Poor DSD512 upsampling performance on NUC10I7

Hello, I was using ROCK on the NUC8i3. I tryed DSD512 Upsampling and got dropouts. Single core speed was at ca. 1x, multi core - ca. 1.6x. So I bought the biggest possible supported NUC10i7. I expected much more performance in DSD512 Upsampling than with NUC8i3. But was shocked by opposite. Multi core processing speed is just at 1.9x. And single core at 1-1.3x, so I get dropouts in single core mode.
I reinstalled rock but it did not help.
Do I have a misconfiguration anywhere? Bios? Rock setup? Or why is the i7 Processor Performance at dsd512 Upsampling so bad? I don’t do any other dsp processing.
Thanks!

What are you playing to, over wired or wireless ? Are the music files local or on a NAS. Upscaling to DSD is the most taxing process for a CPU but the processing speed is not just about CPU as the network connection, and storage locations can have an affect to. Mine is 1.3x on single core thats a local file on usb disk to core and over wireless to endpoint. 1.7 with parallel. I do think you need a beefier desktop CPU for the higher DSD rates to keep it safe from issues.

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Clock speed is the likely issue not number of cores

I am playing through 1gb lan. Mostly qobuz, but also local from a ssd. Using opticalrendu as usb roon endpoint with opticalmodule.

This i7 cpu has enough power. In comparison to my previous i3 only at the core number it is 3 fold. 2cores at i3 and 6 at i7.

One issue also is that Nuc’s run mobile cpu versions normally the U designated models

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The raw per core performance of the 8i3 and the 10i7 is only a little better, which matches what you’re seeing.

My guess is that Roon’s multi-core DSD code scales across 2 cores, but won’t benefit from a large increase in cores.

Does it run reliably on the 10i7 in multi core mode? 1.9x should be enough.

The benefit of the multiple cores is you can probably do this in more than one zone!

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NUC strictly speaking can not be overclocked, but… in NUC BIOS there’s a section where you can select the CPU power performance profiles or even adjust them manually. This can give a good old NUC a little kick. You may want to check these.

I’m currently running i7-8th Gen NUC with ROON and HQPlayer server in one box. It took me some time to find optimal parameters to keep continues playback without overheating and performance degradation. But during heavy HQPlayer settings cores jump up to 100c time to time.

In ROON, DSD@512 processing speed is never high on my NUC, normally between 1 and 2, but never dropout in my main scenario - NUC is connected to DAC via USB directly and ethernet cat6 to router.

Indeed, i think 10i7 brings more cores rather than jumps in a single core performance.

Recently I tried to play DSD256 from ROON to my iPad and iPhone (with external DSD DAC dongle connected). In this scenario certainly WiFi is in the game. Performance is not 100% stable, there are dropouts and unexpected stops here and there. But I only tried this couple of times and was not seriously focused on solution yet, it is not my main scenario by far, more a proof. It may be also related to iOS and wifi in apple devices all the same… I need to look further into it.

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The official view from roon staff would be helpful at this point

With 1.9x it runs reliable. But i still did not test much. If dropuots will occur in the further test I will report it here.

Thanks, Igor. Will try bios configuration.

Bingo. NUC8i3-8109U is 3.0 GHz base, 3.6 GHz turbo. NUC10i7-10710U is 1.1 GHz base, 4.7 GHz turbo. Base clock speed is the key factor. Turbo clock speed is almost irrelevant for continuous operations, such as sample rate conversion. Turbo cannot be maintained continuously because it hits thermal throttle.

AJ

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Basically, NUC10 are good all around performance machines. But, relatively speaking, they are not the single core powerhouses that NUC8 are.

AJ

Precisely this! This is where playing with CPU power settings may help, hopefully. How long can NUC CPU be in turbo mode a) with out overheating b) with out dropout. First thing to try is “default” profiles - if i remember correctly “performance mode” or smth. My NUC is headless, not easy to see the BIOS screen, so I take from my memory.

I see the problem with a NUC and Roon, that you can’t watch and change something.
If you need more performance, I would change to a (silence) system with for example a current i9-11900 (until 5200 MHz) and install there a Roon on a Linux.
On my system (see above) resampling from stereo DSD256 to DSD512 is taken with a speed of 2.6x and multichannel DSD64 to DSD256 with 2.x
CPU run then between 2500 and near 5000 MHz.

But: Your system shows in multicore s speed of 1.9x and (from my experience) all speeds above 1.3x are enough for playing without any problems.
So it seems, that you’ve not only a problem with the horse power of your CPU…

Based on personal experience i beg to differ.
I have both an NUC8i3 and a NUC10i7 and the latter is quickerwithout a doubt, and that is whether analysing audio or upsampling to DSD512 or whatever.
Yes, i also thought that single core clockspeed would benefit the i3, but the i7 do maintain higher clockspeed when only a few cores are deployed or in use.

The single core benchmarks are very close with the 10i7 a touch faster

The 10i7 is 10% faster in the dual core benchmark (which is what I’d guess is needed for the multicore DSD code)

It obviously wins in a big way as the loads use the cores more.

So the slower base clock doesn’t seem to be an issue for the 10i7!

Not relevant to the discussion. Nobody said anything about audio analysis, which is extensible across as many cores and threads as are available.

AJ

Right. Playback is usually one core. The older gen NUCs are still desirable from a Roon Core viewpoint as they have better single core speed. There are several threads about this on the forums if you are curious.

Personally, I run an i5 7th Gen which can do 256 upsampling without breaking a sweat (between 3x to 4x with Parallelize Sigma Delta Modulator ON, and 1.8 to 2.2x with it off). I don’t have a DSD 512 capable DAC currently to test that out.

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I’ve check my records, here are three CPU power parameters you may try tweaking on NUC BIOS for performance.

Package power limit 1 (sustained)
Package power limit 2 (burst mode)
Package power time window (tau)

Basically they define the possible duration of “Turbo” mode. But you can certainly find more scientific definition on the net and the reason why they are three. You may also check that “turbo” mode is allowed in BIOS.

There are two types of NUC BIOS I’m aware of with slightly different interfaces - I actually have 8i7 and 10i7, you would need to look for Power settings in BIOS, it sits next to Boot settings normally. And depending on your BIOS version you may see these three parameters directly, or you may need to click at “default” power profiles to have them available for config.

Make a note of the default values if visible and try stepping up with the very small steps 1, 2 sec max… setting this parameter too high may get immediate high performance at max turbo frequency with very quick overheat and immediate heat protection halt. I did not dare to set them to low :slight_smile: Anyway these settings needs to be used with caution especially if you have fanless form-factor. And I recommend to try the default power profiles first.

It may as well be that your NUC is set for “performance” power profile in BIOS already. If that is the case - the dropouts are caused by smth else, really.

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