I took my prior Mac 5.1 desktop machine and repurposed it into a dedicated Roon core server. it has a single hex 3.47 processor 48 gigs of ram, a new for this build Samsung M.2 970 stick in a 16 x pcie slot and is the fastest boot drive I have ever had in this machine. I have 4 hard drive bays to use, but only using one 6T at present. The OS is whatever is current with patches.
What I learned in doing this is I over worried about hard drive speed. In watching it work, it just plods along, almost to the point of doing nothing at all. I believe one could use the 5400 rpm drives, or even a 2.5 inch drive and get by fine.
I read that Roon likes and can use a fast boot drive and the faster the better. I believe this to be true and am glad I got a small, but very fast stick to use in this deployment. My old speed was 250 mbs and now it is 1250 mbs. I can see this reduction in latency on my laptop I use mostly for controlling Roon. Many folks might not notice, but I enjoy very fast and robust systems, and am pleased with the improvement. I must say it was fine before, but I ‘enjoy’ it quite a bit as built.
The next track artwork and files show up before the track begins to play! The core server is over powered, but is was on hand so did not cost more than the M.2 stick and host adapter, about $125.00 in total.
I have a new WD Red Pro 7200 6T hard drive that I will install at some point. I bought it for the long haul, 24/7 service duty and 5 year warranty. But as I have noted one could use slower drives I believe, with out any ill effect. One is a lot smarter have done something, rather than ‘looking in’ at the same task. So this is some of my thoughts on the experience having some real seat time with it.
The Roon software 1.6 at present is quite stable and I had no problems with 1.5 either. The network streaming works like a champ, I am sure quality cables and switches help as well. I have Netgear 16 port switches.
I am mostly using Airplay devices in my setup, having Apple stuff in the house and using iTunes for some many years. I picked up a few new ones when they went out of production. Enough to tide me over until I decide what advanced endpoints I will use. But for now, it is up and working streaming over the house with the wife on her own Neil Diamond endpoints. First time we have been able to listen to different sources at once, with ease. And it is with ease, almost to the point of plug and play. She took to it with relish. All good by me.
I am working and or reworking my meta data or tags. With Roon there is a first time real advantage to good tagging and I have taken up the challenge to do so, and to do better. But I enjoy most phases of music, artwork, tagging, playing and listening with care at the end of the day. Roon sounds good to me… enough so as to notice it. Others whom come in look up and around and remark that ‘that sounds good.’
I think so as well. And over time as I get back to a purple signal path it will become better with age. The software folks seem to always be working on the program. Fixing or adding new things for the users to try, a thankless and hard job from my experience. But I think they are doing great and I applaud them their efforts.
I like Roon, and for those whom are interested, or new users, I have shared my thoughts and observations. The community here is quite helpful and I like to pitch in where and when I can. But I am new and still learning. It is a big piece of software… but one only needs to master a few things, and there is time to get the rest as you go.
Happy listening out there.