How to set up a MacMini


I like the idea of using a Mac Mini for my core but need some help with specs and setup please. Which Mini, how much ram, and size drive. I don’t have a ton of music(1600 albums) and am currently using my iMac as the core. My iMac is upstairs so thought maybe I could put the mini with the rest of my gear(amp + Bluesound Node 2i DAC) downstairs. I have one Ethernet jack in the cabinet where my stereo gear is located.

Questions? Do I need a monitor attached to mini continuously or just for the Roon software download and iTunes library transfer? Does the mini simply wake up when I launch my iPad to control Roon? Finally, what does the connection look like. Ethernet into Mini, Mini out to Node2i via? Node 2i to amp via RCA plugs?

Thanks for any help! Not sure whether it’s worth doing all this or just saving up for a Nucleus, amp etc. I do use Tidal HiFi and want to retain MQA capability.

Here are the basic requirements for running Roon. 8GB RAM is cheap. The SSD drive is essential. Many people run some fairly old minis. But with the advent of the new M1 Mac Mini, you might be able to find a relatively new one used, and cheap.

No. Run RoonServer on it and you control it by any other Roon client (iPad, laptop, phone).

It could. But you will likely find that lag annoying. You could just run it continuously

Your core should really be connected via ethernet. It might be fine to run the Node2 via wireless. Otherwise the Node may need to be on Ethernet. If you need to do that you could get a cheap switch (Netgear) and hook that up to your ethernet, then plug the mini and the Node into it.
I have a Bluesound Pulse running on wireless and it is pretty stable.
I don’t have a Node 2i, but I see it has RCA out. You could control the volume two ways, You could probably set volume to be controlled by Roon (via DSP) or set volume fixed and control it at the amp (if it has volume controls).

Personally, I’d start here. If it works great for you you’ve save enough money on the Nucleus to pay for a lifetime membership to Roon and Tidal/Qobuz for years. I suspect you’ll find this to be pretty easy to get going.

Thanks so much Scott! That’s exactly what I needed to get started on this project. Much appreciated. Mark

Have fun Mark.
The Community is here to help if you need it.

I have roon core on a Mac mini (i7, late 2012) streaming to a Node 2i. My flac files are on a NAS.

The NAS is connected to the network via ethernet, as well as the Node 2i.

The Mac mini is on WiFi.

Never had a single issue, with either local files or Qobuz, whatever the resolution.

Just wanted to thank everyone who posted on this topic! I purchased a new Apple Mac Mini M1 (8GB/256GB SSD) running OS 11.1 and it’s working great! The only snags I hit and subsequently fixed were changing the Admin Login on the Mini to “Automatically Login” and and removing a Netgear ethernet switch it didn’t like for some reason? The Minis now directly wired to the router which seems best for my setup. The Mini feeds a wi-fi connection to my Node 2i (which was previously connected to the ethernet switch) and from the Node 2i it heads into the amp. I’ve been tepid on Roon but now really love the product! Thanks again.