Recommendations for a "mini" PC or Apple to run Audirvana


I have used Audirvana 3.5 in the past on an MacBook Air (bought in 2013), which is now on its really last leg. So I need to replace it and would like to upgrade to Audirvana Studio. I have an ESOTERIC SACD K-05X with a nice DAC built in (capable of DSD 2.8 / 5.6 / 11.2MHz) and USB2 audio input.

There are a few older forum entries discussing the pros and cons of Apple vs PC but none seem to be recent.

→ What I am not sure about is should I buy an Apple mini or a small INTEL NUC or one of its derivates (which one?)

  • I read a lot about “noisy” PCs and are really not sure what to buy to get a nice sound. Some say that older NUCs are better than new ones…
  • which Mac is good enough? Apple does not seem to support 11.2Mhz

I would be really thankful for any recommendations!



If you don’t need a lot of I/O, the new M2 MacBook Air is a platform that will give you performance that is unequaled… Make sure you get at least 16GB of memory in any Mac you choose… the more memory the better…
:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

Based on my personal experence, I would opt for Mac mini as the power supply is more stable and far less noisier than those of most PC’s. I recommend you to listen to a test of the team at Alpha Audio on streaming audio. comparing several option like Roon, JRiver and Audirvana. Listen till the end as they come to the conclusion that a more stable power supply is always beneficial to any kind of sound reproduction. Link: Can you hear a difference in streaming audio software? We are going to find out! - YouTube

I would also opt for 16GB as memory option. I reckon that a M1 Mac mini will do the trick equally good as a newer M2. I am using both an iMac and a MacBook Air (M1) with Audirvana 3.5 and Origin. All file formats are supported (including Hi-res, Masters, MQA, DSD). Every time I play with either 3.5 or Origin I am genuinely by the open and detailed soundstage in a myriad of very broad range of musical styles (classical, vocal singer-songwriter, jazz and some contemporary music provided it is recorded without a bass boost.

I hope that my personal experience and that of AlphaAudio will help you in your decision to moving forward to audio nirvana.

Thank you very much for your recommendations. I think I am going to look for a Mac Mini M1 with 16Gbit. Cheers!

Thank you very much for your recommendations. The MacBook is too old for any upgrades that are cost effective. So I am going to look for an Mac Mini…

Thanks! I will look for an Mac with 16Gb then…

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