Best HW configuration to use Roon and HQPlayer

My suggestion is to run a dedicated remote roon server with as much CPU power as you can afford and low power roon endpoints.

I run dual 16 core/ 32 Thread Xeon E5-2684v4’s on my roon server and roon uses all 64 threads simultaneously.

I also use 3 Intel 750 PCI-e SSDs in Raid 0 and 128GB of RAM. I am not sure if the RAM was worthwhile but the CPU’s and SSD’s certainly were.

It depends a bit on your library size what is worthwhile. I have about 170K tracks in my library (about a quarter high Rez).

I also have a wee Microserver as a backup with quad core Xeon E3 and that s adequate but I certainly wouldnt go lower end than that.

My Roon client audio PC is a i7-5775 which is only 65W TDP and plenty for an endpoint.



I’ve just bought T+A DAC8 DSD and delighted about SQ from Roon / HQP.

I’m looking for a PC setup with suffisent horsepower to run DSD512 and, eventually, convolution.
PC would be set in a closed closet.

Heat management, reliability and price are my mains concerns so i’m really interested in your feedbacks.

Thank you.

I’ve just finished building my latest dedicated Roon/HQPlayer PC capable of DSD512 playback.
The PC sits in a cupboard but I keep the door open when in use. Temperature hovers between 50 - 65C when playback DSD512, poly sinc xtr mp-2

Water cooled Core i7700k mild overclock to 4.6Ghz
MSI GTX1060 6Gb
2Tb Western Digital WD2002FYPS Enterprise - 3.5" SATA HDD

Lampizator L4G5 balanced upgraded to DSD512, Win10 NAA, ASIO

As being discussed over at CA I hope a solution is found to overcome the Amenero/Linux issue that would enable DSD512 playback through my MicroRendu + LPS-1

Interested in your metrics when you will run your new setup (cpu load, cuda offload usage, temps …).

I’m away for the next 10 days but will post the data you have requested on my return,

This is how my new server MUSE is built:

CoolerMaster Elite 110 mini ITX case
i7 7700
ASRock H270M ITX
8Gb GSkill 2133 RAM
256Gb Samsung M.2 960 EVO
Gigabyte GTX-970 ITX
Corsair SF600 PSU
Deep Cool Captain 120 AIO

Music Files
6 TB HDD Western Digital Red
1 TB Samsung EVO 840 SSD

I keep it in an adjacent room on a shelf with the case off. I would definitely recommend an AIO cooler, my i7 came down from 70C (Noctua CPU air cooler) to 50C (Captain AIO) when upsampling Redbook to DSD512 in HQP with closed form filter.That is running at about 30% CPU with CUDA enabled. I would recommend a different AIO cooler than the Captain however, it has quite a high pump casing that makes everything a bit squeezy and would not fit but for the small size of the Corsair PSU. I think I could have gotten away with the lower wattage Corsair SF450 PSU, but I prefer to have too much power than not enough. The Elite case has enough room for push-pull fans around a 120mm AIO radiator, but the HDD on top presses down on the interior fan. This doesn’t really trouble me.

If you would like to minimise temperatures and noise then I would suggest holding off from hardware purchases until the next release of Roon (very soon). There is a pretty good chance you will see DSD 512 in Roon in that release. The Roon design goal is for an efficient implementation that can run on a wider set of hardware than HQP may require. I have seen screenshots of Roon upsampling to DSD 512 on a recent i5. However if you would like to ensure that you can use HQP and don’t mind an i7 then the above works well for me appropriately cooled.

Edit: You will need to buy a separate ATX/ITX bracket from Corsair to mount the PSU in the Elite case. Also I needed some longer M3 screws than those supplied by Deep Cool to mount a front push fan through the case into the AIO radiator.

Edit 2: Some screenshots showing the signal path and DSP Engine/HQP Settings, temperature and CPU load (CUDA enabled):



Thank you @andybob, very interesting setup for HQP.
Very good news too if DSD512 upsampling support is coming “very soon”.

I’m currently playing native DSD512 from HQP through an mR. Just set SDM Pack in HQP to none and send SDM Output to the mR NAA. There is an issue with a loud full spectrum “pop” upon commencement of playback. I mute the preamp before first play and then use Add Next and Add to Queue play options in Roon which (generally) avoids the pop.

I believe the pop is due to a bug in the ALSA native DSD code which sent “PCM silence” to the DAC upon first starting play (ironically to avoid other noise artifacts) instead of “DSD silence”. The bug was fixed in Linux Kernel 4.10 and I understand Sonore are working to implement the fix in the mR.

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Yes, but it depends from DAC FW.

  • HOLO Spring: OK ?
  • T+A DAC8 DSD: KO but things seems to move on that front … some hope

I hope updated kernel / FW will soon fix few LINUX DSD driver issues, and we could enjoy SQ enhancements with every DSD512 enabled DAC models, feed from LINUX endpoints like mR, sms-200, RPI …

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That’s no way to live. We have toilet paper and sliced bread – and this? Come back to the PCM fold now! :wink:


Once you’ve gone DSD…:wink:

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that’s a huge device you’re building :wink: congrats

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I thought that was LSD?[quote=“Henry_McLeod, post:25, topic:22572”]
Once you’ve gone DSD


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Someone had to be first. To bravely go out there and take a bite of that toast for the rest of us or to … never mind. Anyway, not all heroes wear capes.

Not to say I won’t be pleased when the pop is fixed …

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Well, at least you can revel in the fact it’s probably the best quality most upsampled pop anyone’s ever heard. :slight_smile:

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Hi there,
I am new to HQP and Roon. I’d like to confirm that, do I need to buy the Roon membership in order to run HQP+Roon?

Yes, you need a Roon license of some description.

It’s technically Roon+HQPlayer :slight_smile:

Thanks Steve,

So, if I just want to play music stored in my NAS using Roon as frontend. I need a Roon license for Roon Core in addition to the HQP license. Is there a “lite” version or is there any channel that I can purchase the Roon license cheaper?

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If you don’t want to buy a Roon license you could use HQPlayer as a front end :wink:

The Roon website is the only place you can buy it as far as I know, unless you’re getting a timed free membership as part of a hardware purchase - there were some deals around but I don’t recall what hardware. I think the only ‘light’ version that exists came with the Elac discovery.

I am getting a bit overwhelmed with the above specs and mentions of CUDA. I had to Google that. Here is the deal. It sounds like:

  1. The Simple Solution: is to run Roon Server and HQPlayer Desktop on a NUC10i7 with overclocking enabled, 32 GB RAM and a 250 GB M.2 SSD in an Akasa Turing fanless case with a linear power supply with high quality Ethernet cable into my audiophile switch. My LUMIN U1 Mini is also Ethernet connected to the same switch. OR

  2. The Best SQ, lowest EMI Solution: is to use the above NUC to run ROCK and make a dusplicate unit but with Ubuntu Linux and install HQPlayer desktop on that, and Ethernet that to the same audiophile switch.

Did I understand that correctly or does anyone have edits to the above or other suggestion? Please keep in mind that what ever put together I want it to be fanless so it can be kept in the listening room. Thanks!