CPU load spikes on MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro (early 2015, 2.7GHz i5, 8Gb) running current Roon build, current MacOS, 802.11ac Wifi to router, Airport endpoint, Roon DSP EQ active in two bands

Description Of Issue

Since I started using Roon, my MacBook Pro runs hot (internal fans on at highest speed) a few times a day. When this happens, the MacOS activity monitor always shows that Roon is consuming most of the CPU capacity, that its CPU load is spiking at 70% or higher, and that the spikes seem to occur when some (not all) new tracks start, even at only 16/44 resolution. Otherwise the Roon CPU load remains below 10% which seems more reasonable. Any insights as to the possible cause of this problem and what I can change in the settings to reduce it? Thanks!

Hi @TomJ,

Thanks for reaching out to us here, can you please let me know some additional info?

  • Do you have any active “tutorial” bubbles present in your Roon app? These are little circles that hover over words and contain instructions.

  • Is there an activity spinner present in the top right-hand corner of Roon? This is what the activity spinner looks like:

  • Is the behavior the same if you temporarily disconnect the OSX from the network and use Roon in an offline state?

  • Does rebooting the Core help?

  • What exactly are you symptoms here? Are you seeing dropouts, media loading slowly, UI unresponsiveness, ect?

  • How large is your library? What is the total tracks/album amount listed in Roon -> Overview?

  • Where is your media stored, is it on the MacBook local hard drive, a NAS, or only streaming content?

  • What is your “Background Audio Analysis Speed” and “On-Demand Audio Analysis Speed” set to in Roon Settings -> Library? Is there any change in behavior if you set Background Audio Analysis to Off and On-Demand Audio Analysis to Throttled?

Thanks Noris for your quick reply. To your questions:
1 - no tutorial bubbles
2 - no activity spinner is displayed, just the bookmark and search icons
3 - The CPU load from wifi is negligible, and the load from Airplay is even lower. Most of my listening is on Qobuz and Internet radio, not local audio files, and I haven’t noticed any difference in CPU overheating as a function of audio source.
4 - I’ll try rebooting Roon on my Mac the next time this happens and see whether that solves the problem. Good idea, will keep you posted on that. I should have mentioned that the Mac seems to overheat mostly after I’ve run Roon continuously for 12+ hours (all day and into the evening).
5 - The only symptom is the Mac overheating. I have no dropouts, streaming problems or UI delays.
6 - My library of audio files on my Mac is small, only 933 tracks (25Gb).
7 - My audio library is in a MacOS folder on the same Mac as Roon core.
8 - Background Audio Analysis Speed is set to off. On Demand is set to fast. I don’t do cross-fade, volume leveling or waveform displays so I’ve just reset that to off, will see if that solves the problem. FYI I don’t upsample in Roon.
cheers, Tom

Quick update - when the Mac starts to overheat after hours of Roon use, rebooting Roon seems to help, the Mac cools down quickly after the reboot even when resuming the same music right away (interesting). Hope that’s useful information.

Exactly the same thing here with my iMac every now and then. Rebooting Roon solves the problem.

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@support Any updates on this issue? It happens quite often nowadays.

Core on iMac late 2015 | 27" 1TB SSD | 24GB Ram | Latest MacOS version…

Adding my stone to the edifice…

MacBook Pro Early 2015, i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD. Up-to-date OS and Roon.

Roon just used as a remote, Core on a Linux server on the network, files on a NAS.

Roon Remote regularly badly hogs the CPU, leading to the fan kicking in and general system slowness.

I have not yet found a logical trigger for this.

Quitting the app normally and restarting it is enough to resume normal operations.

Not a deal breaker, for sure, but a small stain on something that otherwise is stellar.

Hi @Jan_Willem/@Nicolas_Will,

Thanks for providing these additional data points. We are investigating a few similar reports and I would like to add your reports to our investigation. Can you please provide this additional information?

  • What are your network setups like, can you let me know the router model/manufacturer and any other networking gear you may have?
  • Would you consider these spikes or general high CPU usage?
  • What percentage does the CPU reach?
  • Is there any change if you run Roon in offline mode?
  • Is there any set of reproduction steps that we can use to reliably enter this state on our end?
  • What are your network setups like, can you let me know the router model/manufacturer and any other networking gear you may have?
    On-board wifi on the early 2015 13" Retina MacBook Pro, i7, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD.
    Apple Airport Extreme (low white one, 300Mbps 802.11n, dual antenna, 2.4 and 5 GHz,connecting on 5 GHz, the flat building is a mess on 2.4)
    8 port white Netgear dumb 1 Gbps Ethernet switch
    UK Sky box, Wi-Fi disabled

  • Would you consider these spikes or general high CPU usage?
    The roon process will regularly get stuck into a permanent high CPU usage
    The Roon process is normally taking 20-25% CPU, sometimes spiking at 30-60%, when the app is idle too, nothing playing. Mine is only a remote!

