AudiophileOptimizer

Software Type: Operating System Optimization
Price: $129.00
Website: www.highend-audiopc.com

Many computer audiophiles have been discovering that optimization of the operating system can lead to significant improvements in the sound of their music systems. I have previously reviewed Fidelizer Pro (see review); a program that I found made sonic improvements to the sound of music software utilizing the Windows Operating System. I have also reviewed the Playback Designs Syrah Server (see review) that employed a modified Windows 10 Pro that was stripped and configured so that it could only be used to play audio files and utilize network access.

Enter the creator of AudiophileOptimizer, Philipp Hobi, the owner of Highend-AudioPC who resides near Zurich, Switzerland. Phil and his wife Claudia run a business that not only offers AudiophileOptimizer, but numerous hardware and software solutions for the computer audiophile.

Phil, also known by his customers as AudioPhil, first offered AudiophileOptimizer in 2013 to be used with Windows Server 2012. Why Windows Server 2012? Windows Server 2012 runs fewer services and processes than the standard versions of Windows as well as having the ability to completely remove the desktop environment. It was the operating system of choice for optimization that allowed Phil to include over 300 additional modifications of various operating system elements including disabling of unnecessary drivers and services that aren’t needed for audio playback.

AudioPhil’s rationale for use of the AudiophileOptimzier:

"A typical Windows operating system has about 50 to 100 processes and about 500 to 1000 or more threads all running at the same time. The CPU is involved in every single thread and process and, unfortunately, all of this processing must take place in real-time, resulting in jitter. By dramatically reducing the number of processes and threads run by your CPU, your music server will greatly minimize noise and jitter, allowing for a far more accurate and natural sound."
Use of AudiophileOptimizer results in over 300 optimizations for best music reproduction including the following:
  • Disable unnecessary system services and drivers
  • Optimization of your hard drive and file system
  • Optimization of USB and PCIe power management
  • Optimized power and performance settings
  • Optimized CPU and memory management
  • Optimization of task and IRQ priorities
  • Optimization of TCP/IP protocol
  • WASAPI/MMCSS optimization
  • USB Optimization
  • Additional registry tuning
Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016
With the release of AudiophileOptimizer 2.00 and the 2.10 beta releases, Windows 10 Anniversary and Windows Server 2016 are now supported. While AudioPhil believes that the best results can be obtained with Windows Server 2012 and 2016, the ubiquitous Windows 10 offers a more affordable solution for the typical computer audiophile. I decided to concentrate my evaluation efforts on Windows 10 Pro as opposed to the Server versions since a greater number of our readers would be able to use the AudiophileOptimizer without being intimidated by an unfamiliar operating system.

For those of you wishing to use Windows 10, AudioPhil feels that Windows 10 Pro will offer the greatest potential for sonic improvement over the Home version. The Home version is not able to process group policies and offers less potential for optimization. Also, it should be noted that the client versions of Windows 10 only offer a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and not the Core or Minimal-Server modes such as those offered in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Comments From AudioPhil
I asked AudioPhil several questions that I thought would be of interest to us:

Please tell us your real name and a little about your background.

My real name is Philipp Hobi. I am working in the Server Engineering Team of a well-known Swiss private bank and I hold a senior position. I’m still considered “young” at 35 years of age, but old enough to have witnessed all and each iterations of Windows that have existed.

My excitement for computers started before the very first version of Windows was released. During the past two decades, I gathered a very deep knowledge about the Windows architecture; mainly in the server area. I further specialized on Microsoft Exchange and other Microsoft Server Technologies such as Lync / Skype for business, System Center Operations Manager, and all kinds of virtualization platforms like VMware and Microsoft’s Hyer-V. I hold over 40 certifications from companies like Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and many others.

On my private side, I have had a huge interest and fascination for music since I was a very small child. Music helped me get through my entire life-through good and bad times. Music seems to be one of the most important things in my life.

