Does the PC make any difference?

Mario Cerutti -- Wed, 03/21/2012 - 20:53

After long thoughts I have decided to manage all my music via a PC (and Winamp) connected directly to my existing Yamaha home theatre system through a USB DAC. However, before deciding what DAC to buy, I would need first to be sure that my PC is suitable to the task.
Here is my question: does it make any diference what PC is used to send music to the DAC through its USB 2 port? This PC is a very simple Atom netbook with 1 GB RAM only and running Win 7 Starter Edition, and it's rather slow in general. Should a more powerful processor or more RAM be preferred?
This home theatre system is rather old but still satisfactory, at least to my ears. It has two digital connectors, although I understand I should use the analog connectors to receive the converted signals from the DAC, right?
Later in the year I might decide to replace the Yamaha system with a more modern amplifier and better speakers, but even in that case I would keep using an USB DAC.
Can somebody please help me with my question regarding the PC capabilities.
Thank you.

Steven Stone -- Sat, 03/24/2012 - 23:53

 Preface: I am a Mac guy. I own one portable PC.
With each Mac model there is a right amount of RAM and HD size/speed that seems to be optimal.
With PCs I would assume the same sort of formula would also be true.
Is the Atom hard-wired at 1G ram? If you have an option of more RAM, another 1G at least up to maybe 4 G would make everything less prone to interrupts, disk cacheing, and other signs that a processor/memory is working too hard.

Steven Stone
Contributor to The Absolute Sound,, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications

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