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Topic: Hardware recommendation (Read 1347 times) previous topic - next topic
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Hardware recommendation

Hello, does anyone have a recommendation which hardware to take for foobar2000?

- CPU
- RAM
- Soundcard

I will use Windows 10

Greetings, Herry

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #1
You don't need a top end PC for music playback. I could be wrong here, but I think any 4 core or better CPU made in the last ten years would be more than enough. Also, 8 gigs of RAM and an SSD. Onboard soundcard should be OK, otherwise you can get a cheap USB DAC if you absolutely have too. The biggest investment would be a good pair of powered speakers or headphones.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #2
You don't need a top end PC for music playback. I could be wrong here, but I think any 4 core or better CPU made in the last ten years would be more than enough. Also, 8 gigs of RAM and an SSD. Onboard soundcard should be OK, otherwise you can get a cheap USB DAC if you absolutely have too. The biggest investment would be a good pair of powered speakers or headphones.
ok, we have sporadic dropouts in sound on a new Celeron, probably due to DPC latency spikes.
Hence the question

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #3
I had the same issues (DPC latency spikes and dropouts) when I upgraded my system from Windows 7 to 10. If you google the issue many people have problems with DPC latency on Windows 10 although their hardware is strong enough. In my case, Windows didn't like my USB DAC and kept connecting and disconnecting it. I solved it by using onboard sound (which TBH sounds as good). You could try buying a cheap usb dongle sound card to see if it makes a difference. 

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #4
My experience with latency is that they are caused by interrupts from ... well in the case of an https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/atom/n270  processor ten years ago, a battery control that would take over the system for milliseconds every now and then.

Disabled the battery control, and everything ran nice.
Only, you cannot disable the battery control and hope to keep your battery for long. But the point was proven: you don't need much juice here. I mean, look at the specs.

I should add that I use FLAC, which is optimized for decoding speed (that is, for being light on CPU requirements during playback). If you want to use Monkey's or OptimFrog, your mileage may vary.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #5
I had the same issues (DPC latency spikes and dropouts) when I upgraded my system from Windows 7 to 10. If you google the issue many people have problems with DPC latency on Windows 10 although their hardware is strong enough. In my case, Windows didn't like my USB DAC and kept connecting and disconnecting it. I solved it by using onboard sound (which TBH sounds as good). You could try buying a cheap usb dongle sound card to see if it makes a difference. 

This is why I don't run Windows. Imagine not being able to playback music on a modern PC... What an absolute mess.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #6
You don't need a top end PC for music playback. I could be wrong here, but I think any 4 core or better CPU made in the last ten years would be more than enough. Also, 8 gigs of RAM and an SSD. Onboard soundcard should be OK, otherwise you can get a cheap USB DAC if you absolutely have too. The biggest investment would be a good pair of powered speakers or headphones.
ok, we have sporadic dropouts in sound on a new Celeron, probably due to DPC latency spikes.
Hence the question

I used to run foobar on a 700 MHz Athlon, so you don't need extremely advanced hardware.  If you're getting DPC latency, then some hardware device on your system isn't working right.  Buying a new computer is one solution, but troubleshooting your hardware is another.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #7
Quote
probably due to DPC latency spikes.
I agree that it's probably not a lack of processing power (although a faster computer probably would help because it can finish-up the interrupting process faster).

Have you tried running LatencyMon?

There is a free online book about optimizing your computer for audio called Glitch Free.



Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #8
Quote
probably due to DPC latency spikes.
I agree that it's probably not a lack of processing power (although a faster computer probably would help because it can finish-up the interrupting process faster).

Have you tried running LatencyMon?

There is a free online book about optimizing your computer for audio called Glitch Free.


If this doesn’t turn you off windows, nothing will. “Read this book and download this highly specialised hardware monitor tool to trouble shoot playing music”. It’s 2021.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #9
For just playback with speakers / headphones I doubt these 'latency' claims.

I ran a Pentium 3 550, 512mb RAM, W2K from 1999 - 2008.  Monkeys audio played with ease up to high preset. CPU was 10 %
Even extra high played without stutter but with more cpu and seeking was slow. Optimfrog too played without stutter
using default, high, extra. The highest presets were too slow .
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #10
For just playback with speakers / headphones I doubt these 'latency' claims.
If interrupts take over the system, it doesn't matter if it is "just playback" that has to wait. I would have the output device inaccessible for long enough to skip.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #11
Disable cpu throttling or set the min to 25 %.  Windows balanced plan default  5 - 100%.
I created a custom plan based on 'high' with cpu 25 - 100%. Everything runs better.
I had spotify stutter now and again, I think that is solved.
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #12
Any mainstream computer made in the last 5 years has absolutely no issue playing nice high quality audio with no interruptions. If you plan to multitask, you will need a computer with multiple cores. All normal consumer-grade PCs are multicore now.

If you want to improve significantly your audio experience beyond that, these are the purchases you need to do:

- Better headphones / speakers.
- Better masters of the music you like (older CD presses, some SACD...)

A better computer or audophile-grade DAC is low on the list, as it makes little to no difference but it is a big expense.


Other than that, you can play with your settings / software in the Operating System like some people suggested here.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #13
I have another system; older surface pro used as htpc on samsung tv. Its Win10 pro and I never came across audio issues.
Haven't touched interrupts  / audio issues since win9x / DOS
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #14
The amount of lossy testing, and 1:1 CD ripping, and fiddling with the computer I've done over the years, is kinda ludicrous knowing that I never really bothered to buy an actually good stereo.

