I used the last days to rearrange my lab workplace. The goal is it to connect all instruments over ethernet and control them using LXI. Then I remembered that I still had an Atom-powered PC lying around that was once built to implement an active crossover for the whole home theater. Unfortunately this project was never finished. The good thing: The PC was still there. Looking from today’s perspective, the specs are not really overwhelming: a dual core 1.8GHz Atom D525, 2GB RAM. But there are also some goodies: the sound card is an Asus Xonar D1, which performs really well and the system disk is an “old” 240GB Intel SSD (that was my first SSD).
The Asus Xonar D1 shows some impressive specs: THD+N < -105dB at 2Vrms at the output stage. The input isn’t specified, but I will measure it soon. A nice feature for my use case: The Xonar D1 comes with a half-height bracket and fits the small Antec ISK 300-65 Mini-ITX case.
Running Ubuntu 14, the performance is quite good. The system boots fast and the GUI works smoothly. Now I can start implementing virtual instruments on this system, but also use it as an audio measurement system.
I will start an article series about audio measurements soon to give an introduction to some audio measurements. It will not focus only on PC based measurements, but I want to give a more general introduction.