My first DIY totally fanless Roon Music Server


#1

Hi,

after my first “Roony” (a zotac zbox nano id65) died, I’d decided to built up my first own Music Server (Roony II) :slight_smile:.

My requirements: noiseless and suiteabel for the living room.

So I choosed a Chassis from Streacom, especially the FC5 Alpha Fanless Chassis. Further ingredients:
Mainboard: ASUS PRIME H270-PRO
CPU: Intel® Core i5-7500T (because of the low TDP of 35 W)
RAM 8 GB
fanless 240W Power Supply of Streacom
256 GB Samsung SSD (Windows 10 + Roon Server)
2 TB Samsung for music library

And here you can see the result (not at the finally Location in the rack):

It works very well: totally noiseless and lukewarm while streaming HIRes music. And - yes, I’m a Little bit proud of my work.

best regards
Armin


(Tony Reimann) #2

Nice, its always better when you do it yourself


(Mr Fix It ) #3

I did this a while back and have yet to update it…maybe I should.

Anyway Ill move this to tinkering too seeing as its not really Audio Products :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

Thank you for moving it to right category :slight_smile:

btw: for me it is a Audio Product :wink:


(Andrew Cox) #5

That’s a really interesting build @Armin. I think it will be a good match for some forthcoming features in Roon. Multicore processing within a zone and native DSD 512 upsampling. Brian is aiming at increased efficiency to bring DSD 512 to a wider range of hardware than has been the case in the past. I think your build will sit very nicely in that space.


(Maurizio Iosa) #6

Hi I am quite new in music servers and I am not really a geek in computers but I love to experiments and makes things on my own.
I would like to build a music server as Armin did; I was thinking to buy Fidelizer Nimitra but then analyzing better the offer I think that doing a music server by myself will be in the long run the better choice.

Regarding the HW I was thinking to get::

  • FC5 Alpha Fanless Chassis
  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME H270-PRO
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7500 3.4GHz 6MB
  • RAM: Crucial 8GB DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) DR x8 DIMM 288-Pin
  • Fanless 240W Power Supply of Streacom
  • Internal HD: Samsung MZ-N5E250BW SSD 850 EVO, 250 GB, M.2, SATA III
  • 2 TB Samsung for music library
  • Streacom OB2 Internal Blu-Ray ROM Black optical disc drive
    The overall cost is about 1000€ but I have a very solid base I guess…

I followed the indications on Armin but I am not sure regarding the compatibility of the SSD and the motherboard and the case.
Is it ok? I am afraid to order all the components and then get a bad surprice… :slight_smile:

Regarding the configuration of the server do I need just to do a windws 7 install and optimize it for audio?
Thank you for your help!
Maurizio


(Peter Lie) #7

It may be easier to start with NUC7i5BNH with Akasa Newton S7 as described here:

You can use ROCK - no need for Windows.


(Will Hoddinott) #8

Do you need much CPU to run roon? I use a 2010 mac mini headless ( roon server ) and very rarely hear the fan - it runs 24/7 and roon is ready when i want it.
The CPU in the mini is a dinosaur compared to i5 and i7’s.


(Maurizio Iosa) #9

Thank you!
I was thinking about get me the Namitra HW (https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/126194-fidelizer-nimitra-audio-server-whats-going-on-here/) from aliexpress (https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Mini-PC-Windows-10-Barebone-quad-core-celeron-J1900-HTPC-OpenELEC-Kodi-Supported-windows-linux-Android/109426_32425706564.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.KMVjrJ) and the component that Fidelizer installed:

  • Kingston KVR16LS11/4
  • INTEL Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160
  • Transcend TS64GMSA370 Unità SSD mSata, 64 GB
  • HUACAM HCM82 2 x 2,4 GHz 8dBi 5GHz 5.8GHz Dual Band WiFi
  • 2X U.FL Mini PCI a RP-SMA
    Total cost 230€

Then install windows 7 or Rock (I don’t know it at all) and install:

  • fidelizer (I have already)
  • JPLAY (I have)
  • Asset UPnP (26 $)

There you go! I guess…


(Geoff Coupe) #10

Hmm - that barebone PC you mention is a Celeron-based device. That’s below the minimum spec that Roon Labs recommend for a Roon Core (Intel i3). If you’re going to install ROCK on a device, then you won’t be able to install fidelizer, JPLAY or Asset UPnP - ROCK is a turnkey OS designed to make an appliance. It’s rather like saying I’m going to install fidelizer on my CD player…


(Maurizio Iosa) #11

…and of course Roon!! :slight_smile:
Maybe I can avoid buying Asset UPnP?


(Geoff Coupe) #12

What do you want Asset UPnP for? It’s a DLNA server…


(Maurizio Iosa) #13

I just need it to control the server with an iPad or iPhone… I guess I don’t need if I install Roon core…

Regarding the capabilities of the Celeron-based device I trust you but it seems this Namitra (the same HW) works also as Roon core quite successfully… and you pay for it 1350 $!! While I just spend 300$… so it is very tempting… the rest is just my trial and error and some headache… that I guess is worth 1000 $!! :-):grinning:


(Maurizio Iosa) #14

I guess the choice of Quad core celeron J1900 is due to very low TDP (just 10 W)… I don’t know if this makes sense in audiophile terms…
I am here to learn…


(Geoff Coupe) #15

The minimum requirements for Roon are here. Of course, there are a number of factors that influence hardware requirements, such as the size of your library, and whether you want to use DSP for your Roon endpoints. Personally, I won’t consider anything below an Intel i3. That’s what I started with, but now I’ve built a fanless Roon Core server using an Intel i5, so that I’ve got room for the expected future expansion of my library and system.


(Maurizio Iosa) #16

What does it mean?

Actually my library is not really huge and this is just a first step into to audio computing world. Nimitra has got the same processor (Celeron J1900) and has awarned a lot of prices as super audio computing system…
Surely windows it has been optimized for audio performance but you cannot trick HW so I guess it should be enough for the next 5 years, considering I don’t think to have ten times my library… and in any case what I care is how each song is played… the processor must be able to process just digitally at bit rate the song then I jave a DAC and the amplifier/speaker that does the rest…


(Geoff Coupe) #17

OK, so it sounds as though DSP is not of interest to you, and with a small library, you’ll probably be OK, but just be aware that the Celeron is below the minimum recommended by the Roon team.


(Maurizio Iosa) #18

Thank you Geoff for your feedback, actually I am very basic in my knowledge… what services is supposed to offer a DSP?


(Geoff Coupe) #19

DSP = Digital Signal Processing. Roon has a DSP engine available in the server, which can be used to manipulate the audio in a variety of ways. Follow the link to read about it.


#20

When shopping for processing power be aware that desktop processors and laptop processors are not the same performance wise even if they share the same indicator number and clockspeed. Intel NUC’s are based upon laptop processors. A I5 desktop processor has about the same processing power as an I7 laptop/nuc. In general desktop processors of the same family have roughly 30% more processing power there laptop counterpart. Besides that i5 and i7 laptops are duo core while i5 and i7 desktop are quadcore but it is not sure if that has any advantage for Roon. It has if you are going the PC for other tasks as well.