Atom computing power

Anyone know the performance reserve of computing power that the atom features?

Would be useful to know as it’s probably the limiting factor in the lifespan on the atom, given its long in the tooth!

Naim claims, it is prepared for a long future.
Considering it is managing hires streams, multi-room, and reasonably large local libraries… the question is, what challenges are there, that would be (much) more compute intensive?
New codecs, new streaming services, …?

I think you don’t have to worry around things like surround/multi-channels audio or those hip things Apple is doing (with 3D/spatial audio and then computing it down to a stereo setup; both on headphones and speakers).
I’m pretty sure, Naim won’t implement anything like this; and as a “generic” all in one with auxiliary speakers at auxiliary placement, it cannot actually do it the same way.
Another thing might be “room correction”; but seems this is also clearly not on the list of features, Naim considers. :wink:

So, given reports that the devices struggle a bit with very-hires Chromecast:
I think for the things it does today (local and internet streaming; hires as of today, anyway limited by the DAC; stereo only without much “tone control” or whatever) it has what it needs.
(Bandwidth needs for stereo won’t rise; and updates in libraries for streaming services hopefully won’t bust the CPU/RAM; within this feature envelope.)

So, don’t expect it to learn new major feats; but I expect that the current features can be sustained for quite some time.

I also think, 100Mbps Ethernet and WiFi 5 are not “bleeding edge” but very long living standards in connectivity, so that should not be a problem. (And surely enough bandwidth for the use case.)

HDMI is changing with standards, but all other inputs/outputs are pretty “standard/stable”.

Missing HW features (like USB input to the DAC; or Bluetooth-out) are of course, as they are.

Worst case, if something completely new in steaming/connectivity comes in, a streaming box with digital out might be able to extend usage of DAC->power amp.

That was my reasoning, when upgrading to my Nova.


Maybe it was ahead it was of it’s time but it’s about 5 years old and so may competitors have been released. Though none with any major new features as such. The NAD M10 v2 with Dirac an interesting feature. I don’t think Naim believe in digital room correction though……

Great reply!
I was thinking along the same lines, it’s just such a capable machine and I think it’s processor is powerful enough to handle almost everything in the foreseeable future.

When I think about it not much has changed in these 5 years. The same lossless codecs are in use and I’m unaware of significant changes to the online platforms that stream lossless files.

There is no provision for room correction or other dsp features but as you say that’s to date never been a “Naim thing.”

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The Atom functions as a Roon endpoint (that’s the only way I’ve ever used mine), and Roon supports digital room correction.

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Ooo interesting. Can’t say I get the whole room thing though :see_no_evil:

Would it be useful? Exactly how would you determine whether any quoted spec for processing power, cores, memory, CPU architecture is suitable for future developments that haven’t hit the market yet? And does age really mean much? The workstation on my desk is 7 years old yet more powerful than most midrange new computers on the market today. So does being long in the tooth mean anything really?

No one has a crystal ball. But Naim did get burned a bit in the court of consumer opinion with the old streamers. The current range have a lot more headroom to cope. New audio formats are unlikely to present a massively different processing challenge to current ones. That leaves connectivity. Unless Roon or Tidal release an API that is so convoluted and badly designed that you need a beast to maintain a connection, I doubt the current spec will be a problem for the immediate future… whatever that spec is.

The answer to the question…


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