Motherboards

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Post by Azazello » 2018-08-23 22:08

As you might have read in the main thread, I have built my HAKAI on a Gigabyte N3150N-D3V motherboard.

I have also ordered parts to build a HAKAI-NAS and since everything has arrived exept the motherboard, I decided to try and build a streamer with the Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx (LSNAS) motherboard that I have laying around, but with Steamcom PS and chassie.

It was nowhere near the real thing. The difference when I connected HAKAI again made me realize how good it is. The richness, the texture, the nuances. It's amazing.

So I guess my conclusion is: Don't try Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx if you happen to have one ;)

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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by lejonklou » 2018-08-23 22:20

Very useful information. Thank you!

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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by David Neel » 2018-08-23 23:08

Thanks! This makes me keener to try a Hakai NAS against my current LSNAS.
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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by David Neel » 2018-08-24 11:51

I will next week (temporarily) change my HAKAI into a NAS to compare with the LSNAS. From Azazello's comments on motherboards this could be a big step forward. If it works, I will need to find another motherboard, as my 3050 D2P has only two SATA sockets. Lemmy identified the J3455-D3H - is anybody trying this?

Also, the recommendation is that HAKAI should be plugged in with the rest of the hifi gear, but a NAS and switch should be on a separate socket. Why, and would this apply also to a HAKAI NAS? At the moment my LSNAS and switch are on separate sockets.
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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by lejonklou » 2018-08-24 13:00

I'm looking forward to your experiments with HAKAI hardware used as a NAS, David. The main challenge is the NAS software, which can be tweaked considerably. Unfortunately this is not my area of expertise.

I don't quite understand your question in the second paragraph. The streamer should be plugged into the same power strip as your amplifiers, the NAS and switch should be powered off a separate strip.

If your HAKAI is running Volumio and acting as a streamer, it should be powered together with your amplifiers. If your HAKAI is acting as a NAS, it should be powered from the separate strip, where the switch is plugged in.

One HAKAI should never be acting as both a streamer and a NAS, that doesn't sound any good.

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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by David Neel » 2018-08-24 13:30

I'm looking forward to your experiments with HAKAI hardware used as a NAS, David. The main challenge is the NAS software, which can be tweaked considerably. Unfortunately this is not my area of expertise.
I will simply transfer the Windows OS/Asset server SSD and the primary music files SSD from the LSNAS. Unless I've missed something (quite possible with my level of software knowledge!) that should work and not require too much effort with a screwdriver.
I don't quite understand your question in the second paragraph. The streamer should be plugged into the same power strip as your amplifiers, the NAS and switch should be powered off a separate strip.
Why? I had assumed there was something about the NAS hardware/PSU feeding nasties back into the system. So, electrically, I don't see why HAKAI as a streamer should be on the same strip, but HAKAI as a NAS should not. I currently have a spare socket on my power strip, which sounds much better than a standard strip...
One HAKAI should never be acting as both a streamer and a NAS, that doesn't sound any good.
I'm NOT going to try this!
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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by lejonklou » 2018-08-24 13:38

David Neel wrote:I will simply transfer the Windows OS/Asset server SSD and the primary music files SSD from the LSNAS. Unless I've missed something (quite possible with my level of software knowledge!) that should work and not require too much effort with a screwdriver.
Yes, that should work without problems.
David Neel wrote:Why? I had assumed there was something about the NAS hardware/PSU feeding nasties back into the system. So, electrically, I don't see why HAKAI as a streamer should be on the same strip, but HAKAI as a NAS should not. I currently have a spare socket on my power strip, which sounds much better than a standard strip...
No, it's not related to hardware differences. It's related to the function of the hardware.

The very common "feeding nasties into the mains" narrative is of little use in HiFi. It's much better to view it as if some units like to be really close, others like to stay in touch with a certain distance and some are enemies.

