Hi Robert, Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.
I run Roon core on a MacMini with external SSD (1TB) holding the music library.
This is connected to a 4-port Gibabit Netgear switch with iFi power supply and Audioquest Cinnamon ethernet cable. I have the Pro-Ject Streambox S2 Ultra as network bridge; ethernet Cinnamon in / USB Cinnamon out.
My old setup was Mytek Brooklyn dac (V1) with SBooster power supply, connected to NAD C316BEE V2 integrated amp powering the FOCAL ARIA 926 floorstanders. But the NAD was a bit underpowered (40W continues into 8 Ohm).
So get the Stellar GCD + S300. As they go well together I choose to get them as a pair, even though I was very happy with the Mytek Brooklyn + SBooster.
I did ask PSA if the Streambox (which runs Volumio on Linux) would work with the SGCD and they assured me it would. But I found out the hard way it is not recognised with standard USB drivers on the SGCD.
I was also told I will need the USB driver upgrade, but only after I purchased the unit. I live in Europe, so shipping is costly. It has not been decided yet who will pay. So, I am a bit disappointed with the after sales service. Hoping it will get resolved soon.
I checked out the i5 - Rendu combo on the internet. Looks interesting. My MacMini is already 8 years old, so I am starting to look for alternatives for the Roon Core, before it dies. Are you happy with the i5?
I also run mobile apps to control Roon, but I miss having a remote for basic functions (mute, play, next, previous), so I recently installed Raspberry Pi with a 7" touch display and a FLIRC remote dongle. See the review by Hans Beekhuyzen: https://youtu.be/C6dz3XqF7bg
I will keep you posted here on the outcome of the SGCD Linux USB driver issue.