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Article: Review | Running a Large Roon Library on a QNAP TVS-872XT

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Chris, here you are solving problem faster than I can create them again!

 

Edit: I have begun rebooting the Mini that runs as my Core every day as well. If I let it, and Roon, run continuously, it will slow down as well and CPU/RAM usage spikes for no reason other than beginning playback.


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Nice report.

 

It might be useful to supplement the comments on how well this NAS and its cpu handle your complex tasks, including DSP, with the numbers from Roon's assessment of the processing headroom.  This will indicate current throughput relative to the instantaneous demands of the task.

 

I did not see any reference to functions such as up/downsampling and/or format conversions and, unsurprisingly, no attempt to use more than 2 channels such as for bass management or multichannel.  These are the things that might stress an "Core i5-8400T running at 1.7 GHz."

 

 

 

 

.


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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25 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Nice report.

 

It might be useful to supplement the comments on how well this NAS and its cpu handle your complex tasks, including DSP, with the numbers from Roon's assessment of the processing headroom.  This will indicate current throughput relative to the instantaneous demands of the task.

 

I did not see any reference to functions such as up/downsampling and/or format conversions and, unsurprisingly, no attempt to use more than 2 channels such as for bass management or multichannel.  These are the things that might stress an "Core i5-8400T running at 1.7 GHz."

 

 

 

 

.

Hi Kal, great points. I will run some tests and post results. I’ve used DSD512 upsampling on this NAS without an issue. I’ll post the exact stats. 


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The most stressful test I've used involved high resolution, DSP and multichannel. "Only with the easy configuration at DSD64 did the headroom rise above "1.5x" and give continuous playback. Adding the convolution processing, it shrank to "1x" and played only some of the time. With DSD128 and DSD256, the headroom was always less than "1x" and playback was riddled with interruptions."  Convolution filters were more stressful than PEQ.  The illustration below is with the (unspecified) i7 in a Nucleus+.

Roon failure.JPG


Kal Rubinson

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Hi Can send DSD512 and apply a 66,000 tap FIR convolution filter and don't experience any playback issues. Here is a screenshot Roon and the QNAP.

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 10.40.02 AM.png


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Streaming 24/192 from Qobuz causes a large spike in CPU when also doing DSD conversion and convolution. But still. no audio dropouts. 

 

I wish I had a multichannel DAC. 

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 10.45.41 AM.png


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I just added parametric EQ for the heck of it and the QNAP didn't even blink. 

 

Looks like the only thing that will likely phase it is multichannel.


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9 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I just added parametric EQ for the heck of it and the QNAP didn't even blink. 

Good but at 2x or less, there is little margin left in the tank.  Note that, at what Roon thinks are desirable rates, the processing speed is replaced by the friendly star. 😉

EDIT:  If the NAS does any housekeeping work in the background or is accessed for another task, the tank may run dry. 

9 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Looks like the only thing that will likely phase it is multichannel.

Agreed.  So if that trebles the workload, it will likely cut the processing speed to 1/3.  So, 2x becomes less than 1 and will fail.


Kal Rubinson

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Re: rebooting Roon.. I run Roon core on a Zenith server and have control running on a 2018 Mac Mini i7 32 gig ram , it starts out with a few % total CPU usage on the Mini , but after a while I hear the fans and see usage is around 50% = 25% user & 25% system, core temps have gone from the 40's to the 80-90's, and the fan has ramped up from about 1700 rpm to 3800.

 

Roon is aware of this usage creep but hasn't solved it other than requiring a reboot of the Mini.. If I quit Roon the usage drops back down to a few %, but re-starting Roon without re-booting the Mini takes it right back up . Only solution is reboot the Mini

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I have had the same fan problem with nearly the same Mac Mini - maxxed out on performance.

I have also read that there have been some problems with fan running and Apple recommends shutting down, pull out power cable x 15 seconds, plug back in, wait 5 seconds, hit power button.  Works every time, then 2 days later, fan blowing constantly - it is rather frustrating for near field listening at the computer desk, but does not seem to affect performance at all.  If I am listening in my other rooms obviously the fan noise is not an issue.


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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

I wish I had a multichannel DAC. 

 

Try a Lynx Hilo.  If you have the right software you can  use the 3 analog outs (headphones, line out, monitor out) as a 6 channel DAC. Pure Music crossover can be configured to use them that way so you can triamp.. not sure about any surround software that will see them separately, but I know very little about surround software.

