Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD7750

Show off your quiet rig.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Jens Lyn IV
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Jens Lyn IV » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:21 pm

I might give the other inputs a try. I doubt I'd hear much difference, but that speaks as much against my preference for TOSLINK as for your recommendation of USB (and I still haven't been able to place the speakers the way they were designed to be, either, further mudding the waters). The specs indicate that USB input is limited to 16 bit 48 kHz, with coaxial and optical apparently supporting 24 bit 192 kHz, but that's a moot point because I don't have any HD material. Of course, I could try it on my main speakers, it's powerful enough for them I think.

I bought the little brother, the DA1, for Mummy's desktop, and I think it's a rebrand, but I cannot for the life of me remember the other name, and I don't know if Argon (in-house brand of Scandinavian hi-fi chain Hi-Fi Klubben) uses a single supplier for their devices or if they just shop around and slap their name on stuff... Edit: The DA1 looks almost identical to the Big Joe III by "Firestone Audio", whoever they are. Some of the other Argon-branded products also seem to have equivalents from Firestone.
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM

Cistron
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:18 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Cistron » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:08 am

JJ wrote:But jitter on the S/PDIF out from a typical sound card or motherboard is terrible. Asynch USB should be nearly jitter free.
I'm using opitcal S/PDIF and never noticed anything. I always thought jitter would be caused by the source, such as a CD player, but shouldn't be an issue with ALAC/FLAC files.
I wish I could find the Argon DA2 in the US, but it doesn't appear to have a distributor here. It's the perfect size and configuration for my desktop audio system. I'd use the USB input from the computer and would use the coax S/PDIF or analog input for a Squeezebox Touch in my office.
Have you looked for Beresford DACs? They are tiny, hand-assembled and received raving reviews. I use one (the very basic model), however as I wouldn't describe myself as an audiophile, I'd not dare to judge its performance.

JJ
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: US

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by JJ » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:39 am

Cistron wrote:
JJ wrote:I wish I could find the Argon DA2 in the US, but it doesn't appear to have a distributor here. It's the perfect size and configuration for my desktop audio system. I'd use the USB input from the computer and would use the coax S/PDIF or analog input for a Squeezebox Touch in my office.
Have you looked for Beresford DACs? They are tiny, hand-assembled and received raving reviews. I use one (the very basic model), however as I wouldn't describe myself as an audiophile, I'd not dare to judge its performance.
What appeals to me is the DAC + amplifier combination, the size, the volume knob (I dislike being stuck with only the computer's volume control, which isn't always handy), and the multiple digital plus an analog input. It's ideal for driving a set of passive speakers of my choice.
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620

lhopitalified
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:03 pm

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by lhopitalified » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:07 am

Cistron wrote:
JJ wrote:But jitter on the S/PDIF out from a typical sound card or motherboard is terrible. Asynch USB should be nearly jitter free.
I'm using opitcal S/PDIF and never noticed anything. I always thought jitter would be caused by the source, such as a CD player, but shouldn't be an issue with ALAC/FLAC files.
Can someone explain what you guys mean by "jitter"? I understand the concept of mechanical vibrations from reading a CD resulting in errors in the bitstream, but it seems like unless there is an issue with the conversion from bitstream to optical on the motherboard/sound card output end, the input to the DAC should be error-free (or at least correctable by whatever protocol is used).

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by MikeC » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:19 pm

lhopitalified wrote:Can someone explain what you guys mean by "jitter"? I understand the concept of mechanical vibrations from reading a CD resulting in errors in the bitstream, but it seems like unless there is an issue with the conversion from bitstream to optical on the motherboard/sound card output end, the input to the DAC should be error-free (or at least correctable by whatever protocol is used).
Here's is a technical discussion from a D/A manufacturer of renown: http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/appnotes-d/jittercu

There is some controversy about jitter on S/PDIF. Most high end DA makers have accepted the truism among audiophiles that it is the worst (for jitter) of all the digital transfer interfaces. Here is a technical overview: http://www.audiocraftersguild.com/AandE ... itter2.htm
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

lhopitalified
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:03 pm

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by lhopitalified » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:23 pm

Thanks, Mike!

