Why do NAS' Struggle with Roon?

There’s little reason to advise against storing your music files on a nas, save perhaps for the reason that automatic updates may not work flawlessly. What the Roon folks do advise against is storing your roon database on a nas (always keep it local on an ssd on the core) and get a sufficiently powerful machine to host the core roon server. Most NAS devices simply don’t provide the power or memory to properly operate the database-application type that Roon is.

Music files, on the other hand, can be stored on a drive on the core, or indeed on a network (cabled ethernet), as the volume of data transferred during playback is actually very low compared to e.g. 4k video streaming.


Hey all,

I’ve been running Roon core on my Qnap 672xt for the past 9+ months without a problem.
4 Ironwolf hd’s in a raid 5, 1GBe, 230GB of music on NAS. I’ve played a bit with the DSP functions and filters and I haven’t found anything that will slow down the responsiveness of the app. Yes the database is also on the HD’s.

At another location I use the Synology 1813+ as a core and have no problem so long as I don’t use any filters or dsp.

Granted the NASs’ main purpose is to serve photos and video files for editing( over the 10GBe connect) but it works fine for Roon.

I’d be interested to hear your impressions with Roon core set on a PC. Specifically, it would be informative to hear if you notice any lagging in performance in the PC setup compared to the NAS setup.
Obviously, if you are happy with this, that’s most important for you. But it would be useful to others to hear how the two setups differ in any substantive way.

I’m running the Roon Core on my upgraded QNAP TVS-672N (i7-8700T CPU, 64GB of RAM). My music files are spread across six 10TB WD Red Pros in RAID5 and my database is on two 256GB M.2 NVMe SSDs in RAID1. This configuration has no problem whatsoever running Roon. For comparison, I used to run the Roon Core on a 12-core Xeon E5-2697v2-based Mac Pro where the database was on a local SSD but the music files were on a Drobo 5N2 NAS. This also didn’t have any trouble running Roon, but if anything, the QNAP NAS might be a tad snappier. If so, it’s likely because the QNAP is faster than the Drobo was at accessing the music files. It could also be because the music files now reside on the same device as the Roon Core and the Roon database, so there’s less Roon-related network traffic. Regardless, I doubt I’ll come across an instance when my NAS isn’t more than powerful enough to run the Roon Core.

If you don’t use filters or DSP, you could likely get by with a Celeron-based NAS without any trouble. You’ll need to put your Roon database on an SSD, but aside from that, you should be fine. For a brief period of time I was running the Roon Core on a Celeron-based QNAP TS-653D which worked completely fine…but I did have my database on an external USB SSD.

If you’re interested in running the Roon Core on a NAS, it can certainly be done and done well. I didn’t want to add yet another device (like a NUC) for Roon duties since I already needed a NAS; I simply upgraded the old Drobo (which was starting to have problems) to a device that could easily meet Roon’s demands.

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At a very different price point, I moved my Roon core from a intel i7-8700 (2020 MacMini) to a Synology 720+ with 6 GB of installed RAM (Celeron j4125, 4 core); the RoonServer and database are on an external SSD drive connected via USB 3 to the NAS. Roon back-up creates a copy on the main HDDs on the 720+, Synology back-up creates another copy on a USB attached HDD. Very compact, relatively low cost. So far so good. Library has 10K tracks; I only use DSP for my Audeze headphones.

Running core on a Synology DS1513+ with 4GB ram installed on USB3 connected SSD. I don’t use DSP and all runs well with +2600 albums, +25k tracks. It was ok even on spinning disk but I do see a slight improvement on SSD. At this point I probably will not need an upgrade for a while but when I do it will definitely be another NAS which will be used for other tasks as well. Overall the user experience and sound is excellent. I tried Qobuz but decided sound quality was on par with my local library so let the trial expire. For casual listening we use Apple Music family plan…

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Having the core and the SSD with the database on the same machine, is preferable over a separate solution that taxes the network between them. Also an external usb ssd is less than ideal. USB can be a cpu burden sometimes.

and that meets Roon’s Minimum CPU requirements is also preferable.