After the last 4-5 years of technology evolution, it was possible for the first time to listen to music through a computer with good sound quality. As you know, computer audio sounded flat and completely lifeless for the past decade. This gathered my interest so my own journey into computer audio started then. Soon I realized that there was much more than 0’s and 1’s in the computer audio world. The total opposite of what I had learned during my professional career. It was quite a mind struggle to accept that there was more than zeros and ones, but I accepted the challenge and freed my mind. I started to experiment to find if there might be more in computer systems that allowed the sound to be better. I built my own theories about what matters in computer audio and about how I could influence sound quality with my technical knowledge. Then I started to code AudiophileOptimizer, which leads to the next question.

Please provide some background about Highend-AudioPC and the other services you offer besides AudiophileOptimizer.
The company was not founded with profit in mind. The company got started quite a bit after AudiophileOptimizer was already on the market. Initially, we had no commercial interest at all. All I wanted was to have the very best computer audio system. I initially created AudiophileOptimizer not for the money, but because I was able given my deep knowledge about Windows architecture. AudiophileOptimizer was a way to give something beautiful to the world; something that was created more out of passion than simply for money.

AudiophileOptimizer proved to be very successful given that we never had intended to create a commercial product. After a while, it was pretty clear that we had a worldwide unique product and decided to form a company around it. Once we built the company and had a working product, we expanded our services to include the hardware area that resulted in our WebShop. As of today, we serve around 2500 customers in more than 90 countries on all continents. We still don’t do any merchandising besides one simple ad on ComputerAudiophile. Com. As of today, my wife mainly runs our WebShop. She also does the first level support for all our customers allowing me to focus on developing AudiophileOptimizer given the demands of rapidly changing trends and playback constructs.

What can users of AudiophileOptimizer expect with the 3 different operating systems: Windows 10 Pro, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2016?
I assume that his question is aimed at the sound quality. My personal favorite is still Windows Server 2012 R2 (2012 is a bit old now). It is the most robust and mature Microsoft platform. The same applies to AudiophileOptimizer, as it was initially built for Server 2012 and later on adapted for Server 2012 R2. This is a rock solid combination that works very well in all possible constellations. Further, it provides simply stunning sound quality especially in Server Core or “Core Mode”. With “simply stunning”, I mean that you get goose bumps and the shape of your pupils start to change because it sounds so unbelievably good.

AudiophileOptimizer was not available for Client OS like Windows 7 or Windows 8, 8.1, etc. There were many reasons for this. A Server grade OS is much simpler to install and maintain than a client side OS. A Client OS wants and must be everything to everyone right out of the box. That’s good for functionality, but it’s very bad for sound quality. On the other hand, a Server grade OS comes in its smallest form and has nothing installed aside from the OS itself. Everything else a Server grade can do must be installed separately. But the typical computer audio customer doesn’t need any of the extra features a Client OS offers, hence a Server OS is much easier to install and also much better suited for the audio playback task. On top of that, Windows Server offers Core Mode. This is a special version of Windows that is further reduced to the absolute minimum for running an OS. It does not even have the desktop environment you normally expect from Windows. This limited OS is the perfect place for computer audio. All of the media players one could want still work in this limited mode (but honestly often only through the help of AudiophileOptimizer).

AudiophileOptimizer support or compatibility with Windows 10 was made due to the countless requests of the audiophile community. Another factor that lead to the adaptability of Windows 10 was that Windows had changed a bit. Honestly, there are a lot of bad things about Windows 10, but Microsoft generally delivers better audio performance in Windows 10 and Server 2016 “out of the box” than it did with all the previous Windows versions. Add in the much lower price point of Windows 10 with AudiophileOptimizer, and this offers an inexpensive way to start with computer audio. It’s somewhat limited in sound quality compared to its Server brothers, but an AudiophileOptimizer version of Windows 10 still sounds a lot better than Windows 10 “out of the box”.

