CPU Spikes Running Roon as a Controller on MacOS

For months now, Roon’s CPU usage on my 12-inch MacBook intermittently hits (and then stays at) 50–75 percent when I’m using it to play music on a core that’s located on a different computer. Typically, closing and then reopening Roon on the MacBook fixes the problem…at least, for a few hours, until it happens again. When Roon’s CPU usage is spiking, other apps like Chrome slow to a crawl, graphics outside of Roon slow to a crawl, the laptop heats up, etc. This has been going on for a while now, across several releases of Roon. I have tried deleting Roon and its support files on the MacBook and then reinstalling it, but that didn’t fix the problem.

The MacBook is running MacOS Mojave and had the same problem under High Sierra. The core (Roon Server) is on a headless Mac Mini running (I think) Sierra. Both are running the latest Roon releases.

If there’s some kind of log or the like that I could send in the next time this happens to help identify the problem, I’d be happy to do so.

What are the specs of the MacBook? CPU and RAM?

CPU: 1.3 GHz Intel Core m7
RAM: 8 GB 1867 MHz LPDDR3

For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is a resource issue. Roon works fine, even for hours at a time, until it starts maxing out the CPU for no discernible reason.

1 Like

Thanks. Neither do I but let’s tag @support so they can help.

Hello @amg,

Are you by any chance making use of a NAS here? We can take a look at the diagnostics from your Core next time it happens but I kindly ask you to note the exact local time in your country (ex. 12:04PM EST) that you experience this behavior again.

– Noris

Hello, @noris, and thank you for your response.

Nope, no NAS. I have music stored on a USB hard drive connected to my Core and also use Tidal. For what it’s worth, I have not had a problem with CPU usage on the Core, only on copy of Roon running on my MacBook that I use as a remote. As for timing, CPU spikes on the MacBook have happened at all hours, but I will ping when it happens next.

Finally, in case it matters, the zone that I’ve been using when this happens is optical out from the Core. I generally use the MacBook as just a remote to control playback on the Core.

Hi @amg

Please let me know when it happens next. I would also double check that Roon is not importing anything on the Macbook when the spike happens by making sure that there is no “Activity Spinner” in the top right-hand corner of Roon:


– Noris

@noris, I can confirm that this problem occurs when Roon is not importing anything, when it is merely playing music.

Thanks for confirming that for me @amg. Please let me know the exact local time when this behavior occurs again and we can take a look at the diagnostics from your Mac.


Well, good news: paging through Console messages suggested that the CPU issue might be some kind of interaction between Roon and Keyboard Maestro, and it turned out that was right. Since I stopped using KM, there have been zero CPU spikes.

Hopefully, this report will aid someone else’s troubleshooting in the future.

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