Author Topic: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source  (Read 7523 times)

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Offline G-Racer

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Planning to setup a headless PC audio source and will be connected to USB DSD DAC. Please help me which one is a better source? DAC will be Marantz HD-DAC1

Mac Mini 35k
2.6GHz Processor
1 TB Storage
2.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
8GB memory
1TB hard drive1
Intel Iris Graphics
OS X Yosemite

Intel Nuc NUC5i5RYH 31k
i5-5250U processor
2 TB STorage Sata 3 7.5k
16 gig DDR3L 1600 5k
Windows 7

Thanks.

Offline sientobente

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #1 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 12:39 PM »
One thing against Mac is the lack of free music softwares. Itunes natively isn't capable to play Flac files on it's own. While using a Windows PC can get you Foobar for free. If you are planning to use the optical out of a Mac, latest versions are also limited to 192/24. Music through USB would still be your best bet if you plan to play highres files.

Offline jackryan

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #2 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 12:57 PM »
I don't think you really need that much of a specs for a dedicated player but if funds is not an issue then it would not matter...  ;)

Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #3 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 01:22 PM »
I'm planning to use Jriver either for Mac or PC

The reason for a bump up specs is due to PCM to DSD conversion, i heard it eats lots of resources during conversion

And yes, i'll be using USB going to DAC. I just wanted to know to those who experienced using any of the two as source which is better for audio only source

This include reliability as they will be On all the time almost 24/7

Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #4 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 08:13 PM »
Intel NUC for me as there are a lot of softwares which can optimize your setup which is unfortunately not available in Mac. If you're getting JRiver, get the license for both Win and Mac. Suggest you use at least 240gb SSD. The rest of the music files via USB 3.0
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Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #5 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 08:14 PM »
BTW, suggest you use Win Server 2012
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Offline CoolTOYZPH

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #6 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 08:40 PM »
TS, Apology in advance for asking questions on this this thread.
1. How does Intel NUC work?
2. How long does it take to boot up?
3. Can it be controlled via a tablet? what kind of tablet?

thank you in advance
Where is the Love? BEP

Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #7 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 08:52 PM »
TS, Apology in advance for asking questions on this this thread.
1. How does Intel NUC work?
2. How long does it take to boot up?
3. Can it be controlled via a tablet? what kind of tablet?

thank you in advance

1. It same as your ordinary pc, only smaller
2. Same as PC, if SSD is used for OS then it's faster
3. Can be remote using remote desktop, same as any ordinary PC. There are lots of RDP apps for ipad and android

Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #8 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 08:54 PM »
Intel NUC for me as there are a lot of softwares which can optimize your setup which is unfortunately not available in Mac. If you're getting JRiver, get the license for both Win and Mac. Suggest you use at least 240gb SSD. The rest of the music files via USB 3.0

thank superman

Offline CoolTOYZPH

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #9 on: Aug 30, 2015 at 11:48 PM »
How long is the average boot up time as per specs posted?

1. It same as your ordinary pc, only smaller
2. Same as PC, if SSD is used for OS then it's faster
3. Can be remote using remote desktop, same as any ordinary PC. There are lots of RDP apps for ipad and android
Where is the Love? BEP

Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #10 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:19 AM »
3-5secs if via SSD
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Offline CoolTOYZPH

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #11 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:22 AM »
305 seconds I have access to my music or just on windows page?


3-5secs if via SSD
Where is the Love? BEP

Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #12 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:44 AM »
305 seconds I have access to my music or just on windows page?



From turning on to Jriver screen
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Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #13 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 08:35 AM »
3-5secs if via SSD

Is this for Windows Server 2012 R2 Boot up time?

Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #14 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 09:17 AM »
Yes sir
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Offline deist

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #15 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 11:07 AM »
If you will be using JRiver then go with Intel NUC. I have tested side by side a MacbookPro & a Dell Windows laptop using both versions of JRiver, same system & just switched laptops as source and it was clear to me that the Windows version sounded better. For Macs, I suggest Audirvana+ or HQPlayer as music player.

I'm planning to use Jriver either for Mac or PC

The reason for a bump up specs is due to PCM to DSD conversion, i heard it eats lots of resources during conversion

And yes, i'll be using USB going to DAC. I just wanted to know to those who experienced using any of the two as source which is better for audio only source

This include reliability as they will be On all the time almost 24/7

Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #16 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 11:15 AM »
If you will be using JRiver then go with Intel NUC. I have tested side by side a MacbookPro & a Dell Windows laptop using both versions of JRiver, same system & just switched laptops as source and it was clear to me that the Windows version sounded better. For Macs, I suggest Audirvana+ or HQPlayer as music player.


thanks for your input deist. i love using jriver, very easy to use and the android/apple Jremote is awesome

It seems the pc based source is better than apple. also cheaper

i guess the next choice is OS to use. Win 7, Win 8, Win 10 or Win server 2012.

