FWIW here are the components of my serverMotherboard
: ASRock Z87E-ITX This board has a number of advantages - it has an mSATA slot for a card to contain the OS and applications leaving the SSD for music only making changing the data SSD easy; it has a full ATX power supply slot which is conveniently located so as to not obstruct any cooling pipes; it has PCIe; it runs the latest Haswell processors from IntelProcessor
: Intel Haswell 4570T (very low TDP) This barely wakes up to run JRiver. It runs about 74% UNDERclocked.RAM
: Crucial Ballistix SportPower supply
: 18V external switching brick. The 18V is then cleaned to very low ripple 12V via the following components point to point wired with Kimber Kable: 2 x 22,000 uF Fidelity Audio SI capacitors, a Fidelity Audio SPower HC regulator, and 1 x 22,000uF Fidelity Audio SI capacitor. This 12V rail feeds (1) the Fidelity Audio Micro 2 clock on the Juli@, the PicoPSU, the 5V rail (see below) for the SSD power.SSD Power Rail
: A modified Velleman 1A power supply to take low noise 12V to 5V for the SSD (the PicoPSU does not power the SSD)Sound Card:
ESI Juli@ XTe with Fidelity Audio Micro Clock 2
replacing the card's existing clocks and a jumper cable wired to a Cardas Audio RCA jack to avoid the breakout cable
All of the above is pretty easy to put together. If you can solder two wires together you can assemble the power supply components. My next step is to add a choke filter to the incoming 18V and ultimately to add a toroidal transformer and 4 x diode in bridge rectifier configuration to avoid the external brick altogether, and perhaps a better case as I hate the finish on the Streacom.
No it's not a complex multi-rail ATX PSU but my bet is that it gets you c90% of the benefits. To go to the next step of multi rail you need to manage the Power On delays required by the ATX power supply and so, in addition to the 5V and 3.3V rails (which wouldn't be hard but obviously require additional capacitors and regulators), there's a reasonable amount of complexity added. If anyone wants me to point them to an elegant solution of how this can be done, just shout.
Yes, the SPower regulator is about 60x the cost of a very good component like an LM317 but its quality is in a different league. (Brent from Fidelity Audio, understandably, thinks it much better than Paul Hynes's regulators.) Does the better regulator lead to audible differences? I've no idea. And, yes, there are considerably cheaper capacitors available. Also, on the capacitor setup there are many ways to skin the cat - I simply followed Brent's advice here.Edited by stevekale - 10/28/13 at 4:54am