Mac Mini for Roon?

(Clemens Wergin) #62

I use my MacMini headless as a Roon core and stream music via an UltraRendu connected via ethernet cable to the MacMini. Remote is via iPad, which gives me a nice Roon user surface. And quality of music reproduction is top notch


mR is a transport device. To connect it directly to the Mini is nonsensical. Direct connection is accomplished by other means, i.e. USB. mR is not purposed to clean up a USB connection. It uses the same type USB port as the port on the Mini.

(Henry) #64

So you think all USB connections are equal then Slim?


I think the USB port on the mR is no different from any other USB port on the Mini and it’s just confusion that would prompt someone to make a kludgey connection of Mini ethernet -->mR–>DAC USB. Nowhere in mR literature is this suggested or even hinted at.

Just connect Mini USB --> DAC USB. If one absolutely has to, put a USB rejigger mechanism inbetween.

(Henry) #66

When I was briefly interested in the mRendu product I thought the USB on the device had a ‘rejigger’ built in.


They’re a little cagey about that. Since the output is USB, if it ‘rejiggers’ anything it would be the ethernet input, which is ridiculous. No sense in messing with any USB related signal since mR is then going to output it thru a USB port. Any supposed enhancement of the USB signal would have to be after it was output thru the USB port, no?

(Henry) #68

It is just electronics and a physical interface. You can use a ‘standard’ computer style USB or you can add a few components that purport to re-clock or clean up an output followed by the physical interface. It wouldn’t be hard to do.


No, I mean what’s the point of cleaning up a signal if it’s just going to be output thru a like engineered USB port anyway? Any cleanup to be done should be done after the signal has gone thru the USB port, as in some of the iFi products, etc.

My point, exactly.

(Henry) #70

You seem to think manipulation of the USB has to happen in a very specific physical way. It doesn’t. You can perform the manipulation from within the physical confines of the uRendu or mRendu case but electrically after the normal USB output. You can preserve most of the effect by keeping the USB cable you use as short as possible, or using a hard adaptor.


Of course, it isn’t physical. A river is physical. Anyway, I’ve lost the thread of what we’re ‘arguing’ about.:neutral_face:

As to my original comment about the kludge of attaching an mR to the ethernet port of the Roon machine, reference this somewhat cagey reply -

If, in this referenced posting, you travel backwards, chronologically, you will see that the kludge I am talking about has been one of my personal axes to grind.

Checking out of this topic, now.

Regards :sunglasses:

(Abe Collins) #72

Interesting as I have been running my 2012 qaud core Mac Mini i7 for 5 years powered ON 24/7 with no issues at all. It never runs hot, the fan never speeds up, and it’s been completely reliable over the years.

I’ve run Audirvana Plus, Pure Music, iTunes, Roon Core, HQplayer. It’s still working flawlessly for me playing music via Roon + Tidal into my USB DAC in the office and streaming to my microRendu in the basement setup. YMMV I guess, mine has been excellent.

(Jeremy) #73

Yes. I think I was unlucky. I have had one other Mac that I was unlucky with. Overall, out of 15 macs I have owned, I have had two lemons that had some kind of hardware problem that caused the odd kernel crash. Not very impressive reliability. I took one Mac back and they never fixed it - claiming they could not reproduce the issue. The Mac Mini 2014 quad i7 is in storage now - either it is motherboard, graphics card or memory at fault but I didnt feel it worthwhile to fix. It runs well but crashes at least once a week and sometimes more often then that.

If you have a good machine then hang on to it - the quad core is very fast and easily competes with what they sell currently in the Mac Mini line.


display connected with hdmi?

(Chris Kimmelshue) #75

I’m running Roon on a Late 2012 Mac Mini with 16GB RAM and 4TB in RAID 0. Zero issues streaming to multiple rooms/devices throughout the house. I remote into it from my MacBook Pro from time to time for updates.

(Hasan Latif) #76


I understand that for a Mac computer server, I should get other (non-audio) processes running on it down to below 60, if possible, but always below 70, to “optimize” it for audio (this is from Jim Smith’s published advice). I use a MacMini for my RoonCore myself. Looking at the number of processes on my MacMini with Activity Monitor I see close to 200 processes, including Java, etc in operation when viewing through Apple Remote on my laptop. I am wondering if Roon is driving all the processes that I see or whether I should try and figure out what the unnecessary processes are and shut them down. If there is another thread I should look at for the answer to this, please let me know.

Most of the time I do shut down Apple Remote to avoid taxing the MacMini while I listen to music on my stereo system.

Thanks for your help.

(Dave) #77

I am happily running a Mac mini (late 2012) with 4Gb memory - it plays perfectly consuming about 37% CPU according to ActivityMonitor while playing to a single networked zone; the whole system consumes about 2.6 - 2.7Gb memory.

I’ve turned off everything I can think of via System Preferences and seeing in the region of 250 - 269 processes; so getting down to 60-70 seems like something of a challenge and I’d worry about OS stability.

(Christopher Boone) #78

I know this is a zombie thread, but it has good info, and touches on my topic.

My Roon core is a mac mini, with a NAS for storage… (Roon is really all it has to run.)

But I saw this “recommendations” section in the Roon knowledge base:

Rule 1: Core and Output on separate devices

I have a separate mac mini that still has a CD slot, which I use for importing CDs. Is the recommendation that one should use a second mini (or whatever) as the OUTPUT device, which could then go either USB or optical into my amplifier (a PS Sprout100, which has a pretty good DAC).

I’m fine with this, as otherwise the second mac mini just sits around waiting to rip a CD, but does Roon use so much processing power that it’s necessary (preferred) to add this second device in the chain?

(Henry) #79

The reason isn’t power, it is to isolate the DAC from processing noise. As such there probably isn’t too much benefit in using 2 Minis unless you do something with the second like linear power.

(Christopher Boone) #80

OK… that makes sense, but if I have the second mini just sitting around doing nothing, waiting to import music, is there ANY benefit using that for output? (And controlling with an ipad or laptop, etc…)

I’ll do some testing to see, but I’m guessing my system isn’t sensitive enough to notice a difference.

(Henry) #81

You have it so give it a go!