New NAS Purchase Advice Please!

Hi all. After several years of running Roon on Windows 10, I am looking at migrating to a QNAP. I would love some good advice from this most excellent community!


  • 800 albums (growing mainly via Tidal). So…small.
  • Five RPi Ropieee endpoints connected via gigabit switches.
  • I often stream to two endpoints concurrently, sometimes three, and max of four concurrently on a rare occasion.
  • Unifi Network, with 10Gbe capable LAN switch, and Gigabit switches as mentioned.
  • I currently run with an older Intel Core 2 Quad processor with a passmark rating of 2260, and 8GB of DDR-2 RAM. Things seem to run pretty okay, with the exception of major buffering when choosing a totally new album/song.
  • DSP used on two endpoints currently, but may expand to all five once I do some room correction stuff.
  • I use the server for file storage as well, including photos, and will likely take advantage of QNAP’s media sharing for streaming home videos to ATV’s around the house (not externally much). I doubt much of this will be happening concurrently, but it may once in a blue moon.
  • There will likely be some concurrent usage between Roon and file transfers, say, if I’m working with photos in Lightroom while listening to music.
  • I do not foresee movie streaming from the QNAP.


  • Buy a TS-453Be. I would get the 4G version and upgrade to 8GB RAM. They sell for around $420.
  • Via the PCIe Slot, i can add SDD’s using this expansion card, and could use one for Roon. That adds another $150-$200 for the card, plus the drive. Might not be worth it for my library size though.
  • I plan to connect the QNAP via a 2.5GBe port to my network.


  • According to Passmark, the processor in this QNAP has about 1/3 the CPU Mark rating as a basic i3, which is thought to be a minimum for running Roon. What are your thoughts on that given I have a relatively small library?
  • For my album size do you think I need to add the SDD’s? According to this, it would not make a difference.
  • Can you think of any cheaper options, including an older machine that may have more processing power?
  • Would you consider a non-QNAP solution? On that note, my other option is to simply stick with Windows, and even upgrade to Ryzen 3 and 16GB RAM, for much less than the QNAP. I just feel ready to simplify my home server life, and get onto a more user-friendly platform, with built-in media management, and all the reasons people get NAS devices. I could potentially do an Amahi or Freenas solution on my existing hardware, and possibly virtualize core, but again, I’m trying to simplify, and I like having a support team attached to my products.
  • I’m assuming Roon On Nas is the way to go?

I know this is a lot, so thank you for reaching the end! If you find this interesting at all, I hope to hear from you.

Thank you in advance,


My first thought is this may prove problematic on the NAS CPU regardless of library size.


Personally, I would go with a Nucleus or NUC with a large internal SSD for your music files.


Question: Why do you want to use a NAS as Roon Core?

If you want to use is it just for Roon, a NUC running ROCK might be a more sensible solution else you might also have to specify what else you want to use the NAS for. To me the CPU looks to weak for up to 4 active zones plus DSP – might certainly be if the NAS is used for other things too.

Should be no problem as it’s backward compatible to 1GBe. Make sure to use current network hardware (Router/Switches) if you expect 2.5GBe to work. Especially consumer grade routers may offer that speed only in certain setups and/or on specific ports.

Read also: WiFi Router Recommendations?

You should use a SSD for Roon’s database. Your 800 albums can got on to a HD. Keep in mind that Roon’s database grows with any album added to the library, no matter if it’s local or from a supported streaming service.

I think you may be right. I was just trying to combine functions and save some money. But it may be easier to separate roon out from everything else. I guess I’ll look at i3’s. That said, I’m still curious to see if there is a combined option.

Second this.
People buy cheap NAS, with slow HDDs, then install Core on the NAS itself and then wondering: why does my music sound so mediocre? Why does my albums don’t automatically add to the library? Why Roon is so slow? Why people pay such money for such poor execution – it runs terribly on my Intel Pentium 3 and I have so much jitter in my Apple Airpods :grinning:

Save money on Core - buy NUC, then install maybe secondhand SSD – it’s very affordable these days, yada yada. Cheap man always pays twice

Have thought some more and looked at the NAS page. The NAS solution looks convenient but you get a lightweight CPU. If you were thinking 1 or 2 endpoints and occasional use I think it’d be sweet. Your post suggests your current system creaks occasionally and you have DSP aspirations (that’s a CPU hog) across multiple zones.

