Small form factor NAS

Have an ‘older’ (like 2015) simple Synology two-bay NAS. Would like roon core running with minimal fuss - so either an intel NUC or similar, or an upgraded NAS. NAS is preferred.

So, are there any two-bay versions that can run roon core? Looks like I would add an external SSD via eSATA or USB3 to run roon core. NAS stores only media - music, photos, and small amount of video.

Thoughts? much appreciated

If you want to stay with Synology, there are 2 options for 2-bay units with 64 bit processors that should be compatible with Roon.

Here is a spec comparison:

I would probably go with the 718+ both due to the quad core processor and availability of adding a dive expansion bay if needed in the future.

How big is your library? I use a 1515+ with similar processor specs for ~15k tracks. It works reasonably well (though is under the Roon-recommended minimum specs), but would probably struggle much over 20-25k tracks.

Jim - many thanks. Synology or QNAP would be fine. I have about 10K tracks; could see growing to 15K over time, but frankly I need to cull out the stuff that I will never listen to again anyway…

It appears QNAP is slightly ahead in terms of integrating the roon core/app - is this a real benefit or just a one-time convenience?

Finally, the external SSD is needed (in a 2 bay configuration), correct?

I believe that QNAP units are generally available with higher performing processors as compared with Synology devices of the same form factor. For Roon compatibility, a 64-bit processor is required, which rules out some of the entry level units overall.

It may be marginally easier to install Roon on QNAP since I think it has an entry in their package installation tool. Installing Roon on Synology requires downloading the installer yourself, but is otherwise pretty easy (and need only be done once).

Yes, an SSD is highly recommended for Roon. Assuming you will use the 2 bays for redundancy (RAID1), the SSD will have to be externally connected to the USB3 port. Others seem to have done this successfully (I use a 2.5 inch SSD in my 5-bay NAS for the Roon database). QNAP may have a 2 bay drive with an extra M.2 slot available for internal mounting, but I’m not sure.

Just one correction. It’s not just a 64-bit processor but rather an i3, i5 or i7 64-bit processor that is the recommended spec’ed machine.

Thank you Jim, John - extremely helpful.

Yes, Roon recommends at least an i3. However, Roon will install on some lower-specced processors like those found in NAS units (Atom, Celeron, etc), but will absolutely not install on any kind of 32 bit machine.

I can confirm Roon is running fine on a Synology DS218+ with two mirrored SSD’s. I’ve upgraded my DS218+ to 8Gb which is far more than enough (is possible by dissasemble the mainboard to replace the memory module). Music library (30.000 tracks) is on another Synology DS218+ using two mirrored 4Tb harddisks (the ‘household’ storage). Roon DS218+ CPU is sometimes peaking at 70-75% when intensive Roon usage, memory usage is below 35%. I use this DS218+ dedicated for Roon, no other services are installed. I also use Qobuz as streaming service. Running for a few weeks now without problems.

Thanks Ron - great information.

You’ve stated this before and it was as wrong then as it is today.
Roon Core will run wonderfully on a Celeron 3005/4055 etc as long as the DB is on a solid state drive, and the listener don’t require heavy DSP’ing.

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Excellent! I feel highly appreciated! :wink:

Seriously here is the point. We have to stop advocating for underpowered machines to run the Roon core. I get it that smart people like @Mikael_Ollars can run the core on a machine that is not up to spec however there are far too many stories of people that read that and think that they can do it too without the same level of computer savvy as the most experienced users.

Everyday I read posts from people that are having capacity issues or processor power issues and refuse to accept that their machine might not be up to the task because they read that someone else has their set up working just fine. Wifi is also an issue I see lots of posts about. What do you mean that I can’t run DSD 256 files over wifi? I am getting break up and drop outs but it can’t be the wifi because I can use wifi to do other things without an issue. Let’s face it, there are very experienced users here that can probably run their core on a 10 year old iPhone but those people should not be chiming in that Roon runs just fine that way because not many people can run that way because of their level of experience.

It’s actually one of my concerns for the future of Roon. It seems like to bar to entry is dependent on a users knowledge of networking, storage and overall computer savvy. Sorry for the rant. I will climb back in my hole and listen to more music.

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Alright, you have a point there. I still feel it’s not the Core/Servers processing power thats the limiting factor.
The problem is network stability, response and bandwidth in the lions share where users have issues.
And i strongly disagree that spending more on high power cores will solve these problems. Why am i advocating small, low power consumption Cores then? Because i feel that in most cases they provide the best solution, low heat/noise/power consumption while providing a very nice Roon experience.

