Mac Mini not powerful as Roon Core

This looks like the standard spec for the entry level Mini at that time, but if so it would come with a 500GB 5400rpm HDD rather that an SSD. If that’s what you have it may explain your issue as Roon really needs to run on an SSD.

Hi Chris. You are right. The Mini just has a standard 500 GB HDD.

Maybe worth trying an SSD then. I guess you have to decide whether or not it’s worth spending more cash on an old machine, but as SSDs are much cheaper than they used to be it’s probably worth a try.
FWIW I have a MacBook Pro of the same age that came with an SSD, and it has no problem running Roon.

As said above - my even older (late 2009) iMac with a retrofitted SSD served reliably as Core. No issues whatsoever. Two rooms and even some DSP for a headphone. And another myth to bust: there is no such thing as an ‘audio’ PC / server. It’s only an option to spend more money and wait for marketing promises to happen magically. But hey …


Try for 500GB SSD or more, they’re better performing due to higher density.

A machine running a Roon Core should always have an SSD to hold the Roon database for performance reasons.

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Roon is a database which means it has quite a lot of background harddisk activity going on. This activity consist of many small reads and writes. Now that is exactly where an SSD is miles ahead of a magnetic hardrive. The seek times are up to a thousandfold faster than on a spinning disk. Besides that, read/write speed is about 100 times faster as well but it really is the seek times that makes the biggest difference. Spinning harddisks are the biggest bottleneck for any computer nowadays and should not be used anymore for any operating system or database purposes, they are fine for music storage though.
A MacMini is just a computer like any other computer nomatter if it is a Mac or a Windows machine, they are all the same essentially and 7 years is quite old for a computer especially considering this was an entry level machine at that time. Personally I would never buy a used one of that age to be honoust. The late 2014 machines are now on their latest OS update which means support will stop in two years and from there you won’t get any security patches anymore which makes this machine highly vulnurable when open to the internet, but you can allways install Windows10 or Linux on it offcoarse :wink:

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My 2012 mini works great. (Originally spec’d as a work server, so it’s fairly beefy, but with an SSD you should be fine.)

Yeah, a dedicated music server would be an upgrade, but you’ve got the mini already, so I agree with the SSD upgrade (should be an easy, inexpensive DIY), and living with that for a while so you have a benchmark.

Then, if the itch needs scratching, look at a Nucleus or build a ROCK.

I guess here’s a question (sorry if I missed it), but are you using the Mini to STREAM also? Or is it just the Core? If it were me, to help the mini be more effective as your Roon server, I would use the mini only as the core, and then stream with something else. (Raspberry Pi running RoPieee is pretty amazing for peanuts.)


I must respectfully disagree there but obviously it might not work out for everyone.
I can hear a decent difference with my Lumin T2 and Nuc with Rock compared to previous Dell win10 laptop and ultrarendu combo.

Yes it cost a decent amount of money more as well but I have zero issues ever and truly enjoy listening to my music through it.

However back to the ops original question.
I believe it would be worth investing in a SSD to at least bring the Mac up to Roon minimum requirements and give that a whirl before even thinking of anything more esoteric.
Good luck!

FWIW I have been using a 2009 Mini for my Roon server for about a year now without any issues.

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All good, no offence taken. But seems you changed a number of parameters/devices here and attribute a result to one?

Not exactly no.
I had done so in stages.
I moved from Dell to nuc with Rock first, no real sq difference to my ears with same settings but now able to use dsp as had better resources.

Then later stage I replaced the ultrarendu bridge with the Lumin T2 and that’s where I believe I hear a nice uptick in sq.
But again now I can upsample to dsd512 with the T2 so it may just be that.
Of course it could all be in my mind…


I have already ordered the SSD.
The Roon error displays the following (translated from german):
„Qobuz content is loading slowly. These could result of a network or connection problem.“
The failure occurres within the first seconds of the song and then skips to the next one. So far just with Qobuz. Tidal is running fine.
Will give an update after installation of the SSD.

Edit: Connection is 1Gb LAN with 250Mb/s Internet connection.

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Another use case…My Roon Server is a MAC Mini Late 2012…I put in a 1TB SSD dedicated to Roon and a 1TB HDD for Back up…all in the same box. I just replaced in my office 2012 iMAC with the new M1 MAC Mini and I use it for Roon Core so I can add Convolution Filters and control it all with my iPad Pro…I have NOT touched anything Windows in over 20 years and never looked back…they have the worst Customer Service in the world! I judge Apple’s Customer Service to be the best!


Based on what you just described this is not hardware issue but software issue. Specifically Qobuz related issue. It may not even be on your side, but on Qobuz servers. If one streaming service works fine, the other should work too.

What country are you located in if I may ask as some Qobuz servers are in difficulty in certain countries atm.
However the SSD for the Mac is certainly not going to hurt at all regardless and is a smart move IMHO.


Memory capacity?

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Agree, Likely memory. On my Mac mini, I need to restart the Roon server nightly for it to continue working well. There are memory leaks on the Mac and it keeps growing until it takes up the whole RAM. Try periodically restarting.

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My Core runs on an old mac mini with ubuntu server 20.04.2 LTS as operating system.
It runs stable and my endpoints and clients always connect.
Only reboot is with pathes that need a restart.

Mine shuts down at midnight every night and starts up at seven. It is always ready to go then.

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