The passmark comparison is interesting presuming the celeron is the NAS CPU. It’s the lowest powered, just overall but single threaded by a fair bit more, and the most expensive, by an uncomfortably large amount. If you really think you’re going to do more with Roon this isn’t the time to go with a CPU that shy of the basic passmark. By the time you’ve bought the bits it’s a pricey NAS, the M2 adapter is a lot for what it offers IMO. Factor in a less than stellar value CPU and the NAS doesn’t feel great value for money.

What to do depends on a few things, including your tech know how and DIY tendencies. I’d not be rushing to buy the NAS though.

Thanks Carl. That is sage advice. And given the other comments, I think my course has been corrected. I’m looking at i3 NUC’s, which tally up to around $500 all in with 8GB of memory and a 500GB drive. So adding a NAS on top of that (for everything else) I’m looking at a ~ $900 combined spend. At that point, I might start looking at the higher CPU NAS’s, to try and get an all-in-one. But I think I may be better off with a NUC for Roon.

Roon works best on a dedicated core device. Roon does not mix well with other things. Also, don’t go cheap. Stretch your budget and get the best NUC and SSD your can almost afford.

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Whether or not it mixes well with other things would depend on the hardware specs, no?

No. Roon does not mix. I tried running on a very powerful Dell XPS 15 with 32gb RAM and 1TB SSD and i7 processer. It was not usable. Keep Roon on a standalone device by itself.

This is where you’ll find different schools of thought. I’m an IT guy first and foremost and am firmly in the “data is fine barring edge cases” camp. If your core only serves endpoints over ethernet then run what you want on it until the CPU/memory/IO let you know it can’t take any more.

That said, I’m also a fan of cost conscious over engineering, especially if my mind is already thinking future upgrades, never a good sign. Spend a bit more now to avoid spending a lot more later is another way of putting it. My own recent solution is an i7 NUC with 16 GB of RAM just running as a core. I run 6-7 endpoints but rarely more than 2 at once. DSP is headphones only as I have a miniDSP box for the main room heavy lifting. Am not suggesting that’s what you need, just highlighting that actions don’t always reflect thoughts. A quick check and yes, it’s criminally underutilized. That said it’s snappy, streaming local content never misses a beat and it should be good for a few years. Looking at that lifetime Roon membership come renewal…

That’s interesting @Jim_F. Thank you for this example. What do you think caused your issues, specifically? What else was running? Where did the conflicts lie?

Thanks carl. I see what you’re saying. I’m lesning toward the nuc-lear option, but yeah, it’s potentially another $700, so I just have to come to terms with that. I just bought new speakers, and wanted to get another couple pairs, so, you know, the first world problems are mounting. But I’m in for life with Roon, and I can always re-purpose the nuc down the road.

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Good luck with it all, money will always spend tomorrow and usually buy a bit more where tech’s concerned.

These are Celeron based NAS and below the minimum specification for Roon. Whilst it may work the experience will not be great (my first Core was on a similarly specified device.) Specifically, you will have a slow/ laggy UI in Roon control devices and limitations with DSP and zones in use.

You’d do better buying a NUC and running ROCK or a headless Linux setup on alternative hardware (my Dell PowerEdgeT30 is currently selling at around £350 in the UK.)

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It was my Dell laptop I used for surfing the web and banking, etc. After buying a Nucleus, I see the benefits of running Roon on a dedicated server. I also read all the problems people have using a NAS.


I think I have read almost all topics with issues on NAS, I can’t judge, if the amount is higher or not, as I have no insights in total support issues with Roon. But in many NAS cases the issue could be tracked back to network configuration issues or not reading the instructions carefully. :wink:
Low spec’d CPU NAS models mostly caused issues during audio analyzing process and in combination with DSP.


Running roon on a synology 220+ NAS with 28k flac or better tracks, 5 endpoints. using 2 at most at once. NO issues, upgraded to 6gb RAM… I would save the few hundred bucks over a NUC

Me too. I was using my Dell Desktop for surfing, banking, mails, etc etc and Roon. Just bought a Intel NUC i7 10th Gen, 32 GB RAM and 1TB SSD for Euro 1030,00. Only running as a core. Rock not yet installed.

The i3 Nucleus is about 1.500,00 Euro´s and the i7 about 2.500,00 Euro´s in Germany, with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD ( the i7 )

And yes, I know, it´s criminally underutilized :flushed:

I´ll setup in the next day´s and then…happy to hear…

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