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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by David Neel » 2018-08-24 20:59

lejonklou wrote:
David Neel wrote:I will simply transfer the Windows OS/Asset server SSD and the primary music files SSD from the LSNAS. Unless I've missed something (quite possible with my level of software knowledge!) that should work and not require too much effort with a screwdriver.
Yes, that should work without problems.
David Neel wrote:Why? I had assumed there was something about the NAS hardware/PSU feeding nasties back into the system. So, electrically, I don't see why HAKAI as a streamer should be on the same strip, but HAKAI as a NAS should not. I currently have a spare socket on my power strip, which sounds much better than a standard strip...
No, it's not related to hardware differences. It's related to the function of the hardware.

The very common "feeding nasties into the mains" narrative is of little use in HiFi. It's much better to view it as if some units like to be really close, others like to stay in touch with a certain distance and some are enemies.
Thanks for clarifying on the mains connection. I shall continue to follow the advice.

As for my idea of putting the two key LSNAS SSDs into the HAKAI, let's just say that this gives me a great opportunity to forget Windows and build a Linux NAS.....
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Re: Gigabyte N3150N-D3V vs. Asus E45M1-I Deluxe Mini-itx

Post by David Neel » 2018-08-30 15:56

After Azazello found that the N3150N-D3V was superior to the Asus E45M1-I, I was keen to investigate the potential for replacing my LSNAS. It also gave me an opportunity to demonstrate my ineptitude with software...

I have rebuilt my HAKAI as a NAS. After previous experimentation with the LSNAS, I am aware that there are very minor differences between running it on Debian and Windows, and it is currently running on Windows for pragmatic rather than musical reasons. I did try to transfer the disks into the HAKAI, and ran into problems because Windows would not boot properly after the motherboard change. So instead I built a Debian HAKAI NAS and for this reason I cannot suggest that my initial findings in A/B comparison with the Windows LSNAS will necessarily be replicated. But you may find them interesting!

I have also managed to find an N3150N-D3V. My N3050N-D2P is not suitable as a NAS motherboard as it only has two SATA ports on the motherboard.

The A/B/A between the two was fairly conclusive: LSNAS has greater musicality than the HAKAI NAS with N3150N-D3V, albeit poorer detail resolution. Note that this is not a direct comparison between motherboards but a comparison between two complete NAS.

The story does not end there, however: watch this space!
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Post by David Neel » 2018-08-30 18:32

I purchased my N3150N-D3V as an untested open box which had been returned to Amazon and then sold as part of a huge job lot to an ebay trader. When I initially couldn't get it working I feared the worst, but couldn't do anything with it as it has no HDMI port. Thank you to tokenbrit for pointing out that DVI to HDMI adaptors are available!

Before buying this and getting it to work I ordered a J3455N-D3H, which has now arrived. And for the last two days it's been sitting here unopened and ready to be returned.

But something was stopping me sending it back without trying it! Installed in HAKAI NAS it definitely outperforms the N3150N-D3V. Is my N3150N-D3V a poor one? Given its history that might be possible. More rebuilding for comparative purposes is obviously in my near future...
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Post by lejonklou » 2018-08-30 19:56

Highly interesting post, David!

The NAS based on HAKAI hardware concept is in its infancy, with most parameters untested.

HAKAI the streamer, however, is a mature creation, with endless further improvements possible. What would be invaluable to know is how J3455N-D3H performs in HAKAI compared to the other two!

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Post by David Neel » 2018-08-30 21:13

The trouble with quick comparisons is controlling the variables! I'm currently living with a power strip and power cords which I may well buy - subject to a final comparison at the weekend with my trusted Linn dealer helping with the listening. And then my LSNAS played hide-and-seek with Volumio when I first tried it, so I've cleaned up the software disk and updated to the latest version of Asset (that wasn't the problem, but that's another story). Then there was the update to the latest Davaar for the ADS/3. In summary, there have a been a number of (mostly minor) changes in my system in the last four weeks, which have elevated its performance even without HAKAI, which is why I parked the comparisons for a while.

So... today's NAS comparison has not been strictly even. I THINK Debian sounds very slightly better than Windows on my LSNAS, but I reverted to Windows to accommodate ripping from the same box - and the mere presence of the ripping drive may affect LSNAS performance, as well as having extra software on the LSNAS. Then there's the Deltaco SATA cables. The ones in the HAKAI NAS are from the LSNAS, and correct directionally, but the LSNAS now has new ones which haven't been optimised (thank you maffe). Additionally, both NAS have been without disk cages and outer casings screwed on, as there's only so many times I can muster the enthusiasm to deal with lots of screws. And I haven't tried the N3050N-D2P in the NAS as it wouldn't be viable with only two SATA ports....

Therefore, you have been warned about placing any great reliance on my reports!

But for what it's worth, I'll report back when I have compared motherboards with HAKAI as a streamer.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-01 10:02

Motherboard impressions: as both a NAS and as a streamer, the N3050N-D2P is more musical, but sounds a bit "thin"; the J3455N-D3H is more impressive and "full" but lacks the same level of musical engagement. Caveat: I suspect burn-in may improve both, the signs are there as performance seems a bit inconsistent. The N3150N came in last as a NAS, and I suspect it's not perfect as it has occasionally not powered up. Its chance to be compared as a streamer got missed in all this.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-09-01 12:13

Were both 3050 & 3455 new when they came to you or was the 3050 used?
Shame the 3150 that you got may be flakey...

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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-01 12:35

Both new.
Yes.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by lejonklou » 2018-09-01 22:06

New motherboard tests coming up. As a HAKAI streamer, not a NAS.

Watch this space.

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Re: Motherboards

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-09-01 22:45

I’m glad the J3455N-D3H is at least good as it seems to be the only one I can get so far. I should have one on the way early next week (of course I thought that about the other ones too). But it is coming from a place I have done business with before successfully so there is reason for optimism. That does mean I have to send the DDR3 memory back for DDR3L. I think I’ll probably wait on that until I have a tracking number for the board! ;-)
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Re: Motherboards

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-09-01 22:47

lejonklou wrote:New motherboard tests coming up. As a HAKAI streamer, not a NAS.

Watch this space.
Glad to hear it! It would also be good to know which boards have been tested and found lacking.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-03 16:58

Update: the J3455N-D3H has failed and is on its way back to Amazon for a refund, while I think what to do next. I've compared on the Gigabyte website, and only the J3355N-D2P seems an alternative, but as it has only 2 SATA connections it wouldn't work as a NAS.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-09-03 17:36

Is the J1900 a non-starter? Still available here in the US, allegedly...

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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-03 17:46

Could be okay for you, I ruled it out because of only 2 SATA.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by flojo » 2018-09-03 18:29


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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-03 23:25

flojo wrote:You could insert this card: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Ports-Mini-P ... 2900820069
Thanks for the idea! I'd prefer it on the motherboard, if only to reduce the variables. If someone evaluates the J1900 board and gives it a glowing review I could be tempted.
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Re: Motherboards

Post by David Neel » 2018-09-13 19:24

I'm still looking for another motherboard. A couple of weeks ago the N3160N-D3V seemed to be available only in countries using the Cyrillic alphabet, judging by google responses. It is now showing as available from sellers in both Netherlands and France. Since I'm a monolingual Brit I can't see whether they might ship outside their countries....
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Re: Motherboards

Post by Sopper » 2018-09-13 20:05

David Neel wrote:I'm still looking for another motherboard. A couple of weeks ago the N3160N-D3V seemed to be available only in countries using the Cyrillic alphabet, judging by google responses. It is now showing as available from sellers in both Netherlands and France. Since I'm a monolingual Brit I can't see whether they might ship outside their countries....
I can help you, I live in the Netherlands.
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