First job is checkout the Knowledge base for minimum hardware requirements for Roon
If you want it simple here is what I did …my original setup was (guess what a CA CXN with and external Hard Drive
Now its …it Just Works
Big noisy desktop tower , (hidden away in the study, inaudible at listening spot) Windows10 , i7 processor , 16 Gb RAM , 4 TB HDD , 250 SSD (for Windows 10, Roon system & Roon Library) – this my main PC . For a Remote until 3 days ago iPad Mini . I just got iPad Pro 12.9 which is admittedly a bit exotic but WONDERFUL …
The Logic Behind
The big PC is my choice as its my main PC , 2 screens etc and my ex Development PC (retired MS Dev) when it dies I may reconsider probably an i7 NUC.
A lot depends on where you put the server and if it will be audible from the Listening Spot .
A slicker answer these days is a NUC with a built in 128 GB M2 SDD for the system, and a 2- 4 TB HDD (or if you are rich 2-4 TB SDD) for music files . The NUC will take a “laptop HDD” . Again HDD may be noisy SDD is pricey but silent again depends on library size how big and how expensive.
Operating system is a big choice , I use Windows mainly because a) I always have, b) I need other software running on the server eg Video Server (JRiver MC). If the server is absolutely dedicated then ROCK is a Roon specific Linux cut down and loads onto the NUC producing what is in effect a DIY Nucleus. If you want to run anything else or you are uncertain about your love affair with Roon Windows will give a back out (!!). To me Mac is just expensive for no gain over Windows (DUCKS …)
Processor , for a small library i3 but starting from scratch I would go i7 anyway its not a big add on. If you increase library or use a lot of DSP you may need the additional oomph.
Its easy to use your laptop to start with as you get the hang of things , you can transfer to a dedicated server later
Your 851 has just been upgraded to Roon Ready status , you may have to apply a firmware update if you haven’t already but once done Roon will see the 851 directly as a network device.
Good luck , its worth the effort
(BTW how ex pat are you my mother was a Howarth , I still have Howarth family back in Hyde in Cheshire