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Just a hunch and not taking into account Chris's extra large DB + files count, I see similar questions regarding delay's on various forums.  Although I don't see said behaviors much if ever ( super long searches or just general bogged down experiences at times), I would venture to guess many of these types of issues have to do with the streaming integration - which if I understand, ROON only has so much control of.  The way ROON processes and manages the metadata went through a major change fairly recently (cloud) if I recall

 

I don't stream, use local only library (files located on NAS), have a decent sized footprint (4200 albums), use managed switch/fiber home network and don't see these issues some experience.  I have a Qobuz account (only for purchasing) and I am usually logged in via ROON just for visibility of additional albums, artists etc..but it is slower having that extra service logged in. 

 

Whenever I perform ROON updates (set to manual), I log out of the streaming services first, reboot everything, perform the update and go on my way. 

 

Anyway just my .02

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Rebooting your NAS is not a solution. Roon is a memory / CPU hog regardless of the platform. This needs to be addressed by the Roon developers.

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21 minutes ago, Ran said:

Rebooting your NAS is not a solution. Roon is a memory / CPU hog regardless of the platform. This needs to be addressed by the Roon developers.


It’s a solution I can control. It’s either reboot or don’t use Roon. 

 

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, ted_b said:

Chris,

I may have missed this but why aren't you sending Roon (NAS) to an HQPlayer machine to do the heavy lifting (modulators, upsampling, converting, etc)?


I do. The above DSP was only a test. 


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Just curious. Can an adult live long enough to listen to 10 TB of music? :)

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6 minutes ago, bobflood said:

Just curious. Can an adult live long enough to listen to 10 TB of music? :)

Definitely not. What’s the alternative, picking certain tracks from albums to save and delete the others?

 

First world problems of the highest order :~)


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2 hours ago, bbosler said:

Try a Lynx Hilo.  If you have the right software you can  use the 3 analog outs (headphones, line out, monitor out) as a 6 channel DAC. Pure Music crossover can be configured to use them that way so you can triamp.. not sure about any surround software that will see them separately, but I know very little about surround software.

For less than that, you can buy a Merging Anubis and, for much less, an OKTO DAC8 Pro.


Kal Rubinson

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

Rebooting your NAS is not a solution. Roon is a memory / CPU hog regardless of the platform. This needs to be addressed by the Roon developers.

Indeed.  The same tasks that strain the CPU under Roon generally run easily under JRMC.

 

1 hour ago, bobflood said:

Just curious. Can an adult live long enough to listen to 10 TB of music? :)

 

Probably not but I can't decide which TB I can't live without. 🤞


Kal Rubinson

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As a technician it kind of hurts to reboot a NAS every morning + my QNAP TVS672XT (the smaller sister of the TVS 872XT, also pretty well specˋd) needs ca. 1-2 hours after reboot to re-index all files, create photo miniature icons etc. which also reduces CPU efficiency + creates additional hard disk/SSD wear etc. so this is IMHO not the best to do to a NAS - at least if the investment into it matters. 

in general, the hardware of QNAP is great (they are using pretty recent CPUs), in regards to software I find them a bit crappy. Had my old Synology run over months without a need to restart. That‘s definitely not possible on my QNAP, needs to be restarted every ca. 2 weeks – everytime it starts to slow down and lag with certain tasks...

Roon also runs well on my TV672XT but I‘m nowhere near the database size of this review...

 

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10 minutes ago, Yop1403 said:

As a technician it kind of hurts to reboot a NAS every morning + my QNAP TVS672XT (the smaller sister of the TVS 872XT, also pretty well specˋd) needs ca. 1-2 hours after reboot to re-index all files, create photo miniature icons etc. which also reduces CPU efficiency + creates additional hard disk/SSD wear etc. so this is IMHO not the best to do to a NAS - at least if the investment into it matters. 

in general, the hardware of QNAP is great (they are using pretty recent CPUs), in regards to software I find them a bit crappy. Had my old Synology run over months without a need to restart. That‘s definitely not possible on my QNAP, needs to be restarted every ca. 2 weeks – everytime it starts to slow down and lag with certain tasks...

Roon also runs well on my TV672XT but I‘m nowhere near the database size of this review...

 

I suppose I could create a script to just restart Roon but I’ll take the easy route for now. I don’t have anything else to index upon reboot, so I’m ok with it. Not ideal, but I can live with it. 


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Any thoughts on SQ running Roon on the QNAP vs. a Nucleus?

I’ve been running Roon (with a bunch of DSP) on a top spec’d (as of 2 years ago) SonicTransporter, and it is rock solid. I toyed with Roon on my Synology NAS just for fun and had some problems. 


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