Anybody knows how much is the WIn Server 2012 single license? I already have a license for 7 but not for 8 or 2012. How about win 10?

Offline bosyo

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #17 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 11:37 AM »
thanks for your input deist. i love using jriver, very easy to use and the android/apple Jremote is awesome

It seems the pc based source is better than apple. also cheaper

i guess the next choice is OS to use. Win 7, Win 8, Win 10 or Win server 2012.

Anybody knows how much is the WIn Server 2012 single license? I already have a license for 7 but not for 8 or 2012. How about win 10?

Another option:
Linux
http://www.24bit96.com/usb-computer-audio-system/usb-audio-with-lowlatency-realtime-kernel-with-debian-and-mpd.html

Windows Optimization
http://www.24bit96.com/usb-computer-audio-system/configure-foobar2000-and-windows7-for-digital-audio.html

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Offline G-Racer

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Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #19 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:31 PM »
I am using Win Server 2012 Trial Version :)
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Offline Superman

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #20 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:32 PM »
My suggestion:

JRiver + JRemote + Audiophile Optimizer
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Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #21 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 12:57 PM »
Is there an audible differences on SQ between Win 7 and Server 2012?

Offline ti

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #22 on: Aug 31, 2015 at 10:44 PM »
Before investing into something, how about you check first the Daphile OS project? It's free, runs on a standard PC or laptop using bootable usb drive.

Few months ago, I was scouting for a headless music server/player but most of them are either expensive or have some trade off. That time I  wasn't interested on pc setup. All I want is a "device" which i just power up , sit on my couch and control via my android phone.

Fortunately Daphile OS can do all of that plus tons of other features that i'm still exploring at the moment.

I was fortunate that it loads on my 4years old vaio 11" laptop. superpro usb dac is also detected effortlessly. to my ears it sounded good considering it cost me nothing.

Again this OS is free, you can easily make a bootable usb so you can test it without formatting your pc/laptop.   
   
" POVERTY deprives me of some unnecessary things in life. "

Offline Stagea

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #23 on: Sep 01, 2015 at 12:40 AM »
thanks for your input deist. i love using jriver, very easy to use and the android/apple Jremote is awesome

It seems the pc based source is better than apple. also cheaper

i guess the next choice is OS to use. Win 7, Win 8, Win 10 or Win server 2012.

Anybody knows how much is the WIn Server 2012 single license? I already have a license for 7 but not for 8 or 2012. How about win 10?

Windows 10 is okay. You can use your Windows 7 license for an upgrade.

Windows Server just offers the flexibility of running in Core mode. The upcoming Server 2016 has the option of a "Nano Server" install, which may be conducive for audio. If you don't plan on doing that, then client variants of the OS should be fine.

Future versions of Windows 10 *may* have memory compression (as is deployed in insider build 10525). That may increase processing overhead (which purists hate).
« Last Edit: Sep 01, 2015 at 12:59 AM by Stagea »

Offline G-Racer

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #24 on: Sep 01, 2015 at 09:52 AM »
Windows 10 is okay. You can use your Windows 7 license for an upgrade.

Windows Server just offers the flexibility of running in Core mode. The upcoming Server 2016 has the option of a "Nano Server" install, which may be conducive for audio. If you don't plan on doing that, then client variants of the OS should be fine.

Future versions of Windows 10 *may* have memory compression (as is deployed in insider build 10525). That may increase processing overhead (which purists hate).

Thanks Stagea, i guess will be using Windows 7 for now so no extra cost...

Will be going to PC stores in megamall to look for NUC..

Thanks everyone..

Offline tetablanco

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #25 on: Jan 31, 2016 at 02:32 AM »
For me, there's a noticeable difference in sound quality between a Windows machine and a Mac. The Mac wins hands down.

Offline titan

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #26 on: Feb 01, 2016 at 05:12 PM »
You can play flac files on any mac using titatium toast app.

Offline sientobente

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #27 on: Feb 10, 2016 at 09:44 PM »
You can play flac files on any mac using titatium toast app.
Does the Titanium Toast app output the correct resolution via Toslink?

Online Gsound

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #28 on: Aug 17, 2016 at 04:46 AM »
to all intel NUC user. lagi kasing naka ON yung external hd ko kahir hindi naman naka ON yung nuc unit. pa share naman kung paano puedeng gawin. tia.

Offline Stagea

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Re: Intel® NUC i5 (NUC5i5RYH) OR Mac Mini i5 as Audio Source
« Reply #29 on: Aug 17, 2016 at 06:26 AM »
to all intel NUC user. lagi kasing naka ON yung external hd ko kahir hindi naman naka ON yung nuc unit. pa share naman kung paano puedeng gawin. tia.

Do not plug it on the yellow port. That port is always on and is meant to be a charging port.