Small Green Computer i5 vs. 2014 i7 iMac

I have a late-2014 iMac with an i7, 24 GB RAM (and can upgrade to 32), and a 3-TB Fusion drive, which is a hybrid of SDRAM and a spinning platter. Will that system work well running Roon with an Ethernet-connected BlueSound system connected to a Synology 415play over Ethernet? Or would a Small Green Computer i5, with its SDRAM boot drive, work better, again assuming it were connected by Ethernet to the Synology NAS? Thanks.

Your mac with 32 GB and a 3TB fusion drive will win hands down. Make sure your roon data base is on SDD part of the fusion drive.

Thanks. How can I force the Roon database to reside and stay on the SSD portion of the hard drive?

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As far as I know you don’t have that ability, the fusion drive is controlled by the MAC OS and it relegates the data blocks accordingly. You should just add a real SSD to run the OS and Roon and save that fusion drive for just data.

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A Mac dealer told me that I could use an external SSD to house an application and its data. Does Roon support the running of its application and the housing of its data on an external SSD on a Mac? How much space should I expect it to consume for the application and Roon data, assuming around 65,000 tracks? Thanks.

I don’t believe you can tell roon where to put the Roon db. You could make it work with an external SSD using symbolic links or something like that.

You would only need about 4GB for a Roon database that has 65k tracks. Just remember any tracks you add from Tidal also uses db space.

Your mac is faster then a sonicTransporter i5 but I think an i5 would be easier to manage. You would have to deal with the symbolic links for the roondb etc.

If you really need preformance a sonicTransporter i7 would be faster then your mac.

I wrote a lengthy discussion here, leading to the recommendation for a Nucleus or SonicTransporter or something like that.

You could split up the fusion drive to separate volumes. Well, you need to reformat the drives.

If Roon needs only a few GB to store its database and accessing the database accounts for most of the delays that a user will experience, would it be possible to (a) create a special partition in RAM that would function as a disc drive just for the database (in the old days, one could create a RAM disc on computer) or (b) offer a feature in the Roon Mac app that allows it to reserve a certain amount of RAM to store and access its database? Thanks.

I believe that you still can create a Ram drive however like the old days when the computer is shutdown or restarted everything on this Ram drive will be cleared out. The Ram drive is really for something that is temporally used and not for something for which a permanent use such as a database is desired.


Thank you.

The Roon database can get quite large if you have a lot of music or import a lot of tracks from Tidal. I have seen Roon databases the exceed 50GB.

We user super fast SSDs in our servers (500mb/s W/R) This makes the Roon user interface very responsive. I don’t think it would be any faster with a RAM drive. And you don’t have to worry about loosing data during a power outage.

What would I need to order to replace my iMac? Would your device connect over my network to my NAS, which houses my music? Thanks.

Our sonicTransporter could repalce your MAC.

You attach the sonicTransporter to your router with the included Ethernet cable.

It can work with music on a NAS or a USB attached hard drive.

You also have the option to buy it with internal music storage. In that case you don’t need your NAS and the music would be stored on the sonicTransporter.

It’s up to you how you want to use it.

Would the SonicTransporter connect over a whole-house Ethernet connection to the router, or would the two have to connect directly through an Ethernet cable?

Also, how would I change Roon’s options and edit metadata? Now, I do it through Roon on the Mac.


Yes, the SonicTransporter can connect via your router. With that connection it can do two things. 1) It can stream music from your NAS and 2) it can send it to any Roon Ready device you have connected to your network.

To make all changes for Roon, you use the Roon Remote app running on a tablet or phone (or you can still use your Mac if you want). The user experience is the same as what you have now. All changes are made through Roon Settings in the app.

You connect everything directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

You “logout” of Roon on your computer and login to the sonicTransporter. Roon on your computer will go from Roon Server to Roon Remote control.

You can also control or configure Roon on the sonicTransporter from other computers on your network or tablets running the Roon app.

Can confirm symlinks work fine for this. I’m running it that way now on a Mac Pro.

Thanks. Is using Symlinks on a Mac to control the SonicTransporter easy, or does it require one to know command-line programming?

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With the sonicTransporter you won’t need simlinks. The RoonDB is already stored on super fast SSD for max performance.