Pro-ject stream box s2 ultra roon core option

I have a newbie question that is two part:

I am about to bite the bullet and get the roon subscription but have yet to buy my core machine.
Set up is as follows: Pro-Ject stream box S2 ultra (end point) connected to ethernet router which is connected to DAC via usb.
Question#1 Can roon core be installed on a wireless connected PC laptop (Dell XPS 12-9Q33 i7-4510U 2.0GHz 8GB 256GB 12.5") and can I use that laptop as my remote control for the roon software? I would like to use touch screen laptop instead of a cumbersome ipad mini.
Question#2 Since the end point is the stream box would I see any difference in sound quality using this set up vs a NUC running ROCK and using a roon remote such as an ipad. I’m assuming the the NUC or any other OS running machine would not even be connected directly to the streambox?

My desire to use the pc laptop is twofold. 1) larger touch screen as remote 2) Stream Spotify directly from it to the pro-ject via wireless from the Spotify application on the PC. Note: we need the complete Spotify app functionality as the pro-jects app and spotify integration is terrible (no playlist from spotify acct are visible)

Any light shed on this would be very helpful and thanks in advance.

You can run the Roon core on your Dell laptop, but Roon recommends you use a wired connection, not wireless. I am running my Roon core on a Dell XPS 15, i7, 6 core, 32 gigs RAM, and 1 TB SSD and it works well both wireless and wired, probably better wired. And yes, you can control Roon using the Roon core software on the laptop. You can also use an iPad or iPhone if you want or need a remote device.

As far as sound quality, I think some Roon experts might say that a Windows computer is not the best place to run your Roon core. However, it certainly works well for lots of people. I think that depends on the quality of your downstream sound system and your ears. There is also an element of “imagination” involved with sound quality. Also, if it cost more, it must sound better.

Finally, Spotify is a non-issue since it is not supported by Roon. The fact that the Spotify app is on your laptop doesn’t necessarily mean your Roon core must be on your laptop. Once you are using Tidal and/or Qobuz with Roon, you’ll probably never use Spotify again.

One more thing…if you ever get another device to run your Roon core, you can still use your laptop as a control device along with your iPhone and iPad. You can even have the Roon core software on more than one device, but you would have to activate only one at a time as the core.

I’ve run on Windows on both laptops and a NUC as well as Linux on the NUC.
#1. The laptop is fine, as James stated wired is preferred. As a remote a laptop is fine wireless, but as core and remote there is a risk of performance issues.
#2. SQ is not going to be affected in any significant way by what operating system is on your core, especially if you are using a streamer.
The Spotify question is slightly ambiguous. I read it that you want to use it via Spotify’s Windows desktop app as the baked in solution on the streamer is poor. That is valid but I don’t know how satisfactory you will find switching between Roon and Spotify.

Ok thank James and Henry. I’m now have a better understand how the core works.
I was under the false assumption that since i have the streamer ( which is basically another computer) that when streaming, the roon core would just send a command to the streamer to play a Tidal song selected, and that the actual connection of the stream would go from router directly to streamer bypassing the core. But it appears that everything goes through the core. I tested it last night by disconnecting wireless in mid stream and of course it died.
Henry on #2 SQ you say “especially if you are using a streamer” Is this because the streamer would clean up the signal from the OS of the core?
So this brings me to an additional questions for local files.
If I plug in an external hard drive with all my local library to the streamer via usb (no I do not plan on using the laptop core wirelessly as my local library) would these files ALSO go through the core? Meaning they would have to travel from the external HD to the core wirelessly and back to the streamer/dac? And if it was wired? Would that file also have to leave the HD and travel to the core and back? If so I would assume that it would be more seamless to just plug the HD into the core and not the streamer. The answer to this will make my decision to keep a wireless core or go wired.
I’m hoping to hear that not EVERYTHING has to travel through the roon core.

It is my understanding that the external hard drive should be plugged directly into the core device. The core device Roon software will do all the associated processing and then send the file via your network to your streamer and on to your DAC and sound system.

Yes, all music is first streamed to the Core, processed, and then streamed back to the chosen endpoint. Having the music local to the core works best. The worst is having the storage attached to the endpoint so that the music is being streamed from and back to the same device; especially if any of the network hops are wireless.

This also includes streaming sources like Tidal and Qobuz. They all go to the Core first. Roon is like a server/client setup. The Core is a server and does all the work, the endpoints and control points are very lightweight.

James and Daniel thanks so much. That helps my understanding of what/how the Core works much better.
So I am going to go with a NUC / ROCK plugged into router and the current streamer set up that is plugged into router as well and the DAC plugged into streamer via USB. (hard drive of course plugged into Core as you both noted) All controlled by the wireless Roon control app on my 12" laptop.
This is going to take me a couple of weeks before I can report back on SQ.(just started the 14day trial yesterday)
I am very interested to compare SQ with this above set up vs streaming directly from the streamer using the pro-ject app. (no roon core or NUC)
I will test both with Tidal streaming and from the hard drive.

The streamer should be electrically quieter than a full blown computer and have no fans for active cooling. The alternative is core straight to DAC via USB.