Is there really that much of an improvement having the Core database on an SSD?

I was humming along very well using Roon on my Synology DS918+ with my Core database sitting on my SHR2-configured spinning disks - eschewing the recommendations.

Then I decided to “follow the recommendations” and switch to using an attached SSD (both as eSATA, which I cannot get to work despite following Cannot use eSATA on SynologyDS920+, have set drive description to RoonServer - #12 by DDPS and as USB 3). Since Synology seems to rename USB-connected drives between boots when you use more than one (which I do - my primary is for backups), I cannot rely on Roon to come up reliably if my NAS reboots (which happens a couple of times a year due to long power outages in my area - I have UPSs for shorter outages). Also, each reboot resets not just the name of the RoonServer drive, but it also resets the permissions.

All that aside, I haven’t seen any noticeable performance improvement using the SSD anyway.

I have about 2TB of music, consisting of about 40,000 tracks / 2500 artists / 4200 albums. I do NOT use streaming services. Is it by any chance the streaming services data (of which I have none) that leads to the recommendation to use SSDs for the Roon Core database?

If there really is no performance benefit, I would really prefer to go back to having the database on my spinning disks, where it may be found more reliably so I don’t have to think about things during reboots.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!

Yes I noticed a huge difference if you have the drive directly connect via sata, or using nvme drive. Using it via USB3 or eSata is slower due to the overheads of the protocols used even though theoretical speeds are close actual speed isn’t. But on a NAS one factor affecting speed is just as likely the underpowered CPUs as the disks.

Thanks, @CrystalGipsy - I guess I would say that I don’t notice any performance issues at all with the database sitting on the spinning disks. Is that unusual? Maybe I don’t know what to look for? Everything is more or less instantaneous. Even the slowest operations, like the Discovery section, come up nearly instantaneously on my computers (a little slower on my iPad, but still quite spiffy).

@Jim_F LOL I agree - so, what areas are typical for people to see slowness? Maybe I am not using those areas?

For me it all came more responsive, switching between views, focus etc. But if it works leave it alone. Roons changed a lot since when I started so it’s hard to tell now, but I remember moving from NAS and SSD which I used to start and trial to a dedicated pc, the
to rock and SSD was a massive improvement in every area.

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I don’t know but there seems to be a difference also between standard SSD (Sata) and M.2 SSD drives too.

Startup time is usually a lot slower, as are database updates after installing a software update.

Importing new content is much slower. Applying edits to the database, especially larger operations like bulk editing or changing library settings can be miserable. Re-identification or re-scan of files is slower. Background metadata updates are much slower. Many of these operations result not only in the operations taking much longer, but also general slowness that effects Roon as a whole while they are happening.

Also, while browsing, images will load more slowly into the user interface, and many page loads which touch the disk will either take longer to show up or exhibit variable latency.

We look at SSDs as an enabling technology for software like Roon. We don’t perform QA testing with spinning drives because we’ve treated SSD as a system requirement since day 1. If someone with a spinning drive shows up complaining about performance, it’s the first thing we ask them to address.

If it’s working for you, that’s fine–just want to paint an accurate picture. I wouldn’t want to use Roon in a non-SSD configuration, but only you know what is best for your situation.


Since 2016 I have been using a Salkstream III that just uses a 2 TB internal HDD (only 30% capacity used) for music files and Roon core. I haven’t noticed a particularly significant performance penalty. Performance is generally very snappy. Since build 880, photos load somewhat slower sometimes, but I don’t know if this is related to using an HDD or changes in the way Roon handles photos since build 880 (I suspect the latter).

If I were to buy a new streamer, I would certainly buy one with an SSD as recommended, but my current experience with my current streamer doesn’t warrant the expense of making a change.

I imagine library size has something to do with this. For reference, my library has 20,412 tracks (7963 local files and 12,449 Qobuz favorites).

I’m using HDDs, two fast (for HDDs) server / datacenter spec in a mirrored configuration, and I find Roon plenty snappy. I don’t complain. It works for me so I keep it. At the time of my last server rebuild I wasn’t comfortable with the cost per TB of SSD so I kept with spinners. My next rebuild will be all new hardware and lots of SSDs though. My library is 16,000+ tracks across about 1200 albums. I don’t do much with / to the DB. My music files live on separate and slower / cheaper storage.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, it’s possible to be happy with spinning disks. But I, nor Roon, recommend it. :wink:

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Isn’t SSD also an advantage over HDD in terms of creating less digital noise, thus providing a better overall audio quality?


Here we go again…

As long as a core containing spinning disks is kept in a closet, the inevitable and scientifically proven analog noise is inaudible.

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Massive improvement in performance and reliability - 20TB of music and DO use streaming but putting but Core and DB on SSD has been night and day. Speed and snapiness on the Core on SSD and just the whole thing accessing much much faster as well as most of the drop outs we had on a daily basis now seeming to be down to internet and power issues *of which we have a lot in Africa!)

Here’s the performance on my DS918+ - I am curious - is this slow, fast, average? It’s playing music while I am doing this, BTW.

That’s way faster than my docker / ROCK on 918+ ever was. Way faster. It’s about the same as my 7i5 NUC/ROCK.

Slower than what I get I never see the Roon logo between pages on any remote.

It looks like pretty snappy performance to me. I’d be happy with that. :+1:

What are you running on?

Rock on on a 7th gen i7, 16gb Ram

That vid shows basically no delay or very negligible in the actions / work flow taken. Looking at the spec of the 918+ its a celeron? I’d say the performance based on the vid is very good.

However, being that is only a snap shot of some navigation. If the performance remains like that and doesn’t bog down after continued use, DB backups are fine, edits, updates etc… (as Brian pointed out), I guess I wouldn’t worry about it.

If you were to start over / move core to a new device, then certainly an SSD/M.2 for the DB is a no brainer.

I’m wondering if it’s because I don’t use any streaming services? It’s all local music. FYI total library size is about 2 terabytes, which seems smaller than what some of you have.