Buying New Laptop for Roon Core - Best CPU Option

I dont know how somebody can even find laptop with i3 processor and under 16gb memory. Dont buy that one. Laptops are so cheap nowadays and if you have roon u can buy some 2000€ laptop easily or nucleus.

Thanks Scott & Jim.

Scott - I do not use DSP when playing 2 channel. But I do have a lot of MCH stuff (WAV & DSF) that I use DSP for channel balancing and distance specs only. I suspect there is significant additional CPU required to do that processing. So maybe an Intel i5 with 2 cores would handle that pretty well, you think?

I have i5-7300HQ on my other laptop and it can run roon ok with dsd512. But number 1 thing with laptops is undervolting.

And the first one is with i7-9750h, 16gb, 2060rtx. Dont buy laptop if u want to run hqplayer. :smiley:

Personally, I would have built a NUC except I didn’t want the DIY potential problems, so I opted for a Nucleus. I still might do a NUC in the future, just for the fun of it, and put it in a fanless case of some sort.

Once you add DSP and DSD together you can start putting a hurtin’ on the CPU. Objectively, Simon Pepper and I compared an older version i3 to my NUC8i7. We couldn’t find a point where the i7 could separate itself in performance from the i3. I’m sure there is a point where that happens, but Simon threw a lot at his i3 and it did fine. The i5 is a nice compromise and gives your some headroom.

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What is undervolting?

And if you are using your laptop for music, disable all c states etc.

This is from i5

My concern with a desktop or laptop for Roon is the frequent updates for the OS and Software and the issues that can cause. I guess if you’re a windows or MAC wiz it may not be much of an issue but I’m getting older and don’t have the patience to deal with computer issues any more.

I saw a warning today about a Windows 10 update, KB4556799, that is causing serious problems for a lot of users. It was suggested that you keep it from being installed or uninstall it if its already on your machine. And uninstall it even if you’re not experiencing problems. I have a new Windows 10 laptop that I’ve had for 3 weeks and, checking today, I found that update had been installed. Now I have to worry about getting it off this machine and the problems that could cause.

With my NUC8I7BEH/Rock setup I don’t have any concerns because the OS and Software is provided and supported by the Roon team. I don’t need to mess with windows and don’t need to know anything about Linux. It’s rock solid, always available, and Roon works perfectly all the time. Hope I didn’t just jinx myself. Better knock on wood.

Good luck with whatever you choose to go with.

A Nuc setup with rock doesn’t involve any Linux knowledge. It’s essentially an appliance and no user commands other than the setup which is pretty straight forward detailed in the kB link above


To be fair to the OP, he’s not just buying a new machine to run Roon Core on, he also needs a new device (with the requisite OpenGL support) to run Roon Remote.

I am generally sympathetic to the idea that the optimal solution is Roon Core on a NUC (running ROCK) and Roon Remote on a tablet.

But budgetary constraints could certainly point to a less-than-optimal solution.


Honestly this is overkill. I run roon on a 2010 Mac mini and it’s perfect. It’s dedicated to room but for £80 it’s perfect

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I run roon ROCK on an Intel nuc8i3 and it handles all the DSP and upsampling native to roon with no issues.

I have never used Linux and feel like I still haven’t when installing ROCK.

I also massively appreciate not needed to update windows ever other week. My ROCK nuc just sits there and works.


I would build a NUC and buy a less expensive laptop, if necessary, for general use.

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Since you mentioned Ryzen and laptop in the same post -

If it’s just to run Roon, Core or Remote, not sure why you would want a laptop, instead of a NUC, e.g.

As for Ryzen, I run Core on a Ryzen 7 2700X.

I run Roon + HQplayer on Lenovo D330-10IGM tablet PC (Intel N5000, 8GB RAM, SSD for OS + mSDXC for storage) without any issues. That is with web browsing in parallel.

Cheap, flexible, basically works great as both core and control device.

Don’t overdo it unless your library or other requirements really demand it.

I also think that if Roon will be the dominant purpose, go with Rock on a NUC and then convert your old laptop to a Chromebook via Chromium if all you need it for is email and a browser. Or, if you really need occasional use of Windows apps, just upgrade your old laptop to Win 10. With an SSD, it’ll run Windows just fine. You’ll save $$ and enjoy Roon even more.

Can I use Asus Transformer book from 2013 with Intel Atom cpu, 2GB ddr3 ram and integrated graphics as Roon NUC. The tablet has mounted keyboard on it, 32 GB of E-disk (something like that) but with usb 3.0 for extra external drive, and with 720 display with touch screen and windows 10 32-bit.

Please review minimum requirements spec faq.

Roon Minumum Requirements