Suggestions for current hardware - DSD512, ECv2

Hi @jussi_laako, and fellow HQ Player enthusiasts,

I have a Holo May and Serene, basically a Spring 3, and I need a computer to get to Jussi’s recommended settings. My old i7-4770 and GTX770 on windows don’t quite get there :grin:

What’s the most cost effective/best value to get to DSD512, v2 modulators and more intense filters? I’d be okay with a dedicated machine, as long as the energy consumption was quite low at idle when not in use to run HQ Player. Ideally I could run Roon, HQ Player and do my light work when not listening, all on windows, but I understand that comes with some downsides. Any feedback/help is appreciated!

you’ll be well set with an i9-12900k + 3080, on ubuntu 20.04 — which is what i use.


Out of curiosity, How much load is on your gpu?

This is where I’m wondering how much cuda (meaning the number of cores) is really needed and what the ratio is of cuda core to performance is… I have a titan x with 3072 cuda cores but it’s at the min compute capability for hqplayer which is v5.2. The TitanX is what I’m using now for DSD256x48 playback and convolution and it usually has very little load on it except for 1 or 2 filters, the xla w/asdm7ecv2 being one combo which I know loves drawing a lot of gpu power.

I have a RTX3080Ti FTW3 with 10240 cuda cores that has a Compute capability of 8.6. This is in my gaming rig now but I could throw hqplayer in it and compare it to the titan x, But I’m quite sure the 3080ti wouldn’t really break a sweet with 3x+ cuda cores available.

So… the 3080 is in a league of its own for cuda compute cores but titan x, gtx1080 and rtx2080 are all close with the only difference being the compute capability level and price.

The titan x, once again, has 3072, rtx2080 cards have 2944 and the gtx1080 has 2560. I’m sure the cuda compute capability is higher than the titan x and lower than the 3080ti.

If the compute capability version doesn’t matter, which I still don’t know, and 2500 cuda cores is sufficient, which I also don’t know, to do the more demanding filters @ DSD512 rates, the question is would the older more affordable Titan X with more cores perform better than the newer rtx2080 that has fewer cores? That is assuming that could do the DSD512 rates.

If hqplayer only needs a 5.2 compute capability level, I’m curious how the titan x, gtx1080 and rtx2080 would compare. I don’t have anything to send DSD512 and I don’t have the other 2 cards for comparison.

If 2500-3000 cores can’t do DSD512, then all this is useless and the more expensive 30xx card is going to be the only option.
Well wait… there is the ti version of the 2080 and that has 4352 cuda cores. But that still getting good $ as it’s still a good card for gaming.

I do know, cause I have one lying around in a box and tried it for chuckles…, that a gtx1050 has 640 cuda cores and a 6.1 compute capability level but it has drops outs using DSD256x48 l, xla and asdm7ecv2. But it’s only 640 cuda cores. It was worth a shot, but not enough cores.

1 Like

I don’t benchmark these much. But I’d say my RTX 3060 laptop GPU is at least as capable as my GTX 1080 desktop card, or more. Apart from amount of GPU RAM which is big factor in some cases (large convolution filters and sinc-L filters).

But otherwise number of CUDA cores is sensible figure only for comparing relative performance of GPUs of same generation. But even then, also things like RAM bus width (memory bandwidth) matters.

1 Like

Hi jussi.
This is interesting… one being mobile and one desktop… as mobile stuff is usually held back by design being focused on power consumption. The RTX3060, even though it is mobile, it is making up performance being 2 generations newer and ~1000 more cores, but the 1080 is still respectfully holding it’s own, I’m assuming due to the fact that it is desktop form factor.

With what you mentioned above, can either produce a DSD512 stream using… I don’t know… let’s say poly-sinc gauss long and or poly-sinc hires lp w/AMSDM7EC 512+fs or non EC?

I realize cpu hasn’t been brought up in any of this and that also plays a large role in the outcome. Since hqplayer only utilizes 6 cores at most, if I was building a box right now specifically for hqplayer and maybe even throw roon core on it, how far off am I thinking the fastest corei5 K in 11th or 12th gen is a good place to go with cpu?

It seems having more cores in the i9 or i7 wouldn’t really help hqplayer unless other processes were also being used on the machine running hqplayer.

How, or do the efficiency cores in the 12th gen intel effect hqplayer?

1 Like

Modulator depends on the CPU. And filter depend on the filter in question and available GPU power.

This is not the case, even for stereo, HQPlayer can utilize pretty much as many cores as there are available.

If you want to do 8 channel multichannel, good starting point would be 16 performance cores plus 16 efficiency cores.

I have i5-11600 (non-K) and it can just do DSD512 with ASDM7ECv2. I just wanted to iterate something low cost at 65W TDP (for potential passive cooling).

But so far i9-12900K is very nice for HQPlayer. Although for example Ryzen 7 5800X is good too.

HQPlayer can decide if it is good to use efficiency cores as well, depending on how many performance cores there are available and what kind of processing there is to be done. In other cases efficiency cores can be left for running for example Roon on the same machine.


Hi @Rush. I just thought I’d share with you my findings.

I have thrown several combinations of filters and modulators using 1x and Nx rates at a i9 9900k and gtx titan x sc on a Z390 motherboard and in DSD512 and DSD512x48 it has dropouts using ASDM7EC, ASDM7ECv2 and AMSDM7EC 512+fs. A few cores are sticking at 100%.