Windows Server 2016 is very new and as always, not yet finished by Microsoft. But AudiophileOptimizer works with Server 2016 in our current Beta 5 of AO 2.10. Not everything is working, but for those interested in running the newest thing, the Beta will work with Server 2016. I have no doubt that Windows Server 2016 in Core Mode will be the new “king in the house”. For those drivers that already work in Core Mode, it already is.

Is there anything else you think our readers would be interested in concerning AudiophileOptimizer?
I have mentioned Core Mode a few times, but this is one big problem for a computer audiophile. This Core Mode has no audio architecture at all. I was the first one who reinserted parts of the Window Audio Architecture back into Windows Server Core Mode. Many have tried and failed before me and may have copied my work. AudiophileOptimizer 2.10 Beta 5 is the only solution in the world to make Kernel-Streaming work in Windows Server 2016 Core Mode. I think this is a very special feature of Audiophile Optimizer and I am very proud of this accomplishment.

The Computer and Associated Components
I employed my Asus G501 JW laptop running Windows 10 Pro 64 to run Roon Server and act as my Roon Core to stream to a Sonore microRendu. The Asus G501 JW possesses an Intel Core i7 4720HQ 2.6 GHz processor with 16 GB RAM and a very fast PCE Express X4 SSD. This laptop has 3 USB 3.0 ports as well as a Thunderbolt port. The Asus laptop was plugged into a Shunyata Research Hydra DPC-6 v2 distribution center to firewall the noise generated by this computer from contaminating my AC line.

The Core was remotely controlled by an iPad Air 2 that replicated all of the functions of the standard Roon program. I also used the Roon Server to stream to the on-board Signalyst HQPlayer with all files converted to DSD256, which in turn, were streamed to the microRendu powered by the Sonore Signature Series Power Supply.

The Asus was placed on a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base UEF grounded with the Synergistic Research High Definition Ground Cable / Grounding Block as was the computer. A G-Technology 16 TB G|RAID Thunderbolt 2 / USB 3 drive was connected to the Asus with an AudioQuest Coffee Thunderbolt cable. The G|RAID Thunderbolt drive was powered by an HDPlex 100w linear power supply plugged into a Shunyata Denali power conditioner. The G|RAID Thunderbolt drive and its HDPlex power supply were placed on a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base. The Sonore Microrendu and its Signature Series Power Supply were also placed on a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base. The Signature Power Supply was connected to a Shunyata Triton v2 / Typhon by a Shunyata Alpha Analog AC cord.

The MSB Technology Analog DAC and Analog Power Supply was engaged for DAC duties with it plugged into a Shunyata Triton v2 / Typhon with a Shunyata Sigma Digital AC cord. The DAC and its power supply were placed on a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base UEF.

Installing The AudiophileOptimizer
A few caveats are in order before installing the AudiophileOptimizer. Once the AudiophileOptimizer is installed, it cannot be uninstalled to restore Windows 10 to its previous state. This means that you should back up your computer image or use an image program like Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect to easily restore your Windows partition. AudioPhil suggested that I create a 2nd Windows partition for Windows 10 Pro allowing me to retain the original Windows operating system unaltered. I followed his advice and created a 2nd Windows 10 Pro partition on my Asus laptop.

I strongly recommend that you read the AudiophileOptimizer manual before proceeding with the installation. It is well written and will provide the necessary insights to obtain the best results from the program.

After the program is installed on your drive and activated, you will see two shortcuts on your desktop; the AudiophileOptimizer and the ServiceTool. Running the AudiophileOptimizer makes the changes to your Windows 10 operating system. It will then ask a series of questions to fine-tune the installation. The program will help you make decisions by often indicating its recommendations. Other selections include things like the Sound Signature, Digital-Filter, and disabling Drivers and Services. AudioPhil told me that Disabling Drivers and Services is roughly 5% of what AudiophileOptimizer does with a system. These things make a difference in sound quality, but it's a rather small one.

