Minimum CPU for a Pulseaudio server?

I'm currently running an IPQ4019, which already seems to be stretched thin CPU-wise with the features I have running: Simple-Adblock, 15+ devices, IOT firewall rules, Wireguard, etc.

I'm able to get decent sound out of the device using a USB sound card, but even something as simple as a standard-quality Spotify stream (with the occasional choppiness) has the device responding to pings 5-10x slower. It's also not running an active Wireguard connection at this point, so I assume with that it'll just freeze.

Would a WRT32X's Marvell Armada 385 be able to handle this workload? Or should I be aiming for an X86-based chip, like a 12th gen Intel Celeron/Atom/N-series?

IMHO: Get a dedicated device for realtime-ish applications. I'm not sure what's the minimum viable option, but I'm fairly confident something along the lines of a Raspberry Pi Zero (2) or one of the similarly specced alternatives would be sufficient to do the job. It's certainly easier to setup, easier to maintain (i.e., doesn't need to be recreated every time you update the router), and cheaper than to get a beefier router just to teach it to sing while juggling packages.


That's fair. I was hoping to centralize everything into one box, but I guess either way I would have a second box running wifi anyways. Thanks for the advice!

this application might be usb-bound; have you tried irqbalance, or directing the audio app to a specific core ?

Low power celeron x86 pc+ small managed switch and just use the IPQ4019 device as a dumb AP.

You could also look at a second hand small form factor Core i5-4570t device.

Oh, you absolutely can, I'm just saying that I wouldn't. I'm a big fan of OpenWrt on x86 appliances myself, so I would never advocate against getting one. But there's several applications that are completely separable from routing duties and actually do not benefit from being integrated with the router, and I would therefore separate them from the router itself. NAS being one of them, audio applications being another. But that's just my opinion.

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