The AMSDM7 512+fs works quite well though.

I also tried with a i9 10900k and rtx 3080ti ftw3 on a Z490 motherboard with similar results. So it seems the processor is the weakest link in both of my situations.

It’s looking like jussi’s 12th gen intel i9 12900 recommendation is where you should probably look to get the 7EC, 7ECv2 and AMSDM7EC 512+fs modulator to work.

1 Like

Thanks to all who replied, it’s all been helpful. It sounds like money is better spent on the CPU for modulator performance than the vastly more expensive GPU.

How does this sound, if anyone is still listening:

  • i9-12900(x) (or next gen if I procrastinate for even longer) with the fastest RAM that is easily available
  • Latest gen GTX-xx70 GPU for help with filters
  • Run windows because I’m not adaptable

It seems like it might be worth waiting for the next gen from Intel and Nvidia. I have no idea what I’m talking about, but what I’ve read leads me to believe a bit bigger gains generationally than they have produced recently. It might give time for the DDR5 market to calm too.

Thanks everyone!

I’d wait for gen 13 chips and hope to get a better deal on a gen 12.

If you go lastest gen Nvidia it’d be rtx 30xx. I’d consider 3060ti as they’re smaller or a 3070ti but they’re a lot longer. Ti cards have more CUDA cores than non Ti cards.

Keep it simple and you’ll be happy.

  • Get a good air cooler, I’d look at Noctua. I’ve always used the D15 but they are big, the NH-U12A is worth a look. The NF-A12x25 fans are super quiet and move a lot of air.
  • I’d use an nvme drive for the system, roon server and hqplayer.
  • A separate internal hdd for audio. I’d stay away from NAS. Keep the audio file drive in the host machine.
  • Hardwire the server. (Avoid WiFi at all costs)
  • Get a mini PC with a x5-Z8350 and use one of jussi’s images to use as an naa for the dac. I have a crappy no name mini PC from amazon that allows boot from a micro ssd card… it works but it doesn’t like the newer naa images so I’m using v4112 but it works.

So much for simple. Lol :roll_eyes:

I use the Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app on the iPad that I use for a roon remote to access the host machine if I need to change hqplayer settings.

1 Like

You should be able to get DSD512 with EC modulators using this. Have you tried setting Multicore DSP to “checked” instead of “grayed”.

Tried it. Doesn’t work. The machine is a Z490 Vision D, 32GB DDR4, i9-10900k, EVGA RTX3080ti ftw3, 850w seasonic power supply, Windows 10 21H2, 2tb 970evo plus NVMe.

Unlike everything else I have, I haven’t tampered with bios and settings on this machine, …yet :smile: Pretty much is setup as Load optimized defaults, select xmp profile 1 for ram and changed the fan curves.


My 9900K upsamples to DSD512-7ECV2 fine.

1x = gauss-long
Nx = gauss-hires-lp

HQP Embedded “amd” build.

Cheap ASrock Phantom Gaming 4

16gb cheap RAM

Cheap big Noctua fan.

Stock BIOS settings. No need to touch anything there,

Interesting. This one doesn’t. Z390 Designaire, i9-9900k, 16gb ram, hqplayer desktop 4.18.1.

As you can see. Cores sticking at 100%. Under load the clock speed drops to 4.68GHz.

Ya something is wrong.

Instead of ticking multicore, can you set it to grey? Like the default.

And turn off CUDA offload.

Edit: oops I see Jussi already asked.

Just for giggles put Embedded amd build on a USB stick and you will see your machine will do it. Unless there’s something in BIOS settings holding you back

I don’t use Desktop much so I can’t test to see differences unfortunately. Not with my 9900K and 11900K machines anyway. They both run amd build on headless Embedded

And it doesn’t work? Can you try with ASDM7ECv2?

I can squeeze DSD512 with ASDM7ECv2 even from my i5-11600 (non-K). Although it is HQPlayer Embedded under Ubuntu Server 20.04.

But 10900K certainly shouldn’t have trouble with it.

1 Like

Didn’t work on the 9900k, I even tried with all core turbo at 5GHz.

I’ll try on the 10900k and report back.

Edit: it doesn’t work.

Tried using only hqplayer as the source. same result. could there be something with optimization that could improve core usage?

Tried embedded on the 10900K. It did gauss-hires-lp w/amsdm7ec 512+fs There were dropouts, but a lot less. It did not like the sinc filters at all, but lack of CUDA could be the reason.

At some I may throw Ubuntu on a ssd and see if hqplayer desktop on Ubuntu w/CUDA will play nicer than windows. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Just need to find a spare ssd.

New AMD Zen 4 Ryzen 7000 series


Especially attractive for > 2 channel HQPlayer DSD ECv2 output

And those going for DSD1024 ECv2 (if there even exists a DAC that performs best at that rate)



There’s a newish/used machine available in my local area for a good price in my view, has the following specs:

i9 12900KF
64 GB Viper 3600 Ram
H610M Motherboard
Biostar 4GB RX560 GPU
Samsung 512GB SSD NvRam
Deepcool CPU Fan

Would this get DSD512 with EC7v2?

Always depends on what filter?

And does your preferred filter only work with integer ratio or not?

What DAC?

Does it support DSD512x48kHz ?