Building an ideal NAS server with ROON server. Noob here

Hello everyone!
First of all I just hope that I am posting on the proper section of the forum.
Secondly, I hope that my post isn’t too vague. I can understand that maybe there are a thousand different approaches on these kind of setups, but I would appreciate if you would provide me with some starting info or guide me towards the right direction. :slight_smile:

So, I want to build a NAS server for my movies and have ROON installed on that one, too.

What I have so far:

  • Case: Fractal Design Array R2 (includes a 300W custom power supply provided from Fractal Design)
  • 1TB SATA SSD for OS and storing the music (movies will be on HDDs)


  • Run Roon flawlessly
  • Able to feed to home network 4K video material uncompressed - NO transcoding
  • Be as cheap as possible
  • Be as power efficient as possible


  1. Any thoughts on what kind of processor should I be using? I saw that the ROON guides recommend an i3, but there so many differences on i3 processors of various generations that I am not really sure if this is relevant any more.
  2. What OS should I be using? If it’s windows, then what version would be the most ideal? Have in mind that I am targeting the low power consumption, too.
  3. Is the included Fractal Design PSU OK for low power consumption?
  4. Is the SATA HDD enough for ROON or do I need a NVMe one? (I guess an NVMe would be overkill…)

Thanks everyone in advance for any kind of input!
Have a nice weekend everyone! :rocket:

Personally, I would not use a NAS for Roon.

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Why not?
After all a PC that has a Windows Share and ROON installed on it would be considered as a NAS, am I right?

You’re right. I think Jim meant a standalone NAS box.

What I call “NAS” at home is an external two-disk USB enclosure, connected to an old laptop. The laptop shares the USB volume on the network, runs Roon core, LMS and performs periodic maintenance on my files.


How many tracks are you expecting in your library? Are you going to do any heavy CPU DSP? How many multiple endpoints are you going to send audio to simultaneously? All these impact how to spec your system.

If you are using Roon with other stuff, then I’d start as a base (barring answers to the above questions), the latest gen i5 CPU and 16 GB RAM. Yes to the NVMe as Roon’s database can use the speed. Better a smaller NVMe and a large SDD for storage.

Hi Jim. I really would like to know why? I am using an QNAP HS-264 NAS (LAN) and it works just fine :slight_smile:

It really doesn’t matter. You use a NAS and I don’t and won’t. I realize many people do and have no issues and like it. I would rather use Roon on a Nucleus or NUC with music on a large HDD or SSD and back up Roon to an attached USB HDD.

2 posts were split to a new topic: What Are My Connection Options?

If you can attach you storage to your core by USB, do this rather than using NAS.

I’d personally keep them separate and have your music database backed up on a NAS. Or, if you intend to have a ROCK/MOCK setup, then I’d have all my music on an external drive connected via USB.

Having movies on a NAS and being able to stream them if they’re anywhere near 30GB+ is going to struggle when playing music around the home at the same time. Unless you start spending big money on a NAS that can handle that sort of power.

You can go official and have a Nucleus which is fully supported by Roon.

You could go down a custom route and use a NUC or, an older PC and set it up as a room server (ROCK).

Or, have a newish computer with Windows/MacOS and run the core on that.

As an example, I have a 6-bay Synology NAS, this is purely for my movie/tv show collections which I then use Firecore Infuse to watch on all my iOS devices (e.g Apple TV 4K).
I then have a 2017 Optiplex 3050 with a 128GB nvme, i5 6500, 16GB ram and a 5TB usb drive for music. I back up the database daily on my by external drive and on my NAS. (You will have no official support on a ROCK install, so bare this in mind)

The reason I and probably many do it like this is to keep everything separate. Should any one of these goes down it doesn’t effect the whole lot.

So, you have loads of options. Just be sure to research first and see what suits your needs.



after reading some of the posts I wonder what the advantages of a NAS over a NUC might be.
I am not sure if the ability to use 3.5 HDDs is really something that is desired by Roon users. After all, they have moving parts that create noise in either way acoustic or electric.

This brings me to the question of how much data are we talking about.
Is 8TB SSD enough for your music library? Are large libraries going to be replaced by streaming services entirely quite soon?

In that case, the advantage of having a large storage capacity is obsolete and processing power as well as leaving away what is not needed might be the main factors for choosing a device.

I agree with @Formula - you could put Roon on a dedicated server, and keep the NAS for your movies (and potentially backup locations for the Roon database and the Roon music files).

It’s what I have done for my own setup. I have a headless Windows 10 system with 28TB of HDD storage acting as my media server for movies and recorded TV shows, and a ROCK/NUC system with 2 TB additional storage for my local music files.

