General Questions : Hardware Setup, PC and Soundcard

maybe someone could give me some advice or ideas. i dont know much about audio but want to dive into it more in the future.
buying roon recently was my start. (thx to Hans Beekhuyzen Channel)

this is the situation

my roon server is on windows 10 (mini-itx pc) with a wifi router 6490, fritz!box 6660 with wifi6 when deliverable and a few other devices (many cables) very near by. can this be a proper setup if i want best possible sound?

i do not have good speakers so far but i will maybe if i can sent them clean or perfect signal

┌ Server 1 @Windows10 (Roon Core)
├ GPU Nvidia GTX 1050ti
├ CPU Intel i7-6700K
├ CPU Cooler Noctua NH-L9i
├ RAM HyperX 16GB DDR4 2600MHz
├ Mainboard MSI Z170I Pro Mini-ITX
├ Case Fractal Design Node 202
├ Power Corsair SF600 Platinum
└ SSD M2 SanDisc SN520 500GB

┌ Server 2
├ Qnap TS-873
├ RAM Qnap 16GB DDR4 2400MHz
├ SSD M2 Samsung 860 Evo 1TB
└ HDD Seagate Ironwolf 14TB x6

the server 1 will be updated with an intel i9-9900k in 1-3 years which i now use in my desktop pc. with that and the other (maybe there) disturbances from the wifi, cables and stuff. is this a real problem?

is there any way server 2 could be the better place for the roon core?

next step for me is to buy an external soundcard. i need the good sound in windows to so what to use?
is the only way to buy a windows, usb, externel sound card?
if so i want to spend on the soundcard between 300-500€? but i dont find anything on the web to buy…

I am using this although it is internal not external:

thank you for your answer.
the problem is that with mini-itx i cant use an internal card…

i cant use a normal dac to put in like soundcard into windows i guess? a good dac/roon ready streamer is to expensive maybe. and i dont know if i need it.
and i want to keep my setup easy… maybe with wifi, roon (hqplayer?) ready speakers and only a pc to stream in perfect quality…

and i am curious to know if i want to watch movies via the same server (atmos and later coming stuff) and music will develop, i will have to put 15 speakers to each room?

Hi @Max_Hudini

I’m a bit puzzled. Which computer do you want to connect an external sound card to? Will you be sitting at your desktop computer when listening to music? Or somewhere else? Do you want to use loudspeakers, or are headphones an option?

The server 1 i build recently just for plex and roon. My desktop pc is a different machine.

I want to use only windows and wifi to stream music via roon to everything else, different computers, mobile phones, wifi speakers.

i mentioned my desktop because of the i9 that is in it, which i will putt to roon core soon or later. my questions is about electric disturbances that maybe in my setup that could be a problem. i the 2.nd one and the most important, i need good sound within a device that provide windows"! (soundcard like) and other outputs with good sound

I don’t think you actually need a soundcard for the Roon core server - but I may still be miss-understanding what you want to do. The Roon knowledge base describes several different ways to implement Roon architecture - core, control, and output. Does help?

This thread makes no sense. What are you using for a DAC, amplifier, and speakers? That is what mostly affects sound quality. The computer and your network are most important in regards to running the Roon core smoothly and with no drop outs, etc.

You don’t. I might have misunderstood, but, I though he wanted to actually play music while on the server to speakers attached to his PC; and, that his PC could handle add-on cards (the soundcard in the title might have misled me).

If you can put a sound card in your PC, there are those, like the one I linked to, that are far superior to many external USB DACs.

Well, me too…

I think we have terminology issues, hence the link to the knowledge base.
Let’s see what happens next!

thank you for your help
just bought a Sound BlasterX G6 (32-Bit 384kHz) external sound card for the roon server. this is what i need…
but if it would be possible, i want a soundcard for 1024 dsd but there is nothing to buy on the market?
im a noob, forgive me

There are a few external DACs - eg Denafrips, Holo Audio - no idea what any actually sound like… BUT… is there actually any dsd1024 content available?

Denafrips looks amazing.

but can this replace the pc/onboard soundcard in windows?
sry i ask this question now the fifth time in this thread.
maybe i just dont understand things right.
i would think as roon is running on windows using the system (with soundcard), this system only defines my max soundquality as it is the first of the chain right?

what way would i connect a dac device with max stats on a lowend soundcard? is connecting over lan not also affected by the sound card? does choice of soundcard make any different to roon output sound?

If you would describe your total system, it would be easier to help you. You are using a Windows 10 computer to run the Roon core. What are you using as your DAC, amp or receiver, speakers. How is everything connected? You don’t even use your computer’s sound card unless you are simply playing music out your computer speakers. I hope that is not what you are doing. I guess you could have some speakers connected directly to your computer somehow.

Yes. It can replace the onboard soundcard.

No. The internal soundcard is not in the chain. Sound quality is (mostly) determined by the ‘quality’ of the source file, and the ‘quality’ of the conversion to analogue (ie the DAC) you are using. Connecting an external DAC or combined DAC and headphone amplifier by usb is likely better; the Soundblaster IS an external DAC and headphone amplifier - it’s just a difference in terminology.

Try googling ‘external DAC’ rather than ‘external soundcard’…

If i dont know how it works or even what it is, maybe i dont need it :smile:
Thank you for help guys. I will go with the Sound BlasterX G6 for now. With that i can do nothing wrong i think,
because if i want to replace it later with something better i will have good use for it elswhere…

By the standards of the people in this forum i guess my setup is not even a setup but a joke :smile:

If the G6 does want you want at the price you want to pay, it’s the right choice… and really, people use Roon with all sorts of systems…