ROCK or RoonServer on NAS?

Sorry if this is a ignorance question. I know this is somewhat an apple to orange comparison but will help me better understand how to set up a Roon system.
I was originally planning to set up a NAS running Roon Server on it until I came to known of the development of ROCK. I wonder if I plan to store all my music collections on a NAS, is there any (functional, performance or SQ) benefit of using ROCK as suppose to just running Roon Server on NAS (assuming I don’t plan on using any third party upsampling/optimization software other than what’s already built into Roon1.3 for the time being)?

I have Roon running on my Synology NAS. I have no complaints with SQ, but it is a little slow and using DSP pushes CPU to upper limits. ROCK running on i5 NUC would have the upper hand in this respect. My plan is to continue using my NAS for music storage but will use ROCK on NUC to run Roon. If you don’t already have a NAS, I would just get a NUC and use either an internal HD for storage or external attached HD.

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It will also very much depend on the capabilities of your nas. Some will run roon well and others not well or even not at all. I suggest you seek confirmation here before you buy if its not already a done deal

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Do not rush out and buy a NAS to house Roon Core, it’s an expensive compromise and unlikely to meet your needs if you’re looking to use DSP. Roon is also undergoing constant development and enhancement. Whilst the development team are always cognisant of getting things done efficiently and have been known to performance tune their code, the reality is as Roon increases in capability so it’ll increasingly tax the hardware on which you run Roon Core.

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Thanks everyone for your responses. Good that I haven’t made my purchases yet. And I agree that a “capable” NAS is an expensive approach. Thou I do very much need the safety of backup on NAS in case I lost my music collection due to hard drives failure. Perhaps a basic NAS (for storage only) and ROCK combination make the most sense.

That is very much the way I am going although I want local storage with backup (music and database) to NAS.

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@Richard A NAS offers resilience in the event of a disk or multiple disk failures depending on your configuration, a backup is a separate copy of that data.


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A specialized Roon appliance will always be better than a NAS for running Roon. However you can’t do much else with a specialized appliance.

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From a cost perspective i agree a ROCK approach will likely make more sense. Plus by the sounds of it less tricky to set up.
Performance wise it depends though - going with the Roon recommended NAS spec gives great results.

QNAP TVS-471 with an I3 I’m upsampling to 384khz with headroom, speaker settings, parametric eq engaged and my cpu is only up around 30% tops. Seems to handle it pretty easily including streaming to additional locations around the house in parallel!
Stand alone SSD drive for Roon core for speedy/ smooth operation with nice RAID functionality too for DB and the music itself. I use the NAS as my office PC as well as streaming HD tv/ movies too.

Now i have it i wouldn’t swap it in any way for a ROCK build. Yes if having to start over i’d probably go the lower cost simpler route.

I see the ROCK approach as the better approach compared to a NAS.
I have a i5 NUC with two locally attached USB3 drive with all my music on it
I also have a copy of the music on my NAS for backup purpose.

The advantage of a NUC with ROCK is that it is maintenance free and performs better than a NAS because it has a faster CPU and it only have one purpose which is running the RoonCore in the best possible way.
It is also much cheaper to replace than a NAS with a i3, i5 or i3 CPU.

Gone are the times where I have to worry about what Linux distribution or tweaks is best for audio.

If my i5 Haswell NUC is not supported by ROCK I will get a new one for the sole purpose of running ROCK.

Yeah, it does. The vast majority of NAS’s out there don’t meet our recommendations, though :slight_smile:

Hi Brian and Rune yes absolutely perfect as you say in those other cases. For those that want or have a suitably high spec NAS plus they can afford it i reckon worth pointing how good it can be as an option. It being a stand alone multi functional device an additional key aspect for me.

I use the Roonserver on a Synology DS916+ (8gb).
Performance is good, database resides on an external SSD via USB3.0

Use the NAS also for other things than just Roon so in the end i bought no (extra) hardware. I have no expirience with ROCK.

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I use it on a HP Enterprise Server Tower ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 G1610T with 2 x 2 Gb disk in raid and the Ubuntu 16.04 with mdadm and a SSD Disk for the system,

It works fine, no problems at all, a very fast and reliable set-up, until now.
The set-up was made in December 2016.
It is a big NAS now, and it is possible to make it bigger with another 2 disks.