ROCK on Macbook Pro

Hi everyone,
I’m new and I’m Italian so sorry for my English!

I have a MacBook Pro and I installed Roon.
I wanted to know if it is possible to create a partition on my MacBook to install ROCK.

Thank you!

If have installed roon on your mbp then it will act as your core so rock is not needed.

Yes I know it. But someone said to me that rock works better!

Rock won’t run on a Mac as it needs bios style boot options. It’s designed for Intel NUC’s

Ok, I understand! Thank you so much :blush:
However, you think is better to buy a NUC and install Rock? Is there differences between roon on MBP and a Nuc with rock and Roon ?

Rock is a totally dedicated roon server and does nothing else…no fluff no display no mess

ROCK is just a very stripped down UNIX. MacOS is a very fluffed-up UNIX. Either should be fine. Roon will work the same on both.

Define “better”.
If you want your MacBook Pro back, then probably yes.
If you expect a huge difference in audio quality, then probably no.
If you want a maintenance free, dedicated music server, then probably yes.

While we never actually speak about ROCK and Nucleus improving fidelity, I would like to make a note here because you used the word “huge”. Before continuing, note that I have nothing to sell you here. ROCK is free and we already have your “Roon money”.

Huge differences are all you can expect when moving from a general purpose “computer” to a Roon OS based “appliance”. Let me explain…

You may get no improvements upon upgrading, but only if everything was configured correctly and your system was set up to run like an appliance anyway. However, we find that most people benefit from the dedicated machine optimized to run Roon well. You’d be surprised and how many people are still letting MacOS mess up their audio streams because they play to “System Output”, or the Spotlight indexer destroys their CPU & IO performance, leading Roon to stall in playback (pops and skips). Even the GPU may be overloaded and the UI could cause the system to freeze during playback.

Many (not all) people do get a huge difference in audio quality, but it is due to a improvement in the digital stream being more reliable, and the settings always being “right”… or you may get zero difference.

It all depends on the situation.

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Yep. So a suggested course of action: try the Macbook first. If you get pops or clicks or skips, something isn’t fast enough, and you may need to improve your networking, or switch to a more dedicated computer. If you don’t, you’re sitting pretty, and can put that money towards buying a Roon lifetime subscription.


AND…Windows PC is no different to MAC in terms of bloat and whatnot going on in the background.

I tested Roon on both my Mac mini and Lenovo X1 Carbon with Windows. Sound quality is stunning with my Mac and clinical with the Lenovo.

When I got Roon I almost bought a NUC to install the Core onto because it seemed like “the right way to do things”. But I tried the regular Roon Server app first on my Windows PC. As far as I can tell I’m not giving up anything by using my PC instead of a NUC+Core/Nucleus. My PC is a tower that’s always on anyway, Windows is stable, Roon hardly uses any CPU, it’s all connected with Ethernet, and the Roon RAAT protocol is sending everything bit-perfect to my two zones: a MiniDSP DAC connected directly to my PC via USB in my studio, and another MiniDSP connected to a Raspberry Pi 4 B+ running Ropieee via Ethernet to my living room. I’ve not noticed one single blip or glitch or reduction in quality. Even grouping the zones together sounds perfect.

In other words, there are reasons to get a NUC+Core setup and it mainly boils down to: it could be more convenient for you, because you could stick it in a closet, connect a CAT cable to it, and forget about it. One could also make the argument that running Roon Server on a desktop PC has its conveniences as well – I’m never more than a few clicks away from adding new FLAC rips to my Roon Library.

If you can easily connect your Mac to an Ethernet cable when you want to run Roon and you have appropriate bit-perfect endpoints (often USB to a DAC) – go with it! You’re not missing anything. If in doubt, remember that a dedicated NUC/Nucleus with the Core OS is just a PC running a customized version of Linux, more or less. It is not necessary to use it in order to get 100% perfect sound out of Roon.