Microsoft Surface Go/Go2 as Roon Core?

Hi All,

I have recently acquired Roon, (love it) as I am mostly streaming to my Hagel H120. I used my MBP as Roon core to which I have linked Qobuz. It got cumbersome to constantly having to spark MBP to listen to music, so I borrowed Microsoft Surface 7 from a friend running Win11 and everything runs very very smooth and iPhone Roon remote is seamlessly connected. Happy that Microsoft Surface is my solution that’s not too intrusive on interior in living room, (pleasing other here :wink:), but this high end surface is too expensive.

I can acquire Surfice Go or Go 2 ex demo much cheaper and just wondering if anyone has had any experiences with it as a core? I think most of those are Win10 but that should make no difference. The Surface will only be used as a core, (either network or USB), no other use for it, so here hoping someone can shed some light is Roon Win App working OK on those low specs Surfaces?

Many Thanks in advance!


Buy a nuc and put rock on it, hide it away and forget about it as it runs headless. it will out perform this by miles and can be achieved for relatively low cost if you get a refurb and then get a tablet for the remote side. The go is woefully under specced for a Roon core.

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Thanks. I hear you, but I only (for now), use Roon as streaming service connecting my Qobuz to Roon, so its a core, but connected to Qobuz vs music storage. Hegel is Roon ready now, but my Qobuz was only Airplay… Nucleus is only for files unless I am mistaken. Sorry I am new to Roon… :pray:

no the core is the brain regardless if you use qobuz or local files. The core manages your library and will still suffer some performance issues. I did not mention the Nucleus that is completely different. What ever you do the GO is under resourced and you will end up getting a bad experience. I said a NUC which is a small computer made by Intel that Roon has made on operating system specifically for. Its dedicated to just Roon and pretty much looks after itself unlike anything windows based.

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I have a Roon Nucleus and only stream from both Tidal and Qobuz. You need to look at the Roon minimum core requirements and make sure you get something with sufficient specs. A NUC is a good choice. If you want to take it with you when you travel, a laptop can work.

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Ah, I get it now, sorry I thought NUC was an abbreviation for Nucleus :man_facepalming:t2: Good advice, I’ll look into it, TY!

I might have misunderstood Nucleus true function. I will look into it in the future as it’s out of my reach right now. Thanks Jim.

A Nucleus is just an expensive computer to run your Roon core. It’s in a neat, fanless case, that’s all, and totally turn-key.

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That is a poorly informed, sweeping generalization. One that you probably would not make if you actually knew that an m3 Surface Go 2 benchmarks slightly faster than an i3 Nucleus.

I have had an original Surface Go since it was released four years ago. I have used it on occasion as a remote, and it works just fine. I have not and would not use it as a core because of its Pentium Gold processor, which benchmarks at about 50 percent of an i3 Nucleus. Same would hold for a Pentium Gold Surface Go 2.

However, the fanless chassis, kickstand form factor, and compact high resolution touchscreen could make for an intriguing core and display atop the equipment rack in the listening room. And that is where an m3 Surface Go 2 (or subsequent Pentium Gold or i3 Surface Go 3) could enter the equation.


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Many Thanks AJ. I fully concur.

Still running friends Surface 7 and Its seamless. I just tried Roon OS on it and its as good but without an interface, I prefer it as a Core due to ability to actually use it on its screen, albeit I use it via iPhone Roon mostly. Roon OS has its advantages like multi room etc, but I am not bothered with it as it’s mostly streamed through Hegel and Spendor A4s.

However, I do like the idea of conspicuous little Windows mini PC seating tucked away in the corner running Roon OS and always ready, also being somewhat ‘headless’… Will look into it soon.

I really like having a full Roon application on a laptop that you can take with you when you travel. At home, it makes a great Roon control device if you have another core on a headless computer device.

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Thanks All for your replies.

I have quick Q please as I have an opportunity to acquire Intel NUC Kit NUC6CAYS, Celeron J3455 Desktop Mini PC with 240gb SSD, 4gb RAM and Windows 10 pre-installed.

I know there are few post re this NUC, but they are back in 2021 and although it worked back then, Roon has now updated to v2 and just wonder if anyone know will this suffice? No stored library/files, just want to instal Roon Server and leave it on behind the system to control it via phone/iPad. My Roon library is not very big…

Some people run Roon on Celeron machines. A Celeron chip is very under-spec, especially running Roon under Windows.

I wouldn’t do it and I don’t think many people would.

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I don’t necessarily want to run it under Windows, most likely ROCK as that is what the guy selling it used it as. I don’t need NUC for anything else, so happy to install Linux/Rockand and since I have no local music files, only Roon Library connected to Qobuz and network streaming, should Celeron really make that much difference?

Well, Innuos and others use a Celeron chip and run Core, but I don’t believe Roon supports those configurations.

If you have any trouble, the first thing Roon support and forum habitues will tell you is that you’re under-spec.

Using a Celeron comes without guarantees. I suppose it depends on what your money situation is as to whether you should try a Celeron.

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