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How simple can an audio computer be?

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Ash View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Nov 2023 at 6:41pm
It also depends on the computer onboard audio quality. Some PCBs exhibit more electronic noise than others or are not particularly well designed for optimum audio purity. I look at my Pink Faun USB and S/PDIF bridges as being able to put all x86 computers (with PCIe hardware access) on a level playing field and having the option to add a dedicated power supply. I have not noticed any substantial improvements in audio quality so far but I have not done much comparison yet. In fact, I have being focussing on other things for the last few months at least but will return to it at some point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2023 at 3:30pm
Originally posted by Ash Ash wrote:

Not made any conclusions yet as I have been distracted by different types of computers over the last few months. I have bought several mini PCs recently along with various M.2 adapters so that I can use both the Pink Faun S/PDIF and USB cards with tiny Intel and AMD computers. I will upload some content soon. I am thinking of modding a HP Z240 server case to accommodate a Ryzen mini-PC like the Minisforum HX99G if I want to upgrade the guts of the computer.

I have USB-C OTG adapters for Bitzie and Majestic. I have so much great stuff at my disposal but very limited space to keep it set up. In a way, money rich but space poor. I have over half a dozen PCs from Dell Optiplex 7010 SFF to Up Xtreme i11 0000 version to UP Squared V2 to UM690 to an older NUC too. Need to sell some PCs over the coming weeks to clear some space. Going to settle on AMD Ryzen over Intel I think, especially once I can get a cellular module working via an M.2 adapter. I have gone on quite a tangent due to my interest in computer hardware. I will probably stick with PCIe over GPIO for the digital transport as PCIe hardware is more universally available on almost all computer platforms.

I recently picked up a 2nd hand Matrix Audio Element H USB card. I have been looking for one for a while, and finally found one at a sensible price. There is certainly a difference in the output quality from USB, but I am glad I did not pay the full asking price for it.

It is currently powered from my ATX PSU, but that will hopefully be changed to a linear ATX supply soon.
If the linear PSU makes no difference, it will be sold on. I am not convinced it will make a big difference, but with products like the Innuos, one of the main differences between the different models is the power supply. I am just hoping that my ears are golden enough.
Kevin
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Ash View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2023 at 9:10pm
Okay thanks.

Think it will be much easier to stick with PCIe cards from an AMD x86-64 platform where I can use whatever Windows or Linux distro I want and setup is basically plug-and-play.

Alternatively, I could pursue a new career in coding only to find down the line that my digital audio playback possibly doesn't improve at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ServerBaboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2023 at 8:56pm
Let's just say this to this does not look to be the easiest solution and would look to require some coding knowledge. Not necessarily to write a driver but recompile the drivers / kernal for x86.

When I have drunk less wine I will do some googling.




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Ash View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2023 at 8:20pm
https://up-shop.org/up-squared-v2-series.html

This is an example. All the subsequent UP boards have the same pinout as the original UP board, which uses the same layout as the Raspberry Pi. I guess I won't be going down this route without becoming a fully-fledged "software developer" and writing pages of code? I would be able to use Windows 10 Pro or a Linux distro. With a computer like this, you could directly compare GPIO and PCIe signal paths as the hardware for both is accessible.


Edited by Ash - 10 Feb 2023 at 8:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ServerBaboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2023 at 8:14pm
Post a link to the board technical details.


No you will not be able to use an Arm driver,. However I believe the config for most of the hats are in the Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi so you maybe lucky that someone has compiled an Intel version.

What is the os the computer you are using?

I will emphasise the word lucky above, I interested to see if it's actually electrically compatible with Pi Hats.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2023 at 7:03pm
I do have a question regarding using a Raspberry Pi HAT such as the HifiBerry Digi+ Pro with a non-Pi computer such as the UP Squared V2. This is an x86 board (mine uses a Pentium processor) and the 40-pin GPIO connector has the same pinout as the Pi. However, as the instruction set architecture is not ARM-based, I assume the regular driver for it will not just simply work? I would have to write programming code/text in something like Command Prompt or Powershell to configure the hardware?
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