Help Picking CPU/GPU For Single Machine Running Roon/HQP

I am having a custom built A/V PC built for me. It is 2 channel only running music mostly via MRendu. But I am building it for video duties using either JRiver, Kodi or Plex or some combination. So I am going to upgrade the GPU because it will need to do 4K and I want to use CUDA for HQP offloading.

I want to be able to run the CPU without fans. The case I am using from A Tech Fabrications is very well built for this task using there HeatSync Cooling system. I know the GPU will have fans but if possible I might have the fans replaced with quieter options.

I am not a computer builder or anything near. Computer Audiophile world has expanded my computer abilities way beyond what I ever wanted in real life…

The number one thing is I want Roon and HQP upsampling to at least DSD256 flawlessly from the same machine. I was considering a NAS for Roon but if I can keep this all in one box I will be happier.

So will this CPU get the job done?
Intel Core i7-6700, Quad-Core 3.4 GHz, 65 watt
I like the Intel Core i7-6700K, Quad-Core 4.0 GHz, but at 91 watts that is going to present issues.

As for GPU I was considering this:
ASUS GeForce GTX 650 2GB
But now reading more about Minimum Compute Capability levels. The ASUS GTX 650 is only 3.0…the minimum.

I see Miska recommends the ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 980 with a MCC level of 5.2. But I don’t know what issues that is going to present with noise and power. This is not a gaming computer but the GTX980 would be vast overkill for video playback but be effective for HQP CUDA offloading. I might some day want to play some video games but at 53 years old that isn’t much of a chance. I do really like over built though…

Thanks you for any input. I would like to be able to talk to Glenn at A Tech Fabrication and not sound like a compete git with a credit card…:blush:


Hi Christopher,

How much of a constraint is fanless operation for you ? If you can connect the computer to other components by Ethernet off the router (as with an mR) then you might place the computer in another room and not worry about the fan noise.

If, however, you must have the computer in your listening room, perhaps because of video requirements, then that would be another thing.

I would be cautious with the graphics card if your upsampling to DSD. I have an NVIDIA GT 710 (don’t know the MCC) and a GTX950 in the same box. The GT 710 can not process DSD256, the sound studders, even though it reduces the CPU utilization with CUDA offload. The GTX950 works no problem with DSD256. If I’m upsamplimg to higher rate PCM, I don’t even offload, it’s not resource intensive at all.

Edit: failed to mention that I use the poly-sinc filter. Maybe the poly-sinc 2 or a less demanding filter would work.

I want to keep the set up in the main listening/viewing area.

The GT 710 is pretty low. I am not even sure if it meets the minimum recommended by Signalyst of 3.0. It might actually be 2.1.

The GTX950 is 5.2. The GTX 1060/70/80 cards are all 6.1. 6.1 being the highest I know of.

What CPU are you using?

I’m using an E5-2630v4 running openSUSE Tumbleweed. I have 6 cores dedicated to HQP. The machine is not only for Roon and HQP, I use it for work and other things. I haven’t had any problems with HQP with any of the filters. At one point I had just 2 cores dedicated to HQP and it ran Ok, it just took forever to start, so 6 cores was a good balance for me. The CUDA offload, is just so there are no hiccups due to performance with the 6 cores when I’m working.

I personally would split the functionality if you have a worry about fan or other noise. Build a highly specc’d server running Roon/HQP downstairs where you don’t care about how much noise it makes, and a much lesser NUC as an HTPC and feeding the DAC. Works great. 4k video is not that stressful on a 6th gen CPU even one in a NUC.

That being said, I personally have no issue having a main gaming rig in the same entertainment center as my TV / Stereo. Properly built, even a powerful computer will not have a large sound signature. Many users’ only experience with computers are pre-built ones. If you know what you are doing and building it yourself, you can use parts which are much higher grade. For example, in my computer rigs, even basic home ones, I use highly rated power supplies which are easily 100-200 dollars; better power supplies provide clean steady power, etc

Video games are great and I’m older than you. My basement is littered with older NVidia Cuda based cards, as I usually want any machine I build to be able to sub as a high end game machine if one of my other ones goes out.