Roon Core

I am considering having a go at Roon. I have the chance to get a mid 2010 Mac Mini and was wondering if it would be powerful enough to run as a core.
Specs are here
Upgraded RAM to 8Gb and have a 120 GB SSD installed.
All help appreciated

It really will depend on how much digital signal processing you expect to do on the core.

Not sure of the spec of processor on the Mac Mini you are looking at but 8GB RAM and 120SSD will be more than plenty to run the Core and it’s database. Bit tight if you want to include music storage too but I guess that depends on the size of your library and the resolution of your files. If you are just streaming or intend to use a NAS or external disk then that part sound fine.

I think in terms of processing power it will more a case of experiment than anyone definitively being able to tell you it’s good enough.

One thing I would check is the version of MacOS it is capable of supporting and where that sits with Roon’s Core software for the Mac and their future roadmap.

Music is on a NAS and the OS is High Sierra. Unable to upgrade the OS any further than that. Processor is an Intel Core Duo 2.4Ghz.
All my music is FLAC and the only processing likely is trancoding to WAV

Core Duo is under spec if your looking at multiple endpoints and DSP or DSD upsampling. But for a trial it should be fine and give you an idea if you like Roon or not even if its sub-optimal in performance. Larger libraries benefit also from a faster CPU. Roon automatically converts all sources to PCM before sending on to endpoints.

I think it would probably work adequately especially as it has an SSD.

My Core is a 2012 Mini Quad Core i7, which I snapped up when these were discontinued with less powerful devices in the next iteration - current Minis are quite well specced but expensive.

Although Roon accounts for 50% of CPU usage from all processes, overall CPU usage is maybe 13% and playing to my Nova the process is utilising no more than 10% of this.

For a single Roon endpoint I suspect the 2010 Mini will be fine. I have one actually currently not being used, and have considered using it as my Core.

High Sierra should be fine for a few years, I’m running that in preference to Mojave.

It has n wi-fi too which is good:

Oh, and also it should have a CD/DVD drive if you intend ripping any CDs for posterity.

Simple too to expand storage via USB 2.0 (4 ports) - you could get a cheap no frills (Elements for WD) bus powered portable >= 4TB drive from WD or Seagate. I have loads of these, they’re small and excellent value.

But a plug in USB CD drive costs peanuts so no prob if no internal drive.

Sure, but the 2010 was the last Mini to have an optical drive so a little bonus and space saver all the same - same form factor.

Thanks everyone for your help but for now its a no go.
While the Mac Mini may have held its own, my iPad is way out of date and Roon needs IOS11 as a minimum. Theres little point in using a phone as a remote, for me, its too small.
As long as my iPad is working and doing what I ask of it, Im unlikely to buy another just for Roon.
I guess that by the time I replace my iPad, the Mac Mini will be way out of spec too. Oh well, the Naim app gives a fair bit of info so I will live with that for now.

A quick update.
I managed to borrow the Mac Mini for a couple of hours so I gave Roon a go.
Connected up to my TV, installed Roon and away it went.
Have to say, the Mac Mini did OK. Not at all sluggish although I was only using one endpoint. I am happy with its performance and now know it is up to the job.
All running nicely but I was left wondering what all the fuss was about. I was disappointed to find that Roon doesnt do transcoding. All my music is in FLAC and I normally bounce it over to WAV using Minimserver. Even on an Atom, I notice the difference.
Needless to say, I will not be subscribing but, hey, you have to try these things.
I get more than enough info direct from the Naim app on my ancient iPad.

Didn’t realize Roon can’t transcode flac to wav. Was seriously considering Roon but may stick to Asset and Naim app for now.
You sure?

Correct, Roon does not transcode flac to wav, it only sends PCM or DSD.

Roon does transcode. It sends raw pcm. It will show as flac in the ui as that’s the source, but under the hood the core only sends out pcm.

Why it sends pcm which is the same as wav but in its raw form.

Thanks for the clarification. I spent ages searching for ‘transcode’ and found no evidence of such, hence my incorrect assumption.
That said, I still won’t be subscribing.

I have roon core installed on my Synology NAS, and the result is quite good

Worth a try Vs the macmini option

It won’t install on my NAS. They are not Intel chipsets.
The mini is more than capable.
I have been fiddling and have now got it set up as Roon Server, running headless. There’s a dramatic reduction in the mini resources running server as opposed to the full version and cpu temps are much lower. Resources (Roon) less than 40% and cpu temps around 45c.
I may have to re-evaluate my previous post. There’s a reasonable chance that I may subscribe now that I have had time to play. I still don’t like the pricing structure though.
Does the $ prices include VAT?

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