Which NAS for use with Roon?

Hello,

I want to buy a NAS to use Roon. I want to buy a Synology but I’m note sure for the model. There is not a lot of Synology with a Core i3. There is an alternative for the Core i3 in Synology or it’s better to buy the QNAP TVS-471.

Thanks a lot.

Hi

A NAS as just Roon storage or a NAS to run the Roon core and storage?

Russ

Hi,

I find the Synology DS916+ runs Roon Core nicely - assuming you use an SSD for the RoonServer directory. It isn’t as fast as some of the Qnap models, but I like the Synology software. You can go for the 8Gb model to give more memory headroom.

Karen

Hi Ratbert,

A Nas to run the Roon Core and storage

Hi Karen_Hughes,

Thanks, I Saw on the forum, that the specs of the Ds916+ is not enough to have the best use of Roon.

The synology Karen suggests or the Qnap TVS471 I guess it is down to personal choice.

Russ

Hi Clement,

It runs fine for me. The DS916+ is one of the faster Synology models. A lot of the older Synology models certainly wouldn’t be up to it (my old DS411j was glacial). I don’t run much else on my DS916+ - I use it for backup otherwise. If speed is really critical then I’d say go for one of the faster Qnap models where you can get Intel Core processors, but they start to get very expensive.

Karen

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Yes of course Qnap are very expensive. I want to buy the DS916+, but when i read that the specs are below the required, I prefered asked on the forum to be sure.

IMHO the NAS should be the NAS … Network Attached Storage … if you want a server to run Roon then get one thats likely to give you good performance as roon needs increase. My advise is get a NAS that fits your storage needs, and hold out for a NUC with ROCK. I have 2 NAS and neither are used for Roon, one might get away with it but for a large library like mine I am very happy with i5-6500 with W10Pro

Just my view…you can of course go which ever way you feel is right for you. You can also get the 916+ and if you like try roon on it…when you find that it no longer keeps up then move to a ROCK when needed.

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The Roon recommendations for NAS sizing assume you will want to run Roon Core on the NAS and use many Roon features in that Core implementation. If you follow the recommendations you will be able to do this - but do you really want the Roon Core to do that much? If you just want to play music with Roon’s organizational and integrative features you don’t need the full recommended configuration. The major resource user is the Roon DSP function, which can be implemented very selectively. If you have already determined that you will be asking your Roon Core to do a lot of Digital Signal Processing you will need close to the recommended NAS configuration to have adequate processing power. However, if your planned usage does not involve a lot of processing nor serving a number of different endpoints at the same time, you can get very satisfactory performance with less than the recommended configuration.

I run Roon Core on a DS1515+ (Intel Atom C2538 quad core) with a single hardwired Roon endpoint (a microRendu set to Native Mode) and not much else utilizing the DS1515+. I only ask Roon to do volume leveling (which is a DSP function but one that is less demanding on NAS resources). My configuration serves up volume-leveled DSD256 to my microRendu without issue, however while doing so the NAS ‘processing power’ number is on the order of 3.0 which is right on the edge of unacceptable. I couldn’t do anything more with DSD256 and Roon Core on this NAS configuration - but I don’t want to. Less complex material (24/96 for example) runs with a much more acceptable ‘processing power’ number.

Your DS916+ is a Intel Pentium N3710 quad core. Take a close look at the functions offered in Roon Core and see what you might want to use. Each implementation will be different, but I believe that if you don’t want Roon Core to do much more than play back music you may find your DS916+ is more than adequate.

@Clement_Page How much storage do you need, would a two bay basic NAS suffice, if so it might be better to get that with the appropriate sized hard drives and an Intel NUC when the ROCK kit is released, whilst I see Raymond’s point about not needing or wanting DSP functionality now things may change or new features will be added that you do want but will not be able to run?
Of course if you do run a ds916+ you could always add a NUC in the future.

