Go NUC or whatever else is closer to a PC in your price range. It will save you a lot of troubles on the long run.
Yeah, actually I have to agree here.
While I do cite a couple of reasons why I went from NUC10 to running on a docker container above, that’s just because I tried it out on hardware I had, & it’s stable now and has been for a year. If I wanted to prioritize stability and performance (and really who doesn’t?) I’d be back on a NUC. I just haven’t had the nudge to move back. If you’re buying new gear, I’d suggest you get a NUC10, or wait until ROCK2.0 comes out and get a NUC11.
I know that’s not the advice you asked for. But there is a reason that Roon has a preferred set up. I and many others make the NAS solution work, and some of us are quite happy with it. I’m not putting it down. But if you are going to invest in hardware anyways specifically for Roon, and you don’t mind a bit of tinkering anyways (which clearly you don’t or you wouldn’t be asking), go with the “typical” solution. NUC+internal SSD. Your peace of mind on music backups will be so much greater if you do offsite via glacier or sneakernet in any case (RAID doesn’t do much for fire or flood or silly kids with network access).
Have a read of this article. It will probably answer most of your questions:
A NAS is an expensive way to set up a Roon core, though the right hardware can offer certain advantages over a NUC/Nucleus.
You want the database on a SSD. Music files can be on HDDs.
I wrote a response to someone having issues with a NAS, expanding on the pros and cons of using a NAS to host a Roon core. It may give some additional insight:
BTW, I’ve subsequently upgraded to DSM 7 with no real issues.
I need a NAS anyway, as a general and reliable storage, for photos mostly. And I need some hardware to run my Roon server on.
So I’ll be buying a NAS no matter what and then if it can run Roon server comfortably, that will be great, as I’ll need to get only 1 box instead of 2, hopefully saving myself some money in the process.
I think I may not have made that clear in my original post.
The hardware specification you need will depend on the size of your roon library. The larger the library gets the more processor and memory you need.
If you get a Nas to run Roon it will have to be higher spec to not have Roon crawling (more expensive)
Might be a better option to get a cheaper nas for storage and a nuc to run Roon ending up around the same expenditure overall.
My local file library is not very large, but contains a number of albums not available from any streaming services online… Mostly I use Tidal and Qobuz, and want Roon for unified streaming over both subscriptions and that local library.
If you’re set on a NAS, then something like the QNAP TS-473A-8G is a good bet. 4 bay, 8GB RAM (upgradeable to 64GB max), quad core AMD Ryzen processor, 2 x PCIe slots for M.2 caching or 10Gb network.
It’s not cheap though - by the time you add in some HDDs and an SSD for the database, you’ll be > €1000.
As for drive configuration, I’d avoid RAID 5 and RAID 6. They both incur heavy resource overheads and rebuilding from a failed drive is painful, if it even works at all…
EDIT: Also backup regularly to an off-site location. I can highly recommend Backblaze B2. Works seamlessly with a NAS and it’s cheap!
Thanks. I was looking at QNAP TS-673A8G and TS-453D-8G but the latter has only a Celeron J4125 CPU and that seemed very doubtful to me.
With any NAS there currently seems to be an issue with having available stock!
The TS-673A8G is an even better bet! 6 bays gives you a much wider choice regarding storage options. The Celeron J4125 is some way short of what’s recommended for Roon. Some users seem to get a way with it, but I wouldn’t recommend it…
Like others, I would try to talk you down from the ledge of jumping into the Core on NAS world. In the long run, coming from those of us who have run Core on all sorts of crazy things, you’ll be happier with a ROCK build on supported hardware.
However, for now, it seems that you are determined to run Core on a NAS. The best advice I can offer is to choose a NAS with at least an Intel Core i3 or a Xeon processor. Avoid units with low-end processors like Celeron, Atom, etc. You’ll need an SSD for Roon’s database. It’s best if you can dedicate one of the internal drive slots vs attaching an an external SSD drive via USB. Most manufacturers offer an M.2 SSD option for caching, but I’m not aware of any that will allow you to dedicate an NVMe SSD for use with Roon. You’ll want at least 16 GB of RAM to ensure that you have plenty for Roon plus caching.
