Hardware choice for roon core: VMware server, HP MicroServer or (dedicated) NUC

Hi community,
I’m thinking of entering the Roon game.
What is an the best solution for a Roon Core with my current hardware.
I have an HPE DL 180 Gen 9 server running VMware ESXi and a HP N54L Gen 7 MicroServer running Win 10 Pro.
Both are running 24/7.
I have several NUC’s running Win 10 Pro used as desktop machines.
They are not running 24/7 currently.
One i5 NUC sits in a Tranquil PC Abel H2 fanless case and has been running 24/7 in the past.
So the choice is:

  • a dedicated VM (Linux or Windows)
  • the HP Microserver running Win 10 Pro
  • the fanless i5 NUC running Win 10 Pro
    Or should I buy a dedicated NUC that will run the new Roon OS on Linux?
    Endpoints will be a living room HT with an AV receiver and a network player, a few desktop PC’s, and probably a few rPI’s with HifiBerry or IQaudiIO hats.

Edit: I’ll be using Tidal HiFi mostly as my CD’s are ripped in mp3 and I don’t fancy ripping them again in FLAC.



I think it makes sense to try it with one of the options you already have.

I’ve used it with an older celeron nuc on w10 for the last year and as long as you don’t used too much dsp it’s fine.

Any of your options should allow a good trial, if you like it the dedicated nuc does look a great solution.



Or the new Roon Hardware just announced off the back of Munich - at a cost

Personally, I’d go for the i5 NUC and put Roon Server on it.

My Roon Core is an Intel i3 NUC with Windows 10 Pro and Roon Server, and this is capable of handling my 1,000+ albums with DSP processing of FLAC files on the main zone.

I’m running Debian on one i3 thread under bhyve. No issues and performance is fine with 4000+ albums. I’d go with VMware and Linux.