Best Audiophile desktop for under $2500?

My DELL Precision T7610 is crapping out on me.  I was very happy with it and the synergy with my Modwright OPPO205 and sysytem was great. It has trouble playing WASAPI 768khz on the latest JRiver and ROON. Any suggestions on a store or used bought desktop that is Audiophile worthy? I work everyday and dont have time to build one. Thanks in advance!



I play hi-rez music directly from a local SSD as well. The significant change I made was shifting from using a laptop/PC/Mac to the ifi Zen Streamer. One of the primary reasons for this switch was to eliminate the audible fan noise that was present when playing music through the laptop. To address this, I opted to use the fanless MacBook Air, but unfortunately, the sound quality did not meet my expectations. Ultimately, I transitioned to the streamer platform and couldn’t be happier.

My question to you is, setting aside any electric noise and non-fortified usb port that might not be audible to you but could potentially degrade sound quality, were you bothered by the fan noise at all?

I use graphic intensive programs for work and hobby stuff so I have an MSI gaming laptop that I run JRiver on. I outboard the sound to my Schitt Hel 2 when using my headphones. My laptop is not my primary listening setup. It's my travel and work setup when I'm not at the office. The Hel is a great portable headphone amp so I can take it with me if I like. Rarely am I distracted by the laptop's "internal interference" with my listening. I also use the laptop to manage my digital music collection via JRiver and as a secondary backup. I game on occasion and only then does the fan kick on but I rarely notice this w/ my headphones on. 

Desktops these days are really for brick-and-mortar business use unless you have a legacy box you just can't seem to give up. If you find yourself wanting something you can take with you on vacation, then a decent laptop w/ an SSD and graphics card will serve you well.

@lanx0003 The miniPC I'm using has a very quiet fan and it's placed towards the back of a semi-enclosed cabinet.  I can only hear the fan when I'm 1 or 2 feet away, when I'm at my listening position I can't hear it at all.

I was thinking about the Zen streamer as well, but I was concerned with 2 things.  First, my SSD contains over 10,000 songs and albums and I heard the Zen was sluggish in indexing, and, more importantly, second, I own the Zen DAC Signature V2 and the Zen One Signature DACs and am very unimpressed by either.  To me they sound bloated and tubby.


I think OP is looking for a PC, perhaps already has a laptop.

I use HP slim desktop PC (actually horizontal on a shelf below the desktop) in my office because Laptops do not have 27" monitors or DVD drives these days. I use 32gb memory for multiple programs open, editing lots of Photos, CAD work, not enough usb 3.0 ports .... i.e. lots of reasons to have a PC. IF so, then go for a quiet one, every part of it quiet as I described previously here.

my laptop, I moved down to 14" screen for easier size/weight (real keyboard). It has Bang and Olufsen speakers (Audio by B&O; Dual speakers; HP Audio Boost).

It has enough volume for several people to hear, and it’s hdmi out passes enough volume when streaming using a TV in a vacation rental or when visiting family.

prior Laptop, max volume sucked.

@jhnnrrs First, I have close to three times of the collection. Yes, the initial index is long because it only have 1GB ram but you just leave it doing its own thing. Each time when you incrementally add in songs on top of the existing like mine, the update is quite fast although not lightning fast. Second, I was disappointed in their DAC too but that is not the case for the streamer. You need to experiment with other DACs. The USB digital out sounds the best to my ears but the rca port is no slough since both are noise barrier fortified. Noise floor is quite dark. The reviews are not hype. I just returned the everSolo DMP A6 after more than 30 days’ auditioning and comparison with ZS when both are used as the digital source only. I prefer the more neutral presentation of ZS