Maximum Computational Settings in HQ Player

Hi @jussi_laako,

I know you’ve mentioned from time to time the single core performance required for the EC modulators at higher sampling rates (9 GHz for DSD 512 iirc).

In this thread I wanted to talk about the most intensive current settings in HQPlayer and ask your opinion about what hardware spec would be required to run it and when such computing power might become available.

The maximum settings I am thinking of are:
192 kHz/24 bit source file
Poly-sinc-xtr-lp filter
ASDM7EC modulator
48k x 2048 DSD bit rate

Obviously no current domestic computer could run these settings, but is there any current computer that might do so ? For example, I understand Fugaku is currently the “fastest computer in the world” at 415.5 petaflops. Could it run HQPlayer with such settings ?

Second question. Are there any aspects of audio DSP which might benefit from quantum computing ? Would performing operations on a superposition of taps save time ?

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There’s a benchmarking feature you can actually use to test this. If you select Null Output backend in HQPlayer settings, you can run such tests to estimate how much faster computer you need. This backend just throws away the processed data without doing any output. This allows processing to run at full speed. As usual, at the end HQPlayer reports elapsed playback time in statusbar. Comparing this playback time to the content length you get idea of the processing speed vs playback length,

You can try with both Multicore DSP set to auto (grayed) and set to fully enabled (checked). At the moment, only some AMD CPU models seem to perform better with fully enabled (maximum parallelization).

I would say 1024x DSD would be enough so far, since that is IIRC the maximum DACs today support.

sinc-L would be also fairly taxing one, but GPUs greatly help that one. Although for DSD1024 you may be running out of GPU RAM on all models.

Those are all massively parallel computers, they don’t have particularly fast individual cores. Just many of them. But not all algorithms can benefit from such massive parallelism. So for above case it would likely do worse than i9-10900K which is current king of per-core speeds (single thread performance).

Such machines would be however useful for quickly converting your entire music library offline. It could possibly convert several terabytes worth of music library in minutes.

I don’t know, I have to say I have not spared much thoughts on quantum computing so far. It is quite peculiar area of computing on it’s own. Very good for cracking crypto-algorithms or such. Not sure about audio.


Do you think that the announced apple silicon would be a good solution for HQPlayer?

Sorry, I haven’t been following such closely. But if it is ARM based, it is likely not as good as Intel based ones.

It seems that the difference in single core performance is already tiny. And this is a mobile CPU.

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It is not tiny, what I’ve compared to other 64-bit ARM cores (Cortex-A53), they are notably slower clock-for-clock than Intel’s Atom cores. Not to even mention something like Core or Xeon models that have AVX2 and AVX-512 and similar. Cache sizes and memory bandwidths tend to be also notably different.

So far fastest quad-core 64-bit ARM I have can just about do DSD64 upsampling. While fastest quad-core Atom I have can do DSD256 upsampling. Both with similar TDP.

If some test shows a small single core performance difference, then the workload is not anything similar to HQPlayer’s DSP pipelines.

We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath on performance expectations.

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