Roon Novice set up advice required

Hi all first post so please be gentle.
New to Roon and enjoying things so far and thinking about how to optimise my connectivity.

initially I was running the core on my Surface Pro (5) connecting via USB to my Chord DAC and picking up my media from a WD My Book via a wireless connection to my LAN. This worked fine but did cause issues with my Hi-Res FLAC and DSD files not playing correctly or failing, probably due to the wireless connection I assume.

Changed to run core on my 2011/12 iMAC which is to far away to practically run to my DAC so using an Oppo to then pass off to my Chord DAC. This seems to work fine with all file types so far as Mac and Oppo are connected via Ethernet to my LAN.

Im thinking of getting a dedicated NUC and running ROCk and for ease of data transfer running an external USB SSD to store my music on and connect direct to the NUC. This way I can stream direct to the DAC via USB and by pass the iMAC and Oppo solution I have at the moment.

Firstly should I expect improved sound quality running direct from a dedicated ROCK via USB to my DAC. Rather then pusing it around my Ethernet LAN.
Secondly is there any disadvantage in storing my media on an external USB drive or would I be better to add the media drive inside the NUC
Thirdly is there a better way i can be doing things.
Lastly am I over thinking things and the way i have it working now is fine.


  1. If it ain’t broke…
  2. Ethernet is generally preferred to USB.

Ah, the controversy, the horror. Take your pick, but I think the Roon way is to use intra-net connected endpoints.

No disadvantage. I used to keep my music files on a NAS, but Roon (and other programs) have trouble passively recognizing when a NAS is updated. Now, I keep my music files on an external drive.

I’m the voice in the wilderness, but I see no advantage to using ROCK over WIN10 or macOS.

Yes, but welcome to the club, I mean forum.

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Roons recommended route would be to have you core running connected to your router away from the hifi. What you store you music files on is up to you but you don’t need an SSD for that bit, it’s the os disk that needs to be SSD to get maximum performance for the database. Then use dedicated endpoints that connects to the core via ethernet.

However there is nothing stopping you having the core next to your DAC and connecting it that way but computers like the nuc are noisey things that can affect the sq via USB so thats why they recommend to have it away and use networked endpoints. Its recommended to have the core connected via wired connection to the router and not wireless to ensure its getting the full bandwidth.

Thanks for the replies, I will leave it as is then and run with it for a while. I can then address it again when Apple turn the screw on the performance of the iMac.