roon anlage

Updated 19.05.2021

What is Roon?

Roon is a music management and listening solution by Roon Labs that works as a music player, streaming solution, and server. Music enthusiasts much appreciate Roon. Roon manages the entire music library and automatically finds photos, biographies, lyrics, or concert dates and connects them with the appropriate musicians, composers, conductors, or producers. You get a digital and individual music magazine for your entire collection.


Roon Core Server Software

At the heart of the Roon system is the Roon Core or, in other words, the Roon server software. Roon Core indexes the music, complements the metadata, and sends the music to the terminals. A Roon Core server can be used to manage multiple audio outputs, and simultaneous streaming to multiple devices is possible, too.

Roon can be controlled, among many other devices, via a smartphone, tablet, or notebook. The “Control App” with the intuitive user interface is installed on these devices. However, only the hardware on which Roon Core is installed needs notable computing power and a fast SSD. The power is needed for fast searching and selecting as well as superfast data delivery to the “Control App”, conversions and DSP functions.

Blogpost “The perfect Roon Server”


ROCK and Roon Nucleus

Roon Labs has developed a lean operating system based on Linux to run Roon Core; its name is ROCK (Roon Optimized Core Kit). Roon Labs offers ROCK for free as a download. Besides, Roon Labs also sells customized hardware, the Roon Nucleus. The Roon Nucleus is available in an Intel Core i3 and Core i7 variant. The basis for the Roon Nucleus are Intel NUC boards. The ROCK operating system is optimized for this hardware and these motherboards. An important feature of the Roon Nucleus is that it is fanless and therefore silent.
Since the PrimeMinis also has an Intel NUC board, all PrimeMinis are ideal as a Roon Nucleus alternative. With the PrimeMinis and ROCK, a completely silent Roon server can be configured as an alternative to the Roon Nucleus. The housing of the PrimeMini is at least as high quality as that of the Roon Nucleus. Also, the PrimeMini (Image 3), at 17.7 x 5.5 x 11.4 cm, is more compact than the 21.6 x 7.6 x 15.2 large Roon Nucleus (Image 4), as can be clearly seen in the comparison of the rear view of the two mini-servers. The PrimeMini is in a similar configuration, a much cheaper alternative to the Roon Nucleus.

prime und roon im vergleich

PrimeMini as Roon Nucleus Alternative

The Roon Nucleus is available in two configurations, one with an i3 processor for music libraries up to 100,000 songs. As Nucleus + with an i7 processor for larger music collections and advanced DSP features.

  • The best PrimeMini configuration for an alternative to the Roon Nucleus for smaller music collections is a PrimeMini with Intel i3 processor.
  • A PrimeMini with Intel i7 processor is the perfect alternative to the more powerful Roon Nucleus+.

These and further configurations can be ordered from our HiFi resellers, e.g., a PrimeMini with Wifi, with faster dual-channel RAM (2x 8GB RAM), or with an additional 2.5″ SSD.

The ROCK operating system is installed on the M.2 SSD. The music files can be stored on an external hard drive, a NAS, or an internal SSD of the PrimeMini. It is a good idea to order the PrimeMini as a Roon server with an additional 2TB 2.5″ SSD, which is sufficient storage space for about 500’000 songs. The SSD brings even more performance and reliability compared to an HDD and is, above all, completely silent.

PrimeMinis have already been successfully installed with many Prime Computer customers as a Roon Nucleus alternative (Images 1 and 2).

An installation guide for ROCK on NUC-hardware can be found here.

Customers from the EU get help with installation and further support, such as suitable linear power supplies, can contact our partner AUDIOSAUL. Learn more about this topic in our blog post “The perfect Roon Server“. The PrimeMini can be ordered there directly from Germany with pre-installed ROCK: Audiosaul online shop.

Blogpost “The perfect Roon Server”

All Prime Computer HiFi resellers

Edit: As the successor of the PrimeMini 4, the PrimeMini 5 was launched in autumn 2020. It is also an excellent Roon Nucleus and Roon Nucleus+ alternative. Read here a comparison test (german) to PrimeMini 4 when used as a Roon server. The PrimeMini 5 offers additional benefits, such as a 4-core Intel i5 variant and a native USB 2.0 port. The PrimeMini 5 can be ordered via our Hifi resellers.

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