NUC7i5BNH fails to playback DSD-256.using Audeze Presets

  • Roon Server version 1.4 build 310 64-bit
  • Windows 10
  • Intel NUC7i5BNH
  • 8 GB Memory DDR4 2133 MHZ
  • 1 TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD - Music drive
  • 1 TCSUNBOW N4 64 GB OS Drive (a recommended drive)
    DAC is a Chord Mojo with USB input into Audeze LCD X headphones, and am using ASIO Chord driver - just pulled off their website.

NUC is brand new - bios is up to date and all the NUC software is installed
All unused peripherals are turned in BIOS, e.g, thunderbolt, legacy USB support.

I have a wireless keyboard and mouse - microsoft.

Collection size is approx 1500 Songs.

Playing DSD 256 audio the system plays for about 1 min, then starts to stutter (music, silence, static, music, etc) for a few seconds, then an error message appears stating a file is loading too slowly or there is a performance problem., then roon skips to the next song also, DSD 256, and does the same thing.

This only occurs if I have the Audeze presets enabled (does not matter which one). If I remove the presets the songs play without issue)

CPU utilization goes from about 8 or 10% w/out Audeze presets to 45-50% with them. Memory use increases from ~45% to ~65%.

Library has background analysis is throttled (nothing should be running)

Samsung Magician performance tests show the Samsung drive with sequential reads of 7,229 MB/s and random read IOPS =120,605

The OS drive however, has a sequential read speed of 538 MB/s and read IOPS of 33,203 but no music is stored on it.

There are no errors in the windows log files or other hints.

2 thoughts/questions:

  1. Could Roon Server running on the slower drive be the issue?
  2. Clearly the Audeze presets could be optimized - is that possibly a new issue that occurred?.



Almost guaranteed, the issue is not enough CPU horsepower for simultaneous DSD256 and DSP. Check your Roon signal path processing speed.


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Thanks AJ,
It drops to .9x -I expect it needs to be equal to or greater than 1?


1x = 100% CPU core utilization


1.2 is regarded as a minimum, below that will usually result in a bad user experience.

Thanks Andy and AJ. Since DSP processing only uses 1 core, am I going to see significant improvement if i upgrade to an NUC7-i7? Alternatively, are there any plans for Roon to use more than 1 core for DSP?


That’s a pretty heavy load for an i5. I would not expect those settings to work on DSD256 on that machine.

There isn’t really a way to optimize the Audeze Presets themselves without degrading their sonic performance. The major costs here aren’t really the preset anyways–it’s the overhead associated with doing any kind of processing on such high sample rate DSD content.

Two things:

(1) Turn on the “Parallelize Sigma-Delta Modulator” setting in DSP Engine -> Sample Rate Conversion if you haven’t already

(2) If that doesn’t push you to the right side of the line, disable “Enable Native DSD Processing” in DSP Engine -> Sample Rate Conversion

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Thanks Brian - the multi-core setting did the trick …
but I took your point (too small) and I built a mini ITX with a Intel Core i5 -8600K instead. It’s quieter than the NUC7i5 and a whole lot more powerful.

The processing speed on the same DSD 256 file with Audeze presets, was still only 1.2 x. Using the “Parallelize Sigma-Delta Modulator” bumped it to 3.5x… Native DSD processing was already enabled.

Question: The i7-8700K has 2 threads per core, where the i5 is single threaded. Both have 6 cores. Will Roon use the extra power and threads of the 6 core/12 threaded i7-8700K?

The ITX also has:

  • 16 GB Memory DDR4 3600 MHZ (added)
  • 1 TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD - Music drive (same)
  • 500 GB Samsung NVME EVO SSD OS Drive (added)


Since you bought a K CPU, does your result come from a default clock setting, or overclocked setup?

Mild Overclock @4.7gHz - should run @5.0, memory runs at 3200, but tighter timings. Still experimenting.

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