Upgrade path from Windows laptop music server

I think my old HP laptop is the weak point in my system.  It's an i5 with 8meg connected to a Benchmark DAC (may be upgraded) over a Wireworld USB.  I'm running JRiver to play my 200 ripped CD'S, listen to Radio Paradise and WWOZ Internet radio, and have just signed up to Qobuz high-res.  I thought I was computer literate but the array of new options for computer audio is intimidating.  So, asking for guidance.  My goal is the best sound, which I see as delivering the best signal to the DAC.

Should I keep the laptop but configure a network bridge from SOtM, Sonore, or others?  This is all new to me.
If so, should I/ can I run Ethernet from nearby router to bridge?
Will JRiver still work?
Are there great laptops that solve the problem? (assuming there is a problem)
Do I trash the laptop altogether?

I want to end up with something with a good user-interface free of arcane techy complexity.

Thanks for any advice or past experience 

Try Bluesound Node 2i into your Benchmark DAC. You will hear marked improvement in SQ. For best experience you will need an iPad to browse the content. 
Hello electroslacker!

First a couple of questions.
Is this a desktop system where you are just listening to headphones or are you feeding speakers as well ... and if so can you tell us more about the rest of your system.
And very importantly ... what is your budget?

Given that you are already feeding a Benchmark DAC, I do think it makes sense to upgrade your streaming source.

I'll throw out a couple of ideas at two very different price points both of which I have personal experience with.

(1) Would be to go the Bluesound route, pick up the current Bluesound Node 2i and connect to your Benchmark DAC via RCA terminated Coax cable.  The Blu OS interface is about as user friendly as you get (only thing that can truly beat it in my opinion is Roon).
This is my lower price thought.  Node 2i retails for $550, but can be had for less.  (I have 4 pieces of Bluesound kit in various rooms in my house including the Node 2i). 

(2)  Go the Roon route.  Roon Nuclues feeding your Benchmark directly via USB cable.  Nucleus is listed at $1399.  Roon subscription is $119 a year or $699 lifetime.   Nucleus has bay which can be fitted with HDD or SSD and function as your NAS if you so desire.  Roon interface is as good as it gets with either Tidal or Qobuz.  In today's world it is the gold standard.  In my main rig I have Roon Nucleus feeding Chord Qutest directly via USB, and all of my Bluesound pieces function as Roon endpoints. 

There are many other ways to skin this cat.  But these are two that I can highly recommend and have personal experience with.

PS.  Bluesound kit and Roon can both be controlled by PC, MAC, tablet, and/or smartphone including both Android and IOS devices.
@Jazzman7: Thx for info. To answer your questions:

It's the main system with floorstander speakers.  I have some headphones but rarely choose to use them.

The rest of the system is Benchmark DAC2 HGC running fixed output into a Modwright 36.5 linestage, into a VAC 200IQ tube amp to Sonist Concerto 4 Rev2 speakers. Interconnects are Benchmmark XLR.

As for price range, I don't mind paying for great sound quality. My amp and pre are used but "new" makes sense in a quickly evolving area like digital streaming.
I use a Node2i to a Benchmark DAC3B to McIntosh integrated to Joseph Audio Perspective  and get great sound. I have the Node hard wired and use an android tablet as a controller,  BluOS is very user friendly.  There are more expensive streamers but the Node is a great entry and I haven't  had the upgrade itch yet.
@Jazzman7: In your #1 / Bluesound route, where would electroslacker store his music files? Or is that option only for streaming, no files?
I was using my laptop with windows 10 and jriver to stream. I think the weak point is the computer because it is not a dedicated streaming device. I bought a bluesound node 2i and the difference was immediately noticed. Buying a streamer with only one purpose and operating software is the best way to go. There are many great streamers and servers that will be much better than a multi-use computer.
You just transfer data using async USB.  Computer shouldn't make any difference, except it might inject more or less of electrical noise.  Faster computer might be even worse.  Amount of memory doesn't make any difference.  Another method of delivery like Ethernet might be better or worse - you have to try.  I would make sure that the cable you use has only data connection (no power wires).  In addition you can try USB isolator.
I'm slowly awakening 😊 I really appreciate the info.

I think I'm willing to ditch the laptop but unsure if there is any way to recover my ripped CD's and meta-data, which is currently backed up on a USB disk.  I'd hate to re-rip everything.

Ideally, I'd like to use my Android tablet as a remote that gave me the same functionality as the laptop for audio (access Internet radio, play Qobuz, and play my ripped CD'S.)  Plus gain better sound.

@Jazzman7: In your #1 / Bluesound route, where would electroslacker store his music files? Or is that option only for streaming, no files?

Any network share would work.
My first NAS was simply an external hard drive plugged into my router.
Eventually I graduated to a Melco N1A.


Should be no need to re-rip your music files.  Just a matter of them being located somewhere that is discoverable on your network and then pointing/defining that location to your streamer be it Bluesound device, Roon Nucleus, or whatever else you may decide on.  Moving your music files from one network location to another is just a matter of copying your files over, which can be as simple as drag and drop.

And just out of curiosity.  How much music do you have, and how have you stored it.
I myself rip everything as uncompressed Flacs using dBpoweramp.
I use my android tablet as a remote to play internet radio, Tidal, Qobuz, ripped CDs with bluOS , I imagine other streamer software inferfaces will do the same. I find bluOS pretty user friendly not sure about others. 
I have almost the same setup, except for the computer brand and listen to to RP & ripped CD's, lossless.  I read these forums for 2 years and concluded: go with what kijanki said.  Although others here will vehemently disagree. 
I would try something like Uptone Studio ISO Regen.  It can re-clock the usb signal and filter out electrical noice according to their sales info. My dac was upgraded to buffer data long time ago and it improved the sound a lot.
Considering the level of your system I think it makes sense to ditch the laptop and step up to one of the better dedicated streamers.  Read Darko’s review of the Innuos Zen if you haven’t already as it’s pretty informative.  The Zen would be a great choice, but Lumin is worth a look too.  Best of luck. 
Thanks again for your insights.  This is  exciting.  Ironically, most of my career was doing hardware/software interfaces for operating systems but I was blind to all the innovation occurring.

I'll be happy to get away from big bloated Windows and go with a dedicated platform. I was rather dreading Windows Remote Desktop.

@jazzman7, I have 130 CD'S ripped to lossless FLAC with JRiver.  I suppose with Qobuz, ripped CD's could be considered redundant.  Actually, I find the FLAC streaming at Radio Paradise to be very satisfying in terms of sound quality, curated playlists (now three streams.) and expanding my awareness.

Lots of interesting reading ahead.   Several promising paths. Any further advice is welcomed.  I'll share my final plan for critique.

Just to wrap, after some research, I'm going with the Lumin U1 Mini streamer because:
1) never saw a negative comment
2) handles all formats.
3) high-quality parts
4) can use my Android tablet
5) the Lumin Apps are considered stable and good
6) largely same performance of significantly more expensive U1 without carved chassis and external LPS.
7) I can go full audiophile by buying the sBooster external linear linear power supply adapter kit (phase 2)
8) It seems like an end-game streamer for me.
9) I want to be able to upgrade DACs in the future.
10 built-in support for the digital sources I want.

The only negative is that It wants an Ethernet connection by default,  but my router is only 10 feet from stereo.  Well, there's also the $2000 cost, but seems justified.


Thanks again  for the help.