My Core Experience - Synology to Mac mini and back to Synology

I started life with Roon using a five year old Synology 1513+ which according to Roon was woefully below spec with only a two core Atom processor. It worked just fine and sounded great. But once my library grew to over 1,000 albums, it started to get slow switching from playlists or songs, or adding new albums to the library. It always played fine. The remote just became sluggish.

So i decided to move the core to a 2019 Mac mini with a 6 core i7 processor. That was much better but for some reason it did not sound quite as nice, and I did not like having to leave my Mac mini running all the time to play my music. One thing I learned is to make sure you backup Roon to a local disk. Restoring Roon on the Mac mini with a backup on the NAS did not work. I had to move the backup to the local drive to get the backup to work.

But then I got a new Synology 1618+. The 1618+ has a much more powerful quad core Atom processor. It is still under the spec that Roon recommends but it works perfect. Just as good as the Mac mini. It’s very fast, and the great sound is back. I can’t explain why Roon might sound better playing off of a NAS with a Atom process vs. a Mac mini with an i7 processor but to me it does. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Mac mini accesses the WiFi in my house wirelessly, but the Synology NAS is attached with a cable into he WiFi router. That’s the only thing I can think of that would make the difference. The end results is I’m now able run Roon on a low powered NAS without the bother of keeping a computer running all the time.

Perhaps when I double the size of my library I’ll have issues again but for now I’m extremely happy.

Long as the core runs for normal use performance is ok…but don’t expect too much in the way of performance when you want to use some of the DSP features like upsampling to dsd higher rates or convolution etc