Do I need a dedicated core server if I'm only streaming?

Hi there,

I’ve just upgraded to a Naim ND5 XS 2 which I’m really impressed with, exceeded my expectations. With this I’ve been playing around with all the different protocols, Airplay, Chromecast, Naim App and Roon.

Which brings me to the question. If I don’t intend to have an extensive library of local music on a hard drive or NAS through Roon (I have an extensive vinyl collection), and only intend to stream through Tidal or Qobuz, do I need a dedicated server to run Roon?

Would my existing shared 27" iMac be sufficient for this job?

Many thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.


Welcome John!

The answers are “yes” and “yes.” As to your second question, here’s a link to the Roon Knowledge Base with the requirements for an iMac.

Short answer is yes.

Longer answer… you may want to try and get ROCK booted in a VM on that iMac. You may see a smaller resource footprint from running ROCK in a VM vs a full Roon install as well as being able to balance performance between your machine and Roon (the hypervisor will let you limit CPU utilization and memory). It also gives you the ability to move the VM as needed.

The advantages of having a dedicated core are that you can just leave it runing and not worry about it, it has one job to do and that’s serve Roon. Having it on regular pc is fine but it means there is potential for it to mess with things if being used by others at the same time as music listening.

It’s good start to use a computer you have and get to know Roon and perhaps switch to something more dedicated if needed.

I don’t know why people are saying you need a dedicated server for that. You of course don’t, the client app can be the “server” host as well. In fact that’s the default configuration, when you start it it just asks if you want to use “This PC”. Assuming the PC is sufficient, it all works fine. The only disadvantage is of course that PC needs to be connected to your output DAC/Amp/whatever while still being located for UI. Dedicated server is specifically if you want an always-on solution, need dedicated performance for a large database, or are running multi-room setups from the same server and the PC isn’t always available, and of course if largely running a NAS with tons of music stored on it. But for a “simple” music player/manager solution it can work just like iTunes. Except, you know…not nearly as bloated and slow… :wink:

PC performance becomes a bigger issue the more music you add to your library, I’m sure, including streaming albums/tracks since then it’s looking the info up in the local database on the PC.

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Thanks for the reply’s, put things into perspective. I’ll keep running it as is and see how the dust settles and if I feel like the current setup work or I need a change.

Thanks again.