New NUC for HQP; i7 or i5?

Need your opinions, folks.

Is an Intel Nuc i5 ok for pcm 384k (sincM and LNS15) and DSD (512, ext2, dsd7)?

Im currently using a Nuc i7 and was planning to place it in an Akasa X8 fanless case but I’ve been reading the i7 gets too hot in that case? And that an i5 may be better, heat wise…

I’m not sure about the PCM, but I don’t think an i5 would handle DSD 512 with ext2. Particularly if using 96k or 192k source material.

Why are you constraining yourself with a fanless case ? Put the computer in another room and run Ethernet to a small footprint streamer in your audio system. Then you can stick it in a big cheap case and cool it with fans.

It is more up to the modulators. I have an i5-7700T (low 35W TDP model) in a fanless Streacom FC10 Alpha case and it works fine with poly-sinc-ext2 to DSD512 using ASDM7 modulator. EC modulators push it too much though.

But note that the CPU really needs to be at least quad-core.

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thanks for chiming in, guys!

@andybob i’m using the Nuc as an htpc as well, and is connected to my lounge TV. unit is quiet and fan doesnt kick in during normal use, but it does when running hqplayer. Also, the nuc needs to be near my audio setup as i’m running a USB cable to a Singxer SU-6 before my DACs.

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just a quick update. i installed the nuc8i7beh into the akasa X8 plato case yesterday. fairly straightforward installation. used Arctic MX4 thermal paste for the CPU.

for PCM playback using hqplayer/Roon, the temps range between 41-47 deg C most of the time. this is just 2 to 3 deg above idle. using cpuid hwmonitor to see the temps; not sure how accurate this is. cpu usage is very low.

for DSD playback, CPU usage goes up to around 40-46 percent, and temps range from 75-97 deg C.

75 sounds OK, but 97 sounds pretty high, especially for such load figures. Meaning that it is likely starting to get into thermal throttling.

yep i agree.
DSD512 upsampling makes it get too hot for this fanless case and i7.
with DSD128 and 256, temperatures are still OK and below 60deg C most of the time (xtr-mp-2s and DSD7 shaper). i’ve tried a few other combinations with different shapers and the temps go up another 10-20 deg.