Can I use a 2012 iMac for my core?

Can I use a 2012 iMac for my core?

I’m using a 2012 quad core i7 MacBook Pro as a core without any issues. I swapped out the hard drive for an SSD a while back and have the RAM maxed out. The only issue I have is when my cloud backup service kicks in, I occasionally have some dropouts. Generally a smooth experience.

In my office, which I have not been in more than a handful of times in the last year, I have a 2012 iMac that I use as a Roon core as well. Startup takes a loooong time, but once it’s running, things seem to work ok. You could always start a trial and see how it goes. Good luck, let us know!

Hi Kevin, thanks for getting back to me.
My iMac is an i5 and a 1T HDD, it has been collecting dust as a spare for a few years, I thought I would put it to use as a media library. After reading some of the blogs, I am not sure the iMac with a HDD will be adequate.
I think I will take your advice and sign up for the introductory offer, then see how it goes.
If you were to build a reasonably priced core, what would your suggestions for components be?
I currently have a Rotel amp and a couple speakers in the living room, I will need to add a steamer, thinking of a Node 2i but the Blu OS is an awkward system. I also have a Bluesound Power Node 2i amp with a couple speakers in my pit down stairs.

It’ll probably work fine. Depends on how much DSP and DSD processing you want to do.

Hi Bill
I am so new that I am not sure what DSP and DSD is.

DSP - see the Help Portal

DSD - as the article says, if you don’t know what it means, you probably don’t need to worry about it…

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DSP is digital signal processing - room correction is probably the most complex form, but simple equalization fits the bill as well, along with volume adjustment, and headphone crossfeed. Here is the Roon Knowledge Base folder on DSP. Lots of good info there to check out in general.

DSD = direct stream digital, another form of hi-res music that requires specifically capable equipment for playback. I don’t own any music in this format nor do I own any equipment that can play it. Others can chime in about the value or quality of this format.

I run a very low budget system - most of my audio gear spending has gone into my headphone system and, other than my old laptop, which also serves as my primary computer for working at home and all other computing tasks, my endpoints are very, very non-high-end. I stream to an Apple Home Pod Mini in my kitchen, an NAD C338 integrated amplifier with Google Chromecast built in, a Google Chromecast audio device connected to a Peachtree Audio DeepBlue 2 speaker, and a really cheap, small ($30) Google Home-capable speaker in my basement. My home core, the laptop, is connected to a Schiit multi-bit Gungnir DAC and a Mjolnir 2 amplifier for headphone listening and old but trusty and decent Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 desktop speakers.

I was an iTunes user from day 1 of its existence, but had begun exploring other players, like Audirvana, when I came across Roon in 2015. There have been some struggles along the way, but I’ve been mostly happy with my choice. There are a lot of helpful folks here as well, some of whom type faster than me! Cheers!

Use of an SSD is strongly recommended for Roon’s database. Anything more than a small library is likely to hold back performance of the UI when using an HDD.

Is the BlueSound node 2i considered a Roon endpoint?

I am doing it right now.

Excellent thanks

Sure, but I’ve used both an SSD and a HDD for that, and haven’t seen any significant difference. So what Cliff has will work fine to start with.

If you have trouble with it slowing down over time, try setting it to reboot every night (you can schedule this in the Energy Saver panel in System Preferences). Made a big difference for my 2014 Mac Mini.

Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
Can I use my iMac as an endpoint or do I need a Roon capable endpoint “Node 2i”?

You can use your iMac as an endpoint, either using the built-in speakers, or via an attached DAC or powered speaker, attached via USB or via the optical Toslink output on the Mac.

Some people like to separate their endpoint from their “Core” computer, but this is mainly due to a somewhat outdated insecurity about electrical noise “travelling over wires”.

Thanks Bill
I was considering feeding out of the iMac via the audio out to a Rotel A12 that has an onboard DAC. Would that work until I acquired a streamer?

Well, if it’s an onboard DAC, you’d use the digital optical out of the iMac, not the regular analog audio out, but yes, that should work fine.

Really, Roon makes this all seem so complicated. Just download it and run it on the computer you already have, and use the speakers you already have connected to that computer. Or, as you say, run the audio out to your Rotel box. Or both. Roon will see all the audio devices attached to the computer.

Thanks Bill, it may be to much reading as much as Roon that is making this complicated:)

Thanks Fred I’ll give that a try