Why is Roon so resource hungry? And is Roon development hamstrung...?

Is it? My Core runs on Ubuntu Server, NUC7i5DNHE, 8GB main memory, 120GB M.2 SSD, 2TB USB SSD. Here is it playing 88.2/24 from Qobuz:

Might have been more a function of using WIFI. However, it is my general purpose computer and does other stuff. My recommendation to anyone would be a dedicated Nucleus or NUC, ethernet for the core, music on a internal SSD, backup to a USB HDD.

Before I get flamed, this is my recommendation. Others can and will disagree and have success with other setup’s.

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@Fernando_Pereira

Sorry…don’t think I replied specifically (rather generally) to you, so edit to include @

Brian Luczkiewicz
Roon Labs: CTO

April 2015

If you’re thinking about buying new PC or Mac hardware, consider the following:

  • Is the hardware going to be shared with other resource-intensive applications?
  • How much music do you have? Managing 20,000 albums is way more demanding than managing 2,000.
  • Are you going to be browsing from this device, or using it headless?
  • How long do you intend to keep using this hardware before upgrading?
    With a small 1500 album library and a headless use case on a dedicated device, a very modest piece of hardware will run Roon really well.
    If you’re in the middle, say 3,000-5,000 albums, something similarly midrange–on par with the current (Apr 2015) mid-range Mac-Mini (Core i5, 2.x Ghz, SSD) will give a great experience.If you’ve got a 4k monitor and 20,000 albums, look for a big scary Core i7 with plenty of ram, an SSD, and discrete graphics.Most people will fall somewhere between those extremes. Not everyone cares as much as we do about “perfect” performance either. That makes it really hard to talk about what “suggested hardware” should be to everyone at once, but it should give you some idea of what we consider “extreme” and where you fall.

Another thing to keep in mind: Roon is not static. It will receive software updates over time, and as always, we’re going to continue pushing the functionality forward as hardware improves. Buying something that’s just barely sufficient today is a recipe for a sub-par experience in a year. Likewise, the hardware we’ll be recommending six months from now (April 10, 2015) will be six months better than what we’re recommending today.

@Fernando_Pereira
Given the above information is 5 years old your current set would not meet the demands of my local library & what I require from Roon. However, I’m pleased to hear it works just fine for your Qobuz streaming.

Yup, I think it is!

Not saying that is good or bad; it’s just I’d call Roon as a single piece of software resource hungry.

Thanks.

I also stream from my local collection, around 1900 albums, 23k tracks. Roon’s object-oriented database is relatively demanding, but it never pushes my NUC. If I had 10x more albums, I’d use a beefier core, but honestly I can’t keep up with my local collection + Qobuz (added 228 albums in the last 6 months, can’t even figure out how I managed to listen to them all :grimacing:). In any case, the cost of the core server is trivial compared with the cost of all the audio gear it supports with in my setup.

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Nostro, do you use your laptop as a Roon core and player?

FWIW, I had a Dell XPS 8910 desktop which I used as my Roon core and player. The pc and a NAS unit, housing over 200,000 files were directly connected to my router. And like Jim_F, I opted for a Nucleus and an Amazon Fire tablet because my pc was pretty useless when playing music using Roon.

When I sent my Nucleus off for repairs this week, I was not looking forward to using my desktop again to play music via Roon. Reluctantly, I gave it another shot and again I experienced the same resource consumption as before.

So I tried loading the Roon core on my desktop and using the tablet I had purchased for the Nucleus as the player. And surprisingly, I discovered that separating the two freed up a lot of resources on my pc, once the Roon core was fully loaded. Thus I am now able to listen to music via Roon and still use my pc to browse and perform other functions like I normally do when Roon is not loaded on it.

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Brian posted about using a NAS for music storage here:

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This and a NAS is the worst combination for a slow roon setup, never run a core system wirelessly especially to a NAS based music library. The NAS alone is typically fine LAN connected to the core - I run my library on a NAS with over 250K tracks but on Gigabit LAN.

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@andybob
@wizardofoz
@jb76
@Fernando_Pereira

Thanks guys - I really didn’t want this thread to be about me per se. Nonetheless, happy to see the input and possible reasons why I, in particular, find Roon resource hungry. Either way - the requirements tell me that this software is resource hungry - perhaps we all have different definitions of resource hungry. (Nope - let’s not go down that path :shushing_face:).

Haha - so true, but we still don’t lament our spending on all of our audio gear…that’s the fun part :rofl:

Ya JB76, one of my very first days as a Roon user I came on the forum and heard from Jim about his decision to ditch his laptop and move to Nucleus. And since that time never looking back…So, I knew early on my set up was far from ideal and I’d have to make some sort of decision as to what would work best for my needs. Suffice to say ~AUS $4200 Nucleus+ (giving me room to grow) didn’t seem like it was worth it. By contrast Nucleus (approx AUS $2000), whilst cost-effective, gives me little room to move.

