PCIe NIC with ROCK (MOCK)

#1

for my MOCK, i would like to install a SFP network interface card in the PCIe slot of the motherboard.

anyone know if ROCK will recognize the IO port?

anyone have any experience with this or any other type NIC such as USB, etc?

thanks!!

#2

Your safest bet is probably an Intel based board. They can be found quite cheap on EBay.

#3

ahhh… had not thought of that wrt/ compatibility. great suggestion. thanks!!

(Mr Fix It ) #4

This really belongs in #tinkering so I’m moving there (now here)

#5

BTW -

Out of curiosity I checked EBay. This is the cheapest card I could find and it doesn’t use Intel chipset.


My card, which lies unused in my spare parts box, has 4 ports and sold for $30. Never plugged it in, so I don’t know if it would work, but it seemed to have been in its original packaging.

Not sure if a PCIe SFP NIC is worth the hassle, even though it (supposedly) presents itself as just another Ethernet port.

On a specific note, you might be better off with something like this -


Or even this -

Of course, in all three cases you;re going to have to also buy something like this -

A lot of hassle and for what? Generally speaking, you’re not going to enjoy any SQ improvement.

If you’re doing it just to tinker, as was my intent, well that’s a different story.

#6

thanks!! i will definitely have a look… but i do like your suggestion to go with an intel chipset.

i certainly enjoy the tinkering aspect of this. the audio / SQ purpose of the project is to cleanse the digital signal of all upstream electrical noise using optical isolation. here, the 0s and 1s are converted to light but not the noise [as its voltage is below the thresholds necessary to indicate a 0 or 1].

#7

anyone else? educated guesses welcome!

anyone from @support able to make a very quick comment as to the probability of a PCIe network interface card with an intel chipset being seen by rock?

totally willing to do the exploration here… just looking for thoughts / guidance.

thanks!!

#8

Each to their own. One caveat though. Upstream, when you deconvert back, the quality of the receiving module’s power supply is important.

The sending module’s power supply doesn’t matter.

Have fun.

(Chris) #9

Yes, not fiber, but if you just want 10G, I have been using Intel X540 10G-baseT (copper) with Cat-7 over 50 meters with nary a hickup. 50m would probably even work just fine with normal Cat 6E ethernet cables.

#10

thanks. good to hear…

just to confirm: you are using on a device running ROCK (which does not allow one to download drivers)?

#11

I don’t believe that the OP is concerned about speed or integrity of signal.

I think that the OP believes that noise is transmitted over Ethernet cabling that effects SQ in a way that he can perceive.

(Chris) #12

Oh right, sorry, I latched onto the 10G bit.
I use the X540 10G-baseT cards on CentOS 7 and Windows 10 - so sorry, I don’t know if the ROCK kernel has the drivers. However, I can have a look an see if they are indeed in there… and being Intel, one might expect indeed that they are.

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#13

just a quick update. i ended up purchasing this intel based NIC:

installed it, hooked it up to the network and crossed my fingers… works perfectly with ROCK seeing both ports as a “network interface”

btw: excellent experience with fiberstore (fs.com) – very competent support desk helped verify compatibility of all the pieces i ordered… NIC, SFP transceivers and FMC. very highly recommended.

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#14

I Pocket’ed the store for future reference. Thanks

BTW- Did fiber improve the SQ?

#15

it did… the SQ bump was quite a bit larger than i expected: blacker background with the resulting improvements in detail / clarity, better transients and bass extension. interestingly, the files stored on the MOCK also saw the same improved SQ which i would not have predicted. i switched back and forth from fiber to copper just to confirm. only causality that could explain this is that the copper ethernet connection is a vector for funneling network noise to the MOCK and then on to the DAC via a USB connection. going to do some more a/b testing on this.

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#16

Hmm, seems like a stretch, but I may have to hook up my board and see what I think.

Regards

Oh yeah, one other question. Does your endpoint or DAC take a fiber connection? If not, what are you using to de-convert on the receiving end?

#17

i am using an FMC to convert the signal to fiber (light) which is then sent to the fiber NIC that i just installed on the MOCK. so, the NIC is the receiving device and converts the signal back to electric for handling / processing by ROON.

(Peter Lie) #18

If you can hear fiber SQ improvement over copper Ethernet in your setup, your next step would be to use a LPS for the MOCK if you are not using one already, or you can consider our product with SFP input. :slight_smile:

#19

Aha, so the connection that you are remaking fiber optic is between the output of the router or switch to the input of your MOCK machine?

Never considered doing that.

How are you handling the output from your MOCK to the DAC?

#20

yes – switch to MOCK is now fiber.

currently, from MOCK to DAC is USB. however, there is also the ability use an optical s/pdif (toslink) connection which would provide optical isolation for that link.