Thanks all. I should have specified that my setup is Win 10 and it seems like this issue is mostly a Win 10 one, albeit I have seen other complaints of a similar issue on various Mac OS. Everyone says that Rock seems to be more stable as are also the Roon appliances they sell.
The video driver thing is interesting. Roon support wants me to update video drivers too. There are currently no issues with any video aspect of the Roon core PC, but I do acknowledge the possibility that Roon is especially sensitive to updated drivers, which I do find odd, in the sense that a video driver could somehow add slowness to an audio transition, or to the speed and function of a database, albeit the video driver could be some sort of indirect cause.
For me the challenge is that as a builder of well over 100 PCs in my life, one has to learn to leave well enough alone - i.e. updating drivers on a working machine always leaves open the possibility of bricking the machine. This is fairly new gear but it was never top end - quad core AMD 3.6 running on-board AMD/Radeon graphics - and I recall that once I decided to add a more robust video card and updating the drivers to support that rendered the machine unbootable until a Safe-Mode miracle uninstalling the latest drivers and going back to the ones that came with the mobo saved the machine. It works absolutely fine as is, so I'm not looking forward to a repeat.
That's the thing - seems like Roon should shouldn't be so sensitive to outdated video drivers - making Roon users thread the needle on their gear rather than making Roon work more reliably on reasonably modern and predictable platforms.
There's crappy software all over -- on a different machine I've been struggling with the Asus RGB software and other services -- but that is free bloatware that comes with mobos and it's always bad. Roon is expensive, and IMHO shouldn't be quite so finicky.