Upgrade from laptop

Hi all

current setup laptop running roon into musical fidelity MX Dac via usb streaming only no music on hard drive

what would everyone suggest as upgrade from the laptop still using my dac so no need for inbuilt dac

rest of system is musical fidelity M2si amp KEF R3 speakers


A NUC running ROCK.

could you explan a bit more NUC? ROCK?

a NUC is an Intel Mini Computer , comes in i3, i5 and i7 in series 10 , the tall form allows a 2.5 in HDD up to 2Tb, or SSD up to 8 TB

Roon produces the ROCK software as per the link above that converts it to an Appliance type approach, self updating

this is a typical site

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What is the reason you want or need to upgrade?

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This, I imagine.

Sorry, I don’t get it. Is that not working?

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No, from what was said, the laptop is working. However, the OP doesn’t want to use the laptop as Roon core, and is asking for alternatives.

For some of us, a laptop is not the best Roon experience for running your Roon core. I started with a laptop and migrated to a Nucleus. I still use the laptop core for travel.

That’s not what he said. He’s looking for an upgrade. So, what constitutes an upgrade? @darren_knight, could you say what you’re looking for in an upgrade? What the improvements are that you imagine could be possible?

We can be pedantic about this all day, or we can help the OP. If suggesting ROCK had elicited a different response, then maybe we would have gone into such details.

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There seems to be kind of kneejerk response of “use a NUC”, which I don’t understand. There are lots of cheap mini PCs which one does not have to assemble oneself. Why not use one of them? Also, what is the advantage of a NUC, basically a collection of laptop parts but not in a laptop, over just using a laptop that the OP already has?

We could probably be more creative, too. How about a Nucleus? It’s just a NUC, but (a) it’s fanless, (b) it’s designed and assembled by the Roon people, and (c) it looks pretty cool. On the downside, it’s much more expensive than an equivalent NUC assembled yourself.

Or, why not use this as an opportunity to upgrade the laptop? Continue using the old laptop as your Roon core, but dedicate it to that task, and treat yourself to a new MacBook Air M2.

Not to be redundant, but, deja vu all over again, and so on and so forth, etc.


laptop can be noisy, streaming hi res can be an issue at peak times my internet is slow
also not sure the laptop does the best job would a dedicated device do a better job

If your internet is slow, it might explain the issues you’re seeing - except for the noise. You may need to upgrade your connection first.

If your internet is slow, it’s going to be slow regardless of what computer device you run your Roon core on. However, I found a Roon Nucleus to be more user friendly that a laptop. For one reason, I would accidently shut down Roon when using the laptop for my Roon core while doing other things. A laptop can be noisy also. There are a lot of options you can consider including a Nucleus, NUC, Apple Mac Mini and others.

I personally find using a laptop very practical. It’s always plugged in and I configured to do nothing when I close the lid, so for all intents and purposes, it’s just like any other headless computer, but I with an added benefit: if I need physical access, the screen and keyboard are right there. No need to scramble for them. As far as noise go, it can be mitigated by choosing the right location.

I use a laptop as Roon control 99 percent of the time. It’s great for that, but not so great for Roon core. I only use a laptop for Roon core when traveling. To each his/her own. The OP wants to use something besides his laptop, therefore, his question.

I have to say I use a fairly new i7 laptop as a Core for traveling with work usually on hotel WiFi even.
I never upsample given the WiFi connection but never have any issues.

I think the laptop with a decent higher speed Ethernet connection should be fine.

Unless the op just absolutely does not want to use a laptop which I can understand.

When I do connect my work laptop up to my home network via cable I can upsample to dsd512 and it’s not really making too much noise IMHO.

I do like the fact that you have keyboard and mouse ready to hand instantly as @Marian says.

Seems now it’s as much a question of upgrading the internet connection though.