Upgrade advice for better HiFi performance


I’m trying to improve my experiences in HiFi by upgrading my computer components but I’m not sure of the best strategy. This is what I’m running:

Intel® Core™ Processor i5-6600K
AMD RX 480 4GB Graphics
32GB 3000MHz RAM
SSD Boot drive

Would it be wiser to upgrade the CPU or the Graphics card? Any recommendations?

My internet speeds are about 35Mbps down and 10Mbps up.

My problems are that entities/entire domains can take a very long time to load, audio is often distorted and cutting in/out.

Thanks for any advice here…



The i5 and rx480 are plenty good for High Fidelity.

Your overall bulk bandwidth is also decent, but since you are experiencing long load times and especially since you are experiencing audio problems, that suggests your network is having problems maintaining a decent UDP rate. An anemic WiFi access point (if you connect via WiFi) or an older switch or router can drop a lot of UDP packets.

Make sure your interface cache is on that SSD. It is usually in appdata/local/Interface/… (on Windows).
Can you list your networking hardware?

I forgot to mention that a number of domains have a lot of unoptimized content. Entering them for the first time can be a 300MB download, which at 30Mb/s can end up taking a few minutes.


Thanks so much for your reply. I double checked and yes the cache is on the SSD. My networking hardware is a fiber optic line to the house from my ISP into a box on the outside of my house that is locked, but from there it’s ethernet to my wifi router which is an Almond. I’m not sure how else to describe the Almond, I’m not great in the IT department, but here’s some info: the wireless mode seems to be 11b/g/n mixed mode. The frequency is 2442MHz (Channel 7). There a a lot of other wireless devices here but usually when I’m running HiFi nobody is streaming video or doing anything overtly obvious to steal my bandwidth.

I think I’m hearing that I should try a wired ethernet connection the next time to see if it improves.


Yes, trying a wired connection from your computer to the switch is the quickest way to determine if your Wi-Fi AP is the problem.

There are many reasons why WiFi APs have problems sending UDP packets mostly intact. The main culprits are insufficient buffers and weak rate control algorithms. I am not familiar with the Almond series of routers/WiFi so I can’t be certain if that is your problem.

You will determine that empirically by going a direct connection. If the router is the issue, I can suggest you switch to a NetGear Nighthawk X6 or faster WiFi AP. It works extremely well for me with HF.

There is one other possibility. If you go direct connect to your fiber/Ethernet switch and the audio remains a problem, I suspect whatever bandwidth shaping your fiber ISP is doing to reduce your connection speed to 35Mb/s is adding delays that are dropping UDP packets. If that is the case, then you may need to have a conversation with your ISP.


Crosslinking related threads:


I think the wired ethernet connection did the trick. I have not been able to check the audio issue yet, but today when I used a wired connection the experience was night and day different. Domains loaded up much much faster and I did not experience any crashes or even hiccups with stuff loading. It was really great to finally spend 20 minutes totally immersed and not waiting for things to constantly load or having the world disappear and reappear every five minutes. Today I’ll meet up with some people and see if the audio is fixed, and I’ll report back.

Thanks so much for the advice here, I really appreciate it.