Suggested hardware

Have anybody built a Roon Server using one of the AMD processors and Linux? I am thinking A8 or FX series +8gb RAM + 128SSD (Samsung 850EVO) + 1TB local drive.

I am also going to have a QNAP TS-251 NAS with WD red drives as I need file accessibility for other applications.

I plan on having RP3 endpoints throughout the store.

@ncpl and @brian and @danny
Finished testing of different configurations when adding two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 in RAID 0.
Headless RoonServer on single Samsung 950 Pro M.2 was fast, but I see further performance increase:

  • launch of Roon down from 4 min 50 sec to 2 min 50 sec
  • no impact of library scanning time, as it is limited by Network and NAS performance/ availability
  • first search time decrease in min case from 10 to 7 sec/ in max case 15 to 10 sec (tested on 10 different complexity search strings)
  • second search time on recently executed search string from 5 to 3 sec
  • visual browsing of Albums in ABC view almost instant flow, with 8 artworks loading in 1/4 of second (so fast, I really can’t measure), with more cover arts & photos setting on 18 artworks loading in 1/2 second
  • on 44.1k AIFF On-Demand Audio analysis down from 2 sec to 1/2 sec
  • on 192k AIFF On-Demand Audio analysis down from 8 sec to 4 sec
  • start of playback in 1/4 sec - feeling instant

On technical side:

  • for Intel NUC6i7KYK I found most optimal 32KB RAID 0 stripe
  • BIOS & Win 10 power setting to max performance
  • Intel RST set-up with Write-cash buffer flushing: Disabled and Cash mode: Write back
  • rest does’t matter, as much as no additional SW and Utilities are loaded on PC

Running ATTO Disk Benchmark, I see following performance improvements:

  • Write increase from 1500 MB/ sec to 2750 MB/ sec
  • Read increase from 2500 MB/ sec to 3050 MB/ sec

Searching on web, in some Desktop systems with 2x 512 GB Samsung 950 Pros in RAID 0 with additional cooling, I have seen Read performance reaching up to 3400 MB/ sec, but could not reach so fast on Intel NUC NUC6i7KYK.
Limitation here are DMI 3.0, mobile Motherboard+CPU performance, and no dedicated cooling of SSDs.



Great result. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a good benchmark to set for the higher library limits.

Let us know if you see anything change over time…and enjoy !!


Hi, I have a AMD A10-7700K @ 3.5 GHz processor in my drawer :slight_smile: Can I use it as a component on a Server build? I was thinkning of a headless solution. I have around 12k music on my nas right now. And I would to run Roon on my server. Will the AMD be enough or do I need something else like Intel I3?

Having a look at this comparison I would think that it could run Roon Server (Windows or MacOS; Linux is compiled for x86 only) but would expect performance bottlenecks at around 1,000 albums. The thermal profile is pretty high and could present fan noise issues if the server is going to be in the same room as your music system.

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Thanks for your reply, Yes the AMD processor gets really hot and I don’t want the server to be noisy. Probably best to go for a Intel solution instead, like I3 or I5. I have the chassi (Fractal Design Node 304) and harddisks, + 1 SSD. Only need motherboard, CPU and RAM.

If you would be connecting the DAC to the server then you might look at a motherboard that has a special USB connection that allows you to de-power it, thus preventing a lot of the USB noise. Gigabyte makes a few and labels the feature “DAC UP”, I think.

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I have been running Roon Server on an A8 laptop for a while and it was absolutely fine. My library is smaller but it ran OK and there were no issues with playback via remote end points. If I had an A8 or A10 option open to me in a NUC type format I would have considered it alongside my eventual choice (i5). I needed my laptop back for normal duties but apart from that I was happy.

There was an A8 based NUC available by Gigabyte.±+Mini+%2F+Booksize-_-9SIA6ZP3R86806&gclid=CjwKEAjw7svABRCi_KPzoPr53QoSJAABSvxfJXJdgi8Um7jo5pQuqMfH_8saLZkihGySo9JAyqcgIRoC4Nnw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

or Roon Labs’ recommended system (6th gen Core i3) for even cheaper, with free ram (8gb!), on sale now for $50 less than that Gigabyte:

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LOL, actually I wasn’t recommending that one at all. I was just responding to @Henry_McLeod who had said “If I had an A8 or A10 option open to me in a NUC type format” to let him know that those NUCs do/did exist.