Jens Lyn IV
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Jens Lyn IV » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:22 pm

The motherboard died, so I took the opportunity to upgrade to a Z-series chipset. Browsing the voltage options I noticed that the Asus board defaults to a significantly lover core voltage - over 100 mV less than the old Intel board. I found that an additional -25 mV offset is stable at a 4 GHz core clock, which results in temperatures comparable to stock settings on the old board. The BIOS is rather nice, and I really like Fan Xpert. And, at long last, I have a header to plug the front panel USB 3 cable into.

I took a few new pictures, click for full size...

Image
Now with 3 PCIe x16 slots!

Image
Front panel USB 3 plug has finally found a home.

Image
HDD suspension.

Image
Spaghetti al cavo.

Specifications:
  • Case: Fractal Design Define Mini
  • Case fans:
    • 3 Scythe Slip Stream 120 500 rpm
    • 1 Scythe Slip Stream Slim 120 800 rpm w/ Noctua U.L.N.A.
  • PSU: Seasonic X-400
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M Pro
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K @ 4 GHz, -25 mV
  • RAM: Corsair XMS3 4x4 GB 1333 MHz
  • GPU: Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate
  • SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB
  • SSD: Intel SSD 510 Series 120GB
  • HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARX
  • HDD suspension: Sharkoon Vibe Fixer
  • CPU cooler: Noctua NH-C14
    • CPU fans: 2 Scythe Slip Stream 140 PWM Adjustable VR
  • DVD burner: Plextor PX-L890SA
  • Monitor: Dell U2412M
  • Keyboard: Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
  • Mouse: Logitech G500
  • Gamepad: Microsoft Xbox 360 Wired Controller
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Audio:
  • Amplifier/DAC: Argon DA2
    • Rated power: 2 x 40 W, 4 Ω, 1% THD
  • Speakers: 2 DALI Zensor 1
    • Frequency response: 53-26,500 Hz, +/-3 dB
      Impedance: 6 Ω
Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM

JJ
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: US

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by JJ » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:31 pm

Nice.

I can't remember the last time I had a motherboard simply die.
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620

Jens Lyn IV
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Jens Lyn IV » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:23 pm

Well, it didn't quite go "poof" out of nowhere, but it was obvious that things were going south. Details here.
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM

Potenza
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:26 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Potenza » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:55 am

A nice built, so far I've made two silent PC's in the Define Mini. A splendid case, I love it.

Can I ask you a question about the PSU and GPU combination? I've been talking about this in another thread, but I feel that a passive PSU isn't an advantage in this kind of set-up because it will heaten up the GPU. Have you encountered problems in terms of heat (GPU) when under stress?
[Fractal Design Define R4] [Seasonic P 660W] [AMD Phenom II X4 965] [Xigmatek HDT-S1283 + Nexus d12sl-12 @ 7V] [Asus M4A758TD-V EVO] [Team Elite 2 X 4GB DDR3 1333mhz] [MSI R9 270 2GB Twin Frozr] [WD Caviar Black 500G]

Jens Lyn IV
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Update 2 | 1st Build: Define Mini, X-400, i7-2700K, HD77

Post by Jens Lyn IV » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:08 pm

I'll quote myself from earlier:
Jens Lyn IV wrote:I bought a Sapphire HD7750 Ultimate, favourably reviewed by SPCR. My experience mirrors that of the reviewer - the card never exceeds 70 degrees C. Interestingly, high CPU loads reduce the GPU temperature thanks to peripheral airflow from my top-down CPU cooler.
These observations are still valid. Even without a top-down cooler, and even with a much higher load on the PSU, I still would't expect any problems with this combination. The card has loads of thermal headroom, and the same can be said of the PSU. If you haven't, I encourage you to read SPCR's review of the X-400, specifically the torture test.
Desktop: Fractal Design Define Mini, Seasonic X-400, Asus P8Z77-M Pro, i7-2700K, Noctua NH-C14, 16 GB RAM, Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate, 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro, 120 GB Intel 510, 1 TB WD Caviar Green, Sharkoon Vibe Fixer, all fans Scythe Slip Stream, Dell U2412HM
Mummy's desktop: Lian Li PC-Q07A, Seasonic G-360, Intel DH77DF, Celeron G550T, Scythe Big Shuriken, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Samsung 830, Dell U2212HM

Post Reply