We have different view points but want the same goals to be met for the new Roon users!

Christopher -

I can confirm Roon is running perfectly fine on my Synology DS718+ with two mirrored 4TB HDDs, 6GB RAM, and no SSD. I use the USB port on the back of my DS718+ for automated backups to an external USB drive.

I stream my own 16/44.1 uncompressed CD rips, 24/192 and a few DSD128 downloads, as well as Tidal HiFi. My music library is around 10,000 tracks and this setup has been trouble free, no glitches or stutters, for over a year. I’ve played around with Roon DSP and -some- settings can tax the CPU but I typically don’t run DSP so I leave it OFF. I use Roon Remote on an iPad.

Just for grins I installed 2 2TB SSDs into my DS718+ NAS earlier this week to see if there was any perceptible improvement anywhere. I didn’t notice any. Swiftly swiping through my album art on the iPad was no faster, the music didn’t “sound better”, the initial Background Audio Analysis took about the same time. I removed the SSDs and re-installed my 4TB HDDs. The SSD’s will be repurposed into a couple PCs.

I’m not “advocating for underpowered machines”. I’m just telling you what’s been working trouble free in my setup for over a year now. No complaints here with the modest Synology DS718+. Good luck.

P.S. I also have the Synology DS918+ which is comparable to the DS718+ except it has 4-Bays instead of 2-Bays. My DS918+ is used for other tasks now for automatically backing up multiple computers throughout our household.

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There is a DS 220 coming out in September that I am waiting for. 3Ghz Celeron, 10W NAS. Roon needs to make their application run on more efficient machines or they will run out of customers who are willing to throw thousands at it in compute power. Also power consumption is a recurring problem with these left ON 24/7. Count up all the equipment power consumption numbers (DAC, Streamer, NAS, Power Conditioning etc. and multiply by your local KW/Hr number and you will be shocked at how much $ is going out the window when you’re not listening to any music.

Scott -

I’m running Roon reliably on the modest Synology DS718+ NAS with 2 WD NAS drives. I measured about 18-Watts while playing music and much less than that with the disks in hibernation.

However, I wouldn’t place much weight on the NAS power consumption when sizing it for Roon. The NAS has to at least be functional for the task! But again, my library is pretty small at around 10,000 tracks and I don’t use Roon DSP. Others may require a more hefty NAS. YMMV

The US national average is about 13 cents/kWh and it varies considerably from over 30-cents down to 9 cents/kWh depending on where you live. At 13 cents/kWh that would cost me $20/year if I played music 24/7 and never let my NAS disks go into hibernation mode. I’m not concerned. :wink:

I have a DS916+ 8GB ram NAS. I used to run Roon on it on a separate SSD and it worked fine. After 3 months I got a 7i5 NUC with ROCK instead and Roon just runs so much faster and smoother! Is it possible running Roon on a NAS? Sure. Is it recommendable? Not in my opinion.

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What do you mean by “Roon just runs so much faster and smoother” since putting ROCK on your NUC? Can you elaborate with some example scenarios including library size, file types, DSP or no DSP, etc. To simply say it runs faster and smoother doesn’t give us any useful background.

I had Roon on a 2.6GHz Intel quad-core i7 with SSD before putting it on my NAS [2 HDD, no SSD, and modest Celeron CPU]. Aside from initial database indexing and Background Audio Analysis I noticed no difference in speed or smoothness between the two systems during normal operation playing music. Thanks.

I have a library with 50,000 tracks (although back when I tried it with the NAS it was smaller). File types are a mix of FLAC, ALAC, mp3 etc of very different quality + Tidal streaming. I’m using DSP now, but not when I was using the NAS.

When I moved from the NAS to the NUC, search was much faster, playback started faster, screens would load noticeably faster. Indexing and analysis are of course much, much faster (the NAS would take forever). Other than that I like the ease of use: ROCK updates itself automatically, and you can turn it off and on by just pushing one button without having to worry about anything.

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My experience is the same moving from a QNAP TS-453 pro with 8gb ram to the 8th generation i3 NUC over the weekend. The QNAP has a Celeron processor.

It’s so much more consistent in terms of search speed, bringing up the queue, overview pages, fetching info for Tidal etc. I don’t use DSP.

I was worried that the inconsistencies were due to the 1.6 update (I started using Roon at V1.6) so did a proof of concept test on my i7 desktop first which proved that the NAS was the bottleneck.

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