I use a DS918+ with no SSD. Current have 241 albums and 3393 tracks, there is no problem even with DSD512. I guess it is beacuse my device setup is native, so the NAS does not really touch the decoding too much

And your library is tiny


OK, I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to Roon, so please be gentle.

My core is running on a Synology RS3617xs which has 12 x 4TB HDDs in RAID10. It can generally read and write faster than a SSD from tests with a RAM drive from my desktop over a 10Gbit fibre connection. I appreciate the rackstation isn’t an ordinary NAS - I used to be a pro photographer and needed lots of fast storage for transferring files to and from during editing and for making rapid backups. It also runs my security cameras, Plex server, music storage etc. and manages off-site backups to a Backblaze B2 bucket.

My question is do I really need an SSD on the rackstation for the Roon database or can I just run it on the RAID array?

If you have a spare slot even a small 128gb ssd will be more than enough. And yes it will make a huge difference. It needs to be on its own share point.


Many thanks. The rackstation is maxxed out with 12 HDDs, so looks like it’s an external USB SSD for now, while I ponder a more robust option. I have a spare 256GB kicking around I can use.

Unless you want added music in your NAS to show up quickly in Roon. Roon has problems with that. And unless you want your NAS to be able to sleep, Roon keeps polling the NAS to find new music adds to try (mostly unsuccessfully) to fix the first problem. This keeps the NAS awake and won’t let it sleep.

A NAS does work flawlessly as a backup for your music files, a use case it is ideally designed and suited for.


I am using a QNAP TVS-672XT NAS for my Roon Core and music library. The NAS is slightly above the Roon minimum requirements. I have an i3 Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB of M.2 SSD Cache and six 480GB SSDs. My Roon runs flawlessly.

True, and I’ve commented on precisely the pain points you highlight with NAS in other threads before. I’m running ROCK myself, and as I already had all my music on the Synology, I simply connected the two over the network. The lack of automatic updates is one I can live with, since a manual rescan only takes a few seconds, and the NAS offers ample built-in utils for cloud sync and off-site backup to keep the music safe.

If I ever swap the ROCK NUC, I’ll probably pick a taller modem with the extra space for an SSD for music.

I have other services running on the Synology that prevent the drives spinning down either way, so that’s just the way it is. I’ve stashed it out of the way so the extra noise doesn’t get in the way of the listening experience.

The issue with NAS’ running Roon is that there are so many variables…

Whether the processor is powerful enough or not. And this depends on what else you are using the NAS for, whether you have a large library or not, whether your using DSP or not and whether you are sending music to multiple zones or not. And do you have a NAS that allows a SSD volume to be used for the Roon database, and ideally, another for your music files. And did you take the time and expense to set this up… And there are no hard or fast rules on what you need to guarantee that Roon will run well. So you just have to buy, try and hope for the best.

I do really like NAS’ and use one to backup my music files, and to use it to automatically do a backup of my music files to offsite cloud storage, It also is the time machine backup device for the macs in my house, But if you want a trouble free Roon experience, it’s much easier to get one with a dedicated device like a NUC or Nucleus running Roon IMHO

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But… All of the variables you mention also account for NUCs and every other piece of machinery possible to host your Roon Core on? :slight_smile:

Id say a NAS on which you CAN install and host a Roon Core will be sufficient for the absolute majority of Roon users, particularly so if you put the Roon DB on solid state.

I find the NAS very useful, and an excellent way of making my media library available in my whole household, and simultaneously host Roon Core, Minim Server (for Lightning DS use) and Plex (for movies and pics)

However, i would never ever see it as backup. That is not what it’s about, its about availability.
For backup, i rsync the contents to my even older two bay unit (also a QNAP, a TS219Plus) as well as backing manually to USB drives.

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A NUC or Nucleus are dedicated devices. That removes almost all variables and there are clearly defined specs for them given your library size and use case.

You actually reinforce my point in that your using your NAS for plex, minim server, etc… along with Roon. You are one who has figured out what works for your situation. But for every one of you there are lots of people trying to get a NAS to work and having lots of issues…

I stand by the statement that if you want a trouble free experience, a dedicated device for Roon like a NUC or Nucleus is best. Of course all of this is my opinion and many will disagree.


Or any other computer which can be dedicated to the task. :smiley: