Which SSD For Synology NAS for better Roon performance

I’m using Roon via the Roon Server application installed on my NAS Synology DS218 (2 x 4TB, Seagate Ironwolf). Now I can access Roon via different devices in my network, other than before when I had installed it on my laptop. Downside: Sometimes Roon is very slow, especially when I want to open the ‘Discover’ section.

So, if I install the roon application on an SSD connected to my NAS, the performance should be much faster. Have you made experiences and could you recommend a SSD?

Apart from Roon, I only use Plex as an application on my NAS (with much better performance results though). Thanks for your inputs!

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It would make more sense installing Roon on a dedicated device such as an Intel NUC (using ROCK) and retaining your NAS for what it does best.

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I have a dedicated QNAP NAS for my Roon Core and library and it is trouble free. I use two 500G Samsung M.2 SSDs for the cache and Seagate Ironwolf 110s SSDs for the bays.

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No need for anything dedicated, my synology DS918+ without SSD serves Roon perfectly next to file sharing, Plex streaming, photo station etc etc etc …

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What’s that got to do with the OP? Are you suggesting the DS918+ as an alternative to the DS218 or do you have advice on adding an SSD for Roon to operate on?

I was replying to you, as I do not believe there is a need to drop a NAS for a dedicated ROON server as you do suggest. So my comments towards the OP is not to jump to a shop and get a Intel NUC before indeed looking at what he has already.

That’s fine but you’ll need to confirm that his NAS can accommodate an SSD to run the Roon application and database. It is a two bay NAS with two spinning disks installed. How will the OP add an SSD for use with Roon?

I don’t get what this means.

Because Roon is connected to your network, you can access it from any other networked device, NAS or otherwise.

The DS218’s CPU is marginal at best for running a Roon core, which would likely explain Roon running slowly. The DS918+, with its Celeron CPU is still short of Room’s minimum recommended hardware for running the core.

Even my RS3617xs (3.3GHz Quad-Core Xeon E3-1230 v2 with 32GB RAM) can max out its CPU occasionally with Roon…

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Good experiences with a DS918+ here even with a huge collection and running other apps. The files are on normal 8tb disks. What makes it work, is cpu power (celeron better than your arm cpu), SSD cache (2x256 gb certified ssd’s running raid 1) and extra ram. The type of storage disks does not matter. My Synology storage manager says the cache-hit percentage is regular above 95% - not bad for a normal NAS.

I would suggest not fiddling with other storage, but start with the CPU and SSD cache, so you first need another machine to run roon on.

Thanks a lot for your inputs. I’m a bit confused though. According to this article here https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/roon-server-on-nas I should be perfectly able to install a SSD, assumed I’ve got a free slot for it and should have much better results.

Which NAS devices are supported?

Most QNAP, Synology, and Asustor devices with a 64-bit x86 CPU, like Intel or AMD, and at least 2GB RAM are supported. We strongly recommend 4GB of RAM and an SSD for the Roon databases . Your music files can be on spinning disks, but ideally the Roon database should be on an SSD. This one optimization can provide the single biggest improvement to Roon’s performance and user experience.

If your NAS does not have a free slot for an SSD, you can use an SSD via an external enclosure connected via eSATA or USB 3.0. Anything 64GB or larger should be fine – extra space will not help. As of the end of 2018, you can buy a 128GB USB 3.0 SSD on Amazon for under $60. The gain in experience is absolutely worth the $60. An upgrade of RAM can be done on many devices; check your NAS device’s manual.

But if I understand you correctly, what would give me better results would not be placing the database on an SSD but a much stronger CPU in general.

@Slim_Fishguttz
I had it installed on my laptop, so in order to access Roon via mobile devices, I would need to have the laptop with Roon running all the time.

Accordinng to your earlier post you have the Synology DS218 which is a two-bay device with two 4TB connected. Moreoever, it only has 2GB memory and possibly a processor that isn’t ideal to run Roon. You can setup a NUC (ROCK) for ~ £250/ €250/ $250 and use the NAS to store music.

hi @Tobias_Imbach, maybe i can summarise the thread for you and provide some options.

As Martin states above, your model of NAS only supports 2 drives and no SSD.
if you wanted a Synology NAS with SSD/cache capability without converting at least one of the data drives to SSD, you would need something like a DS720+, 420+ or 920+ which all have the ability to an M.2 NVMe drive in addition to the data drive slots.

Also as stated, your DS218 model has a low power CPU and only 2GB RAM. so you’re actually dealing with 3 resource problems:

  1. Underpowered CPU
  2. Not enough RAM
  3. ROON database running on spinning HDD

In reality, you’ve got the following options:

  1. Upgrade to one of the NAS models i mentioned above and add more memory and SSD cache
  2. Buy a cheap/2nd hand laptop with 8GB+ RAM and SSD and run ROON+database from there and just keep the music on the NAS

oh and if you are asking specifically “Which SSD?” just about any will do; you can’t go wrong with the Samsung Evo 8x0 series

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I just copied this for someone

Search the forum for issues caused by underpowered core devices. I agree with @Martin_Webster

Sometimes NAS work sometimes they don’t, personal choice based on hoe dedicatied to Roon you are
Hope it helps

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Thanks a lot for your help, everybody and also @Andreas Kaestel! It seems the second option makes more sense! I’m going to do that or buy a NUC as @Martin_Webster recommended !

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Interestingly, my Synology NAS wouldn’t play with a Samsung 850 Evo. Told me it was incompatible, but allowed me to proceed anyway, then failed at setting up a storage pool with the drive…

It has no problems with Seagate Ironwolf 110s or the new Nytro 1551s.

I think Tobias want’s to use it as a cache driver though as he already has 2 data drives. I don’t have a synology so i’m not sure if a cache drive counts as part of the ‘storage pool’

I recently got two-slot QNAP TS-253D as my Roon core/Plex server and storage. I use WD Blue SSD in another slot for the system and apps and 4TB WD Red HDD as storage. I also replaced the original 4gb DDR with 2x4gb DDR by Kingston. It’s been smooth sailing since. I’ve had less problems than with my Win10 gaming PC which I previously used to run Roon core.

I originally thought about buying the expansion card with SSD slot to have the actual slots for 2x HDD but quickly learned that it can only be used for extra cache instead of applications. I feel no need for extra cache since everything runs so smoothly atm.

Hi, just out of curiosity, I tried to assign it as SSD cache. DSM still tells me it’s incompatible with Synology. Drive firmware is the latest - EMT02B6Q.