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!


Here's a link to a parts list that I put together as a starting point, I'd be happy to go over the parts selection and reasoning behind the choices.

@deanshias I use the Matrix Audio Element H USB 3.0 on an ASUS Z690 motherboard. I was shocked at how big a difference it made (the rest of system is Cambridge Audio DACMagic 200, Audioengine A5+ speakers, and Senheiser HD599)

I use AVADirect who offer silent PCs as one of their build options

Silent PCs, Quiet Computers, Custom Silent Desktops | AVADirect

Those aren’t anymore silent than what I suggested. I would be interested in seeing a detailed parts list for one though.


<edit> I just found one and I’m not terribly impressed with the components they are using so far.  Changing the configuration to match it just costs $1100.00 more.  </edit>


@elliottbnewcombjr - You asked if there are better sound cards out there vs. the onboard USB in a PC.

While not a sound card, JCAT's USB Card FEMTO is a fantastic sounding card that paired with an outboard linear power supply, can give nice isolation and improved sound quality.  The JCAT USB Card XE promises even more audiophile build quality (though at twice the price of the FEMTO card).  I have two PC's that have been modified and use JCAT components/offerings that handle all my streaming needs with great results.

JCAT PC Upgrades


@deanshias -  My two modified Windows based Dell PC's sound as good or better than my McIntosh CD player (all through the same McIntosh DA2 DAC).  Playing the actual CD via the McIntosh CD transport vs. the same track from Tidal through the PC yields no difference to my ears. 

Swapping out the noisy stock PC power supply for a decent variable speed fan power supply helps too.  Using a Solid State Drive, of course, is mandatory for noise free operation.  You can get excellent case fans that run extremely quiet as well.  Programs such as Fidelizer and Audiophile Optimizer can help Windows process audio much better and reduce un-needed Windows processes.

This is only my opinion based on what I went through on my PC audio journey, but I feel a modest Dell or HP desktop with a good USB PCIe card (powered externally, not off the motherboard) with the above-mentioned software (or USB drivers from the DAC manufacturer) and either a shielded CAT6/8 ethernet cable or, as others have stated, optical network connections, can yield exceptional results under your $2500 budget.  Then, when the budget allows, you can always then add such things as an upgraded network card, better SSD, etc.

@quantos - Thanks for sharing your list of components.   Fully agree with that type of build.  Is it safe to assume one could shave off some cost by going with 1 SSD vs. the three listed on your example?