Russ

I doubt any of the 2 bay Synology models are up to supporting Roon and most now non intel/64bit unless you can find an older DS713+ model. You need a + model if I recall things correctly to support intel/64 bit

EDIT

That said I tried on a 713+ and gave up…not enough puff…but might very much depend on your library size. if its mostly Tidal then maybe less issue. My library is 150K tracks and ~8TB

I was suggesting the two bay as storage only, Core on a NUC, last nights update which enables DSD native playback is an example where you may find you are left behind due to processing limitations, I feel as Roon develops it will become necessary to view the core pc as I view laptops and iMacs, e.g. Requiring updating every 3 to 5 years, NAS’s not in the same way if used for storage.

YMMV

Russ

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Works great !!!

Thank you for all your very complete answers. The community is very responsive, it makes you want to turn to Roon. I begin to understand better. I look on the net the different configurations, and think to decide quickly.

I am a bit late but here are my 2 cents worth. I own a Synology DS1813+ with an INTEL Atom D2700 processor (Dual-Core 2,13GHz w/ hyper threading) running roon core on an el-cheapo SSD based volume (Transcend 128GB SSD) and keeping all my media files on a RAID-5 on the same NAS.

This configuration runs perfectly with everything up to 24/192 HD flac files. But when feeding more than one stream simultaneously problems like dropouts or resyncs would arise. The NAS CPU is @100% all the time getting quite hot then. One single DSD stream would also work but only without additional processing like conversion or equalization etc.

I tried out another more recent Synology the DS1815+ (INTEL Atom C2538 2,4 GHz quad core processor) and got much better results. 2 streams up to 24/192 are being served without flaws and I can even loop in Roon’s DSP engine with sample rate conversion on two streams. The situation gets problematic when using additional filters of the DSP engine. Two simultaneous DSD streams are ok but not with additional DSP processing. This leads to dropouts or other unwanted effects.

Switching the core to an older iMac 2011 w/ 3,4 GHz i7 and 32 GByte of RAM allows everything I described above. But even this setup is driven to its limits when feeding two DSD streams with DSP engine looped in and filters like parametric eq enabled. Then the CPU headroom is only 2.0-3.0 - which under some conditions leads to dropouts.
The iMac is getting quite hot and noisy after a while - so I feel it is not the best hardware base for a fully fledged HD/DSD environment. This setup draws 210 Watts of mains power, btw.

Thus, I am in the market for a small and powerful pc with at least INTEL i7 and internal SSD running roon core and all music files residing on a 6TB USB drive. At the moment I am waiting to get my fingers on the new INTEL NUC7i7BNH which is not yet available in my country. This should be optimal regarding power consumption and both devices have “deep” sleep functions so I do not have to switch them on and off over the day.

I think that all consumer NAS devices are more or less underpowered with their actual Pentium CPUs. These are performance-wise not half as performant as an INTEL i5 and will lead to a poor user experience with Roon (see above).

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You may be happier if you purchase a SonicTransporter i5 for Roon, and purchase a cheaper NAS.
The SonicTransporter will give you good SQ.

Also I can tell you that even a Qnap HS251 will do :slight_smile:

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Thanks for bringing this to my attention - very interesting, indeed.
But what do you mean with “even a Qnap HS251 will do”? As to my knowledge it is based on a Celeron Dual-Core 2,41GHz - and should not be much more capable than the CPU in the Synology DS1815+?

The Celeron is quite a bit more capable than the Atom chip.

I guess we are all trying to say there are many ways to cut this, depending on a number of factors the most important of which is likely to be…

How big is your music collection?

How many streams do you need to run concurrently (family/kids etc)?

What is the bulk of your music encoded as FLAC/DSD/MP3/etc?

Are you going to Upsample/use and DSP options?

And lastly if you go the Core on a NAS initially then you always have the option if you outstrip its capabilities in the future to move the Core to another dedicated platform, ROCK/ST/NUC/PC/MAC

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