ST i5 and processing power

Interested in other’s experiences and feed back from @AGillis.

I have the ST i5 for Roon core with android tablet control and Auralic Vega G2 streamer/DAC. In Roon, when I attempt upsampling to DSD512, I get stalls, studder, etc. No problem with DSD256. The Vega is DSD512 capable. Is this normal or do I need to tweak something? Should I have sprung for i7?


I7 I think would be the solution regardless of what supplier pc you are using.

Yeah i5 is not really powerful enough for DSD512. DSD512 upsampling takes a massive amount of CPU power.

Ok, thanks for the confirmation Andrew. So DSD256 it will be for me then.

by chance, is the processor in the ST i5 replaceable with an i7?

No it is not. If you want to do DSD512 upsampling it’s best to get a quad core desktop processor for extreme speed. These are large and require a lot of cooling. That is why or sonicTransporter i7 is much larger then our sonicTransporter i5.

Thanks. Was worth a shot.

That’s weird…Andrew from SGC wrote this to me yesterday:

The sonicTransporter i5 is designed for DSD 128 max.
If you want DSD256 or DSD512 you need a sonicTransporter i9

I’d contacted him as my STi5 overheats (and eventually stops) with DSD 256. I was getting a processing speed of around 2X with DSD 256.

@ pstrisik what processing speed are you getting? No worries with overheating?

2x is not that great. If you add any filters you could get dropouts. Also how much CPU is required depends on what you are up-sampling from. My guess is if you upsample from DSD128 to DSD256 it won’t work.

I try to be very conservative when telling customs what the i5 can and can’t do. That way customers always have a great listening experience.

So that’s the long answer the short answer is DSD256 is not recommended on the i5 eve if it works in some situations.

When researching Small Green Computer SonicTransporter, I queried SGC about which model would be “future proofed” and heard directly from Andrew Gillis. As I had no desire to upsample, Gillis said the i5 was just fine and would be for some time. Upsampling is a huge drain. Go for the i9.

I’ve actually sent back the Topping D90. Using it with DSD 256 was marginally better than DSD 128 but the stress of overheating my STi5 kind of ruined the experience, so I eventually just stuck with DSD 128. Having said that, once I relocated my STi5 to a cooler room I never had another dropout on the occasions I tested DSD 256 (sometimes for hours), even with convolution filters. It got plenty warm but no real issues, except for slowing the app response. But the D90 itself left me slightly dissatisfied.