The other 95% of AudiophileOptimizer changes are far more important. The Sound Signatures and Digital-Filters have a prominent effect on the sound quality heard. Both Sound Signatures as well as Digital-Filters are 100% bit-perfect. They only change the way the operating systems handles the running tasks and their priorities as they relate to the operational state of the CPU. AudiophileOptimizer is not part of the signal chain and there is no alteration of the source at any given time. Everything is always 100% bit-perfect.

The ServiceTool
Selecting the ServiceTool shortcut brings up a number of selections that allow you to reset the changes made to services and drivers by the AudiophileOptimizer.

Another Windows 10 selection found in the ServiceTool was the Strip Down Windows 10 option. This feature removes most of the unnecessary pre-installed Windows 10 components. The ServiceTool will also allow you to restore these components if desired. I encountered no issues running Roon Server / HQPlayer with Strip Down Windows 10 and Disabling Drivers and Services selections.

Changing Sound Signatures and Digital-Filter Settings
Running AudiophileOptimizer again allows one to select different Sound Signatures and Digital-Filter settings without doing a full reset. I found this to be a powerful application as it allowed me to select the best sounding Sound Signature and Digital-Filter selections for my system and my personal preferences. AudioPhil likes Sound Signature 4 and Digital-Filter D. I found this combination to be a bit warm sounding and bass prominent for my system and taste. I ended up selecting Sound Signature 2 and Digital-Filter C as my personal favorites.

The Sound
Having 2 Windows 10 Pro partitions made it easy to hear the differences between AudiophileOptimizer and an unmodified Window 10 Pro running the Roon Server as well as combined with the HQPlayer.

The first thing I noticed running the AudiophileOptimizer partition was the improvements to the size of the stage I heard. AudiophileOptimizer opened up the sound in terms of side-to-side staging as well as front-to-back. In fact, the unmodified partition sound was compressed sounding and “less alive” compared to the AudiophileOptimizer partition. Well-recorded classical music demonstrated the superior layered soundstage and spatial resolution that could be achieved with the AudiophileOptimizer.

The unmodified partition was less revealing in terms of mid range and high-end detail. The unmodified partition just seemed too smooth and rounded sounding at the high end. AudiophileOptimizer removed a subtle veil to the sound that obscured resolution of transient detail. Bass was very tight, well controlled, and impactful with the AudiophileOptimizer; far superior to that heard with the unmodified partition. The ServiceTool allowed me to achieve the perfect balance of deep bass and mid bass definition that allowed midrange information to emerge less colored. This was no small accomplishment.

Voices and instruments were superior in terms of focus and resolution without the electronic haze I heard in the unmodified Windows 10 Pro partition. It was hard to go back to listening to the unmodified partition; AudiophileOptimizer is just that effective in transforming the sound heard from a Windows 10 computer.

The Music
The overall-all clarity of sound with AudiophileOptimizer was not difficult to discern. David Crosby’s new release Lighthouse (24/88.2) was a wonderful example of just how good a vocal can sound. David’s voice at 75 years of age still sounded terrific with this recording’s closely miked vocals. AudiophileOptimizer opened up the sound with image stability and pinpoint focus with the additional elements of purity and liquidity to the sound.

Moving on to Chuck Loeb’s new album Unspoken (24/44.1) displayed AudiophileOptimizer ability to handle jazz that was really exciting compared to what I heard with unmodified Windows 10. Chuck Loeb, jazz guitarist, producer, and arranger delivered another smooth jazz recording that I found to be very engaging. The recording had dynamic life and detail with visceral bass transients. The lifelike sense of instrumental body and weight was well portrayed with AudiophileOptimizer.

Nareh Arghamanyan’s Rachmaninov: Morceaux de Fantasie; Etdues-Tableaux; Corelli Variations (DSD64) was a perfect example of how AudiophileOptimizer allowed the delicate and nuanced properties of the solo piano to shine. By removing the unmodified Windows 10 veil, AudiophileOptimizer allowed this recording to have dynamic life and detail that was thrilling to hear. The piano’s weight and authority was well reproduced in this recording.

