Running Roon Server vs Roon client+core on mac

I run Roon core on a mac mini dedicated to Roon.

Mini specs: i7quad, 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD for OS+Roon db, 4TB external drive for local music (ExFAT), playing over the network to a dCS Rossini. macOS is 10.15.7, minimal install, only Roon running on this mac. Roon db size is 12GB, about 15,000 albums in all (I’d say about 2,000-3,000 local).

My Roon experience is not the best: laggy and slow to play. Running activity monitor continuously tells me there’s very little resource usage, never goes above 5% or so.

1- Would running Roon Server instead of the full client give me a better experience on my iPad, etc?

2- Can I share the Roon db or do I have to have a new/separate Roon db (created from a backup) for Roon Server?


On ‘2’, I had at some point run Roon Server and in ~/Library/ I see both Roon and Roon Server directories, so I think the answer to ‘2’ is that the db’s are separate.

Anyone experienced better performance with Roon Server?

You can run both on your core, mainly the server only using the UI version when you need to adjust stuff. I believe they will share 1 library,it’s a bit pointless if not . I haven’t done it myself to comment I just use the UI version. Using the server version is only an advantage if you want to run headless.

Your core should not limit here as your resources suggest.

The library is big but not massive, mines about 8000 local and runs fine.

You don’t mention network, I am wondering if sluggish behaviour is network related. Are you WiFi by any chance ?

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I think so, if you’re not using the GUI elements, why have them? - eg, a headless server only! Make sure automatic App Store updates, software updates, and spotlight, etc, are disabled too.

2- Can I share the Roon db or do I have to have a new/separate Roon db (created from a backup) for Roon Server?

Roon and RoonServer use different library folders, so each is independent. To migrate to RoonServer, copy your ~/library/Roon folder, and rename the copy /RoonServer

There is a KB article here:

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My Roon mini is wired to a gigabit switch which goes to a Unify UPG then the cable router. Internet throughput from that computer is:

And it is pretty much the same all the time. More specifically, the connection from mini to switch is via a Thunderbolt-Ethernet adapter on the mini because I connect the DAC (dCS Rossini) to the mini’s Ethernet port and the two Ethernets are bridged together (the DAC has full visibility of the rest of the network). I don’t think I have any networking limitations.

Finally the ExFAT-formatted 4TB drive is connected to the mini over FW800. I could move it to USB, but I don’t see the point.

@Mike_O_Neill : What is your Roon setup?


Mine is a “Tower PC Desktop” i7, 7700 , 16 Gb RAM , 250Gb SSD for OS & Roon running Windows 10. Its noisy but in the study remote from listening area.

Roon is the UI Version

Then a series of HDD , 2 x4Tb (Music & Video) 3Tb (Video) 3Tb (Working etc)

Roon Path

Core Ethernet > TP_Link Archer D3 Router >
Ethernet > TP_Link 8 Port Switch (TL-SG1008D) >
Ethernet > RPi 4 / Allo Digione > Audiolab M-DAC >
Sennheiser HD800
(No amp Hi fi etc)
Switch > Ethernet > CXN (Airplay) > Samsung HW 900 Soundbar (aux input)

Control is iPad Pro 12.9 (2020) and iPad Mini (2014)

I also run JRiver Media Server on the same Core PC to Cambridge Audio CXN (Its a V1 so DLNA) and a MyGica video streamer (Android)

Also running on the core PC is SQL Server , it also acts as my general purpose desktop, mail, internet , occasional dev stuff when I get the urge.

Nothing special , it just works.


Tried RoonServer instead of the Roon. No difference really.

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Just what I was wondering myself … Does the Roon Server (No GUI) and Roon Core (Server with GUI) consume the same amount of resources ??