Another thing to keep in mind: Roon is not static. It will receive software updates over time, and as always, we’re going to continue pushing the functionality forward as hardware improves. Buying something that’s just barely sufficient today is a recipe for a sub-par experience in a year. Likewise, the hardware we’ll be recommending six months from now (April 10, 2015) will be six months better than what we’re recommending today.

Based on development updates since this was posted, or those changes coming in the short-term, do you have any input to build on your earlier hardware requirements post?

(My use case would be a headless linux machine handling Roon Core, a Plex Server, and digital DVR.)

[quote=“Michael_Merline, post:200, topic:90”]
(My use case would be a headless linux machine handling Roon Core, a Plex Server, and digital DVR.)
[/quote]Other factors to consider:

  • How many audio zone will you run concurrently?
  • How many albums are in your library?
  • Will Roon be used concurrently with Plex/DVR?

My “finger in the air” advice as you have video in the mix would be get an i7 with 16GB RAM, but an i5 would most likely be just fine. Ultimately it is down to how you perceive risk vs. spend.

Our philosophy on this hasn’t really changed, and other than the proliferation of NVMe SSDs since that post, not much has changed in the hardware world either.

I’m with @Carl, though. I don’t think you’ll regret going a little bit over-powered, especially with amount of software you’ll be running on the thing.


@brian and @Carl,

I’ll probably opt for an i7 when I finally start this build (I’m waiting until the Plex DVR functionality goes out of beta or the Synology core no longer performs as expected with my library). I just don’t want to overbuild a PC that’s going to be always-on.

Quickly going down Carl’s list:

  • Typical use would be playing to a maximum of two concurrent zones, but I would group three or four zones for parties.
  • I’m currently at about 70,000 tracks, most of those in full albums and encoded in ALAC.
  • Both PLEX and Roon core would operate 24/7, and PLEX would be largely idle when a show isn’t scheduled to be recorded or a video isn’t being played. I plan on our household playing Roon music and PLEX video at the same time on a nightly basis.

I would gladly spend a bit more upfront to ensure low energy consumption, always-on hardware stability and an ideal Roon experience.

Yeah, I understand. These tables are a good reference for the tradeoffs.. Usually you can find a chip that’s got markedly lower wattage but not much less performance.

For example, in the Skylake-S section, the i7-6700T uses 35W while running 4 cores at a maximum of 3.6GHz. The i7-6700K uses 91W while running 4 cores at a maximum of 4.0GHz. 60% less power consumption 10% less performance.


I find Kodi is better than Plex for video playback including TV (the latter requires tuner attached to the PC, convenient for recording) - particularly if you use the “transparency” skin the functionality is awesome - it also seems to have more codecs for playback and therefore more reliable than Plex.

I actually prefer PLEX for some of its ancillary Lifetime features, especially the Watch Later bookmarklet. It really feels like a service as much as a software. That being said, if you don’t have any need for the added functionality, I can see a leaner option making a lot of sense.

So i’ve setup up Roon Core in a high end PC in a separate room from where I primarily listen to music, because that PC is bit noisy (fans). This PC is right now only functioning as a Roon Core and my NAS is mapped to the CORE - contains all of my music.
I then took my laptop (as a trial for now) downloaded Roon Bridge and hooked that directly up to my Bryston DAC via USB - to utilize all formats/resolutions, including DSD.
I have an ipad that I use as my remote and also have a PC running Roon Remote. The setup is working as I expect.
I think the most important component is the Bridge to handle the flow of data cleanly (out via USB) and any conversion in format to end directly connected to it? I have other end points - like a Marantz receiver that has Apple airplay, which I believe the CORE handles directly to the receiver.
For my DAC, I think the bridge handling the heavy lifting part versus the CORE. If so, since its in my living room what quiet device (PC running Windows or Linux) is best suited for the Bridge for best quality USB? I’ve looked at the small cube like GIGABYTE and INTEL PCs, but don’t know if a particular brand sounds better like Sonore microRendu. Seems very expensive too.