Memory requirements for large libraries plus an observation on restore

I took the plunge and switched core platform from Windows 11 (i7-8700, 64GB of memory just because I can) to rock (i7-8700T, 8GB of memory). As my library is very large I am hoping for a more effiecient use of resources and a better, more stable user experience.

Roon only pretends to start with 8GB of memory. I reset Rock after waiting for more than 12 hours for something useful to happen. After adding another 8GB the system took 20 minutes to be ready to serve music.

Would it make sense to go up to 32GB performance wise? Rock unfortunately does not provide even the simplest kind of performance monitor, so I am completely lost here.

Restoring from backup makes me scratch my head, though. Roon did a restore of a full manual backup and come up with all tracks, or so I think. But it is “adding music to library”, adding and identifying tracks that have already been added and identified before. I have seen this with Roon server, but this is still puzzling me.

Anybody got an explanation for this behavior?

Edit: Part of this “adding” is background audio analysis, which has been done before and consumes lots of cpu time. Results should be part of backup and thus part of restore. Why, oh why?

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How large is large? What sort of storage is your local music library itself on? How much of your collection is local?

Joachim refuses to answer.


If audio analysis is still happening you can’t tell how it will behave

It means that Roon is seeing your files as new additions, probably because of a path change.

8 gb should be ok but for BIG libraries an i7 NUC with 16 gb would be best, you are not helping any would be advisors by not defining your setup

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ROCK does not swap to disk, so the “monitor” for too little memory is that it crashes. If it does not crash, there should be enough memory.

For your secret very large library it is impossible to say because, well, it is secret. But note that Roon recommends a Nucleus+ for large libraries above 100K tracks, and the N+ has 8 GB. However, also note that Roon makes a different recommendation for very large libraries > 250K. So YMMV

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Thank you, @Mike_O_Neill. That is very helpful. Library size is the only information I am not willing to share.

No path change. Same NAS, same IP, same connection. Same files. Fresh backup. Diffenerent host, though. This happens quite often after restore of a backup. I really would love to understand this.

Thankyou, @Suedkiez! I did hope for some rule of thumb like 4GB per 100k tracks or so. Crashing is a great indicator, though. If I remember correctly roon used up to 14 or 16 GB on my Windows machine, so maybe this is the answer. I understand roon uses levelDB which is a memory resident database.

So I just say thank you all and go back to my amazon order for 32 GB DDR4 3200 memory. May it serve me well.

You are trading in a PC with a base core speed of 3.20 GHz for one that is 2.40 GHz. Since Roon is primarily a single core program, you want the highest base core speed. Roon only uses multi cores during initial audio analysis, for some types of DSD DSP, and in the case of simultaneous streaming endpoints. Otherwise most of a RoonServer’s processing is done using a single core.

I’m not sure that using a CPU with a base core speed that is nearly 30% slower is going to give you the results you want. I imagine that you might be hoping to make that up with a slim downed OS, however please consider …

Your new PC is running an i7-8000T CPU which, as far as I have researched, is a desktop cpu; so I am guessing you are putting a system together. Just keep in mind, that running ROCK on that PC will not be officially supported by Roon as it is considered Tinkering. ROCK was made for use solely on the Listed Intel NUCs. While Roon doesn’t prevent users from trying it out on other systems, it also doesn’t support them.



Great point, @Rugby! I went for the slower CPU because virtually everybody praises the speed and the efficiency of a sleek linux based system vs. bloated windows.

Edit: Single core performance does not differ that much, by the way:

I am using a refurbished HP Elitedesk 600 G4 (35WTDP), which is not a DIY project at all. Roon feels quite at home on that little machine. I did an evaluation with a clients box I had here for an OS refresh before. This turned out perfect results. Only difference was memory (16 vs. 8GB).

I was not aware that Roon would not move at all with 8GB of memory given the size of my database. I will receive 32GB on monday, which should be fine for all practical purposes.

Hence my question on the role of memory size. There are no problems whatsoever about streaming or operating performance, except my remarks on strange behavior after restoring a backup on the target system.

The windows machine I am switching from was dedicated to roon. Should the Rock experiment fail, I am back within minutes.

I have a large library and @danny advised that16 GB RAM was sufficient and indeed it is

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I received my 32 GB memory upgrade kit yesterday and installed immediately. “Adding to library” sped up quite a bit, but I am not sure if related to this upgrade, humidity or another coincidence.

