I haven't been there for a while as lots of events happened in my life in the past 7 years. But when I was not occupied with the events, I was enjoying music with what I had and just upgrading JPLAY with new releases. So I will provide a short background.
About 12 years ago I started an adventure with a HP Pavilion laptop running JRiver and a USB Beresford DAC. Then I stumbled across Marcin's posts on a Polish Audio Stereo forum about Weiss Dac2 being one of the best DACs available at that time. It's main advantage was supposed to be a Firewire port in stead of USB. As I had a FW port in my laptop I started to dig in and finally imported a Weiss Dac2.
Then came the first release of JPLAY - huuuuge improvement.
8 years ago also I upgraded to a Dell Precision 4600 with an i7 and 16GB RAM + Intel SSD and it's with me up till now. It runs AOptimized Win Server 2019 and is used just for Audio.
There has been a huge technology leap over the past 10 years with USB gaining more and more attention with the role of FireWire diminished. Right now I find myself lost with the noisy laptop from the previous era and a FW DAC which sounds terrific.
If it was a USB DAC, I would "simply" build a fanless Audio PC, but in this case I'm not quite sure what to do to be cost and sound effective. Should I build an Audio PC and insert a 3$ Firewire card from Aliexpress and use my current dac till I save some money for the DAC upgrade? Or should I buy an USB DAC and utilize the noisy laptop, save money and wait for new technology leaps on the PC market like new CPUs, RAM or SSDs and then build an AudioPC in a year or two? That's are my current dilemmas... Can you please share your thoughts or advice?
PS. My plan for next year was to upgrade my amplifier (Dussun v8i) or speakers, but I suppose PC/DAC took over the priority.
Due to the fact that I build my last PC about 15 years ago, I am a total dummy now. I aim at a SOTA, fanless and headless Single-PC which I would be able to control wilt my smartphone to play music.
Assume the budget of 3-3,5K Euros.
I couldn't find any posts with the complete list of currently recommended components for Audio PC that would cover CPU/MoBo setup, RAM (how much), SSDs, internal cabling, Chassis and Power supply (I see that JCAT chassis and 400W are not available).
Can you please post the list of recommended and best sounding parts, so that either me or somebody else would like to start building an AudioPC in 2-3 months, we would know what to buy?
If you managed to get to this point, thank you for reading!