water cooling or air cooling for Audio computer?

justbenice

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Oct 8, 2010
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Hi all,
I wan to buy a new computer and using my DAC for listenling lossless music over this computer via USB connection to DAC. But i also using this computer for gaming. So the cooling solution is very important. What kind of cooling is best for me in this case? Air or Water Cooling kit like Hydro Series H110i ?
 

wtourist

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Dec 2, 2010
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What components in what case?
Since you are asking I would say an AIO liquid cooling rig is fine if case compatible or new case is in budget.
Sound shouldn't stress a gaming computer.
 

justbenice

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I am planning a i7-5820K CPU, X99 board, GTX 970 VGA card. Everrything inside a full tower case. I hear people saying the more FAN in case the worse sound quality in DAC.
 

Ocellaris

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I am planning a i7-5820K CPU, X99 board, GTX 970 VGA card. Everrything inside a full tower case. I hear people saying the more FAN in case the worse sound quality in DAC.

Water coolers use fans to move the heat away from the radiators, so you often aren't reducing the number of fans by water cooling.

In a properly assembled PC, fans shouldn't affect the quality of a DAC at all.
 

justbenice

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Water coolers use fans to move the heat away from the radiators, so you often aren't reducing the number of fans by water cooling.

In a properly assembled PC, fans shouldn't affect the quality of a DAC at all.

Thank you so much. Can you tell me more details about "properly assembled PC" ? So i can avoid any harm to my DAC sound quality .
 

Henri108

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You will not see ANY influence of your PC when using a USB DAC... Use a short cable to your DAC and use the USB ports on the back of your PC. Even if you use 3000 RPM fans, it will not harm your audio quality.

Also, X99 is pretty overkill if you only game and listen to music. You will have better performance going with Z170 in gaming. If you do Video/photo editing a lot, X99 will be better.

What DAC are you using?
 

justbenice

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You will not see ANY influence of your PC when using a USB DAC... Use a short cable to your DAC and use the USB ports on the back of your PC. Even if you use 3000 RPM fans, it will not harm your audio quality.

Also, X99 is pretty overkill if you only game and listen to music. You will have better performance going with Z170 in gaming. If you do Video/photo editing a lot, X99 will be better.

What DAC are you using?

Hi,
I am using a LKS DA-M003 DAC, it cost 1300$ in amazon. What a pity, from my computer to the DAC it take 16foot :(
 

HammerSandwich

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Achieving a given noise level is usually cheaper & easier with air, at least for a "reasonable" wattage PC. Modern large, low-RPM fans are quieter than a pump. You'll also benefit from, say, more fans at 500rpm than fewer at 1000rpm.

Even if you use 3000 RPM fans, it will not harm your audio quality.
Why focus on the electrical signal quality when such fans would raise the noise floor by 20dB?
 

Henri108

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A 16 foot run for USB is no issue, but you might want to put a little WYRD Schiit on it:

http://schiit.com/products/wyrd

That's bullschiit ;) and it doesn't work... USB is a completely digital signal, it can only have package loss, which cannot be fixed with that Schiit.

I would NEVER recommend to have USB cable over 3meters (I think that's like 10feet). Because in my own experience with longer cables for both photography and data transfer, you will have data loss (which ended in my case in corrupt photo's and corrupt files for data transfer).

For once, smaller is better :cool:.
 

Henri108

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Why focus on the electrical signal quality when such fans would raise the noise floor by 20dB?

If you are serious about quality audio (which he obviously is given that his DAC alone is 1300$; which suggests he has a 10.000$+ audio system), then he wouldn't even have the PC close to him...
 

justbenice

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If you are serious about quality audio (which he obviously is given that his DAC alone is 1300$; which suggests he has a 10.000$+ audio system), then he wouldn't even have the PC close to him...

Man, i don't have 10,000$ audio system, just 1200 for amplifier, 1300 for DAC, 1000 for speaker. And this system for lossless music in my work place. It already have good sound, but i want some more, and my PC getting old now so i am thinking of building a new one.
 
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justbenice

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BTW, after reading the topic, i think there are no way to compare what is better between air cooling and water cooling in my case. Air or water cooling all have motor running.

My friend playing his DAC with a Laptop using SSD and no any fan. he said when playing music via DAC with laptop using battery only, the sound quality very good.
 

Henri108

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Man, i don't have 10,000$ audio system, just 1200 for amplifier, 1300 for DAC, 1000 for speaker. And this system for lossless music in my work place. It already have good sound, but i want some more, and my PC getting old now so i am thinking of building a new one.

Seems strange to pay 2500 for your inputs, but only have 1000$ speakers. Most people I know that are into high end Hifi have most of their money in the actual speakers, sub,... About 1/4th is for DAC/amp.

Doesn't matter, you'll probably be able to keep your dac and amp for the rest of your life :D.

Maybe try a passively cooled system? Look for components that don't have any coil whine (some GPU's have pretty bad coil whine, which might affect your audio).
 

justbenice

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Hi Henri108, the price look not too balance because i bought amp and speakers 2nd hand. DAC is new :)
 

undermined

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if you do use a usb DAC , consider upgrading to an optical USB cable to eliminate potential USB bus noise from the pc getting to the DAC

http://www.corning.com/opcomm/OpticalCablesbyCorning/products/USB-3.Optical.aspx

makes it easier to put the pc farther from the audio gear and isolates the DAC electrically from the pc.

and yes even though the signal on a USB DAC is digital, doesn't mean power issues on the USB bus like EMI/RFI and the PC's PSU switching don't degrade the audio potentally, even on USB DACs that aren't bus powered.

items like the schiit wyrd normally help because many laptops and desktops don't have clean 5v to the usb ports since mice and printers don't care about noise on the bus but if you have random dropouts or the power management setting are interrupting the ports to save power or something like the ports being on a internal hub with a SD reader or a trackpad instead of dedicated like a lot of laptops sometimes are.

the wyrd is basically a fancy single power port powered usb hub that help some people fix some usb issues
 
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