Motherboard with two or three M.2 connections (to run Roon Core)?

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Desktop computer for Roon Core still to be built.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Ethernet / Lan to netgear switch to Modem using cat7 cable.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

From Netgear switch to Cambridge Audio CXN v2 streamer using cat7 cable. Then the streamer is connected tot a quad vena amplifier using coax.

Samsung 10 inch tablet for controlling Roon.

Description Of Issue

I am planning to build a new desktop computer and would appreciate some feedback on how to do this so that I can start using roon core under windows 10.

I was planning to have 1 TB M.2 SSD for the windows 10 OS and all other programs including roon core with its database.

Will It be necessary to have a separate partition for Roon core and its database? About 256GB?

Or would it be better to have a separate M.2 SSD of 256GB for Roon core and its database?

That would mean 3 M.2 connections as I would also like to put a 2TB M.2 SSD on the motherboard for the music library.

So that is: 1 M.2 for windows, 1 M.2 for Roon and 1 M.2 for music library. There are not that many 3 M.2 motherboards. Does any one have a good suggestion for me?

The computer will have 32GB memory and an i7 processor. Also 2 sata hdd 8TB drives for all my files (photo, film, document and music). These will be mirrored, sort of acting like a raid NAS.

Now I have also read that when you download Roon core it will format drives and that you have to add music files afterwards. I hope this will not happen to the 2 sata hdd 8 TB drives as these will be my master files (I will back them up on a separate hdd for storing outside the house but still it will be a nuisance if this happens).

Thanks in advance for helping out.

If you are referring to Roon and not ROCK, then Roon is just another program. Treat it like any other program you use. Roon installs itself on your OS drive. There’s nothing you can do about that.

Absolutely not true. You are confusing Roon with ROCK.

ROCK is like an OS and will format your system drive. In the case of ROCK, a 128GB M.2 would be overkill.

No other OSes can co-exist with ROCK, which uses a proprietary Roon developed OS, including any fancy dual boot schemes one might come up with. ROCK has Roon ‘built-in’. One can not run any other programs under ROCK.

Generally speaking, ROCK will only run on a dedicated Intel NUC. For most people, the Roon program is a better choice.

This -

Vs. this -

In either case, music files can be on an SSD, HDD, M.2, external USB, or even a NAS. There is generally no difference between the various media.

BTW - To answer your original question, here’s one I found after a casual search.

Google is your friend.

Don’t need a 1tb ssd for os and roon. Depending on other software you plan to install, 256gb ought to be enough. 512gb would be plenty even with a lot of other software.

Curious about the 2tb ssd for music library plus 8tb sata. Why both if you have your music on the 8tb sata?

Thanks for your answers they have really helped me after months of searching.

I was considering a Nucleus first but found it too expensive so followed the Nuc and / or NAS route which is probably why I have been adding Rock related elements in my initial post.

I found out on the forums that a NAS would become too expensive to work really trouble free for me. Then my desktop started giving problems so I thought why not save money and bundle the three into one (NAS functionality, new desktop and roon). Also this way I will still be able to install plex software for my wife’s film hobby.

Yes I was aware of all the possible ways of memory but thought that keeping the path length as short as possible would be best for Roon, hence the use of M.2 memory instead of the others you list…

I might still use a sata ssd instead of the M.2 ssd so that if I ever do move to a NUC I can use that drive. As I recall that a NUC doesn’t have two M.2 connections (so 256GB M.2 SSD for Rock and the sata SSD for the music files).

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Thanks R Neal for responding to my Roon quest!

We just built a gaming computer for my son and used a 2TB ssd for his os and games… and I thought that roon would need extra memory for its database, also I would like to use plex software / adobe Photoshop elements and adobe premier elements… That’s why I came up with 1tb ssd.

The 2tb M.2 ssd is because of the NUC / nucleus route I initially wanted to follow. But as I explained in my reply to Slim Fishgettz I will probably change this to a sata ssd to make a move to a NUC / nucleus possible in the future or if the desktop approach disappoints…

A lot of people seem to be using a seperate ssd for their music library (NUC / Nucleus users). SSD seems to be preferred to hdd for easy / quick access. Also I don’t want to overuse the “mechanical” drives as my wife will be accessing them a lot for her film hobby (with plex software?). So yeah the 8TB hdd’s are for archiving / editing / sorting out / downloading all our content (film/music/photo/document)…

And finally I gathered an extra backup would never hurt…

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Keep the os and roon server on the fastest drive possible as that is where the database roon searches will reside. I wouldn’t use separate drives for the OS and the server.

The audio storage drive will only have a benefit from being fast when the server is doing analysis on the files. Data streams from audio aren’t that demanding. A 24/192 file is under 2.5mb/s.

I run my core on a NVMe drive and the audio resides in external thunderbolt 3 enclosure with 4 spinners configured in RAID10. I’m not worried about noise as the server is not in the listening room. The analysis will use a lot of cpu if you give it access to all cores, gets a bit noisy and the server is sluggish until it completes it. I moved some files around this morning and the server had a field day. This is when the faster audio storage drive shows benefits. As soon as the analysis is done the usage drops to 0%-2%.

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