New to Roon and need help with setup

I was interested in Roon so I tried it out on my Windows 10 computer. My computer is hooked up to a 5.1 Onkyo receiver. My music in on my computer, and two NAS’s. I use airplay to connect to other areas of my house using my ipad pro. My music sounds very good, but I know that I’m not utilizing Roon to it’s fullest. I don’t like the idea of my computer staying on 24/7, so I want to put Roon on something else. I have a Mac Mini with a i7 cpu and 16gb’s of ram. I could use this and my ipad pro for control. This is where I get lost. What else do I need to make my music sound great ??? I also have a Sony 7.1 receiver that I don’t use. Do I need a DAC ??? If so, how do I incorporate it with the Mac Mini and the Sony 7.1 receiver ??? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

You would hook it up using either USB or LAN. What digital inputs does your Sony receiver have? What model is the receiver? The receiver already has a DAC in it, so you likely don’t need one unless it’s really old and out of date or you are trying to play a format that the receiver won’t play, like MQA and probably DSD.

Thanks for your reply. My Sony is a STR-DH720HP. It has 4 assignable HDMI inputs, 2 optical inputs, coaxial in, and 1 HDMI output for a TV. All of my music files are FLAC. My music is on NAS’s, but I also have two 2tb hard drives inside my windows 10 computer that are almost full of music. If I use the mac mini, will it see the music on my windows 10 2tb hard drives if I remove them and put them in a enclosure ? I’m thinking about using a mini windows pc instead of the mac. If I use a HDMI cable from the mini windows pc to the sony, will I get Digital music?

If you put the 2 2tb hard drives in an enclosure, you can connect them via USB to the Mac mini (mac OS X can read a drive formatted for windows, but cannot write to it), or any other computer. You can also probably connect them if they are on the same network (wired LAN is probably best). How those hard drives connect to the Mac mini or mini windows pc will be determined by the case you put them in.

You can use either a Mac mini or a windows mini pc, but that Sony receiver is older model and does not have an internal DAC. It supports 24/96 PCM. You should be able to output decoded PCM from the computer to the sony via HDMI. A better option would probably be to get an external DAC and use its analog outputs to connect to the Sony receiver.

Here is my question though, why not just the ONKYO and the set up you have now and just replace your windows computer with either a Mac mini or mini pc? If you are getting music through the Onkyo, why change all of that if your goal is to simply swap out your current computer for a new one? What is your end goal? Are you trying to have both the ONKYO and the Sony hooked up so you can play music through both of them or set them up as different zones in different areas of your home?

Thank you for helping me. The bottom line is that I don’t want to keep my computer that I have Roon on running 24/7. I want to put Roon on another computer that can stay on 24/7. Does Roon need to stay on all the time? I have other systems throughout the house that I stream to so I’m fine with that. A pc that users less power would be idea to keep Roon running all the time. I have a Brix pc to add to my LAN and connect to my onkyo. I can connect the drives to the Birx and everything should be fine. Until I get around to doing this, can I close Roon and put the computer to sleep?

Ahh, that makes sense. No, Roon does not need to stay on all the time. I think what you are looking for is an Intel NUC, with Roon Rock Installed. These can stay on all the time if you want, but don’t have to. Many users, including myself, run Roon ROCK on a NUC. It’s basically what the ROON Nucleus server is, just cheaper.

One thing you need to detail here is how many tracks do you have over all your music storage locations as this will be the key thing for the specs needed to support that size library