All the DIY stuff Rock NUC Nook, Crook or by Hook does my head in. Also, I live regionally these days, so going into a store and asking for all the parts isn’t an option, I’d have to buy online. I do live in a largish regional centre, but really specialist stores don’t exist, more those large electrical/computer chain type stores. So, that’s sort of out.

All of which got me thinking the past while I’d buy a new laptop for Roon.

Not so sure anymore about that idea. Happy to keep my $2000+ until I work out what is really going to work for me based on all the comments & suggestions above.

Thank you Andy I have now read that article & I think that’s exactly what Roon does all too often here. It scans searching for new files (even when there aren’t any) & this often causes the hardware issue and tracks skipping.

Okay Wizard…seems I have made all the mistakes a non computer expert might make without knowing any better. Oh well…traps for young players or just noobs!!! :smile:

Perhaps, I’ll call up an audio dealer now and enquire about a Nucleus. I suppose that’s roughly the same price (for me) as the laptop I was looking at. Whilst likely not a long term solution, if I connected things up (eish ugly blue cables), it should keep me going for a bit.


As per the second part of my question:
Are there any thoughts on the current upgradability of Roon and the need it must keep within spec of the hardware it sells (aka Nucleus)?

even a Nucleus is well above the minimum recommended spec you need for Roon.

BUT minimum spec is minimum usage ability too. you don’t go and buy a 1" paint brush to paint a house - but it could do the job eventually

I like your analogy here…hence I’m wary of a Nucleus & figure I’d be best served with a Nucleus plus on the basis of my ever expanding library.

A NUC/ROCK is much cheaper than a Nucleus. They really are simple to build and load up with Ropieee. Lots of guides on YouTube, the Roon KB and threads here.

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Thank you, this information about your use case (library size, NAS etc.) is helpful.
Lots of good advice here.
My own observations:

Brian explains the problem with a NAS. The requirement to scan the storage, instead of getting notifications, is quite likely a factor here. I would guess that local storage, internal or USB, would be a bigger improvement than anything else.
I don’t know about your prices, but storage costs have gone down dramatically. I added one more backup location after my NAS failed (mostly photography), and a 12 TB external USB drive cost $250 here. I would look hard at that.

My library is much smaller than yours, 1,700 albums, 1.4 TB. So my experienc3 doesn’t necessarily translate. But this shows the playback performance of my regular i3 Nucleus: when playing a 24/96 high res file and doing room correction the load factor is 33X, I.e, it is using 3 % of the processing capacity.

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Just in PM now with wizard - he’s found NUC’s for me, ssd drive to stores the core if I recall…haven’t looked at NUC guides in months.

Thanks Andy.

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Hi Nostro,

Better to use an m.2 SSD for the internal NUC memory (Samsung m.2 SSDs are generally good).These are significantly faster (and much smaller) than conventional SSD drives, and every bit as easy to install as a conventional SSD in an Intel NUC.

Roon supplies pretty good instructions for the installation of Roon Rock (Roon Core + Optimized Linux based operating system) on its web pages. You don’t have to install an operating system on your NUC - just the Roon Rock download.

The only minor difficulty I found was locating the ‘Codecs’ file for different music file types which is required to be installed. The instructions weren’t completely clear when I set up my NUC a couple of years or so ago, but hopefully they have improved. If not, someone from the forum will help. It is just a question of locating the file - installing it is straightforward.

I run Roon on an Intel NUC8i5 (with around 3,000 albums), and that is absolutely fine. Should be ok with 6,000, but if you want to play safe then an 8th gen i7 (NUC8i7) would give you plenty of leeway.

By the way, what is the model of your NAS?

Good luck.

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RAID is not a backup scheme…it is for high availability. Most home users don’t need RAID because they don’t need the high availability that RAID offers. I hate NAS for home use. Roon works MUCH better with a separate Core with local storage for music.

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Just because you hate NAS, doesnt mean there are no valid use cases for millions of users.

I have years of very positive experience with NAS and it has certainly proven to be much more reliable than some software, not to name anyone.

See linked post above.

I can only agree to that. After finally ‘daring’ to move core to my DS1815+ I’m more than happy as the performance is definitely sufficient (but I’m not asking the NAS for extensive DSP conversions) and changes to the library are instantaneously picked up by the core.

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Unfortunately my library was just too big. I would have preferred to stay on my 1618+ but it was getting too sluggish.

even when putting it into an SSD and increasing the RAM?