MacBook Air 2020 and Roon

I’m in the market for a new Laptop and the new MacBook’s look amazing. As they are now fanless and much more efficient / powerful etc would I be right in assuming there would be less electrical noise from the USB out ? I may be trying to convince myself into buying one but in my mind a MacBook could be a very good way of implementing Roon .

It would be interesting to hear the thoughts on the new MacBooks with Roon from those here who are much more tech savvy than I am ?

What do yo mean implementing roon, as in run it as a server?

I would imagine it would make far more sense to run a mac mini (If you must stay in the mac camp) as a server, laptops don’t make a terrific amount of sense as a server.

Yes , I was thinking of using it as a server . I know this hasn’t been optimal but wondered whether the new breed of MacBooks would change the thinking.

I’ve had my MacBook since 2014, and it has no trouble running Roon, so I’m sure any new one would cope easily. I keep thinking that I should put Roon on a dedicated computer, but I spend a lot of time away from home, so this way I can take Roon with me.
Mine runs USB3, which I believe is potentially less electrically noisy than USB2. I’m not sure if the current USB or Thunderbolt ports are any better in this respect.

My MacBook is 2013 and getting very tired . I had Roon on it for a while and ran it into my Hugo but didn’t enjoy it that way and reverted to Coaxial from my Uniticore .
It will be certainly worth trying though, as you say it keep things flexible and mobile .

I am struggling to see why a different chip changes any thinking. I laptop is for portability, being tied down as a server seems a bizzare waste of money.

In fact as far as a roon server goes, apple does not make any sense in any flavour.

To me a Laptop makes a lot of sense because of how I work , I don’t need or want a home Computer. In terms of the new chips making a difference I wondered whether the new design being fanless as a result would mean less Electrical noise . I’m asking a question of whether the new Chips will make a difference not making a claim . Using the laptop for Roon would be a bonus feature I should add .

What Roon endpoints will you use? Mine is primarily into network connected Naim streamers, which works well, and probably helps distance the HiFi from the electrically noisy Core machine. Roon seem to believe that this is better than a direct (USB) connection.

Nucleus is a bliss to use, plug and play

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My DAC / Pre Amp is a Roon endpoint which got me thinking. I need the laptop for work but as ever the mind wanders to the Hifi …

Without a networked streamer I guess USB is you only option. I’m sure it’ll be fine if you have a decent DAC and don’t want a streamer.

I have an Auralic Vega G2.1 which is a Streaming DAC .

In that case I would want to try a network connection. Of course, different kit might have different USB implementation, and Auralic’s might be pretty good, but I guess it should be easy enough to try both options if you’re curious.

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I’m tempted but already have a Uniti Core .

Nucleus is a very fuss free roon core, you can add a sd disc into it or Connect an external one and you are ready to go in 5m

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Pete you sound like you want to get a macbook air. Fill your boots. But as a roon server it makes little sense. Literally any intel nuc from the last 4 years will be as effective, quiet and around 4 times cheaper.

Infact you could get a nuc as a server and an Ipad to control it cheaper than a mac book air :slight_smile:

The new MacBooks are great - fast, power efficient, and lovely. But a Roon server should really be on all the time (in case others want to connect) and should be wired into your network. Running your new Air plugged in all the time is asking to knacker the battery, and having it tied by a cable to the network is not ideal either.

Yes being fanless it will be quieter (electrically and mechanically) than some other machines. But probably not as good as an older cheaper Mac mini in another room with an ethernet connection…

I’d get the Air, for sure - but not to run Roon. Run it on your old laptop in a different room, maybe, or buy a cheaper air, and get a sued i3 NUC, fanless if you must, for the same money.

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It was just a thought and intrigue really . I’ll get the MacBook and probably keep things with my system as they are .


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