I did have to shut down and restart to do this, and roon once again felt it needed a database update. This seems to happen on every restart, though one shound think it restarted with an updated database. Oh well.

This morning roon was done with adding and analysing stuff it already had added and analyzed drung the last five years. Everything ist working as it should, and I could not wish for better response to my requests, be it from local files, qobuz or the tidal test account I just activated.

All load and play immediately.

So I did another restart of roon, just to find it needs to do a database update. Go figure.

Needing to update the database like this on every reboot is not normal. I think there is something going on with your system that needs attention.

Have you tried ‘cleaning’ your local library database?

This can be done at Roon->Settings->Library->Library Maintenance.

Do you have an orphaned network location in your Network folders settings which is no longer available (Roon->Settings->Storage->Folders)?

You do not state where your local library storage (not database) is located. Is it on the core, or is it on a network share somewhere (e.g. a NAS)?

If the latter, might there be a problem with the network causing the library to be initially unavailable and then, it later availability might trigger a database update.

This is just speculation. I have no idea how Roon handles networked local library storage so I do not know whether such an issue could cause the ‘database update on every reboot’ issue you are seeing.

@Wade_Oram Thank you for your remarks

Yes, I did to no avail. There were about 600 deleted files.

No, it’s just the two active folders.

I thought I had mentioned this before. File reside on a NAS, Rock and NAS are directly connected to the router via 1 GB Ethernet, which is as godd as it gets for all practical purposes.

(Edit: Previous Windows 11 based roon core sits right next to the new machine does not show that problem,)

It is this what makes me scratch my head - nothing obiously wrong.

In response to my initial question on recommended memory size for “large” libraries I found this searching for database update when there should not be one.

If you add additional data to a database , it’s not uncommon (in normal computing db use) to have to undertake a “rebuild” of the db. As far as I know Roon does not use a SQL Server type of database engine (where adding a column is fairly simple) so inserting additional fields may well be quite complex especially on a very big library (as I believe yours is)

Only they can comment , but I wouldn’t worry about that screen it’s almost certainly a one off adjustment until the next db change (read update), it is a normal thing in database computing.

In my development experience it was very rare to have an code update release without a parallel database update.

@Mike_O_Neill I am aware an update to the database (structure) may be neccessary when there are changes in the use of that database. The same may be true when changing platform, though there should be no need to do so given the database is accessed by the same program build.

But, as pointed out before, this happens each and every time roon ist restarted, using the same roon build. So there must be something else going on.

I think the restore process is broken somehow, as a restore to the same program/database built should just work. It should not initiate reimports, reanalysis or database upddates.

Serious question… why?

I mean, everyone has things they don’t want to share, but usually it’s personal stuff.

Why does the size of one’s music library matter?

It’s just a random number, right?

You could make it up.

500,000 files. Who cares?

Just curious.

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Adding my two cents:

I have a very large library with over 1,000,000 tracks and over 75,000 albums with about 11,000 of those albums on Qobuz and Tidal, which means about 64,000 local albums. All my local music is stored on USB drives connected to a Window 10 computer. I also have over 10 endpoints of various types, i.e. Roon Ready, Squeezebox, Chromecast, AirPlay, etc.
i7-7700K CPU @ 4.20GHz
Roon database is on an NVMe SSD drive

First and foremost Roon is a big time memory HOG. I recently upgraded the RAM from 32GB to the present 64GB because of performance issues with Roon. The increase in RAM has definitely improved Roon performance. I still find that Roon needs to be restarted very couple of days since over time Roon’s performance gets worse, e.g. slow loading, slow searches, slow Focus and slow “Filter” searches. When I restart Roon I get the “database update” message about every third time. Once restarted Roon works great.

The above paragraph is not meant as a complaint but rather just as information. The fact that Roon can manage such a large library is amazing. I really don’t mind the occasional hiccups and restarts since I know that things are not “broken” and everything will work as good as new after a restart.


@Jazzfan_NJ where were you when I had this thread going? Impossibly Large Music Collections

I am always interested in issues related to library size from a hardware requirement and software configuration perspective, but that is posted in Music category (which I assume to mean discussion of different types of music and therefore should not require technical support), so I missed it.