Haha, I know, I always try to make informed decisions, especially for these expensive toys. Also learning the techs behind it is very fun and makes the hobby more interesting. Probably I am just looking for excuses to spend the $.
I think what you just mentioned is probably the case…data comes in through Ethernet, then user has two options to upsample the incoming data to either DXD or DSD, before the bitstream hits the Ring DAC, which will then up/over sample the bitstream to 5-bit / 3Mhz or 6Mhz in dCS’s own format within the Ring DAC. If we use Roon to do the upsampling, Bartok doesn’t need to do the step 1, but Ring DAC (DAC Core) will still do its proprietary up/oversampling to 5-bit / 3Mhz or 6Mhz before converting to analog waveform. Hope I get this right…haha. Andrew, please correct me if I still do not get it.
It seems to me the juice is really inside the Ring DAC and the 5-bit upsampling feature. Of course Bartok does a good job in the step 1 pre-DAC upsampling as well (I would think better than using Roon to upsample).
I would love to listen to the Nagra HD DAC too, but that is probably a different topic in this other thread.