Pros and cons of having RoonServer and HQPlayer desktop on same PC

Could anyone clarify for me the pros and cons of having RoonServer and HQPlayer desktop on the same PC, rather than a separate PC, when streaming to another (third) PC as NAA?

(I’ve also posted this on the CA forum)

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If you use something like iPad to control Roon and only use Roon Server, I don’t see any clear pros/cons but it depends more on your overall setup.

Sometimes you could want to have the two separated due to having the content located in some other place than the server where HQPlayer runs. Because you’d likely want to have Roon running close to the media storage. For example if you run Roon Server in a NAS and then HQPlayer in some separate server somewhere else.

If you use full Roon on a computer with GUI (like I do), then you may like to have HQPlayer heavy lifting in some other room. For example common setup in my case is:
(Roon on MacMini with media on Thunderbolt HDD in listening room) -> (HQPlayer on Xeon E5 based Linux PC in office room) -> (NAA on a small fanless computer running Win10 in listening room feeding T+A DAC8 DSD @DSD512)
I can also switch zone to the new really powerful HQPlayer server (i7 6950X + GTX 1080) connected to the exaSound e28 DAC.

If the two are separated, then the content needs to travel over network, which may or may not be good thing. If DAC is connected to the machine running HQPlayer then you could in some cases want to have Roon and the storage located somewhere else, especially because HDDs make acoustic and electronic noise. If you use NAA, then adding extra network hop is not going to help in that respect. So likely you’d want to avoid case like NAS -> Roon -> HQPlayer -> NAA where “->” is network hop.

So for example some possibly preferable configurations:
(NAS / Roon) -> (HQPlayer / DAC)
NAS -> (Roon / HQPlayer) -> NAA
(NAS / Roon) -> HQPlayer -> NAA
(Roon + content) -> HQPlayer server -> NAA

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Thank you. (Roon + storage) presumably meaning something like Thunderbolt-connected storage? My storage is SSDs which are currently in NAS but could be in Thunderbolt-connected storage or even in the Roonserver/HQP PC. Roon and storage on the NAS would be neat but I tried that and the processor didn’t seem to like the work involved.

The forthcoming Gigabyte Brix UHD is an interesting unit to consider for Roon/HQP + storage. It has two 2.5" SATA slots and two M2 slots, all of which can take SSDs.

The GTX 950 is no longer cutting edge for gaming but it is CUDA capable and would provide reasonably beefy assistance with HQP for the i7-6700HQ.

It is interesting that the review refers to a successor already in the works. It may be that very few of these sell and I’m hoping that they could be discounted relatively quickly. They are uncommercial at their current price compared to a full form factor server. The fan noise would also means that it would need to be situated in another room and connect by Ethernet through the router (or a switch) to the mR in the main listening room.

I don’t think I’ll be buying one at the current proposed price, but would definitely be interested if they get stranded by a more capable successor and discounting occurs.


I was having issues with white noise, based on some reading (and exchange with you), i discovered it was network/switch related issues. As a result, i’ve removed the switch and network out of the equation and now have all running on a mac mini 7i (Roon / HQPlayer / SSD) -> NAA. Which solved my white noise issues.

The mac mini and mR are connected via ethernet cable and bridged. So my question is, do you think all of that work is too much for one machine? I could move roon to my sT i5, but than i am reintroducing my network/switch back into the equation.


If it works now fine in a single machine, there’s no need to reshuffle things since you are using a NAA. Sometimes having the two in different machines is useful for various reasons, but as long as you don’t see a particular need to split the two, it is simpler/better to keep both in the same machine.

Ok. thank you. I was curious from an SQ standpoint if it’s worth separating HQP and Roon.

Have one question, put it here not to start new topic.

Big pros of ROON at windows that it is working on its own specificway with hard, being like executable core and taking away a lot of windows OS cons, resulting in best sound I ever heard on windows.

Question: when we use ROON+HQP on the same windows PC, do we loose above mentioned advantage of the ROON? It becomes just like a “GUI” front end for HQP, and all interactions with Windows OS and output (either to usb dac, or networked to NAA machine, for example) are now done on HQP`s way of working?

You can try and listen yourself. HQPlayer has it’s own specific way of doing things. One could also say if you are not using HQPlayer, you are not getting advantages of HQPlayer… :wink:

@jussi_laako I am planning to build/purchase a dedicated machine to run Roon and HQPlayer. My current machine is an i7 and is running at 50% CPU and 4.4 gig turbo mode - the fans are disturbing my listening. My setup will be NAS - Roon desktop/HQPlayer - NAA - DAC. Do you recommend a M1 based Mac or an Intel machine such as an i9?

Why not move the HQPlayer computer out of the room? Since that’s one of the reasons to have NAA in first place.

Intel or AMD machine, somewhat depending on your OS. If you are on Linux, you get good performance out of AMD as well.

@jussi_laako, so if I use HQPlayer to upsample PCM only, would the above configuration be good enough?

Likely yes. Always depends on your exact settings, but for most cases it should work. For basic PCM upsampling, even RasPi4 running HQPlayer OS is suitable as long as it has proper cooling.

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The new machine is going to be in another room. I believe it will be an i9 with 8 cores/16 threads.
I love your convolution engine. You created a magnificent piece of software.

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I am using nuc11, the system is ubuntu 20.04, and the roon server and hqe are installed at the same time. Because the nuc fanless system has been modified, I have turned off the turbo frequency in the bios, and the maximum frequency of the cpu at this time is 3.0mhz. Run ASDM7EC SDM 256. The CPU temperature is around 65 degrees, and the CPU usage is around 35%. I don’t know if this is normal or not? At the same time, the playback time displayed by roon is sometimes 2 seconds and sometimes 1 second. Is this a normal playback state?