Hardware question

Put this in “Roon” category because I am just after community advice.

I am running RoonServer on a 2013 vintage iMac that serves other computing needs. My library is about 4000 tracks most of which are itunes era low res versions. I have an additional 1000 or so hi-res tracks. I have both a Tidal and Qobuz subscription.

Given that the rubbish low res itunes can be sourced in better quality via streaming i would only want to access my very small library of downloaded hi-res tracks and dump the existing library.

If I do that, how low a spec could I get away with?

I have seen a 2010 core duo 2 8GB RAM Mac Mini online at a good cost (HDD unfortunately, but would that matter?).

I would make this my exclusive Roon machine. Is this a reasonable idea? I know it’s putting all my eggs in the streaming basket but my library is low quality at present.

Would appreciate community thoughts.

It is not the source of the file that’s makes the difference to the performance of Roon. It is the total number of files in your library no mater where they come from. Roon stores a lot of information about the files in your library and is constantly needing access it. Hence the recommendation for and SSD for storage of the database.

The other thing that can require a more powerful computer is any kind of DSP you want to use. You don’t mention that. This can be even heavier if you are playing to multiple zones at the same time. What are your needs here?

This has some more background.

Thanks. I have multiple endpoints but do not use simultaneously and do not really use any DSP. The endpoints range from RPI3 running ropieee to squeezebox/chromecasts but i don’t really have much need for grouping / multizone playback. So i guess my question should be modified to : is drive access speed more important than processor speed in my proposed use ? Thanks for the reply

Your really want to put Roon on a SSD. Roon’s access to the database is very, very important. The access speed to your music isn’t as critical.
Have you had a look at a ROCK installation on a Nuc?
This is a Roon only appliance once you set it up. Roon works very efficiently here. A 7th generation i3 Nuc with the 8Gb RAM and a SSD drive Roon installation is all you need to get started. It is pretty easy to get going if you have decent computer skills. There are videos on how to put this together on YouTube and instructions on how to install ROCK/Roon are in the KnowledgeBase.

I have average computer skills (and a limited budget) , but will have a look at this - Thanks !

I have used Roon with good success using that very config. But it’s slow (sometimes takes 30 minutes to add a new album), and DSP is pretty much unusable (which was OK for me). I ran Ubuntu on the mini, as it’s too old for Apple updates. I used the optical out on the mini to drive a DAC.

Thanks SSD for me then…

OK, have just purchased at i5 core (3rd Gen) 4Gb RAM 128Gb SSD Win 10 Pro Toshiba laptop for this purpose. Hope that will be good enough for my use !

Thanks for the help/advice

IMHO I would steer clear of buying anything less recent than 3 years ago for a roon server. I have a couple of 2010 Mac minis, a 2011 and a 2014 and the later is OK just…the former are great as a RoonBridge endpoint but I would only consider them as I have them from new many years ago. All my Old mini’s have SSD - this is a MUST for Roon Core!!!

If you want a better spend, get any recent i3/5/7 system with Windows and just run that as it will well out perform any pre 2014 MacMini, or get a NUC and run ROCK and never look back.

If the 2010 MM is free or a few $ then maybe its worth a try, but don’t expect stellar roon experience, especially without an SSD

I think / hope the mad impulse purchase i have just made should do it…just !

As noted can always use a roon bridge :stuck_out_tongue: but these days I use a Raspberry Pi - uses much less power, smaller and can host a HAT DAC/AMP

Note old MM can have gunked up fans so might be worth air dusting that out for better cooling and quietness.