Stability difference between Mac and Windows?

Hi there,

Having recently had a few random crashes, stutters, etc. I am wondering if there is any data on the relative stability of installations on MacOS and Windows? I am running on a Mac Mini so I could do the unthinkable and install Windows on it if it will be more stable.

Out and out performance is not an issue and I would wait until the headless version is available before thinking of doing the dirty deed.


Hi Ian,
I’m running Roon on Windows 8.1 (64 bit) and have also experienced crashes and glitches. I can’t attribute these solely to Roon; audio optimisation, power filtering and network issues have all played their part. At the moment I’m using Roon over Airplay, which is problematic.

I have heard that Windows Server 2012 is highly regarded as an audio operating system, and well adapted to headless, but I have no personal experience of it.

My own guess is that Windows 8.1 is no more stable than OS X. People reporting issues dont seem to be predominantly one or the other.

As a data point, I’m running an iMac (10.10) with nearly zero stability issues

Roon uses .NET under the hood. Microsoft’s implementation is better, more stable, and more intensively engineered than Mono, which we use on Macs. As a result, Windows scales better for large collections, and has a performance edge on the same hardware.

Windows machines are also better at accessing SMB shares than mac machines. They perform better when working with SMB shares, and they pick up real-time changes more reliably.

In terms of audio, Mac has a slight edge in terms of stability. This is mostly because many more DACs use (stable, well behaved) stock USB Audio 2.0 drivers on Mac, whereas on windows, there is a lot of variability in driver behavior from manufacturer to manufacturer. Almost all of our audio stability problems result in us implementing workarounds for less-than-ideal driver behavior, especially when it comes to ASIO drivers. There are also many fewer hardware/OS permutations to test, so when we perform QA, we get better coverage.

Over here, some of us run on Windows and some on Mac. I wouldn’t let any of this sway your OS decision too hard.

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Window’s .NET framework and SMB implementations are going to always be better than what’s available on OS X.

That said, I run a Mac Mini for my RoonServer and have a second system with a NUC.

The NUC outperforms the Mac Mini, but both are pretty equally stable since I don’t do much else with the machines.

Our codebase is nearly the same for the two platforms, so issues on one OS will usually be in the other too.

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