I build a Titan

Just for fun, I wanted to see what kind of Roon server I could put together for $3999. Naturally I turned to Titan Computers. I chose the Desktop versions, and scrolled down until I came to the W522, “Workstation PC for Heavy Calculations”. Xeon Silver processor, Quadro T400 video card. I selected the “high-performance silent 120mm fans with Anti-Vibration fan mounts”, an additional $75. I bumped up the RAM to 128 GB, another $200 – why not? No operating system – I’ll try ROCK, and if that doesn’t work, just use Ubuntu with Roon Server. The disks are OK – a 1 TB system disk and 4 TB spinning 7200 rpm Seagate Enterprise for the music. Just in case I want to rip a CD on it, I added a DVD writer, another $40.

I was tempted by the “Wood crate with truck/freight delivery” option, but decided the $495 was too much for that.

Total cost, $3981.

Xeons are still not good Roon CPUs unless you want to run 24 parallel zones. Single core comparison to the i7-1185G7 in the NUC11TNHi7 which Roon currently recommends for 12K+ albums with ROCK:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/3524vs3793/Intel-Xeon-Silver-4210-vs-Intel-i7-1185G7

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Yes, this, it can’t be stressed enough. Roon, for the most part and for majority of use cases is a single core constrained thing. You want really fast single core performance. The nice thing about Xenon though, and there are a couple fast single core Xenon’s, is the ECC memory.

Otherwise, nice system indeed. With 128GB of memory I’d imagine most DBs would sit completely in memory nicely :slight_smile: Should be ultra quick.

Well, if I switch to a W361 with an Intel i9-14200 KS 3.2 GHz processor, I can get the cost down a bit, which means I can upgrade the video card to an A2000 and add a liquid cooler for the CPU. Still only $3804.

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Video cards should not be considered if you are truly trying to spec a high end PC as a RoonServer. Now, if this machine is doing double duty as a RoonServer and HQPlayer PC, then go ahead, but, you need to use an NVidia Cuda capable graphics card (and not a Quadro). A high end CPU wiht something like a 4090ti GPU, should be able to crush 1024 DSD with heavy modulators and filters.

Oooh, 1024 DSD. I hear it’s coming :wink:.

I don’t think I really understand graphics cards. Don’t the Quadro cards have Cuda cores? Well, I can’t do a 4090Ti and still stay under $4K, but I can do a 4070Ti Super 16 GB card for $3974.

Assuming you don’t need 24 threads, you could wait for one of the new M3s.

Might even be cheaper than your Titan.

Alternatively, split the difference between the i7 and i9 and get a second hand Mac mini M1. That would definitely be way cheaper :slight_smile:

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Nah, I’m off Apple computers. Maybe once the Asahi Linux project matures.

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I’ve recently got me a new workstation (not for Roon usage though), from a less boutique maker. With 64GB of RAM, same T400, fastest i9 that was available, 1+2 TB SSD M.2 drives and a BD writer it all came to $2100. And if it breaks Lenovo will come out and fix it on site.

It’s not technically a silent PC, but with no moving parts (unless I am ripping something) I haven’t managed to get it to make any reasonably audible noise. I would imagine it would make a decent Roon core…

Ah, but the game is, what could you build for $3999 that could run Roon server?

Umm, anything? Upping the RAM to 128 and adding a faster video card for HQPlayer, if one is so inclined, would get you to $3999 easily.