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Multicore Desktop Processors and their desktop boards: Any risk to audio quality?

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  • CPUs
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Last response: in CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:16:01 PM

With the end of the Window XP security updates, among other factors, I needed to take some time
to replace my ancient tower pc, with one the runs either an Intel Ivy Bridge 4 or 8 core or the latest
Haswell 4 core processor. To minimize fan and/or electrical noise, the better choice appears to be
the low power versions of the processors Ivy Bridge
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_micropr... ) E5-2630 v2 (6 core, 2.6GHz, LGA2011 socket, 80w), E5-2630L v2 (6 core, 2.4GHz, LGA2011 socket, 60w), E5-2428L v2 (8 core, 1.8GHz, LGA1356 socket, 60w)-or the new Haswell
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_micropr... )
E3-1285L v3 (4 core, 3.1GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w) and
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Haswell_%28microarch... )
i7-4770S(4 core, 3.1GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w), and i7-4770R(4 core, 3.2GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w).

My chief priority will always be audio signal quality (i.e. editing of uncompressed wav files of
music CD tracks for playback via USB or a balanced AES card feeding a high performance external DAC). But I also would like to eventually use this computer for DVD as well as more demanding BluRay movie disc editing.

Though presently having no hands on experience and minimal knowledge of computer video editing, I do know that the most time consuming phase of the process is recompression of the edited video back into the BluRay movie disc format. Depending on the software and hardware resources, recompression could take anywhere from 45 minutes to well over 90 minutes. So I thought that a new pc with one of the above six or eight core model processors and 16GB of
RAM, together with the right software apps, might significantly reduce BD compression time-perhaps to as little as 30 minutes.

Again, however, my primary concern is audio quality. Therefore, compared to the ubiquitous dual core processors, could using four, six or eight core Ivy Bridge or the new Haswell four core processors somehow pose any degree of risk to audio quality, in one or more ways?

And, of course, of particular interest would be any related incidents involving any of the specific (low power) processors listed above, and/or desktop boards they were used in.

Before I make this computer purchase, any advice or referrals would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

More about : multicore desktop processors desktop boards risk audio quality

a c 1155 à CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:19:13 PM

If you are concerned with audio quality, you might want to look into a high end sound card. The processor has nothing to do with the audio, as the audio chip is on the motherboard or in a dedicated card. Some CPU resources are used to power the onboard audio, but I have never noticed a sound quality difference with a CPU change.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:22:41 PM

soundtrek said:
With the end of the Window XP security updates, among other factors, I needed to take some time
to replace my ancient tower pc, with one the runs either an Intel Ivy Bridge 4 or 8 core or the latest
Haswell 4 core processor. To minimize fan and/or electrical noise, the better choice appears to be
the low power versions of the processors Ivy Bridge
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_micropr... ) E5-2630 v2 (6 core, 2.6GHz, LGA2011 socket, 80w), E5-2630L v2 (6 core, 2.4GHz, LGA2011 socket, 60w), E5-2428L v2 (8 core, 1.8GHz, LGA1356 socket, 60w)-or the new Haswell
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Xeon_micropr... )
E3-1285L v3 (4 core, 3.1GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w) and
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Haswell_%28microarch... )
i7-4770S(4 core, 3.1GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w), and i7-4770R(4 core, 3.2GHz, LGA1150 socket, 65w).

My chief priority will always be audio signal quality (i.e. editing of uncompressed wav files of
music CD tracks for playback via USB or a balanced AES card feeding a high performance external DAC). But I also would like to eventually use this computer for DVD as well as more demanding BluRay movie disc editing.

Though presently having no hands on experience and minimal knowledge of computer video editing, I do know that the most time consuming phase of the process is recompression of the edited video back into the BluRay movie disc format. Depending on the software and hardware resources, recompression could take anywhere from 45 minutes to well over 90 minutes. So I thought that a new pc with one of the above six or eight core model processors and 16GB of
RAM, together with the right software apps, might significantly reduce BD compression time-perhaps to as little as 30 minutes.

Again, however, my primary concern is audio quality. Therefore, compared to the ubiquitous dual core processors, could using four, six or eight core Ivy Bridge or the new Haswell four core processors somehow pose any degree of risk to audio quality, in one or more ways?

And, of course, of particular interest would be any related incidents involving any of the specific (low power) processors listed above, and/or desktop boards they were used in.

Before I make this computer purchase, any advice or referrals would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Audio quality is primarily dependent upon the motherboard. Get one with lossless optical out, then get a MusicHall if you want supreme quality. It has optical in, and will put normal signal out, but stepped up massively in quality and run through a tube to get a warmer sound. I use one, and with modern crappy file formats, it is worth it, as the processor can fill the gaps in the compressed files.
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a c 321 à CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:29:16 PM

If you are using external ADC/DAC then the rest of computer makes absolutely no difference for sound quality as long as it is at least fast enough to avoid buffer overruns/underruns.
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a b à CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:31:05 PM

InvalidError said:
If you are using external ADC/DAC then the rest of computer makes absolutely no difference for sound quality as long as it is at least fast enough to avoid buffer overruns/underruns.


Thats why I recommended the external DAC. That negates the need for a lot of other crap and shopping, all you need is a MOBO with optical SPDIF.
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a c 283 à CPUs
April 14, 2014 12:33:10 PM

Any "threat" to audio quality comes from the motherboard. Nowadays almost all motherboards sound as good as dedicated sound cards.
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