Anyone using an iMac i7 (4 cores/8 threads) as Roon Core. How well does it work upsampling to several endpoints?
My iMac is along those lines, and I’m certain it’ll work fine for your purposes, but honestly, I think it’s overkill. An i5- or i7-based Mac mini (or NUC) should work well for the purpose, depending on your DSP needs and the size of your library.
By way of illustration, I’m currently using an i5-based mid-2011 Mac mini as my Roon core. In my main zone, I currently upsample all PCM source material to PCM 352/384 and all DSD source material to DSD256. In a second zone, I upsample PCM to PCM192, and all DSD plays at DSD64. In a third zone, everything gets converted to 24/96 PCM. No problems with the core under these conditions (knock on wood).
If the Mac mini were to expire (and barring the introduction of new Mac mini’s with super-duper price/performance), I’d probably replace it with an i5 or i7 NUC.
David, I currently use a Max Mini mid 2012 i7 also, when I run DSD64 on one drop (Core) and DSD128 on another drop the temperatures soar and the fan roars. Temps go up to 95 deg C, way to hot for my way of thinking. Running that hot all the time will shorten the life of the chips considerly and their not replaceable in the field. Forgive me, as an EE for over 45 years I have learned that heat and solid state hate each other. I’m paranoid for sure. How good is the cooling on the iMacs?
I have to say that my mini hardly ever revs the fan up all the way (and when it does, I shut down or restart, because it’s a signal to me that something’s not right). That said, I think the iMacs have better cooling because of the overall design and the fact that the internals are more spread out. I can’t recall an instance when my iMac has felt at all warm to the touch (as opposed to the mini, which is often warm to the touch — not hot, though).
I’m on this exact set up. Roon runs perfectly!
David, phototristan, Thanks for the info. I guess I will find out next week, when my iMac arrives.
I also use a Mac mini 2012 i7 Quad Core as Roon Server / Core. Runs fine.
The cooling is good IMO. The only time I heard the fan was during the inital deepscanning om my audio files, when I allowed Roon to use 7 or 8 cores.
I did try the upsampling several times, but until now am not convinced SQ wise. Also, I did experience some issues (slowly loading, skipping) in the higher upsampling department (DSD128 an above), although I’m not sure if this is due to the i7 Core, the older Mac mini Bridge or other factors. I turned it off and let my Chord Mojo do the upsampling (up to DSD256).
Thank you Moen for your reply. About your thoughts on upsampling, I find that it depends on the DAC. In my MR1 (Music Room 1) my DAC is a PS Audio DS Jr. which upsamples internally also, so I feed it with no upsampling. In MR2 I have a Oppo HA1, which appears to not upsample internally, and I find that I prefer upsampling to 354/384 for most recordings and sometimes upsample to DSD64 or 128, depending on the source music file.