Upsampling to DSD512 with Nucleus+ is this processing speed normal?

I’m trying to understand what “normal” processing speed is for a Nucleus+ (rev B) to upsample a song to DSD512. It seems to struggle getting above 1.3X processing speed under every circumstance and what I’m not sure about is if that’s just a limitation of the Nucleus+ or if something is weird with my configuration. Could someone at Roon confirm if that seems right? Or if you own a Nucleus+ could you run this little experiment to see if your results are the same as mine?

If you have a Nucleus+ and a DAC with DSD512 capabilities, please share your signal path upsampling a non-DSD file after removing all DSP functions other than upsampling to show processing speed and stop playing all other zones. Here, I’ll start .

And here’s my upsampling DSP settings.

I was involved in a thread a couple months ago and asked the same question. 1.3x for DSD512 is normal.

My Nucleus+ is out for diagnostics right now so I can’t share signal path, but it looks pretty darn similar to yours. :slightly_smiling_face:

as long as it is above 1 then it is OK.

Hi @jager,

Up-sampling to DSD512 is quite a heavy task, so seeing a processing speed close to 1x is not surprising.

If you are seeing issues with upsampling content to this rate, you can try to disable “Native DSD Processing” (as per your 2nd screenshot).

Awesome! Thanks for the feedback and suggestion!

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It’s very strange that Nucleus+'s top product doesn’t handle the DSD512 upsampling with the “Native DSD Processing” option enabled.

For example, Intel NUC7i7D easily handles such a task at a processing speed of at least x2.0, even if it limits its maximum frequency in BIOS settings to about 2.7… 2.9 GHz (exact values can’t remember, but less than 3ghz).

I wonder what NUC board is used in Nucleus+ if it doesn’t handle the DSD512 upsampling task? Or CPU frequency is severely limited in BIOS settings? @noris, Please answer if it’s not a secret.

The board is the same as in my roon server. Why, then, doesn’t Nucleus+ handle the DSD512 upsampling as my roon server? :frowning:
Obviously because CPU frequency is severely limited in BIOS settings. Why? The Nucleus case can’t handle CPU cooling at a maximum frequency of 4.2 GHz?

For what it’s worth, the Nucleus+ can upsample to DSD512, it just does so at 1.0-1.3X. Generally this works though I’ve found a few times when it stutter stops. It’s pretty rare though. I suspect if the Nucleus+ is trying to do other things (like multiple zones, indexing, etc) there might be additional problems. I do wonder how much the DSD512 upsampling is just a vanity metric though. I think I can tell the difference but I also fully admit it’s probably placebo :slight_smile: To be clear, I’m super happy with the Nucleus+ as a purchase.

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1.3 x is as low as you want to be at…

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My rock using the same Nuc internals as Nucleus Plus Rev A

Changing core to an i5-6500 setup also rock/mock

Well. Can you log in to your Nucleus BIOS settings and show what these settings look like?

This option does not affect and cannot affect the PCM upsampling to DSD. This option only affects DSD to DSD upsampling as written there in the explanation.

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I’m guessing their thermal tweaks in order to run the nucleus passively may have something to do with this. Not sure if you can enter the bios or not. I suspect it’s all locked down.

What’s not clear to me is whether the upsampling to DSD512 works for the OP or not? If so, all of this seems to be a non-discussion. I would expect that the nucleus+ can handle it. It’s marketed / advertised as such.


It does work… usually. From what I can tell, if the Nucleus+ is doing anything else, it slows down the device enough to not being able to do the upsampling. For instance, if you’re copying files to the internal drive and playing music at the same time upsampled to DSD512, it will fail. So what I’m trying to figure out is “Is my Nucleus+ underperforming with these processing speeds?” because if yes, maybe it can handle more than that but more device is acting strangely/misconfigured somehow. If no, then that’s just what a Nucleus+ is capable of and I just need to realize it will be kind of flakey sometimes when upsampling to DSD512.

Hi @Katun,

@Nepherte hit the nail on the head with the messaging. The Nucleus is designed as an appliance, meaning that it is supposed to stay cool and silent and more importantly, work under different environmental conditions.

The processing speed numbers might be a bit different than your ROCK setup and that’s ok, because the Nucleus was designed for functionality, not to hit specific processing speed numbers.

As was discussed on another thread, the Nucleus has no fan, so some more aggressive power management is to be expected when compared to ROCK:

If DSD512 is working except for when you are placing a heavy load on the IO HDD operations, then I would say that there is no issue here.

Hi @noris!
If you think that x1.3 processing speed is sufficient for stable roon operation, then there is no problem. I read repeatedly earlier on this forum that it is desirable that the processing speed should be no less than x2.0 - to this value I always aspire. Believed that this value is a reference point for Nucleus at any specified settings (see my screenshot above - “All DSP functions available”). If this value is not achievable in this Nucleus enclosure at reasonable CPU temperatures, it is simply necessary to make a more suitable case (or rather the passive cooling system, which I wrote in the quote you gave in another thread). I find this quite achievable and therefore necessary. That’s all I wanted to say.

I believe there is a limiter (emphasis) to tighten the screws on the board to provide the same tightening force for the four corners of the board to ensure uniform adjoining of the chip crystals to the chassis and, accordingly, ideal heat sink conditions. Is it so?

Hi @Katun,

Yes, numbers above 1x should be sufficient, it is when you dip below 1x or are right on the line when there are issues. As per our DSP Documentation:

Pay attention to CPU Usage

Some of the features in DSP Engine can consume a lot of CPU resources. Nothing beats a nice beefy Core i7 if you want to turn everything up to 11. If you’re running on a weaker system, particularly one that is shy of our recommendations, modulate your expectations accordingly.

Use the processing speed indicator to get a sense of how “close to the line” you are. Numbers below 1.0 mean that the CPU on your Roon core is not powerful enough to execute the configuration you’ve requested. This is about as close to peril as you want to be:

Note that Roon currently runs the DSP engine on one CPU core per zone–so this reflects the load relative to consuming a full core. “2.0x” means you’re using 50% of one CPU core to play music in this zone.

Thanks for the feedback here, but this would be more appropriate for the Nucleus Software Section, not the Support section.

Here in Support, we focus on resolving issues for users, and since we have established that DSD is working on @jager’s Nucleus (except for when there is heavy IO load), this is expected.

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