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Article: The Definitive Guide To Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK)

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On 2/17/2019 at 11:31 AM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Thanks for asking again, this one slipped down in my inbox. 


I have many thoughts surrounding this topic as I'm working with the Roon team and ASUS (separately) on an article about improving the speed of Roon.


Anyway, I love that NAS. It has a great design. Yes, you can totally run Roon core on the QNAP NAS, but be forewarned that it can be slow if your library is large. I have 320,000 tracks and on some NAS units the slowness is just too much to handle. If you install Roon core on the NAS, and your satisfied with the speed, then you'll have no need for ROCK. However, if the speed isn't good enough, a ROCK running on a NUC may help you with this.


There are some issues with running a ROCK / NUC and using a NAS to store the music. ROCK can't monitor the storage very well for new music and it's slower than locally attached storage such as a ROCK with USB or internal drive. You could always get a ROCK / NUC with local music and use the NAS to backup automatically. 


Pipeline as an endpoint could be nice. 

 Thank you for your reply. 

 I have read this thread from the beginning and wasn’t entirely clear on the value of ROCK over Roon Core.  My understanding is that rock is optimized so it has less overall processes and will be quieter.   I thought possibly faster because there would be less fluff. Is that the value?

 I am looking at this NAS with a 4 core clarion processor has a NUC with two big HDDs attached (RAID 1). This NAS/NUC  Will primarily be my Roon core and to store music files and hold any personal back up files. (I only have 112 GB/4,700 files of music).  The idea is that all of the Roon processing and noise will be removed from the pipeline. The pipeline will just have HQPlayer, to do the heavy lifting, only processing/playing what it’s told by the Roon core.  I know that you can specify HQ player in a separate location by Roon. What is the best way to do this?  Is it called a zone?  

In this iteration the pipeline will be an endpoint with AL working with the operating system in RAM. ( this will help me cut my teeth on Linux).   In the next iteration the pipeline well be the server, driving a NUC Endpoint.  I am hoping a Roon bridge will make that easy? Is that correct?

 I Purchased a 32 GB Optane drive for the NAS and will install Roon server/ROCK onto it.  I know you said that rock does not work on an Optane drive,  but I think you meant that it does not take advantage of the speed of the drive,  but be quieter because of the low power consumption and internally the drive will be quicker. The M.2 slot in the Qnap NAS only has an SATA Connection so it does not take full advantage of the Optane speed anyway.  Is this correct?

I am so excited. 

Please enjoy your day,



Update:  I installed the Optane drive in the Qnap HS 453dx NAS. Now I find that it is not supported by this hardware.

 I understand that there is a noise penalty for using solid-state drive‘s in our audio gear. I was using the Optene because at 32 GB it was said that the noise was not noticeable. Now the question is do I install Roon on the 6TB HDD or try to find another  small quiet SSD to use to load Roon.   Any suggestions?? 

 Also I reread the first post and I see that HQ player is not suported by Roon ROCK.  Does that matter if Roon is loaded on the Nas and HQ player is loaded on the pipeline? 

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  • 4 months later...

I realize this thread has been dormant for quite a while but I finally migrated to ROCK, although I used a slightly different NUC that those specified by Roon.


It feels good to have a dedicated appliance as the core and I think it sounds better through end points than did a dedicated Mac Mini.


Forced storage scans (files are on a NAS) are much faster and the UI seems to be just as snappy.

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