ROCK Hardware Primer

@Ratbert @Carl
Thanks for replies. If anyone else is wondering, here’s some info on NUCs

Curious if anyone think using a better linear power supply for the NUC will be of benefit? And if so, anyone had experience with it?

Danny, any thought on this?

It makes a subtle difference when connected direct to a DAC. It makes no difference connected through a switch via ethernet to a Roon Bridge.


would rock on a nuc be able to handle large collections of say 600,000 tracks[12tb] if so what spec would you need.?

I think you would need an i5. You should also be prepared to leave it for a significant amount of time to scan it you are not restoring from a backup.

1 Like

I think that with collections as large as yours, a beefier server than a NUC should be used. I would start with an quad core i7. Which would knock out the NUCs from consideration as they all run dual core processors; mainly because their small cases can’t efficiently dissipate the thermal load of the heavier CPU.

1 Like

You are essentially suggesting all that horsepower for the scanning. You don’t need it for the everyday use of the system or searches. Serious question, do you think it is really necessary to suggest some collections will simply be too big for ROCK? Or would it be better to say what the limitations are if you go with ROCK using approved hardware. :slight_smile:


I’ve never run a library that large so I definitely defer to @Rugby as I believe his library is huge.

The problem with large libraries is that Roon has a lot of housekeeping work to do and the more tracks in the library the more resources are required on a daily basis. This is especially true when a Roon update needs to re-scan the library. The scan may complete in a reasonable amount of time on modest hardware (it’s an I/O bound process so more CPU doesn’t necessarily make it faster), but once the scan is done Roon goes through and chews on the data in the background (with no indication to the user that this is happening). This same process gets repeated periodically whenever Roon does a metadata service update (which is typically weekly).

In other words, for interactive functions the faster hardware will help slightly if Roon isn’t doing anything in the background. If it is and you have a huge library then the faster hardware will be a godsend.

One thing that would be useful to see made crystal clear is what number of tracks defines a “large library?” Everyone thinks that theirs is HUGE when in reality it’s rather modest :wink:

I tend to recommend that anything over 100K needs special consideration and my own testing with 20K - 30K libraries suggests that this is true. You’d be amazed at the performance I’m getting out of a Core 2 Duo with a 5400RPM spinning disk for the system / Roon DB hosting a 20K track libarary :slight_smile:


Ok, well I presume then that when ROCK is launched it will come with the proviso that libraries bigger than a given size will be better suited to different hardware.

1 Like

3 posts were split to a new topic: Will Skull Canyon NUC be Rock Ready?

I’ve been trying to find the post to no avail (my search fu is failing me today :dizzy_face:), but somewhen, sometime, there was a post which contained suggestions for when i3, i5, i7 would be appropriate compared to the collection size.

It has been my understanding, maybe incorrect, that when collections get to be extremely large, as 600k certainly is, that Roon’s server needs increase as well. Alternatively, I know one user who does have a collection in that neighborhood that uses an i5 laptop and is happy.

Well, the difference in scan times can be compelling but is also dependent on the I/O between core and music files. For your other point, it depends on your everyday use. For example, Roon uses 1 core per zone for DSP; so number of zones and expected DSP use becomes issues in deciding. Speaking of DSP, number of filters, upsampling, etc all can affect which is the correct CPU to use. Plus as a side point, Roon is still growing and in such situations, I always want (and would suggest) some headroom for future features.

As I understand it based on forum posts, I am suggesting that some users needs may not fit inside the parameters of what ROCK is trying to achieve. ROCK is not a replacement for Windows/MAC/LINUX’s RoonServer; it sits alongside them.

I think that when ROCK is officially out and the finalized approved hardware are detailed, that it would be a good idea to give the users guideposts for which hardware works best in different use cases (collection size, concurrent zones, DSP requirements) to help them make the decision.

1 Like

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Daniel, it is appreciated. My collection is much more modest but I think the clarity helps other potential ROCK users.

1 Like

thank you for all your input to my question,i was thinking about a hassle free setup without windows o/s,ill use the original planned system i have nearly ready for roon core consting of windows 10,i7 skylake,16gig ram,m.2 nvme ssd for the roon core hope this will be good enough.

More than good enough, of course who knows in the future.


1 Like

I disagree that with over 100k collections you need a quad core i7 to perform well.
I have 200k+ on a i5 Haswell NUC gen 4 I think and with Roon 1.3 I have instant search.
I was disappointed before with 1.3 and was about to upgrade my NUC but with 1.3 I am satisfied.

The times it takes to do the initial scan and analyzing is annoying but not worth throwing money after.
I can’t see why the number of tracks should have anything do with the number of CPU cores you need. Single threaded performance or higher clock is more important at least if you like me only have two zones and not many concurrent users searching the database. Two zones equals max two concurrent users and I don’t see a point in upsampling to the kitchen bluesound speaker.

If I were upgrading I would look at the new i7 NUC 3.5 GHz (4 GHz turbo) when ROCK will support it. Don’t care about Thunderbolt support by the way.
What I am trying to say is consider how you use Roon before throwing money at the problem.


i will be the only user with just one zone i will try the upsampling to see if i like it

No you won’t only one zone here as well :slight_smile:


my home system is 120k tracks on NUC6i5 w/ 4GB ram + .64GB ssd that sits mostly empty.

i fear the i7 heat in that Intel NUC case :frowning:

I’m at 150000 tracks on an i5-6500 and plenty happy upsampling to 128 and at a pinch 256dsd on a single stream at 1.1X with no drops. This is running on a win10pro with jriver concurrently running and roon server. 2 x Dsd dacs directly connects USB with asio drivers, so minimalist Nuc i5 setup I would expect should cope fine. Core is ssd and 16gb ram giga eth and all music on a nas

1 Like

This might be a silly question… but when ROCK is released will it be easy to set up on a headless NUC? Will it need to be connected to display to configure? If it does, will the NUC need a graphics card installed ?