Is it okay to use M.2 SSD instead of SATA

Roon Core Machine


Networking Gear & Setup Details

FIOS internet. Converting to a Nest wifi environment.

Connected Audio Devices

Number of Tracks in Library

15,000 songs.

Description of Issue

I am configuring a new QNAP NAS (QNAP TVS-472XT-i3-4G-US) where Roon will be the primary use case. A support person is suggesting I install two m.2 SSD’s instead of SATA. They suggest the M.2s, 1 for Roon and the other cache and fail-over. As these attach to the motherboard, it also frees up a bay.

  1. Is M.2 SSD equal to or better than SATA for Roon as the primary/exclusive use case?
  2. Is a second SSD over the top?

Looking for feedback on the use of 2, M.2 SSDs vs SATA and if I really need a back up.

I am not well versed on this and I hope I’ve presented the question properly.


M.2 SSDs are better/faster than SATA…

Of course you should have backups…all devices have the potential to fail. Using RAID is not usually required for home users where high availability is not usually a requirement.

I have a QNAP TVS-672XT dedicated as my music server. It has the Roon core and my library. I set it up with two 500GB M.2 for cache and SSDs in the bays for the music files. Roon operates flawlessly. QNAP says to install the M.2 cache in pairs.

Would be fine to use M.2 for Roon, that is what is recommended for the Intel NUC/ROCK builds.
Having a second one for Cache and fail over would not be a “bad” idea. It would help speed up file access.

Hopefully you have reviewed this KB:

The Roon website shows the following:

  • 1 bay with a small SSD (120GB, about $40 right now) for the Roon Server install and the Roon database
  • 2 bays with 6TB drives, RAID1 (mirrored)
  • 1 bay with 6TB drive for weekly backup of the mirrored set

Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like M.2 is preferred vs SATA for running Roon on NAS. Is there any downside I should be considering vs SATA or it is only upside? Same or better speed, reliability, availability, durability, etc? I greatly appreciate informed feedback. Thx- Gary

To be clear, when talking “SATA” vs “M.2”, in order to compare apples to apples, it would be “SATA SSD” not SATA spinning disk. There would be no downside to getting the M.2 as far as I am aware other than maybe price, but that being said, they are very similar, where the SATA SSD would be about $10-20 cheaper. YMMV and it depends on where you get it and whether there is a sale of course.

But other than that they are very similar as far as reliability, durability, etc. The M.2 “should” be quite a bit faster (some say 2-3 times faster), this depends on the set-up and the drives you are comparing, etc.

The speed and reliability of the SSD where Roon stores its library are important for good performance. So, in PC builds M.2 is preferred, too.

Two recommendations: (1) Go with a good M.2. SSD; e.g. look at the Samsung 980 Pro; for running just Roon you don’t need a big one, the smallest is big enough. (2) Roon at times starts batch processes on the server (storage library updates), which write heavily to the SSD and it heats up. When I did my build 3 years ago, I forgot to get a heatsink for my M.2 SSD. This is very much recommended, though.

Last question - I think - does it change any opinions to know that I not only plan to use the NAS for 15,000 songs, but also 6TB of video? Thanks again!

This info only make using as M.2 more desirable. Also, increasing the amount memory from the stock 4 Gig would help when dealing with large video files.

In addition to all this great advise, Welcome to Roon!

Enjoy :sunglasses:


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