No core machine yet - trying to determine if my Yoga can be used as a core. It has the (256G) SSD, 8G of RAM and 3200x1800 graphics resolution, running Windows 10 Home 64. I am trying to determine if the M-5Y71 is enough processor as compared to the i3, ivy bridge + spec which is apparently the minimum requirement for a Roon Core. Will this cut it (and well?)?
The CPU should suffice (still around minimum requirements) but it seems that the laptop is missing the Ethernet port – a wired Ethernet connection is recommended for Roon Cores. Depending on your planned use of the DSP Engine, your laptop might become noisy (fan) on high(er) loads and/or reducing CPU speed. Also the local storage might become an issue depending on your library size – while you can store the music on a USB drive, Roons’s database is stored on your system drive. If you plan to use the laptop to control Roon also, I don’t know if the integrated GPU will work (well) – use the free trial to test your machine and find out if you’re satisfied with the performance.
I plan to use the Yoga as Roon Core only. I plan to connect the Yoga to ethernet using usb 3.0 to ethernet adapter. When you say 'depending on your planned use of the DSP engine" what exactly do you mean - what kinds of options could be problematic, if any? I understood from other Roon Core/ Nucleus posts that 256G should be PLENTY for roon’s database - my music is on a NAS (it’s about 2TB of music, CD or higher quality, up to 192 FLAC)
Finally, at least according to what i read at Intel, the M=5Y71 seems to be pretty comparable to i3/Ivy Bridge, but that is where i really need the guidance.
So, Given all the above, should i expect good / solid performance?
Roon Server is designed to be always running, making it’s service available at all times. Background tasks will run from time to time (metadata updates, music files analysis). Such tasks shouldn’t run forever so Roon Server might use all available resources to finish such tasks as quick as possible – it’s only a two core CPU so there is not much chance to save resources to keep the services available during this time (you might not be able to use Roon during this time).
Laptops like the one you refer to are designed to preserve as much electrical power as possible. They may fall into power-save states (including standby) if not actively used by a user for some time – causing trouble for server software becoming unstable or unavailable, over the network at least, until a user logs-in or uses the machine actively (moving the mouse-pointer for example). They are often designed to reduce the maximum processor speed under prolonged periods of high CPU load so the power-consumption doesn’t go over a specific design limit.
IMO laptops aren’t the best platform to run server software on it.
If you choose DSP operations that set your CPU under high load (for e.g.: DSD up/down sampling and/or complex convolution filters) but you can also stress your Core with multiple streams (to different zones or multichannel playback) that use less demanding DSP operations like volume adjustments, parametric EQ, cross-feed, …
There is not only Roon but also the OS (Windows 10 Home 64), user data and possibly other software you may have installed on that machine. I don’t know how much this is already taking up – it’s your machine so just look it up. OS updates may also need additional space and in particular the big Windows 10 updates (upgrades?) may need a lot of space (downloading the new version, installing the new version in parallel to the running one AFAIK).
Roon needs double the space of it’s database while taking or restoring backups AFAIK.
What guidance do you need? You already know that it is pretty comparable to i3/Ivy Bridge (Recommended Minimum Hardware). If you think/need/want more power, use a more potent CPU. This may also depend on what other software is running on your Roon Server laptop and the size of your library – planned for the future not just what you already have unless you do not want to add new music in the future. Read also: My experiences with Rock and a 500k+ tracks library