ROCK Hardware Primer

Thanks. I believe I understand the value prop a little better now. :slight_smile:

My enduring concern is that ROCK is tiny (probably less than 200MB on disk). The DB can easily chew up a gig (mine is 1.1GB at present), but it is destined to reside in its own partition, and thus should be safe from all but the most drastic of recovery scenarios.

Assuming for a moment that we have at least 128GB on capacity in the NUC’s SSD, about 115 of which should remain useful after partitioning and formatting, we’re still going to be left with well over 100GB of untouchable, empty space even with a gargantuan library in place… doesn’t that seem wasteful?

I’d like to suggest that it would be awesome if the drive could be further partitioned for user music (for example) and if ROCK’s installer was smart enough to recognize its system partitions and only manipulate / overwrite / format them if they are found and verified, similar to how Windows can recognize itself and its Setup will let you blow away just its partitions you feel need to be refurbished, leaving the rest intact.

(And if the drive is completely uninitialized or the partition layout can’t be grokked, then warn the user that the current scheme is invalid and the drive needs to be completely reinitialized to make forward progress. Let them decide whether they need to recover their data via other means or if it’s ok to nuke it from orbit and start over).

This kind of flexible solution gives us access to all that extra room while still allowing for drastic recovery options that involve paving the OS partition (and even the database partition). :slight_smile:

ROCK is about providing users an easy tech-light user-friendly path to a good/great stable RoonServer for the user and less repetitive support questions for Roon’s forums.

ROCK is not about being a tinkerer-friendly flexible solution, if that is what you want, then you should use the Linux install package. The quick installer packages make installing Roon on a linux distro very easy.

I’m not suggesting we present the user with a tinkerer-friendly platform. :slight_smile:

I’m suggesting that the installer could be more intelligent with its use of space and thereby give the user more value for their investment. I’m also suggesting that by being a little smarter it would create less technical debt for the customer as it would obviate the need for many to either physically install a second hard drive (an intimidating task for some) or to set up a NAS and get it properly configured so that Roon Server can see it (these are becoming more turnkey all the time, but every external hardware component you add to the system makes it more fragile). USB is probably the most approachable option for adding storage, but now we’re dealing with adding an extra box and possibly an extra power supply to what is otherwise a tidy, single-box music server solution.

Suppose the user has a pre-assembled NUC with a single hard drive. That single drive can now be partitioned as the starting place for music storage, making ROCK a turnkey solution for every user… which would seem to be what it wants to be.

This is after all merely a suggestion. I think ROCK is going to be amazing regardless of how smart its installer is, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. People will figure out the right way to store their music for themselves, or they’ll get someone (such as the many friendly folks here) to help them figure out. :wink:

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Does Rock has drivers for Realtek Lan ??

I’ve read the thread and tried to understand what ROCK actually is, but most of the posts presume a knowledge of what ROCK is. However I don’t fully get what it is and how it integrates with Roon. Can someone point me to a full explanation please or take the trouble to define what it is in reply please. It sounds good. I think. Thank you.

I’ll try but I thought this thread did it pretty well?

You want Roon?

You don’t know what HW to run it on?

Roon will provide the Intel NUC HW specification and even Amazon product id’s to simplify ordering.

You purchase a Roon subscription.

ROCK will be a downloadable Roon supported operating system that will be your Roon core, you will be able to download it free of charge and install on an Intel NUC Using a USB stick.

Typical storage for your library of music will be a USB drive attached to your NUC

All this is based on what I have gleaned so far, note ROCK has not yet been released so details could change?



This topic is focus on the hardware to run ROCK, for more information on ROCK itself (what it is etc.) have a read this post by Danny:

Can the music be stored in a NAS (hard drive connected to router via Ethernet, and not to the NUC where ROCK will be)? Then simply point NUC with ROCK to the NAS?

Also, if the NUC is also equipped with a HDD for storing music (in addition to the SSD needed for the OS), would this be OK?


Apparently yes to both questions but we will not know for sure until it is released.


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@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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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