Roon hang on Windows 10

Hi @Sevenfeet,

@noris brought this issue to my attention and I wanted to clarify some things for you here.

To elaborate a bit on the issue, it appears that this device is running on older GPU that has drivers that have bugs in their Open GL implementation. We’ve seen this with a small number similar devices that are also older exhibit some similar issues, but the vast majority of devices that properly support OpenGL 3.0 are not exhibiting any issues.

Roon uses Open GL for it’s UI (which is similar to a video game engine) and, while we’ve confirmed that our implementations are correct for devices that properly support Open GL, some GPU models are not supporting this properly and it’s resulting in issues. We’ve made a number of improvements to our UI rendering recently and we’ve confirmed with our development team that these changes all comply with proper OpenGL standards and that devices that properly support OpenGL are functioning properly.

Unfortunately, as we continue to make improvements to Roon’s graphical capabilities, devices that are not properly supporting the OpenGL features we are using will not be able to be used.

You have our apologies for the trouble here, Richard. If you have any questions please do feel free to reach out.

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Thank you for the further elaboration. And yes, this makes more sense. Even though Microsoft continues to update Windows 10, Nvidia hasn’t updated these drivers for this specific graphics chip since 2016 which means they are unlikely to open the code base again. It’s also not possible to install the latest drivers for any chipset since Nvidia’s installers won’t do this. Again, we don’t know for sure if OpenGL bugs are at the root of this, but considering what evidence we do have, it’s certainly possible. And if you run MacOS, this problem doesn’t happen.

So now I have a decision to make. I use this 2010 Mac Mini as an inexpensive Roon client serving an Oppo 205 endpoint. I already know that the hard drive is beginning to die since it’s reporting some S.M.A.R.T. errors. I was going to replace it with an small flash drive and keep this machine going as is. But if I cannot run Windows on it with Roon Client, I’ll be forced to use RoonBridge which is ok I guess, but I lose a major feature of seeing Roon content on the big screen of my home theater.

The other possibility is to use other hardware to solve the problem. A Raspberry Pi running RoPieee is a possibility but I would still have to replace the Mac Mini’s hard drive at some point even running MacOS for a display. I could replace the Mac Mini with another, less old one. But Mac Minis keep their resale value pretty well and despite the fact that there are a lot of 2014 vintage machines on the used market, I’m hesitant to spend $300+ to solve this problem.

RoPieee does run on a Pi2 and I have one of those. I can pull it from it’s current duty and see if it’s powerful enough to try it in this format before buying a Pi4.

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What might be an alternative is to use the Web Controller Extension to display to your big screen?

Hi @Sevenfeet,

If you’re just looking for a solution to display Ron on your big screen TV, there are other options out there, see:

You could use a Chromecast for example as the display output and then just keep RoonBridge for any devices connected to the previous bootcamp Mac and have Roon controlled from another working Roon Remote.

It does sound like you have an idea of where to go next though, so ultimately you can decide what works best for your setup here, but the Chromecast would be an affordable solution to consider.


Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll stick with wanting to run an actual Roon client since one of the things I did have setup was the ability to play multichannel recordings in my library through Roon. In this case, the Mac Mini (running either MacOS or Windows Bootcamp) can do multichannel HDMI to my Marantz 7703 pre/pro and this has always worked very well.

I did get my Raspberry Pi 2 out of the basement where it had been doing Pi-hole duty to see if it could cut it on RoPieeeXL duty (I run HQPlayer as well). And to my surprise, it seems to work pretty nicely as a Roon Endpoint. I was concerned about HQPlayer NAA since I’d seen chatter on saying you really needed a faster Pi but so far, it seems to be ok (I’m using wired Ethernet so maybe that’s helping). I still haven’t tried all of my Hi-Res music through it, but if this stability keeps up, I may not have to buy a Pi4 at all for this exercise and I am running Pi-Hole off an ancient (overclocked) Pi1 with success. I was initially confused by RoPieee’s setup which in the end doesn’t have an GUI or text interface at all through HDMI except for the boot screens.

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An epilogue…

On the good front, RoPieeeXL seems to be a good solution. I’m sorry I haven’t been running it earlier. One of the main reasons I’ve been running Boot Camp/Windows on these old Macs was to solve the DSD problem to my two Oppo DACs (205 and HA-2). RoPieee on a Pi eliminates this problem and even runs HQPlayer NAA to boot. That alone saves me a lot of grief keeping the Windows partitions up to date. I can just run MacOS now which matches the rest of the house.

But I think i’m going to have to retire the 2010 Mac Mini regardless. The 555 build has reintroduced some OpenGL nastiness I haven’t seen much on Roon running on Mac and while it’s not as bad as the text problem from earlier, it may be just enough to abandon this machine for a newer mac Mini. I wanted to avoid putting extra money in finding a more up to date machine (maybe a 2014 model), but if Roon isn’t going to be good on some of these old graphic chip sets, then I may have no choice but to spend about $300 to look for a new (used) machine. It’s a shame since of the three ancient Macs I use for Roon clients, the Mac Mini is actually the newest one! (The others are a 2008 iMac and a 2009 Macbook).

And yes, I know I could use an Intel NUC…don’t think i haven’t thought of that. Who knows, I might be talked into it.

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I’m opening this again because it may help you with other graphics issues. I’d said earlier that the last several versions of Roon on Windows would lock up upon startup when it got to drawing album art while running Windows 10 on an aging Mac Mini with Nvidia 320m graphics. Yes, its pretty obsolete but I don’t need much horsepower to run a Roon kiosk in my house. I usually update Roon on Windows when a new version comes out in vain to see if the problem might end up getting corrected, especially if I see graphics tweaks mentioned in the release notes. And version 610 did.

To my surprise, 610 actually works again on my old Mac Mini under Windows, so…yay? But it’s back to the graphics artifacting I’d seen in versions until you guys largely fixed this on old ATI graphics cards. I think Roon on Windows on this machine had always had artifacting, but this is really awful. Still, progress…?

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