What is needed for dedicated CORE?

My 2012 I5, SSD, 8G Ram Mac Mini’s couldn’t handle ROON. Next up is a I3 PC, SSD, w 8Gig of RAM and its struggling . To be honest, the I3 is sharing duties w a 14 year olds gaming programs… which are turned off during ROON play but lets just say… when he really wants to game and I really want to listen to music… somebody isn’t happy.

Anyway… time to go dedicated.

I live in a college town and there is a constant flow of used cheap computers on Craigslist. Alot of high-end laptops but some gaming PC’s etc… Me thinks the students sell their Christmas presents for Spring/Fall Break excursions among other things.

What is a good set of specs I should go for. I’m assuming SSD and 8 Gigs of RAM. Also I7 but not sure about the number of CORE’s or vintage. I doubt I need much in the way of video capability. What else am I missing?

This dedicated CORE computer will sit headless in a closet next to a NAS (handling 4 TB’s music file storage). FAN noise is not a problem.

Try to stick with i5/i7 gen 6 or better ideally 4 cores or better. 8gb min ram and ssd only needs to be 128/256 if you going run nothing but Roon.

If you really want to remove any issues you can go for the i5 or better i7 NUC option and run ROCK.

i7 if you have a larger library or want to use DSP options like upsampling or convolution etc.

You might like to try Rock on something too…it’s free to try and many have had success getting it going on other than NUC hardware

See MOCK - Tell us what strange gear you've installed ROCK on!

Thanks for your reply.

As mentioned, I will be buying a used computer, so, NUC and ROCK are not an option.

So far:

I7 gen 6 or better
4 cores or better
8gb RAM
SSD 128/256

Why are they not an option?

He wants to play pc games

A powerful enough desktop can easily handle Roon in the background and gaming at the same time. I’ve done it.

My existing Core Compooder is I3, not sure what vintage… it does not like when both ROON and games are going on simultaneously. Anyway, I dont like going to his room and interrupting him in the middle of a game etc.

“Why are they not an option?.” Too expensive and cant reputpose.

Here’s a laptop on Craigslist right now for $200(which means I’ll offer $150). Is there anything inherently problematic about laptops?
MACBOOK PRO Intel Core i7 2.2GHz Quard-core Processor, 16GB ram, Thunderbolt, 1TB hard drive and dual-video card.

Although… When my 12 yr old daughter sees this MACbook , shes going to try to claim it.

Put an SSD in there are you are good to go. maybe not for DSD512 but most other things should be OK…as a core machine that is. Only issue is maybe battery will be getting long in the tooth and might start ballooning pushing up the trackpad and deforming the case :disappointed_relieved:

I think you have already spotted the weak point. Suddenly finding your Core is in a bedroom doing video chats to her besties…

Sharing computers w teenagers is a bad idea on multiple levels.


I didn’t pull the trigger on the laptop, so, still looking.

After comparison shopping, the 6th generation Intel is too expensive.

What do you all think of 4th generation Intel I7, quad core, 3.6Ghz, 8Gig RAM, SSD?

It looks like I can pick up a refurbished business desktop off ebay in the sub $300 range.

BTW… I don’t do upsampeling or hirez, but, I would like to have that capability if it doesn’t cost too much. Do you think 4th gen Intel can handle it?

I’ll be honest, it’s hard to better the advice earlier in this thread, which remains valid. You’ve said you want to go “dedicated” but don’t seem interested in trying ROCK, which is absolutely the best means of using Roon in a dedicated fashion. I had Roon installed on a nice powerful desktop with a large touchscreen but since getting a NUC and putting ROCK on it, I barely use it now and always seem to just reach for my phone, laptop or Tablet at the remote.
Even if you don’t want to try a NUC, the fact that ROCK is only supported on Gen 5 or above is probably a good place to start off. From there the general advice is no DSP, go i3 - heavy DSP get an i7 - if you aren’t sure where you will sit and aren’t flush for cash, an i5 will probably serve you well for a good few years yet.
However, if you are serious about listening to music enough to buy 400 dollar music software, skimping on hardware just increases your chances of disappointment.

Start at 5th gen, i3 is a bare minmum, ideally i5 or better, seriously consider using ROCK.