Is it OK to run Roon Core on my Mac Mini which is connected directly to my DAC?
I’m using a 2010 Mac Mini with 8GB Ram. I am planning to buy another Mac Mini soon - just waiting on potential new products to be released
When I do, should I use the new Mac as a Core and keep near my router and use the new Mac as a bridge into the DAC ?
Just curious re which way to go…
Use the newer more powerful Mac as the Core. Use the older one as a bridge. Or, if you intend to use the new one solely for Roon, price up an equivalent specified NUC and consider running that with the upcoming ROCK.
IMHO I find Roon more stable on a Windows than MAC platform, but it will depend on how big your library is and possibly where you store it.
If your OLD Mini is non SSD unit (likely) then performance will be rather low unless you library is small (maybe less than 500 albums or maybe a lot less)
Holding out for the NUC/ROCK option would be my recommendation too.
So some library size feedback would be good, and also what is your remote/control point going to be or will you use the full Roon interface on the Mini or just as Roon Server (Headless).
This might apply to you too
I’ve found that Roon running on a Mac Mini (8Gb RAM) as Core is very stable. I use Raspberry Pi / HiFiBerry and Bluesound endpoints.
Biggest difference to performance was an inexpensive upgrade - bought an external USB3 200Gb SSD (£90) and use this as boot drive / where Roon database is stored. Library (about 6,500 CDs) sits on a 3Tb USB3 (not SSD) external drive. Running OS and Roon database on SSD made a big improvement to the speed of operation e.g. how quickly search results are returned - it’s now almost instantaneous.
I have a 2015 MacMini w/ 16GB RAM. I run Roon Core on it and have one of my DACs directly connected via USB. All my music sits on a NAS that is connected via a router (all hard wired). It all works flawlessly. In addition I have a second DAC in the house and a Sonos box too. I can run all 3 simultaneously without a hitch - ever (hope I didn’t jinx myself here).
Note my Mac Mini is dedicated to Roon Core, sits headless to help discourage family members from playing on it. It’s only job is Roon Core and redirecting bits from Roon to its USB port to the DAC or through its ethernet port to the other DAC or the Sonos box. It does nothing else and does it flawlessly. Grant it, my setup is probably overkill but I wanted a clean, error-free setup for my music.
replacing stock mechanical HD with an SSD in those Mac minis is not that hard
(still not something for the faint of heart, though )
My library size is just over 46,000 tracks which are on a NAS. Mainly 16/44 CD rips to AIFF. I also subscribe to Tidal.
The Mac Mini connected to the Hugo TT DAC will be run headless.
Do we know when the NUC/ROCK will be available ?
I’ve done this, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who’s not comfortable taking a small computer apart and putting it back together.
I’d agree that running Roon Core on a Mac mini is very stable and trouble free (if you’re already comfortable with MacOS), but assuming ROCK lives up to the Roon team’s usual high standards, you could definitely get away for a lot less with a NUC/ROCK setup. Also, since the DAC in question is a Hugo TT, it’s likely (IMO) you could derive some improvement in SQ by going with something like a Sonore microRendu rather than a mini as the endpoint.
(Which isn’t to say that a mythical near-future Mac mini with an i7 6700K and a nice low price point wouldn’t solve a heck of a lot of problems for me.)
yes: quite some “patience”, care and dexterity are needed
nowhere even close, though, to doing the same in an old “white” 12" iBook
oh and… don’t hold your breath waiting for an “upgraded” Mini (or computer in general) from nowadays Apple