With the advent of computer players we are seeing more and more examples of people saying high power (i5, i7s and Xeons) or FPGAs are better than the Digital to Analog Convertor (DAC) chips of old.
This claim is debatable, there are certainly some cases where this statement is true.
All processors work the same way at it’s most basic level- it recognises 1s and it 0s. The difference is the kind and type of operations each type can perform on these binary stream. There are trade offs between power consumption, calculation speed and flexibility as you look across the board.
Computer Processing Unit (CPU) from makers like Intel and AMD are what we call General Purpose Processor. These chips power the computers we use today. It has the largest instruction set, is capable of having the most applications, are highly adaptive and can be customised to perform jobs like playing games, word processing, internet web browsing and more. The downside is the high power requirements (to power all the extra transistors).
The complexity reduces as you move from CPU (most complex) → FPGA (somewhat complex) → ASIC (least complex). There are a lot less components in the ASIC when compared to the FPGA. There are so many components in a general CPU, and packed so tightly we need a heat spreader over it to conduct heat away.
Went to the Adele Perth concert at Domain Stadium last night. The performing stage is amazing, and we got good seats. That is a 360 degrees video wall and the eyes open up when the show begins!
Alas the sound system is just not up to scratch for a wannabe audiophile like me. Compression is an issue - like all the released albums.
Still there is no stopping this charismatic, jovial and quick witted performer. She has the ability to light up the room, any room. And she definitely lit up the 100 year old stadium with about 65000 singing, dancing fans!
It was an enjoyable night, and bonus points for the awesome weather! Given a crowd of 65,000 headless choooks1, I expected the worse. We took public transport to and from the venue, and kudos to Transperth’s organisation as the experience is extremely smooth and pleasant back and forth.
I’m sure people will complain on Twitter about how they are delayed by this and that, but for us we are back home real quick. There are clear signs indicating where the pick up/drop off points are, and all in all it was a pleasant experience. Well done Transperth!
More grainy pictures after the link. Great event to mark the first anniversary of the Snakeoil OS yesterday.
Footnotes: 1: For everybody else outside Australia - Chooks is Aussie slang for Chickens. As for what headless chooks means, honestly I have no idea!
Some audiophiles prefer to defer to machines and equipment to override humans cognitive senses. This never made sense to me. 121 months and a small redundancy paycheck later. I hope I am a bit qualified to say something about measuring equipment.
The more sensitive the measuring gear, the more noise it is susceptible to. Trying to identify what is noise, and what is data is part of the quality analysis, and that itself is part of something bigger called quality control. Reason for this is noise is subjective - there can be background noise, and also things like you are measuring some effect from something else (i.e. you are measuring something else you’re not expecting). These quality checks are part and parcel of splitting up what is data and what is noise!
The more important thing, as mentioned previously, measurements are doing physical measurements. Humans when we listen are doing this via cognition. The two systems are not even close to being the same. Saying measuring gear is more sensitive than humans is akin to asking a measuring machine how good tasting a dinner from the best restaurant is. There are some things in the world where you simply have to experience yourself - and remember nobody will ever share the same experiences from the same event. At best, machines can only tell us what is common, at worse data from measurements are completely useless.