If you are up-sampling any format to DSD512 - which DACs are you using?

I have two DACs that support DSD512, the Holo Audio Spring DAC that others on this thread are using, and now also the Oppo UDP-205. I’ve just received the Oppo yesterday, so I haven’t had much of an opportunity to compare yet, but I didn’t really purchase the Oppo exclusively for that purpose, it is just a nice ancillary benefit.


I’m hoping to be trying out an iFi IDSD on the weekend. Hoping my Microsoft Surface Pro i5 is up to the task for DSD512 up-sampling too !

I don’t do multi-zone DSD up-sampling which I know needs serious grunt - I just use a direct to the Dac via USB connection.

DSD512 up-sampling with the iFi iDSD is a bit of a popular combination over on the Computer Audiophile forum.

I wouldn’t get your hopes up for dsd512 but it might just scrape in for dsd256 if you are lucky

1 Like

Ha yeh, hopes are way down. Don’t want to set myself up for disappointment. Seems to be a good trend (even just from a few comments in this thread) that i7 is needed (with Windows)

Your comment about the Mac i5 was interesting though. That was fine with DSD512 up-sampling - no stuttering or pausing or static?

Would a 2015 quad core i7 Macbook Pro handle DSD512 up-sampling easily (no multizone stuff)?
Or is that even just going to scrape through?

A friend of mine is selling that Macbook so I may consider that and sell my Surface Pro i5.

I think the MacBook will be capable (prepare for a lot of fan-blowing though), but wouldn’t you still be tied to DoP (hence DSD256 max) on OSX?

1 Like

I think unless you have ASIO support DoP @ 256 might be your lot. Maybe run windows bootcamled on the MBPro

1 Like

Yep but I was thinking about DSD512 capability with the Poly coming later though.

Surely the DSD512 capability won’t be limited to Windows only? I’d hope not ! :slight_smile:

So, really an i7 MacBook is still only a maybe with DSD512 up-sampling (again only straight USB connection to one endpoint, no multi zone stuff)?

Not a certainty? What’s more powerful than an i7 :fearful:

I’ve seen Brian’s and Danny’s comments that you may need a beast for multizone DSD up-sampling all at the same time but for a single endpoint an i7 is still not a certainty ?

Crazy but it is what it is of course. Not a complaint but just want an idea of how much power is needed for DSD512 up-sampling without issues (on MacOS)

I think that to be on the safe side for DSD512, you should plan on something with an i7 6700K or better. I think the MacBook Pro is a little dicey for this job. AFAIK, the least expensive :grinning: current Mac that would be able to do the job would be the top-of-the-line iMac.

You could use such a Mac to run Roon Core and/or HQP, but you’d only be able to output DSD512 via a Windows/ASIO endpoint or a Linux-based endpoint that supported DSD512 with your specific DAC. Double-check, but I think this would be do-able with a microRendu and the iFi iDSD Micro, if that’s the DAC you’re leaning toward.

As a Mac fanboy it pains me to say this, but if you really want to do DSD512, you’re likely better off with a Windows computer (could be running Linux, but you get the idea) doing the heavy lifting, just from a cost standpoint. I guess this could change a bit in the future if Apple were to come out with a high-performance Mac mini. Not sure this will ever happen, though.

Thanks for the info. I will double check but what’s the reason Roon Core on an iMac can’t output DSD512 directly to an iFi DSD Dac via USB?

But I see your point, a Windows based i7 7700K is cheaper than any upcoming i7 7700K Mac will be.

Ok just answered my own question:

“In the same line, as long as the OS is windows and the playback software supports ASIO, it is easy to try out DSD256 or DSD512 conversion of PCM using ASIO-Proxy.”

From here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/ifi-idsd-micro-dsd512-pcm768-dac-and-headphone-amp-impressions-reviews-and-comments.728236/page-110#post-11072268

This was from 2014 though. I need to check if this has changed?

As I have noted running a core on iMac i5 I can get DSD512 upsampling no issues but the DAC (Oppo Sonica) is running with ASIO drivers on a Win10Pro PC (i7-7700 - not that that matters I am told) using Roon Bridge -NOT connected to the iMac … I will try connected to the iMac in the coming days just to see how that pans out.

Absent an ASIO driver,* there’s no way to do native DSD on the Mac, just DoP. And the overhead for DSD512 DoP is just more than any system I’m aware of can handle.

As noted, you can use a sufficiently powerful Mac to do the heavy lifting, but you’ll need a Windows- or Linux-based endpoint with the appropriate driver in the mix.

*There’s no particular reason why DAC manufacturers couldn’t provide ASIO drivers for Mac, but at this point it seems there’s only one manufacturer, exaSound, that feels it’s worth the trouble and expense. However, exaSound doesn’t currently have any DACs that can do DSD512. Maybe if the desire for DSD512 capabilities becomes more prevalent, manufacturers will change their minds.

I might also suggest perhaps using a low end NUC or other SFF windows machine to act as a roon bridge with ASIO driver. I don’t think (but I could be wrong) that the likes of a Raspberry Pi 3b would cope, but maybe something a bit more powerful without the Ethernet / USB conflict issues. Might try my All Sparky and see how that fares.

Sorry for my stupidity but in your case there, the iMac was doing the ‘heavy lifting’ up-sampling to DSD512 and your WinPro i7 was an endpoint? Then i7-to-Sonica DAC via USB?

And in that setup the iMac i5 had no issues with up-sampling to DSD512?

Yes in that setup the core is where the heavy lifting is being done.

And the iMac i5 as the core was fine for DSD512 up-sampling?

The reason I ask is I just want to understand, the iMac i5 had no problems up-sampling to DSD512 to the Windows Roon endpoint?

But the Win 10 Pro i7 has trouble up-sampling to DSD512 to the USB directly connected Sonica DAC?

Seemed to be fine. In fact it was outperforming when I had the core and DAC running on the win10pro i7-7700 machine, which was running an i5-6500 previously and struggling to do dsd512 at around 1x