Intel Optane desirable for ROCK?

Anyone know if the new “optane” versions of the NUC are needed/desireable? Or even work?

No, no, and no.

My understanding is that Optane is a hardware solution for creating an high performance cache for your boot drive, which is moot if you have an SSD for your boot drive. If you had a large but slow spinning drive as your boot drive, you could add optane and turn that drive into a “hybrid” SSD+spinning drive solution for about $40-$70.

Given that the SSD for ROCK only costs about the same thing, there is no point.

I don’t see Optane having much of a life. Intel releases really wacky stuff sometimes.


I found really strange that people don’t get the point of the porpuse of an OS Disk, and specially with the Optane SSD´s from Intel and their specs. Yes they are expensive but they are the perfect OS SSD, because of their latency and IOPs, especially in a ROCK solution that the OS is quite small, not demanding huge amount of space for the OS (proper optimise implementation of a tune OS) but demanding a lot of tasks to be executed in “real-time” music application server. Its not only speed, its how that speed is delivered and again the application purpose OS or general storage Music SSD.

What would you say is the specific benefit of using Optane in a ROCK system, compared to using a 240GB SSD (for the OS) which is now on sale for £34?? There would have to be either an improvement in sound or in the responsive of whatever client(s) are connecting to the ROCK.

Keep in mind that a ROCK server runs Roon core only and not "a lot of tasks to be executed in “real-time” music application server."

Am I’m wrong or isn’t music a “real-time” application that ROCK need to process along the need and justification for the ROCK Architecture (Core) and the need to perform the heavy duty tasks, and in that include for instance the server and synchronise all the playbacks in a multiform system processing RAAT, along with seamless user behaviour/experience with all the multiple controls.

Yes, music playback is an example of real time application. My question is how does Optane improve this? Would a ROCK user today hear or see any benefit if they upgraded their ROCK server to use Optane and (if so) how?

Playing high-res audio is not a heavy duty task. I can play 24/192 from PC core>raspberry pi > DAC and neither PC shows any significant CPU load.

" playbacks in a multiform system processing RAAT" are not going to be I/O dependant (which is where Optane can help). I’m going to assume (not knowing the internal architecture) that if you play a track to 5 endpoints at the same time, that Roon is not reading the same track (from disk) 5 times with concurrent threads (processes).

SATA SSD is good enough to satisfy the needs of Roon. NVMe offers minimal real world improvement in my experience. And my issue with Optane is that there is no evidence it works better/faster than NVMe as a boot drive. It’s benefits are stated as providing fast cache for a boot drive, not as a boot drive itself. Optane is still niche, I haven’t seen anyone offer support for it other than Intel, though to be honest I haven’t looked other than to source a nice M ITX board for my last build.

There is no real benefit to using an Optane SSD for Roon vs any other SSD. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan on Optane and have it in several of my workstations. But not in my Roon server.)

  • Optane is lower latency, yes. But this basically doesn’t matter on a Roon system. The OS block cache will pretty much have all of Roon in RAM anyway (and by this, I also mean the active/“hot” parts of the Roon database), so you’re doing very little I/O to the SSD. Roon itself uses barely 1GB of RAM, so even on a system with only 4GB, most of that RAM is going to the block cache.
  • Optane is orders of magnitude higher write endurance than traditional SSDs. (This is the main reason I use Optane in my workstations – not for the latency benedits.) This also doesn’t really matter on a Roon server. Roon writes very little data. Yes, it burps continuously to its log files, but this is still a trickle of data. And the database updates that occur when importing new music is pretty minimal as well – namely because most people don’t continuously import music 24x7. A steady-state Roon system probably writes a most a few hundred MB to backing storage per day. Optane endurance handles multiple terabytes per day. Even the crappiest consumer SSD can easily handle the write endurance required for a Roon server.

Optane is awesome. And it certainly won’t hurt to build a Roon server using it. But it’s completely unnecessary overkill that you are paying a price premium for.

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The only reason to consider it is for write endurance. The speed/latency won’t make any difference. If your workloads result in a lot of swapping, then Optane’s write endurance is a big deal. But if you’re swapping a lot, you should probably look at adding more RAM first…


Thank you @cwichura