CPU usage by Roon and HQP on MacBookPro

The machine is a 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3. a 2019 with 4 Thunderbolt ports.

This shows the CPU usage when using Roon with HQPlayer as my zone. I have set gthe pref. to Poly-Sinc-Xtr-Mp on parts: 1x and Nx. Chrome is open. Mail is open amnd so is Oka WiFi Speed test (tho I use ethernet and get 380mps).

As you can see my MBPro is hardly about to explode. I get about the same usage when I choose ext instead of xtr. Howe ver, we don’t use either as they do n ot sound clwear to us. We us the poly-sinc-mqa-mp in 1x and Nx setting which gives much better clarity. The CPU usage is well under 30%. Oh, I ought to say that HQP is upsampling to DSD 128. ` When I ask him to just play files as is, i.e. DSD128 files, the CPU usage drops to about 20%.

So quite what all the warnings about my MBPro not being able to handle the very heavy programs Roon and HQP were given I don’t know. I also not I am not the only who uses computers instead of servers.

The Micro Rendu has really improved the sound to the point where I am certainly happy with our sound now. I note that those with very expensive set ups, more than. my mere £15 grand set up, still require a rendu.

What I would love is a cd ripper that rips str8 to it’s own hard disc. All I can find are servers that are roon ready and HQP , and other services which I do not want. Even tho they have usb ports. It would save me a lot of hassle to do this this way instead of just using the external cd player for ripping.

I also realise I need a 2tb minimum for my music as I have turned a lot into DSD128 and will continue to do so. They sound much better and save HQP or Roon from doing it on the fly. I have started by just doing my favourite singers but will eventually do them all I am keeping the original files, and a copy of them and also 2 backups of he conversions.

Does anyone have a better idea?

With dBPoweramp CD ripping software you can specify a target directory to rip to. Is there any reason why you can’t hang an external USB CD drive and external USB 2TB storage off your MB Pro and just tell it to rip to the external drive ?

It occurred to me that all I need is a long USB extension cable. Though as I wrote this it dawned upon me that I don’t need a really long one because I can use the MBPro I am using right now. I just need the USB cable ext to be long enough to sit on the table next to me. That way, I can listen at the same time as the MBPro with the core etc on it is across the room and will not be fussed by me recording discs whilst it plays.

I know it’s a question that is very basic but it is these sorts of things I do not know. I a USB cable, a meter long, with a USB 2-3 on end that will take the USB end that would normally go into the machine, and a USB C or Thunderbolt 3 the other end. I have no idea what search terms to use.

BTW Andy, are you the Roon guy who is looking into why those 4 files will not play?

“USB 3 to USB C” or USB 3 to Thunderbolt” would do it.

No. I’m not Roon staff. Mods are volunteer users. Best course would be to post in the thread where you reported it.

I have dBPoweramp and have been using to upsample files from 441.1, 192, to DSD128.

I wrongly thought it was far to slow at ripping CDs. The cd I was trying to rip was faulty.

So I have spent all evening ripping str8 to DSD128 and putting them on the hard disc in the MBPro which had almost 900 of 1TB space.

I need another 2 TB ext disc, or maybe a 4, to play safe as we b oth really like DSD128 sound.

Now a Thunderbolt 3 4tb SSD is going to be expensive. I was convinced somewhere along the line that SSD was was far more reliable than HDD. Is this so?

I have had several ext HDD fail on me and they were only used for back up, not played from. The most recent being a small WD blue 1TB and a 4tb WD in my NAS. The first to fail on me was a WD and I only bhad one back up theen. Now I have at least half a dozen. I have 3 x 1TB Thunderbolt 3 and 2 x 2 TB SSD Thunderbolt 3 drives plus a few HDD, 4 in a NAS, and two externals, an 8tb and a 6tb.

I am also a serious photographer.

1 Like

You certainly are. Great photos.

I believe so. In 2013 they had an average annual failure rate of 1.5% compared to HDD 5% and I understand they have improved from there.

Also, storage reliability given by manufacturers for SSDs is usually expressed in write cycles. Read cycles apparently cause so little deterioration that they are insignificant. Fortunately for us audio is an archetypal write once read many use.

I have no idea who it was or what thread it was. I think I mentioned it as an aside then a Roon mod asked me to send the files that were doing that. The last I heard was that Roon had found the same problem but I haven’t heard since.

If you click on your avatar pic and then again on the pic in the new window and then on the Activity tab you will see all your posts. Search for a related term and you should find the discussion.

You can save storage by having HQPlayer do this on playback. I’d also trust HQPlayer to do it properly as compared to dBPoweramp.

I was wondering this myself. Why would you trust HQP over dB?

why not rip a selection of disks and try different rip option for rates and formats etc then trust your ears listening to the different ones

an SSD is nice and fast and quiet but not needed for music unless you have money to burn…and on a USB external connection its not going to improve speed much…TB3 yeah that might help but you still don’t need it for playback…copying perhaps if you are in a hurry.

