Is my computer robust enough for Roon + HQplayer?


I’ve recently migrated to Roon, and would like to add HQplayer (with upsampling) … does my Roon core have enough horsepower to handle both programs, plus the upsampling? Thanks!

late 2014 mac mini
2.6 ghz intel core i5
8GB ram

LIke a lot of things in computers, the answer is “it depends”. It certainly has enough horsepower to load and run both programs, but after that it depends on the settings you begin to choose in either device, the nature of your library, and your target upsample rate.

A smallish library upsampling PCM to PCM, sure it will work pretty well. Same thing upsampling to DSD, well, I would just be guessing. Because, again, it all depends. You will only know if you give it a try. So give it a try, you’ll know pretty quickly when you start hitting the edge.

Just so you know, when you add HQP to the mix, you are then not using Roon’s RAAT to your endpoints but HQP’s NAA instead. Unless the DAC is connected directly to the MAC.

Thanks! the DAC is connected directly to the MAC … does that change anything?

I’m sure the official answer is “it depends” or “try it and see” :wink: but, in my experience, the answer is “no”.

I have a late-2011 Mac Mini with similar specs, and I’ve found running both on the same machine will bring it to its knees when upsampling / converting to DSD.

I wound up repurposing a “spare” Windows laptop (Windows 10, 2.7GHz i5, 8GM RAM, SSD) for HQPlayer (leaving Roon core on the Mini), and now both are much happier with my standard conversion to DSD256.

Not with the “is my computer beefy enough” topic. Since you are directly connected my comment about network protocols are not applicable to you.

Well, I am not official, LOL. The “it depends” comes from the choices and filters in HQP. There are choices which are much easier on processors and choices which start to crush processors. The OP was not very specific about his upsampling targets. If he just wants to hit DSD64 then I think that machine could handle it. I think it would begin to get iffy around DSD128, again, depending on filters/options chosen in HQP and the size of his library in Roon.

The “try it and see” comes from it doesn’t really harm anything to give it a go. It may be that his upsample needs are modest. Who knows.

LOL - Your post crossed mine in the ether :wink: but I agree best to “try it and see”.

I was simply sharing my findings based on upsampling to DSD128 on a similar machine, but found separating Roon and HQPlayer to two machines enabled me easily to upsample to DSD256 now, using the new “extreme” (-xtr) filter and ASDM7 512 modulator - the highest rate my DAC supports.

Stick with the 2s filter variations (especially with PCM to DSD up sampling) Don’t go over dsd 128 and you should be able to run that. Stay away from the xtr 2s filter as that us more horses than the other 2s. Anything above that for up sampling get a i7 6th or 7th generation CPU or maybe one of the new AMD Ryzen cpu’s coming next month.

Update: after trying out Roon + HQplayer with the setup I described above, upsampling to dsd64 was fine- but I couldn’t upsample to dsd128 without massive stuttering. A couple of questions for Roon/HQplayer regulars here:

a) is it still worth it to upsample the redbook to dsd64? or does the real benefit arise with 2x, and especially 4x, upsampling? What about upsampling hi-res PCM (ie 24/192) to only dsd64 … worth it?

b) how much of my stuttering problem might be that the MAC has to do DoP to get the dsd stream to the DAC? If the problem was more DoP related, what if I installed windows via Boot camp, and then used the the software in windows instead - eliminating the need for the extra resources being devoted to DoP??

bump for any advice- thanks!

That i5 should be fine up to DSD128, though much depends on the filters/modulators you choose in HQP. What settings do you currently use?

(You could try some of the ‘lighter’ filters first: minringFIR for example, or the -2s variants of the polysinc filters).

Hmm. I just spent a while playing around with programs - no stuttering. Perhaps Roon was scanning my library when I heard the stuttering initially - don’t know, but thank you. Filters are polysinc 2s and ASDM7 … does that seem reasonable for my hardware, or could I push it further?

As a separate issue, do you think its worth me trying bootcamp to test out DSD256? Or not worth the effort? Thanks!

Those are good choices for filter and mod. Are you using the minimal phase (mp) or linear phase (just called poly-sinc) version ? Minimal phase does better transients and is good for rock or jazz. Linear phase is better for sound-stage and is good for classical or live recordings.

I don’t think you’ll see any big change with Windows. The DoP overhead is insubstantial, especially compared to upsampling demands. If DSD 256 DoP is problematic then I wouldn’t expect native DSD to be any better.

One thing that could make a real SQ improvement is interposing a network device such as a Pi or Allo Sparky running DietPi with an NAA between computer/router and DAC. It’s a relatively cheap thing to do but it separates your computer from your stereo, which most people find a solid improvement.