  • What percentage does the CPU reach?
    Takes up at least a core, maybe two, but I wouldn’t to be quoted on that.
    Of course, when you need it, there is no high CPU usage

  • Is there any change if you run Roon in offline mode?

  • Is there any set of reproduction steps that we can use to reliably enter this state on our end?
    I wish! But there is particular trigger or condition that I have noted.
    This has been going on for quite a few versions/years.
    I have no online music service turned on, no DropBox, no HQPlayer, no Squeezebox support, no Chromecast/airplay or other non-Bridge devices setup as end points.
    One Bridge is on an up-to-date Ropieee RPi, the other on an up-to-date DietPi.

Extensions are on the server running the Core or on the Ropiee end point.

Hi @noris

What are your network setups like, can you let me know the router model/manufacturer and any other networking gear you may have?

  • iMac connected via ethernet to Arris Connect Box Docsis 3.0 router
  • USBridge / DietPi connected to Arris router via ethernet
  • USBridge via USB to DAC

Would you consider these spikes or general high CPU usage?

  • Fans of iMac start running like crazy while playing music with Roon (both FLACS and TIDAL tracks). I cannot see any signs of Roon background analyses etc. No DSP enabled.
    This behavior starts after playing music for a longer periode >1 hour, NOT always…
    No other apps active while Roon is playing.

Is it possible to send you a log file or something like that when the problem occurs?

Hi @Nicolas_Will & @Jan_Willem,

Thank you for sharing those additional details, I have added them to the investigation ticket. Logs wouldn’t be too helpful at this point, since it would be hard to say what triggers this exact behavior.

I have gathered all of the similar reports and have passed them to the QA team for closer inspection in an attempt to find any commonalities between user’s setups.

Once I hear back from the QA team with any new questions I will be sure to let you know. Thanks again for the data points you have provided so far!


Sadly have to add my experience to this issue. Attaching screenshots to illustrate.

I use roon core and playback from my laptop, music is on external HDD connected to laptop. DAC connected via USB to laptop.
Macbook Pro 15" 2019, 8core, 32 GB RAM, Vega 20 Graphics. (Latest model)

The moment Roon starts, the CPU jumps to 250 to 300 % for Roon alone then another 100% for RAAT without any DSP or other corrections applied.

The Fans turn to maximum power, as you can see from the highlighted SMC Fan Controls info - Also see CPU Graph and Cpu Temperature jumping to 90+ degrees.

Not even 4K video editing gets the fans running this high this quickly!!! It’s comparable to 3D rendering.

I just recently moved the Roon core to my Laptop, so can’t report when the issue appeared - used to run it on a separate computer.

The issue persists as long as Roon is open, even if minimised running in the background.

Kindly please keep us updated on this - as it’s basically rendering Roon useless atm. The fans get so loud that they badly interfere with the music. Using the Tidal App, Youtube, Deezer or Audirvana never gets the cpu this loaded.

Thanks for taking the time to look into it.

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Will link here to what I have identified as being a reproducible scenario that in my case always triggers this behaviour.

Can anyone else test one of these scenarios?


I’m sure they’ve nailed this use case, which involves network activity as Noris explains here. I’d like to add that there is another use case where the same problem arises (high CPU load, Mac overheats) which requires rebooting the Roon server to resolve. In that use case, there is no network activity as I reported several months ago (Roon server and music library are both on the same MacBook Pro that’s connected by USB to the Roon endpoint). Hope that’s helpful.


13" Late 2015 MacBook Pro - Catalina with latest updates at the time of this writing.
Roon 1.7, latest build available on the Mac
Linux Core on the network, 1.7 latest build.
Linux Bridges on the network, latest build, on Raspberry Pis

I’ve hit a situation where startin Roon on the MacBook systematically hits high CPU usage, right from the start.

It never ever lets go…

I’ve quit and restarted the app, I’ve deleted the app package and installed a fresh one from the Roon website. I’ve restarted the core. I’ve connected to a different core through a VPN. I’ve turned Wi-Fi off, restarted it… The hold on the CPU is not released.

I would like to try and restart the laptop altogether, but if you want more info to help debug this, ask now, before I do it! @noris, are you interested? @support ? You could remote in and run a debug build if you desired!

@Nicolas_Will - I’ve followed up via PM.

Same problem for me…

Roon build 1.7 on a 13" early 2015 MacBook Pro. 16 gig memory. I7.

The actual core is on another machine, an iMac in my office. That is linked to my Airport Extreme via the 5 GHz channel, with that acting as the router for my Synology NAS. I’m using a RPi with Roonbridge as the endpoint, Raspbian Lite. The endpoint also uses wifi. The same 5 GHz channel.

I have tried to reboot the MB Pro, to no avail. Whenever I quit Roon, the condition goes away.

I forgot to mention that there is no obvious activity. All of my settings are “throttled” and all of my music has already been scanned. Plus I’m using Roon on my MBP as a remote to the core on the iMac.


John J

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