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I upgraded my computer CPU and other components. Now it sounds better. Why?

Why does my upgraded computer (new CPU, new motherboard, new memory) sound better?

  • Intel CPUs/motherboards deliver purer bits to external DACs than old AMD stuff

    Votes: 2 3.4%
  • You moved your desk slightly, so your speaker/room interaction is different

    Votes: 6 10.2%
  • I don't know, but I completely believe you because everything matters

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • The sound didn't change, you are imagining it

    Votes: 44 74.6%
  • Other? Specify in comments

    Votes: 6 10.2%

  • Total voters
    59

LightninBoy

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This is not to be taken seriously.

I finally hit the limit with my old computer built in 2014, so I did a massive upgrade. Went from an AMD A10-7700 to an Intel I7-10700 (with new RAM and new motherboard). All the audio gear stayed the same: external DAC (Behringer UMC404HD), same speakers (JBL 306mk2), cables (USB to DAC, XLR from DAC to everywhere else).

I use equalizer APO for room correction. No settings changed there.

I was not expecting the sound to change at all, so I was quite surprised when I played back some projects and heard what I perceived as clearer treble. I particularly noted this in vocals which seemed to stick out of the mix better than before. Again, I was not expecting this or even hoping for it.

Tell me why you think this would be so ...
 

Loathecliff

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New equipment = no dust.
As the dust gathers, so the veil will slowly return.

No Dust Ever is the only way.
The fortunate few that can afford the luxury of 'The Loathecliff Audio Environment' know this well (smugly).
 

VintageFlanker

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I was not expecting the sound to change at all, so I was quite surprised when I played back some projects and heard what I perceived as clearer treble. I particularly noted this in vocals which seemed to stick out of the mix better than before. Again, I was not expecting this or even hoping for it.
Doesn't work that way. Just because you didn't expect anything, it doesn't immune you to placebo.

Maybe, maybe the USB output of your new PC would be less noiser with some new motherboard and PSU. But that's it. This won't bring clearer treble, better vocals etc.
 

AnalogSteph

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Without a direct comparison, you're on very thin ice. What may have changed is OS driver (audio format) settings and volume, unless you have been using ASIO or exclusive mode output all the way.

Nice upgrade, btw, I'm sure CPU performance is another world. Funny how Intel is the budget option these days.
 
OP
LightninBoy

LightninBoy

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Nice upgrade, btw, I'm sure CPU performance is another world. Funny how Intel is the budget option these days.

When intel was cool, I would always end up with AMD builds. Now that AMD is cool, my last couple builds have been Intel.

Yes, massive CPU improvement. Playing my current recording project was pegging the cpu at 100% and glitching even with a large buffer (and noticable delay). Now it's peaking at 20% playing the same project with 4ms delay. Crazy.
 
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LightninBoy

LightninBoy

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New equipment = no dust.
As the dust gathers, so the veil will slowly return.

No Dust Ever is the only way.
The fortunate few that can afford the luxury of 'The Loathecliff Audio Environment' know this well (smugly).
Funny, you mention that. I did dust and vacuum the entire area since I had things pulled out. :)
 

BluesDaddy

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Psychoacoustics - your listening was more "focused" so you heard things you had been ostensibly ignoring before, or not listening for. Ever notice when out in "nature" if stop to concentrate on the sounds, you can pick out sounds (birds, etc.) that you hadn't noticed before? It's a built in survival mechanism. New equipment in the audio chain invariably brings this out.
 
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LightninBoy

LightninBoy

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Psychoacoustics - your listening was more "focused" so you heard things you had been ostensibly ignoring before, or not listening for. Ever notice when out in "nature" if stop to concentrate on the sounds, you can pick out sounds (birds, etc.) that you hadn't noticed before? It's a built in survival mechanism. New equipment in the audio chain invariably brings this out.

I'll cop to all the other psychoacoustic possibilities (bias, placebo, etc) but not this one. Since this system is used for hobby music production, almost all my listening on this rig is focused listening.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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I mean it's within the realm of possibility that something in the configuration/settings is different. But barring that, and without any fairly convincing side by side tests to confirm a difference...my money would be on your brain playing it's little dopamine games. lol...
 

Loathecliff

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Funny, you mention that. I did dust and vacuum the entire area since I had things pulled out. :)
:facepalm: Noooo! You've introduced stress into your holistic picture.
 
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BluesDaddy

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I'll cop to all the other psychoacoustic possibilities (bias, placebo, etc) but not this one. Since this system is used for hobby music production, almost all my listening on this rig is focused listening.
Doesn't matter whether you "cop to it" or not, it's still what is going on. You're not even aware of the level you "focus". But sure, you believe what you like.
 
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