An Indispensible Piece of Software
AudiophileOptimizer made a significant improvement to the sound of my music programs when applied to Windows 10 Pro. Given AudioPhil’s enthusiasm for Windows Server 2016, I suspect that you will see a follow-up review from me in the near future. I have found AudiophileOptimizer to be an indispensible component of my music system and strongly recommend the use of this software.


Associated Equipment

COMMENTS
AudioPhil's picture

Dear Audiostream Readers

We hope you enjoyed reading Steve's review about our AudiophileOptimizer.

Our PDF Setup guide covers many topics about how to set up a computer audio transport. Even if you do not have in mind using our optimization software, our guide will be of great value for you.

It is available for free using this link:
https://pdf.highend-audiopc.com/audiophile-optimizer-setup-guide.pdf

Very best,
AudioPhil

Mr Quiet's picture

So will the difference be worth the investment if you are using a more modest setup? Does the addition of a second Win10Pro OS on the partition require a second License purchase as well?
I have the desire to eek out as much from my systems as I can afford, but affordability is currently a moving target. Your setup used is beyond my means and may remain there for some time.
I would Love to hear that this would be a great addition to either of my systems. (1 computer desk low budget, one considerably better but incomplete listening rig)

Steven Plaskin's picture

The addition of a 2nd Win 10 Pro didn't require a new license; when I signed in with my Microsoft Account, the computer was recognized and activated by the Microsoft Server.

I really have no idea if you will hear a difference or not since I don't know anything about your system. All I can say is that the more revealing your system is, the greater the effect from these OS Optimizers.

Why not try the free version of Fidelizer and see if it makes a positive difference in your setup. This will give you a taste of OS optimization.

romaz's picture

Steven, any comment regarding the differences you perceived between AO and Fidelizer? Can you state a preference for one or the other?

Steven Plaskin's picture

AO is the more "powerful" software in that it makes a greater difference than Fidelizer Pro. But Fidelizer Pro's modifications are reversible.

Many people are using both AO and Fidelizer Pro together. Much of what Fidelizer pro does is different than AO. I have run both together successfully.

hltf's picture

Steven:
To your knowledge does Audiophil or anyone else offer any thing like this for a MacMini?
Thanks

Steven Plaskin's picture

AudioPhil reminded me that OSX can run Windows in Boot Camp. I should have remembered this as I have a Boot Camp Mac. The only issue is the age of the MAC. For example, my 2011 Early MacBook Pro does not support Windows 10.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204990

mtymous1's picture

Keep in mind that the intent behind all this is to get an OS to run in a stripped down “core mode,” meaning a ton of little tasks and other crap like UI/UX and printing services are made unavailable. The reason is all of these behind-the-scenes processes add to the overhead of the operating system, and subtract from CPU and RAM capacities that are left over to simply play music. The Audiophile Optimizer makes best use of the hardware resources that that are controlled by the stripped down OS, and only focus on delivering music within the profile. The result is sound reproduction without all of the operating system overhead and interference.

That said, AAPL would NEVER let you tweak their OS that way. (Just one in a plethora of reasons not to use a mac mini.)

IF you wanted to go through tweaking an OS, you could certainly get yourself something like an Intel NUC, and then either:

a.) Go through the core server and optimizer installation process in their 61-page how to https://pdf.highend-audiopc.com/audiophile-optimizer-setup-guide.pdf.

or

b.) Download the Audiophile Linux project (http://www.ap-linux.com/about/) which has a similar approach of a stripped down OS:

“Standard Linux distributions are designed for running servers or desktop usage. But because of his design, Linux itself have the ability to be a perfect audio solution. We have taken this ability and turned standard Linux in something that is enjoyable to listen. Every little part of it can be crucial for listening. The unnecessary services and daemons, included in standard Linux distributions, have been removed and their negative influence on audio playback made impossible. Printing and some other network services running in background of the standard Linux distributions, use the CPU and memory and are completely useless for audio reproduction.”

koblongata's picture

I also would like to add that low voltage Atom Windows Tablets made in China sound the best. Why cheap Chinese tablets you ask? Because, those Chinese tablets are so cheap, they have all BIOS settings EXPOSED, you can tweak the hell out of it, unlike those from big brand names, BIOS are mostly locked down leaving you with nothing to tweak at all.

