Which Zotac ZBOX for Roon Core

Hi all.

I want to set up a Roon core on a small, passively cooled pc and use it as a streamer, data storage and Roon endpoint. I am aware it would be ideal to have the core and endpoint separate but for budget reasons this is out of the question.

So considering this will be a full PC, running Windows 10 and run core, can I run it on the smallest Zotac ZBOX?

ZOTAC ZBOX CI329 nano that has a Celeron CPU.

Or do I need something beefier like the ZOTAC ZBOX CI620 nano?

I do not use DSP much in Roon. Maybe up-sampling would be good.

Windows is resource hungry. You need the i3 as a minimum, and I might try to avoid Windows if possible. Will the box be Roon only?

Yes just Roon. Maybe the Spotify app too but I do not want a screen either. So it would just be on 24/7. and I would add a 4tb ssd where to store FLACs.

I might opt for a true headless solution running ROCK or at least Linux Server but if you wanted to run anything other than Roon it might be hard to avoid Windows.

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Other than not going lower than an i3. You should be fine. I’ve used Windows for years as the Roon core and it has been rock solid and sounded great.

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I found another passive mini pc, with an i5, 8gb and SSD. Seems ideal.

I mainly use it to stream Tidal and I complement only for those albums that are missing.

I use a Zotac Mini with an intel i3. It’s quite old - at least 4 years - C1520NANO.
Complete pain in the backside when running Windows - just too slow to be of any use.
However, after installing ROCK on it (VERY EASY), it has faithfully acted as my Roon server. On 24/7. No noise (as no fans). Can upsample to DSD 128 without too many issues etc etc.
So - not good as a Windows box…EXCELLENT as an inexpensive ROCK box.

Thanks I’ll look into ROCK but I wanted to be able to use Spotify too.

Shifted to Qobuz a few years back, so don’t have to think about Spotify compatibility anymore :joy: