Best hardware for Core for large library

Since I started using Roon a few years back, there have always been some issues with maintaining the library for large collections. I don’t remember the details, but I think the consensus was that it was an OS X limitation, and that for large libraries a dedicated PC as core would perform better.

So my question for the community / developers is: If you were starting from scratch with new hardware for Roon Core, and you intended to use a library with 200,000 tracks (just for example) what would the ideal hardware be?

Nucleus is listed with a capacity of 100,000 tracks, which I’m sure isn’t a hard limit, but what wold be the adjustment needed for much larger collections?

This thread might help. The 100k is for the i3 nucleus not the i7.

Thank you- that is indeed what I was looking for. So if over the last couple of years the answer has not changed:

For people with huge libraries, we have always recommended the same thing: Get the fastest consumer-grade i7 you can, at least 4 cores, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB+ NVMe SSD, a big fan to cool the thing, a nice closet to put it in, and a locally connected storage array for the content, and then run Windows 10.

That is pretty much it in a nutshell. All that I would add is to make sure your Windows is an OEM version without all of the bloat manufacturers tend to add. They are just additional things that need to be maintained.

Well yes, but don’t forget that by “huge libraries”, brian means anything over 550K tracks. Libraries up to that should be fine on ROCK. For a library of 200K tracks, I would certainly be looking at an i7.

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An i7 intel NUC, m2 SSD + 16GB memory running ROCK would be my starting point. I also have a SATA SSD as well. Both recent fast Samsung evo series drives.

This is basically what I run Roon on (previous generation NUC717BNH), but I don’t have such a big library so it is complete overkill TBH. However it also gives me the CPU grunt for heavy DSP to all zones if needed and I hope it will allow for a lot of feature growth of Roon.

Most of my library is on an old NAS with some recent rips on the NUC (because that’s where they end up when ripped by ROCK).


Thank you all for the very specific suggestions. I’ve not looked at NUCs before, so didn’t really know where to start on that route.

I have ordered an i7 and the other components, and will install ROCK and see how it goes.

If for some reason the library size becomes an issue and looks like Win 10 would be better, I suppose that would still be an option, but I’d prefer to stick with ROCK if it can work!

Well, Amazon cancelled my order as a possible fraud, so I’ll take the chance to double-check my understanding.

From this thread:

From the KB:

  1. NUC8i7BEH everyone agrees on this.
  2. Memory. I remember reading somewhere that ROCK would not use more than 8GB, so there was no difference in install 8 or 16GB, is that still the case? Should I care about dual rank or single rank or MT/s?
  3. Hard drive: M.2 SSD the right physical size.That’s pretty clear, but if is is really just to hold the library database file, is there a benefit to having the headroom of a larger SSD? Or a second one? Everyone seems to like this kind of thing: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2?

Since I get a second swing at it, I’d value any more specific advice anyone has to offer.

Hi, I finished my NUC build a few weeks back.

G.Skill F4-2400C16D-16GRS memory,
Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 250GB drive for ROCK OS and Database,
Samsung 860 EVO SATA 1TB SSD for the music files.

I’ve had good luck with the brands before so I went with them again.

I went with 16gb ram and the 250GB OS drive, wanted a little extra headroom and it was inexpensive. I have a small library, currently less than 100GB so the 1TB Sata SSD drive was enough for me.

The NUC build works great, no regrets.

Thanks - for me at least one part is clear: the media will all have to sit on a NAS plugged into the same router as the NUC. There will certainly be too much to put on local SSD.

I’m really looking forward to the build: thanks everyone for the great advice so far.

I’m running a large local library on a low power i5-7600T CPU @ 2.80GHz with 16GB RAM, SSD, Arch Linux as OS. Everything is super snappy.

Key considerations are:

  • SSD
  • RAM speed
  • decent network
  • tunes local to Core