Ideas for a Roon Core Server


New to Roon, currently using the 30 day trial with my Naim music streamer and very impressed with it so far.

I’m currently using a Macbook Pro for the core, but want to add a non-nucleus core server (probably i3) and am looking a a few products on Amazon that seem to fit the bill.

I have a small ripped CD collection and only 2 end points. This product seems pretty good to me, will add my own 1TB SSD drive into the kit.

Would this be a good Roon core server, compared to a Nucleus?

It has a small fan, but not worried about that as it will be located in the next room, connected to a gigabit LAN.

Thanks for any help,


I used that box, in a GEN7 flavor, for several months. I’ve also used a Mini. which I hated.

Based on your library size and the number of endpoints, then an i3 should be more than adequate. The base Roon Nucleus is only an i3

The only time you might have a problem is with DSP. My i3 could never upsample to DSD512, but really who cares?

I have a similiar i5 box sitting on my desk and have never heard the fan.

BTW - These boxes use M.2 SSD. If you’re going to put ROCK on it, then don’t get anything larger than 128GB as ROCK will use the complete M.2 and not allow you to put anything else there.

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If by the SSD, you mean for music storage, then not into that particular Intel NUC you can’t. You need a BEH (High) model - which has space to put in a 2.5" SSD or HDD for local music storage.


Thanks for the great advice, on the M2 SSD.:grinning:

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Thanks Geoff, I just noticed this! Yes, will go with the taller version so I can put a 1TB SSD in.

One other thing. Is 4GB RAM enough, I know that’s whats on the Nucleus, but there is not much of a price hike to go to 8GB…would ROON benefit at all? Thanks

Currently, memory is cheap. With the corona virus raging, that won’t be the case for long.

Go with 8GB (4x2 config). :slightly_smiling_face:

Not at the moment, but who knows for future versions? And as Slim says, it wouldn’t do any harm to go for it.

Your i3 will be fine. For peace of mind you might want to look at this comparison @simon_pepper did, i3 vs i7.
The question remains what can the i7 do with Roon the i3 can’t do? I’m sure there is a performance gap somewhere, but it wasn’t obvious within the constraints of this comparison.


Thanks for that, will take a look.

Yup, i3 from NUC5 gen onwards, (even NUC3), with 8GB and a M.2 SATA SSD has been seen to do everything, at the same level, as the later NUC generations & higher rated i5 or i7 CPUs. That included standard level DSP for a Room equalisation, and down & up converting.
(Unless you have a library of over 500k tracks or some odd upsampling/conversion requirement to DSD512 or DSD1028, but these are not the general case).

Just remember when you first load your library the Roon Core will be indexing and analysing all tracks, so there is workload present, that is just the initial stages and once done is done.

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I would opt for a Synology 2Bay 218+ or something larger. It’s amazingly flexible to do other tasks. I am running it as my Roon Core and it’s been problem free. Software for Synology is great as well. I also run a Plex Server off the same box.

Much better bang for your buck. Add a couple NAS drives and your off.

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Personally I would have the music library on a NAS and the Roon Core on a separate NUC, accessing the files over the network.
This allows you to treat the music library as data, and let the tools that come with the NAS to run RAID protection, and backup to other servers.
Roon Core is then operated on a dedicated processing platform over a hard wired network, as an embedded appliance running ROCK.
This then serves the array of endpoints etc.
This is a standard computing architecture for scalable systems, database server, application server, frontend presentation server.

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I had my music files on a NAS for quite awhile. Roon playing music files that are on a NAS is problematic. Roon, through no fault of its own, can not recognize when new files are added to the NAS.

Concerning Roon, I think most people who have a NAS strictly use it to back up their music files and to back up the Roon library.

They play from either an internal drive or an external USB drive.

This is not the case with the Core running on Synology. It picks up the files immediately. I also have dual disk redundancy and backup the entire library offsite, all with the Synology.

After you have added new music, you just scan and they are added or set the Scan period to an hour, and they are picked then.
It’s no big deal.
And easier that backing up DAS to the Core.

Many have found separating the platform for the Roon Core improves SQ

There’s no SQ improvement in separating the core from the library.
Plus the library on an internal SSD plays/accesses music files a damn-sight quicker than if the files are on a NAS.

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You may want to look at the 813BEH , it’s slightly taller and will accept a 2.5 inch drive for music as well as an M.2 NVME for the Roon Server.

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Yes, I understand. I used a NAS for music files for quite awhile.

Sorry, b-llsh-t. No offense.:wink:

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No offence, just reporting what other members have actually heard in their systems. Take the Roon Core out of a general purpose computing environment, put it on a dedicated embedded OS appliance device, and the SQ they hear in their system is improved.

Whether they shouldn’t because it is just a computing environment doesn’t matter, when they actually hear a difference.