Basic Roon Bridge unit

I am curious, what sort of minimum spec can I get away with for a mini PC operating only as a Roon Bridge? It must run Windows because my DAC uses bespoke drivers for which there is no Linux option.

Am I right in assuming that the bridge unit does little of the work, with all the heavy lifting being done by the Core server?

Has anyone got any ideas/recommendations?

You are correct in your assumptions. Your only consideration is what is required to run Windows.

Very low powered as all the processing is done on the core. There are a couple of mini pcs that come with windows pre-installed on Amazon. Something like this might work:
Cheap Windows box on Amazon

But, search around there are several available on Amazon in the 150 to 200 USD price range.

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You cant get more basic than a Raspberry Pi4 and this cheap to run.

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Well, in this instance CG, that won’t work since he needs Windows to run some drivers. Double check the OP.

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Thanks for the really quick feedback.

My 2012 MacMini is starting to show signs of age so I am preparing for a move to Windows (since Mytek tells me my DAC will not work at all with new Apple builds). I thought I would try introducing a Windows bridge and, in due course and funds allowing, replace the MacMini with something else as the Core before the MacMini turns its toes up.

I would recommend checking eBay for a used Thin Client which should possess everything you need to run a Windows based bridge without much tweaking. Actually, I have several myself and haven’t spent over $30 for any of them. Here are the below models I have:

Lenovo ThinkCentre M53
Lenovo ThinkCenter M32
10ZiG 58xxq
HP T510
HP T520

Also, I have multiple Intel ComputeSticks (STCK1A8LFC) which I made work after much hacking. I prefer the ComputeSticks because of their lower power requirements.

Another idea would be to just convert the Mac Mini into a Windows machine by installing Windows on it. To my understanding, it’s possible since the later model Mini’s should have compatible hardware for Windows (Google to confirm)…Unless you didn’t want to sacrifice your Mini of course.

Thank you for the ideas, though they may be a bit above my Windows capabilities.

I have never looked into running Windows on my MacMini but, since my thinking is to prepare for the death of the Mac, that may not take that far.

Let me know if you need any help with Windows? It’s pretty straightforward to get the Roon Bridge running within… The Thin Clients I purchased had Windows already installed and ready to go (all of mine came with Windows 7.). I then just updated the drivers for my DAC and installed the Roon Bridge.

Much appreciated.

Are you 100% sure the DAC will only run under Windows? It is very unusual, unless it is a sound card type DAC, for it to be tied to any particular os.

Which model of DAC is it?

It is the original Mytek Manhattan. Originally it was Mac and Windows. Mac lost USB 2 compatibility with El Capitan. FireWire (up to 192k sample rate) continues but will not work with any Mac built 2018 onwards (according to Mytek).

I do recommend the NUC de3815 if you can find one. I use Rock on mine for an endpoint and it’s awesome. If using windows you can also use the embedded storage to install the os or add an SSD . It’s a thin client so it’s completely silent and pretty small.

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