I did buy some reasonably good <$100 headphones over the years tho, it seems quite easy to get decent headphones at a good price in this day and age.

I have another system; older surface pro used as htpc on samsung tv. Its Win10 pro and I never came across audio issues.
Haven't touched interrupts  / audio issues since win9x / DOS

It's so cool you can grab the most basic PC hardware or even a tablet, and turn it into a better audio experience than anything reasonably priced in the 20th century.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #15
Like everyone already mentioned... pretty much any computer will work as even ancient ones from 20 years ago should be able to playback audio without issue even though general browsing will peg the CPU to 100% routinely (as it does on my old 1.2GHz Athlon setup which I retired in Jan 2019 and had that since 2001). or another way to put it... any computer still in use should have no trouble with Foobar2000.

I use Foobar2000 through WINE on Linux Mint v20.1-Cinnamon on my main PC (has a i5-3550 CPU, but was on i3-2120 from May 2012 til last year when I got that i5-3550 used for only $20 (I am just using the i3-2120 heatsink/fan, which lacks the copper contact on heatsink that the official i5 stock heatsink has, but I compensated for it enough by undervolting the CPU by -0.130v (which is the lowest I can lower CPU voltage and still have a stable system) which cuts back on temps by about 13c at full load)) and it works well for playback and general audio conversion.

I have not tried Foobar2000 through Linux Mint v20.1-Xfce on my old ASUS A8N32-SLI board (which, in short, can't use anything newer than Win7 as far as Windows goes on it) which I had since March 2006 (but it appears it's 2005 technology), and appears to have been a popular motherboard at the time for custom PC builds for gaming etc. although I upgraded CPU from single core (AMD Athlon 3500+ 2.2GHz) to dual core AMD Athlon X2 3600+ (2.0GHz) (but it's currently overclocked to 2.4Ghz @ CPU voltage of 1.3375v (CPU is officially rated for 1.35v) which is minimum for rebooting to work @ 2.4Ghz as at stock 2.0Ghz I can run as low as 1.3v. the board seems to default to 1.4v to CPU) in I think it was the year 2010 (basically I upgraded it to dual core at the time so I could run Mafia II (2010) game and I also upgraded my GPU to a Radeon 5670 512MB) and I have no reason to doubt this board would not work well with Foobar2000 and I got the max amount of RAM that board supports on it currently which is 4GB of RAM (4x 1GB) as I bought that in Jan 2019 for only $11 used on Ebay as it was hard to pass up for that low of a price and will give more life to the aging computer. if I put a SSD in it, I suspect I could get by with it for general usage if my main PC (i5-3550 etc) dies, at least for a while.

in fact, in relation to the A8N32-SLI board... I recently replaced all twenty-three of the 6.3v 820uF type capacitors on the board (originals are KZG brand junk (basically hit by 'capacitor plague')) with quality Rubycon brand, even though only 16 were visibly bad. the board has 41 capacitors in general and some are a different voltage etc but I did not bother replacing those since only the 6.3v 820uF kind were visibly bad.

but anyways to get back to the sound stuff... I had my main PC's motherboard since May 2012 and the on-board sound on it died last year but a simple fix for me was (I disabled the on-board sound in the BIOS for good measure) to buy one of those cheap USB sound cards (around $10, maybe $15), which has a 3.5mm audio jack, and my Klipsch Pro-Media speakers work fine on it. I actually got two different USB sound card devices just in case one dies ill have a backup as they were cheap enough. they are two different brands but must be using same basic chip as both show up under Linux Mint as 'Unitek Y-247A'. but one of the two I got has a input for a microphone (in addition to the usual 3.5mm output jack) while the other is just a 3.5mm output for speakers/headphones only.
For music I suggest (using Foobar2000)...
1)Opus @ 64kbps or 96kbps. NOTE: using 64kbps on Samsung J3 /w Foobar2k.
2)AAC (Apple or FhG(Winamp)) @ 96kbps.
3)MP3 (LAME) @ V5 (130kbps). NOTE: using on AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 18th 2021. I use 'fatsort' (on Linux) so MP3's are listed in order on AGPTEK-U3.

Re: Hardware recommendation

Reply #16
The amount of lossy testing, and 1:1 CD ripping, and fiddling with the computer I've done over the years, is kinda ludicrous knowing that I never really bothered to buy an actually good stereo.

I did buy some reasonably good <$100 headphones over the years tho, it seems quite easy to get decent headphones at a good price in this day and age.

I have another system; older surface pro used as htpc on samsung tv. Its Win10 pro and I never came across audio issues.
Haven't touched interrupts  / audio issues since win9x / DOS

It's so cool you can grab the most basic PC hardware or even a tablet, and turn it into a better audio experience than anything reasonably priced in the 20th century.

Its brilliant. Makes zero heat / noise, small size.  has only one usb port, but even a cheap usb 3.0
hub fixed that. It can now read a 5TB WD portable.  I control it with wireless logitch keyb with built in trackpad.

The samsung TV is from 2011 so even the latest firmware is way too old for any 'smart tv' feature. This TV
is now more than just smart.

I also have firestick and that is very good and easy for beginners. The surface pro is a 'next step' into
'power-user' mode.
wavpack hybrid 256k -hx4

 
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