the ATX form factor? Just looking at it, I doubt if he would be able to fit an ATX motherboard in there. It looks like a proprietary motherboard, mounted in a case with proprietary mounting points. 

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2 minutes ago, Keith_W said:

 

Are you sure that that IBM case complies with the ATX form factor? Just looking at it, I doubt if he would be able to fit an ATX motherboard in there. It looks like a proprietary motherboard, mounted in a case with proprietary mounting points. 

 

Not suggesting he put an ATX motherboard in there!

 

Just to pull the CPU if it's deemed useful, buy an mATX motherboard, and use 'em both somewhere else. 

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Hi Anthony,

Can't see what the CPU is without pulling off the heat sink. Just fired it up to try & get into the bios - any thought of keeping it instantly disappeared on hearing the four fans roaring.

They eventually dropped down to an idle mode but still pretty noisy - way too loud for me as a server.  

I think I will probably just Ebay it.

Sorry I will let you guys get back on track - I have PSU's & DAC's to build too.

cheers

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio

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Guest

Give me a week and this set up will be networked and fully operational.

SQ, very good with headphones dynamic and liquid smooth, PSU is quiet. No mains ac is involved with anything here at all so no wall warts and direct DC powered via, 12v, 24v batteries and DC/DC SMPS. Note no crap cables everywhere like a birds nest. Just DC power outlets. Additional filtering for the PC DC/DC SMPS PSU  has been ordered hoping to wring a little extra from the set up's SQ, but happy how it all came together.

Have a 15nm project underway, based on the ASUS M-150-A microATX/Intel Skylake.

The only fan is in the Synology NAS and thus insanely low noise floor, you only know it's on because the LED's say so. 

This system (back bone) is in a control room associated with a fully off grid sound lounge (under construction) in an isolated area of Tasmania.

Let the music play.

IMG_4342.JPG

IMG_4347.JPG

Edited by Guest

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55 minutes ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Hi Anthony,

Can't see what the CPU is without pulling off the heat sink. Just fired it up to try & get into the bios - any thought of keeping it instantly disappeared on hearing the four fans roaring.

They eventually dropped down to an idle mode but still pretty noisy - way too loud for me as a server.  

I think I will probably just Ebay it.

Sorry I will let you guys get back on track - I have PSU's & DAC's to build too.

cheers

 

 

NAS in a cupboard somewhere, that thing'd be awesome.

 

Got a Linux distro handy? Boot into that and check the CPU from there.

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