I’ll close by saying that a NAS like this won’t be cheap. You’ll get better Roon performance at a lower cost by purchasing an Intel NUC and a more sensible NAS. For example, I have a Synology DS1821+ that I use only for storage. It is about $1k new. If I had wanted to run Core on it, I would have gone with the DS1621xs+ instead. It’s $600 more (closer to $1k more after the memory upgrade) and has two fewer drive bays. But, that’s what it would take to approach the performance of a separate NAS and NUC running Roon OS.
Hi, I have an tvs 873 12G and running roon without problems. Ssd´s are essential for a good roon experience.
I ran Roon on a Qnap TS-453 pro which has a dual core (4 thread) Intel CPU running at 2ghz.
It could do the DSP I wanted (convolution and/or PEQ) and would usually report a processing speed of something between 15 and 25x
I moved over to a NUC which is loads faster and now I can also run HQPlayer, but in all honesty I really needn’t have as far as I can tell yet as it was plenty good enough on the NAS - that said, the NAS is now doing less and I like that.
It’s easy to move from a NAS to a NUC if you change your mind just be sure to get a reasonably good cpu.
This is where I startet many many years ago; as others have already pointed out: Purchasing a NAS which is able to run the Roon Core performant costs more money, needs more administration effort and is less stable than buying a NAS just to store the music (and photo) files and run Roon core separately on a NUC
my journey with a QNAP TVS 671, i5 and 16 GByte of RAM can be found here: Roon stopping randomly (and here: Export hangs with spinning circle but no error message)
3 weeks ago I moved to a Intel NUC10i7FNK with ROCK (internal SSD for ROCK and Roon DB, 32 GByte RAM, library still on QNAP), much more stable, bettter performance (with a large library of appr. 440.000 tracks) and - after setting it up - zero maintenance needed … strongly recommended!
While I would recommend a NAS for the media storage, I’ll also chime in to consider a NUC for the ROON server (a.k.a. ROCK)
Good luck on whatever route you choose!
Plenty of other threads on the subject as well in their respective forums.
I’m not sure I’d recommend a NAS for media storage (it also seems to be a configuration Roon doesn’t really recommend anymore), though how it would perform in practice depends on your network connection to the NAS and its storage configuration. When running the core on a NAS, the media is local to the core (via SATA). When running the core on a NUC and storage on a NAS, the media is remote to the core over network and subject to the limitations of network bandwidth and latency.
Roon has never really recommended anything but music storage be local to the core. In fact, if you go back to those posts in 2017, Roon devs were pretty direct about keeping your music local and only using the NAS as a backup copy of your music files.
Ah, my bad. 2017 was way before I started with Roon…
Also, I should add that I’ve now moved back from running on my 918+ to running ROCK on an i5 NUC. The performance was “fine” but search results were slow, and in particular predictive search (the suggested answers that appear below the search box before you hit ENTER) were stuttering and filling in in a way that was visibly distracting. All smooth and peppy on the NUC again.
It was a good experiment, served me well, but happy to be back on a proper dedicated reasonably powered NUC. The 918+ turned out to be underpowered (as many have suggested) and I’m not going to upgrade a NAS to get processing power. It’s a consumer file device that does some other things well… but not this type of workload with lots of data dependency and need for low latency. Someone more technically competent than I can opine on why exactly. But I’m glad I went back to a “real” (dedicated) core machine.
Well the flexibility running a NAS solution are obvious - and you currently also mentioned to look out for that.
So in general there are a few things to consider or have in mind, but that very much depends on your requirement of the library. If you have a few hundred thousands songs in your library then things are high demanding. I don’t know why so many focus on a high performing CPU when even with lower consuming ones there is enough free room available.
I for example use a QNAP HS-453DX-8GB RAM which is completely fanless. It’s a 4 bay solution so you can have two M.2 SSD for the system and ROON dedicated to it for example and two SSDs for media files, fotos etc.
There is still enough power available to run DSP, convolution filters etc. also depending on your preferences.