Not for any specific reason, just because of Jussi’s experience in audio DSP.

Thankyou for the compliment. Yes I know that reading hardly does anything to dics. I guess if I have my music saved to the SSDs I already have I could use an external HDD for storage and playback.

BTW I have NAS with 2 x4tb HDD and 2 x 3 TB HDD. It is connected via the same ethernet network as the MBPro and MicroRendu. I thought it would be simple to put my library on the NAS.

I couldn’t get Roon to see the MAS. I wonky assumed it would as they share the dame network.

What am I hissing?

You have to tell Roon the network address. This KB page sets out how to do it.

This post by Brian explains the problems with using a NAS as watched storage:

Thank you Andy. That quote is enough to tell me to forget about the NAS.

Does it matter that external drives get hot, some very hot? Like the MicroRendu does?

I am still trying to decide if I want a 4tb external Thunderbolt SSD, a new laptop with a 4gb ssd(most expensive option unless I went for a Windows machine which then gives me an issue with HQP and no point telling me to write to HQP. I have done about 5-6 times over the last few weeks and had no response. A good part of the reason I will not go for server with HQP embedded as I have no idea of the extra costs or even how it works despite asking several times.)

The simplest, tho most expensive is the 4gb MBPro. I already know it will not have a problem handling either program on a quad i5 so an 8 core i9 is hardly likely to have a problem. I would then not be so concerned about using 4tb ext HDD’s for back up.

Why 4gb? We decided that using .dsf music files, either converted from FLAC files or recorded as DSD128 direct from disc using dBConverter, sounds better, thoi not much, than doing it via HQP. But that uses more CPU usage not much. Still 70% is idle and 82% idle if reading DSD128 files.

Being ignorant of these matters, I am thinking that maybe the less CPU I use the better as I listen to music for hours each day. Is that logical but untrue? Meaning it won’t make a difference to the life of the machine?

I have experienced again the weird problem of Roon running very high CPU usage when first opening with nothing playing. I have to restart, sometimes twice, before Roon drops right down to very low usage.

A lot of questions I know.

Kind regards

It copies very fast. A 550gb library in 10 minutes. I’d be loathe to go to bed leaving it to copy to a slower HDD. I have done only to come down in the morning to find something went wrong and a box was awaiting my instruction.

kind regards

Having heard a reviewer talk about HQP and saying that he got str8 from the horse that XTR was the best filter, tho he didn’t say if he meant mp or lp, I used it. He was right. (He was reviewing Halo DAC)However, although I had plenty of core left to work with, I wasn’t comfortable with it being so high especially as the fan is likely to come on.

I then recalled I had all of Carly’s albums in DSD128 conv erted by dBConverter. I put it on with both 1x and Nx set to XTR mp and the Core is very low now. Most importantly the sound is fantastic, and yes I am using PD on the av so it signal is unmolested and I am hearing only stereo but am hearing everything beautifully.

John didn’t know what I had done and within a minute or two of just the first album, he asked me what I had done as this was the best he had so far heard.

I am not going to buy a 4tb SSD to keep my collection in DSD128. No It will have to be a larger HDD, 6-8TB, powered. Yes all my music will fit on a 4tb SSD disc but only just and I will then need a larger one as I increase my library. They are not available yet.

Oh and now I know that by using PD I am using just an amp, I assume this means I can use any DAC I choose to regardless of it’s ability.

The only other thing I was thinking, tho it would be a pain to do, was get an integrated amp to sit on top of the Yamaha and when I want to listen to music, just plug the front speakers from the Yamaha into it, and when we watch telly, put them back in the Yamaha.

Tho if I have understand correctly, using PD, means I am using just just an amp for music.

kind regards

Yes. But that is also the case even if PD is disabled.

The xtr filters, especially combined with EC modulator, are extremely computer intensive. Most people, even with more powerful computers than your MBP, can only use the xtr-2s variants at DSD 256. DSD 128 is less intensive, but should still see your MBP working hard.

This makes me suspect that if you go to File/DSD Source Settings you will find DirectSDM is checked.

The manual describes DirectSDM as follows “DirectSDM setting disables all processing when source is DSD content and output format is SDM to a DSD device or file.”

You may also see DirectSDM specified in the Roon Signal Path HQPlayer section.

So if DirectSDM is enabled HQPlayer is doing no upsampling or other processing and you are listening to the DSD 128 source file played “straight”, without any filters or modulators. It would be an interesting experiment to compare the sound leaving HQPlayer out entirely and playing the DSD file through Roon only using the Roon Ready app on the microRendu.

Of course, it may still be convenient to use the HQPlayer Zone ordinarily so you can continue to upsample non-DSD content. If you do experiment with xtr filters and non-DSD source files and find the sound breaking up, try the xtr-2s version. It uses two passes instead of one and sounds the same to most people (in fact I don’t think I’ve read anyone claim they can hear a difference).