HQP and Roon on same or different machines?

Brian and/or Andy,

One other processing related question…sorry if this is in the wrong place. I’m making some changes to my home network and processing computers. If I’m playing files via hqplayer, how demanding is Roon on a computer? Does Roon use multiple processors? I’m currently using a i7 (quad-core) mac running at 2.3ghz. Is there any reason to expect that Roon would run better/worse on a mac pro (8-core) running at 2.2ghz? HQplayer definitely runs better on the mac pro (it also has a cuda graphics card), but I wasn’t sure whether it would make a difference for Roon. The hqplayer machine will likely be a very fast 2.6ghz Xeon E5-2670 (16 core) machine with a cuda card running 64-bit linux. This machine will be on the same giga-bit switch as the Roon machine. The hqplayer machine will then deliver data to several NAA’s via either fast ethernet/fiber or a fast (450) wireless connection. Just wondering if it is worth switching the Roon library from the mac mini to the mac pro.



Hi Robert,

@brian recently commented about Roon’s performance workload:

Either of the computers will easily run Roon. My suspicion is that any discernible difference in performance might only become apparent with a pretty large library.

I’d be inclined to let HQP have all the room it wants and keep Roon on the quad i7. You’ll get some increased network traffic, but I would not think that would be a factor for gigabit Ethernet.

I have a pretty large library…over 50K tracks…lots of high resolution/DSD…but Roon performance on the quad i7 is good now…searches are pretty instant. The mac pro does better running hqplayer because of the 8 cores and CUDA…but I’m anticipating a major step up when I move to the linux box…its testing at about 2-3 times the speed for 64-bit multiprocessor performance.

The thing I’m most curious about is how DSD256 coming out of hqplayer does moving over 450mbps wireless to get to the linux NAA connected to my Auralic DAC. The Auralic only does DSD128 at the moment…but is scheduled for a firmware update to get to DSD256 this spring. I haven’t run ethernet/fiber between the machines and it will be difficult…so it would be great if the fast wireless worked.

A bit OT sorry. I made enquiries here in Australia about the Vega firmware upgrade. Was told it wasn’t currently available and when it was the unit would have to be sent back to China and the process may take “some months”. Be easier to make an appointment and fly it to HK myself.

What are you running the NAA on ?

I’ve written many bits+pieces about Roon performance. Discourse is terrible for collecting that kind of stuff…it gets lost to history. We’re working on deploying a knowledge base site so this kind of broad guidance can have a safe place to live.

A “big” library from our perspective is something like the 3-500k tracks. We do have a handful of users in that space. When we’re pushing functionality forward, we tend to break the “big collection guys” in alpha, then have to optimize/dial it back until it works for them again.

So 50-75k tracks is very comfortable territory, even on modest hardware.

Roon does use multiple cores, but it’s a very different kind of workload than HQPlayer.
We’re bursty, and we dynamically scale based on how much work there is to do.

The three most important specs are:

  • Speed of the storage hosting the database (500mb/s SSD, please!)
  • Amount of CPU cache
  • Single-core CPU performance

These are all related to UI responsiveness.

Your 8-core pro will definitely be faster than the mini–no question. It’s a faster machine in every way. But with ~50-75k tracks will it really matter? I doubt it. Do whichever is more convenient for you.