Is my iMac underpowered to run Roon?

It has a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3, using an iOmega HDD attached via FireWire to the iMac. It is a mid-2011 iMac.

I keep losing my Roon connection, which is over WiFi and I also got transport errors.

Is the problem an underpowered iMac or trying to use Wi-Fi instead of Ethernet to connect the Roon Core?


It might be both, but it’s always best to hardwire the Core.

Are you using up-sampling, DSP or multi-room features?

Wifi. If you do a search on this site the number of people that use wifi that also have problems is alarming. People will tell you the using wifi is okay. That’s it’s robust. That there should be no difference from wired and maybe in their house it is. But as I read the posts from people that are having connection issues the common thread in most is the use of wifi. That iMac is plenty powerful enough.


I’d say that is likely to be a WiFi issue. The Mac has enough power and memory but as John has pointed out your symptoms are typical of troublesome WiFi. I’d find a way to get it wired temporarily to prove it.

My mid 2011 Mac mini was running fine but my high Sierra os was polluted with all kinds of add/deletes of software the past 7 years and os updates over the years and roon was running wired just fine.

Two weeks ago I upgrade the ram to 16 and replaced the hd with a new ssd and a clean install of high Sierra. Only loaded Tidal, Roon, iTunes, and BluOS. I still run wired with an aq usb plug.

Everything is running really well; faster, clean os, etc.

Where is the Ethernet connection needed: between my iMac and my router (which is connected directly to the cable modem)? Between my Sonos Connect and the network? Or both? (Both currently on the same Wi-Fi network.) Sonos runs perfectly on two Sonos Connects. Why doesn’t Roon?

Thanks, Henry and John.

I’m using an elderly iMac 8,1 from 2008 as a Roon kiosk in my living room that has a two channel music setup. The Mac only has 4 GB of RAM and I have it dual boot to Windows 10 (hacked to run it, yes) so that I can have ASIO drivers to the Oppo DAC at this location. But this machine has had no problems running Roon, either booted to Mac OS or Windows 10. I wouldn’t put a Roon Core on it but it’s nice as a music kiosk and/or Roon Bridge.

And for awhile, only wireless networking was working. It still worked extremely well (now I have wired Ethernet drivers on Windows 10 working successfully). I have two other elderly Macs doing Roon Bridge duty in my house (2008 Macbook, 2010 Mac Mini). Both run Roon without problems and I continue to be amazed at the performance Roon gets out of old, if not obsolete hardware.

Connect the iMac back to the router replacing the wireless link. That is a one for one swap and should prove or eliminate wireless as the culprit.

Sonos runs on mesh. Just pick up a 4 port switch and plug the Mac, Sonos and your modem into it.

Plus Sonos is a much lower bit rate service if you will. I like to think of it like this. For those of us that remember AM radio, Sonos is AM compared to Roon’s FM. AM travels much farther but sounds much less robust than does FM.

Hi guys. Well I just connected my iMac via Ethernet to my Eero router which is directly connected to my cable modem. Neither my iPad nor my iPhone can find Roon.

And you are right Sonos has its own proprietary mesh network, though I believe it will now run on vanilla wi-fi. Since I have no problems with the mesh network I haven’t tried it on wi-fi. However, the Sonos bit rate is the same as the CDs I have ripped to my hard drive. Maybe Roon is only worthwhile if you have hires downloads?

I’m very upset with Roon. $119 for two working sessions and now I can’t get a connection!

Does my Sonos Connect also have to be on Ethernet for Roon to find it? What else can I try to get a Roon connection to my Sonos Connects?

Thanks again.

Don’t lose faith over this. @support is terrific at solving issues and should be able to help you and get you up and running. Take your time and let them help you work it out My entire library is available to me via Roon including all my iTunes rips. I now rip to FLAC to get better quality rips, something I could not do via iTunes. My system works and it works well including connecting to my Sonos system.

Ron now working on both iPad and iPhone. Let’s see if they keep working! If so I’ll just keep my iMac connected via its 50 foot Ethernet cable.

Hello @Stephen_Bayle,

Glad to hear that it’s up and running now, we’re here to help if things still don’t seem to be working after that direct Ethernet connection approach, just let us know!

Just a quick note, I would also double check your firewall settings on the Mac to make sure that Roon is listed as an exception as that has helped out a lot user’s in the past, instructions are listed on Apple’s site here.


Adding to my earlier post. I have been running EERO for 2+ years now and with Roon since I became a member with many control devices, the aforementioned upgraded Mac Mini (2001) and direct into an Oppo 205, with no issues. Did you buy a 4-port switch of any brand?

Thanks again, guys. Really enjoying Roon. It’s performing just as advertised now. Great to have such a supportive and responsive community.

Given my Sonos endpoints is there anybenefit to the Roon Nucleus aside from not having to keep my iMac running which I’ve been doing since 2011?

Or maybe I should look for a Sonos thread? I only have about 4500 CDs ripped equates to 54000 tracks.

Thanks again, Steve

If you have a Nucleus why are you running the iMac? The core should be on your Nucleus. Are you still running the core on your iMac? Plus if you really want to experience this thing go get a DAC and hang it off your Nucleus. The Sonos units are mid-fi ant best.

Sorry for the confusion. I do NOT own a Nucleus! My question was what benefit would I get from buying one now that Roon is working fine on my iMac?

And I do have a DAC. I have an Auralic Vega DAC that takes the digital output of my Sonos Connect and feeds its analog output to my Odyssey power amp. Sounds far better than the analog output of the Sonos Connect.

However, since posting the question I see that Roon recommends running the Core on a separate device.

But I’m nervous about adding to the cost and complexity of my system for an increase in SQ that my 70 year old ears probably can’t discern.

If improved SQ is the only benefit to buying a Nucleus I will probably pass.

Thanks, Steve

The Nucleus use case does not revolve around sound quality. It revolves around a dedicated plug and play device that can’t be compromised by frequent updates or OS changes like Windows and Mac like to do. The software is intimately designed around the hardware and updates are tested prior to release with effective and rapid support when problems are found. And of course it doesn’t need to be Nucleus. You get a massive chunk of the above by running ROCK on a supported platform but obviously there is some work there for you to do. If there is a perceived lift in SQ, that should be considered a bonus.


Got it! Thanks, Henry. Something shut down my iMac this afternoon, probably the electrical storm we had, so of course Roon didn’t work in my living room. So I can see how the Nucleus or other dedicated Core device would avoid PC/OS headaches. Steve