So far I think disabling Intel thermal control, CPU speed stepping, and turbo speed gains the most significant improvement. Other tweaking helps too but varies from tablet to tablet.

On my GPD Win, with AO I can already enjoy very good audio quality with its onboard DAC (not so much with my Jumper Ezpad mini3 though), quite amazing... connecting to an external USB DAC, it sounds better than all of my previous optimized notebooks and computers too.

Steven Plaskin's picture

AudioPhil is only Windows 10, Server 2012 and 2016. These folks have some OSX optimization scripts, but I have no idea what they support and how they work.

http://www.computeraudiodesign.com/osx-audio-optimization/

hltf's picture

for the Mac info. I will look into the CAD product. I now realize that there are also some useful things that have been recommended by the people who build and design the Uptone computer audio products. I should do some work in this area.

Jarcher's picture

Thank you for an informative and comprehensive article.

Have you tried anything more "high end" than an ASus laptop to run this software? Wondering if the benefits of this software would be even greater using an "audiophile" PC such as the CAPS servers or one of the tricked out Mac minis out there.

Steven Plaskin's picture

I was using the Asus as a Roon Core. I needed something with a fast CPU for the HQPlayer conversions to DSD256. Most of the CAPS designs, while excellent sounding, are not ideal for this job. The Mac needs to be set up with Boot Camp which is not my first choice for Windows. I have used Boot Camp in the past, but that is a different discussion. Let's just say that it adds more issues to overcome.

This Asus G501 is a gaming computer that deals with the HQPlayer and my large Roon library pretty well. The computer power supply is plugged into the excellent Shunyata DPC-6 v2 to firewall the SMPS and computer noise.

I am now experimenting with an Asus G701VI gaming computer that has its CPU unlocked for overclocking and very fast memory. The sound of this unit for a Roon Core with HQPlayer duties is pretty amazing.

Remember, my Core computer is streaming to a Sonore microRendu for the "audiophile tricked out computer".

New thinking for different needs.

Jarcher's picture

I only brought it up because we've discovered sound quality improvements running Roon core on a custom high-end PC, our Roon end point being an ayre QX5 vs running Roon core on a DelI desktop to the Ayre. I don't know how much of that improvement was due to the better power supply on the custom high end one, but I suspect at least some of the improvements were due to the other non-power supply related hardware. Sadly issues of time and money do not allow more granular experimentation as to what is contributing the most improvements.

Once again I guess the point is just that "everything matters".

Steven Plaskin's picture
"Once again I guess the point is just that "everything matters". How true!
Mr Quiet's picture

I will Check out Fidelizer as soon as I get the missing link into my better Rig. (Mondial Aragon 4004 MKII, Audio Research SP-6B, ADS L1590 II's, and currently in need of a DAC to compliment the other pieces)

ktracho's picture

I know this article is about using a dedicated PC as a high end audio component, but is it a totally bad idea to use a virtual machine to stream music to a DAC, perhaps with a couple cores dedicated solely to the VM? I guess I'm not a true audiophile in that I prefer fewer physical boxes / power cords in general, neither do I have a room dedicated to listening to music. (I do have a room pretty much dedicated to my grand piano.) Instead, my music listening is done mostly in the same chair that I use for working on the computer. At work, my desktop computer has two VMs running under Xen, one for Windows (email, web browsing, etc.) and one for Linux (real work, though web browsing and handling email is real work, too). I could easily create another VM just for listening to music, and move my USB DAC to that VM. I could do the same at home, since I already use Hyper-V under Windows 10. (I have a VM just for working from home, with access to my company's network, etc.)

mtymous1's picture

First and foremost: AO is definitely NOT intended for VMs.

