New set-up: Roon Database on QNAP NAS Drive VS on a loaded iMac?

Hi Guys, I’m new here, and I am considering buying Roon life, but not sure which of these 3 options best for Database speed.

I have a loaded 2017 iMac w 2TB SSD, and 64 GB RAM, but I bought this for heavy duty photography, and
would only consider it’s use 24/7 as a short term workaround.

My QNAP TS 453A (I have not put any data on it yet) has 4 X WD Red 8TB’s in RAID 5 on it,
but it"s chip is (?) underpowered for Roon Database speed. (It’s specs are at bottom of page).

  • It does have an external USB 3 port though.

There is also an old 2009 Mac Pro.
Audio is hardwired Bluesound Powenode 2, and Node 2, playing Tidal MQA, and Mac library iTunes.

Can I ask which of these would be the better/best (speed) option for consistent, painfree navigation of TIDAL, and local iTunes library? : -
(1) Add an EXTernal USB 3 SSD for Roon Database, (and what size SSD?), OR
(2) Take out one of the 8TB drives, and put in an INternal SSD, "tho
does this break rules re. matcing HDD’ in opposite drive bays?
(3) I can’t afford - right now anyway, - buying a NUC computer, or a
brand new better chipped NAS
What do you think you would do, in my boots?!!

Thank you very much for your thought, and time,

My NAS Specs are added below.:- (Mine has 4 GB)
QNAP’s TS-453A NAS features an Intel Celeron N3150 “Braswell”
system-on-a-chip. The 14nm Intel SoC features four cores running at
1.6GHz, Turbo Boost up to 2.08GHz, 2MB L2 cache, and is rated at 6W TDP.
An integrated Intel HD Graphics HD Graphics is clocked at 320MHz (640MHz
burst), and can utilize up to 8GB of system memory for graphics. There
is a small black heatsink near the center of the motherboard to cool
down the Celeron N3150. It is attached by four plastic clips. Four Intel
WGI210AT Gigabit LAN controllers powers all the Gigabit Ethernet ports
at the back. USB 3.0 is supplied natively by the SoC. Two ASMedia
ASM1182e PCI Express packet switches can be spotted. Hardware is
monitored by an ITE IT8528E chip. All of these mentioned ports are
soldered directly to the motherboard, as shown in the photo above.

QNAP’s embedded Linux based operating system is installed on an Apacer
512MB flash memory chip on a module. Meanwhile, the audio subsystem is
powered by a Realtek ALC262 high definition audio codec on a separate
board. The ALC262 features two 24-bit stereo DACs and three 20-bit
stereo ADCs. An ON Semiconductor NCS20072 operational amplifier can be
seen on the same board.

Buy a NUC, buy external USB storage for the NUC, use the NAS as a place to hold backups only.

He says he can’t afford a NUC. See 3) in his post.

Exactly, He included it as 1 of his 3 options, even if he could not afford it … “right now anyway”.

Fair enough. I agree with you but maybe look to buy a used pc of appropriate spec and run linux on it until a NUC is affordable.

Ik did try it with my TS-453A (16GB), I was not happy with it (to slow)
Now I use a SonicTransporter i7(8GB) , works great.
My music is on 2 SSD’s, direct connected to the SonicTransporter with a Oyen MiniPro RAID V2 USB 3.0
But you can also use the NAS or a normal harddisk for the music.

Completely agree. I don’t use NUCs really. I prefer to build all my own systems. have for decades.

Assuming that’s a maxed-out iMac 5K and its just still photos (no video), you should be able to simultaneously do your work and run Roon Server with few to no problems, especially if you’re doing minimal or no DSP and only have one or two zones. So that’s a short-term solution, and save your money for a NUC in the meantime. Once you get the NUC, you can continue to use the QNAP for storage of the music.

(I was doing similar work until a few months ago. That was mostly on a Mac Pro, but I have an iMac like yours at home, so I have a reasonable sense, I think, of what might be doable.)

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Thank u all very much for your help, the quick responses were gratifying, and helpful.

I had not appreciated the need for powerful, dedicated i7 processing.

Roony’s Sonic Transporter and Oyen MiniRAID SSD’s look like the Holy Grail, and is where I would like to get eventually. Glad he was able to nix my NAS as not being adequate, based on his experience.

Daniel Orgel I’m sure is right, that using the i7 iMac w 64GB RAM, - which I only bought for it’s processing power(!) - would work well in the short term, but how much difficulty, and time spent would there be because of software conflicts, - moving locations of server, database, library,etc, on the network, to later migrate it to a dedicated processor?

I’m going to learn more about build your own NUC’s, - possible with 2 ethernet ports, á la (S)mall (G)reen computers?

Is used an option?

Sonore, and UltraRendu are other reference words I’ve read, - does anyone have any other references/reference sites I should be reading?

and here lots of Audio Links:


I am running Roon on a QNAP-251 which I believe is an older less powerful QNAP. I added an external small SSD to it where the datase is on and I have to say this runs very smooth. I have no problem running Tidal MQAs and all my other music. However, a lot of my library is not lossless since I only started to listen to lossless via TIDAL. Hope this helps.

Thank u Jonas, - it does actually.

I will probably try an OWC SSD Envoy Pro EX
(250GB Portable Solid-state Drive with Thunderbolt 3) from, and use the i7 iMac option if this is inadequate.
Meantime, saving for Sonic Transporter i7 with dual ethernet.

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