Why do NAS' Struggle with Roon?

I have never found a Nas that’s good at CPU heavy applications they just are not up to it. The newer generations with better CPUs possibly. But why ignore what Roon say should be the minimum. Roon is not a simple upnp application which job is fairly benign. Nas are great at file sharing and low CPU tasks but get bogged down easlly with heavy stuff Mine hosts my files, my Unifi controller and a few dockers nothing more and even then it’s pretty taxed. I use to run Plex on it as well but it struggled at times and was sluggish and locked up with transcoding even with GPU acceleration on. Moved it to a more suitable and recommended system and its flawless. Roon is the same but uses more resources. Give it what it requires and needs it will serve you well. Undernourish it well you may get by for some time but will reach a point where it won’t and will snap. If your lookkng at Roon then it’s a fair guess you don’t skimp on the rest of the hifi chain why do it this end ?

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I couldn’t agree more.

I was ‘one of them’ a few years ago, trialling Roon on my i3 Win7 PC. I didn’t find it easy, and I didn’t subscribe to Roon thereafter.

I’m just SO glad I ‘bit the bullet’ last year and invested in both upgrading my network/router, and buying a Nucleus/NUC. ZERO gripes since then :smiley:



A bit of a different opinion on the topic. I run roon core on DS 720+ (6GB Ram) with two 500 GB SSD Cache and two 4 TB HDDs.

I use roon mostly to unify all my streaming services (Tidal and Qubuz) in one interfaces. I leverage roon mostly for high def music streaming.
I have a couple of music files (80 GB) one my NAS harddrive and this is it. On the intial setup roon has taken a while to index the database. After a night all was done.

Let’s face it, for this use case, my NAS works completely fine. I see, the roon database is operated on the SSD by the NAS. Leveraging roon (streaming) with multiple endpoints (rooms) the CPU loads never gets above 10%.

If timemachine or any data transfer kicks in, I have never experienced any “roon” issues.

IMHO the complete discussion on “powerful” maschines for roon core is mostly on TB+ database music libaries. Another misleading conversations is on data IO. If you have heavy data IO, SSD and memory will have an higher effect as iCore 3 vs. 5 vs 7.

Just my $0.02

If anybody has a recommendation on stress test on roon core on NAS, please post. Database indexing is not.

BR Flo

We wonder why newbies shy away when people are pushing £1500-£2000 nucleus, £1000 Ethernet cables and £500 switches.
Suggesting the several quality items at the cheaper end even if you have progressed beyond would help spreading the word and joy in my opinion. Perhaps the higher priced stuff can be suggested later for upgrades (if unlike me you believe there is a difference in SQ between a NUC, Mac mini or nucleus).


Yep, my general advice if interested in subbing/buying Roon has been:

If you have an existing investment in a NAS and your dsp/endpoint requirements are not too spicy, then they can make a perfectly serviceable solution. I’ve used my NAS which has an underpowered Celeron in it for over 4 years. Hell, when I first started it ran Roon in a virtual machine before @crieke’s package came along.

If you are starting from a clean sheet, then a NUC (or Nucleus if you can’t be bothered) is a more sensible investment.

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Simultaneous Convolution Filter for DSP while upsampling a 24-bit file to DSD128 or DSD256, and then doing this to more than one zone.

You may not have a convolution filter for room correction, but applying a signifcant amount of DSP while upsampling to higher DSD rates will test your CPU.

This. There is certainly a place for high-end computing and networking gear, and for a lot people that makes sense. However, there are also a lot of people that are successfully running Roon at significantly lower specs. I often repeat that I have it working great on my non-wired 2009 Mac Mini that I bought used for C$200 so that people know that it’s possible.

I agree I ran the roon core on my 2010 mac mini (core 2 duo, and an SSD) on a 30,000 track library often serving to two different zones and it was flawless. My experience is that you can run the core on anything remotely modern and as long as you have a speedy disk and a good network connection, it will be fine.

This is a DIY perspective, but I don’t fully understand the love of the Nucleus. Sure, it’s turnkey but it’s like 4-5 times the price of a NUC which it seems to be based on. Buy a NUC, get a friend to help you put it together if necessary, stick it beside your cable modem and forget about it.


Well, exactly, it’s a DIY perspective. For those who love DIY, putting a NUC together and installing ROCK is a no-brainer. Many of us go the next step and transplant the motherboard into a fanless chassis. OTOH, if you feel more comfortable about buying a Roon appliance from a dealer, then that’s clearly the way to go. There will be dealer markup involved, but hey, it’s your choice.

Some people build their own cars/autos. Me, I will go to a garage and buy an off-the-peg model. Horses for courses.


Comparing installing an OS and a bit of software with building your own car is a bit of stretch :smiley:

I paid $1119 for my Nucleus from Roon on their last Black Friday sale. I’ve built lots of things in the past and could have easily build a NUC. I chose to purchase the Nucleus.

Not for some it isn’t - there are many flavours of DIY in this world…

Well it is in every way, both in terms of time, effort and the instructions being readily available all over the web. Frankly it’s a terrible analogy.

OK, suit yourself. I’m not looking to win the next Pulitzer Prize here, just give an opinion… :smile:

Perhaps I should have used the poles of going to IKEA vs building your own furniture, then…


I disagree about the analogy. I talked an 86 year young, almost blind gentleman and his wife who both had no previous computer experience through building a ROCK NUC. I came to the conclusion if they could do it anyone could, with the proper support.

Anyone (almost) can build a NUC. Some prefer to purchase a Nucleus. Why is this a problem for some people? Build a NUC if you want to.

I don’t know, why is it? Is this a rhetorical question?

Who has said it’s a problem? Can you elaborate?

What I think is missing is a short, clear, opinionated description by Roon of minimum viable Roon systems. This and what it links to is too sprawling and not up to date with respect to available hardware. The NAS KB article has a lot of information, but it (like most of Roon’s detailed information) lacks decisiveness: "Don’t do this!"

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Not sure if it’s already been covered, but one thing I want to point out is your NAS has hardware acceleration for video encoding/conversion built into the CPU for 4K video is really fast. Basically, this type of computation is so common that Intel (and other vendors like ARM, etc) added special instructions to the CPU to dramatically accelerate it. Imagine a dragster designed for the 1/4 mile. It’s very specialized to do one thing really well- and would be totally miserable for picking up groceries at the market or taking the kids to school.

Sadly, type of CPU operations that Roon requires aren’t video encoding/conversion so you can’t use that feature of the CPU to speed things up. And the CPU in your NAS (like most NAS) is more like a mini-van than a sports car. Yes, it will get you there and can do many things, but it won’t do it quickly.


You certainly don’t need these. Any good quality Cat 6 cable(s) will do (I bought from Blue Jeans), and a basic unmanaged switch (I have a Netgear GS108) works perfectly.