If you're still going to tinker with VMs, you do not want to use a full-fledged host OS (which immediately eliminates VirtualBox and Hyper-V inside Win 7/8/10/Server).

I've not played with Xen, but I did tinker with Hyper-V Server 2012 (the free-download, low-overhead, hypervisor variety) a while back for grins. What ruled it out for me was its inability to load a driver for the sound card (Asus Xonar Essence STX) at the hypervisor core. (As you know, whenever you try to set up sound card hardware in the VM, it only allows an emulated sound card - not the actual device.)

That lack of success drove me to the Intel NUC, which I highly recommend for a dedicated multimedia machine. There are plenty of hardware profile options to customize your own:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html.

All of the NUCs support USB and HDMI, but not all come with optical out, so I recommend the model you choose supports optical. (Optical also has lower jitter than HDMI.)

(FWIW, I have this one: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/nuc-kit-nuc5ppyh.html and can confirm that it supports 24-bit/192-kHz over TOSLINK and HDMI).

Last year, I built another NUC for a friend, and when I tallied the costs of the NUC, SSD, and RAM, it was around $220, which is less than half the price of the cheapest, dual-core mac mini.

(And if you wanted to stick with Linux, the NUC supports it. For grins, check out AudioPhile Linux: http://www.ap-linux.com/.)

Steven Plaskin's picture

Given that this review is about getting the best fidelity from a computer, VM to stream music is not preferred, but it does work. Naturally, this software would not be used.

ktracho's picture

I would think it could still provide a benefit, even if it didn't sound (nearly) as good as on a dedicated computer. However, I've never used anything like this software, so I could be wrong.

On the other hand, I just remembered I have an old MacBook Pro on my desktop at work that I haven't used in months (years?), and I have a subscription to MSDN, so I guess I could try installing Windows Server on it.

mtymous1's picture

If you installed WinServer on that macbook, it would be the first time that hardware profile would actually be capable of *DOING* something useful...
;-)

AbeCollins's picture

.

mtymous1's picture

...it might be the guy who wrote this article: www.theverge.com/2016/8/4/12373776/2012-macbook-pro-still-alive-not-dead... ?

AbeCollins's picture

Interesting that you cherry picked an outdated article. The entire MacBook Pro line was refreshed a month ago. Hello.

But I'll bow out now as this thread SHOULD BE about AudiophileOptimizer and not bickering over one's Mac envy. ;-)

mtymous1's picture

Additionally, if you had actually read the article beyond the title and posting date, you would've observed that the synthesis was substantiated by the multitude of "Caution" and "Don't Buy" recommendations posted on the very pro-AAPL MacRumors website. Specifically, the Mac Mini is called out as a "don't buy" since it's been 778 "Days since last release" (as of 2 DEC 2016, which is more than a month after AAPL's most recent event that only impacted the MacBook Pro).

And since I cannot let any porch dog love go unrequited, envy couldn't be further from the truth.

But have fun trying to tweak your 778-day old (and counting) mini!

;-)

mtymous1's picture

...here is the link:
http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac

(In case you can't be bothered with reading through the other article.)

bobflood's picture

to avoid Windows as an audiophile OS to start with. It was not designed as such and all of these types of modifications just put that fact into a searing spotlight.

What we need for this hobby to prosper is an audiophile OS that does not require a MS Degree in Computer Science to use. There are some hopeful signs that things are moving in that direction. If computer based audio is to ever become a mainstream pursuit, it can't happen soon enough.

There will always be a place for these types of modifications for dedicated hobbyists but whenever I show my non audio hobbyist friends this approach when they ask, I always get an answer that goes something like "you must be kidding....".

mtymous1's picture

...isn't required.

Linux is a VERY viable OS for audiophiles. Again, there is a specific Linux distribution that delivers such, and for no cost. you can read about it here:
https://www.ap-linux.com/about/

I recommend giving it a spin -- or boot-up, I should say.