I have my ROCK/NUC system on 24/7, ready for playing music at all times, while the Windows NAS spends most of its time in sleep mode. It is woken up when the HTPC in our living room is turned on to watch a movie or TV series, and goes back to sleep when the HTPC is turned off. The NAS is also programmed to wake up at 07:00 ready to take a data backup when I turn my main desktop PC on in the morning. Once the backup has been taken, the NAS will return to sleep mode.

I originally had both Roon and Plex on the same Windows server, but it seemed wasteful of energy to keep it on 24/7 for Roon, so I split the functions to dedicated systems.


I don’t beleive the OP meant a NAS box when he used the term NAS, but if he did my reply is to use the NAS only for Backup or for media storage and run Roon or any other media app on a separate machine.

I’ve run Roon, Plex, and JShiver (existing together) on both a Windows machine with an i3 CPU and in a VM, using Ubuntu, on a dual Xeon machine.

I’ve simultaneously run Roon and JShiver (or Plex), to have some visuals with my music.

I have >30K tracks, but only two endpoints. I used to do DSP, but nothing heavy.

Now, I take the simple route. My desktop runs JShiver/Plex and a NUC runs ROCK. I run bit perfect.

Why over-engineer things? Employ the KISS method.

Two years ago I purchased a QNAP TVS-672XT with an i3 processor soley for my Roon core and library. I have 8GB RAM, 1TB M.2 SSD cache, 3TB SSD storage and it has performed issue free ever since I turned it up. My current library is 15,000 tracks.

In which case, your Roon core sees locally attached storage, at least from a hardware perspective.

Here’s what I’m using for Roon Server (I run this headless):
Processor: Intel(R) Core™ i3-4170 CPU @ 3.70GHz 3.70 GHz, Installed RAM 16.0 GB (15.9 GB usable), 1 TB SSD drive for library, and a 6 TB USB drive for my library. Windows 10 in a fanless PC case - HD Plex H1 V3.

I recently upgraded the processor from a Celeron G1840 (2.8 GHz). Based on my experience, I wouldn’t use anything less than an i3. The 3.7 GHz i3 is more than enough processing power for Roon. As I type this I’m listening to music at 192 kHz / 24 bit and using Roon convolution for room EQ and the processing indicator says that it’s running at 25.2x. The only thing I can’t do is apply convolution to DSD 126 or higher files and keep DSD output but doing that converts DSD to PCM and then back to DSD, which is kinda silly. Better to just play DSD as PCM if you’re using convolutions because it’s getting converted to PCM anyway.

I went fanless because my intent was that the PC was going to just be a music streamer that would live in the listening room. That little Celeron was able to do Roon server duties so I just did that and eliminated a box. If I were to put the box in a different room and didn’t care about noise then I would use a standard case but still don’t need anything more than an i3. Also works great to connect the DAC to the Roon Server.

Definitely enough processing power to also perform duties as a NAS but also more than what’s needed for a NAS. I like the idea of eliminating boxes. That said, my backup server is an old 2006 era Dell desktop that I run FreeNAS on. If you want to combine NAS and Roon Core / Server then an i3 or better should be fine.

Go for Linux (Ubuntu) and choose a CPU that balances power and performance. Although I run my server on Xeon, I’d probably not recommend these processors for running Roon.

I’d have suggested a much smaller drive for your system, and put all your media files on spinning disk (I use ZFS on / (root), which gives me snapshots, and a ZFS mirror for media.) This is reliable, extensible, quickly recoverable from disk failure, and performs well. Don’t bother with RAID.

In addition, I simultaneously backup to a USB drive and S3 storage, which costs about $5 per TB (I’m currently trialling another service, which will cost just over €3 per TB.)

I’ve run this setup for over a decade, and still use the same mirror albeit I’ve replaced a faulty drive on more than one occasion and also increased drive capacity once. No downtime doing this other than swapping the drives one at a time.

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My old system ( I now use a NUC ROCK) was i7 7700 CPU 16gb RAM 256 SSD for OS Windows 10

Then 2 x 4tb plus 2 x 3tb HDD for content, then a 2tb drive for working stuff

Running Roon and JRiver simultaneously, as well SQL server

Worked fine but not a NAS

I did start to pen a reply yesterday. It would have been pretty much word for word what was written here with very minor differences.

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  • I will be using a library of ~10.000 songs.(500GB total current library size)
  • I am going to be using 1 device as endpoint and the NAS is not going to be serving at the same time to any other endpoint. I will be the only one using it, so it will either be music, or movie. Nothing will be happening simultaneously.