what is the advantage of having a Roon core that's not on your computer?

I currently am using my iMac as my Roon core.  It feeds an Sonore urendu downstairs and an Node 2i unpstairs.  Is there a SQ advantage in getting a separate computer such as a NUC, a Roon nucleus or a Sonictransporter from small green computer?  Is it a speed issue or CPU power issue?  I do notice with very high res files (196k 24bit), my stream sometimes can't load, especially if all my web browsers are open on my computer.  Is my internet too slow or is Roon running poorly on the Mac?


Roon core is CPU intensive, but that's relative.  If you don't use any DSP, especially upsampling to DSD, or convolution filters it doesn't need that much CPU power.  It may also compete for RAM, which browser pages can really eat up, which competes with Roon. If you run out of RAM, you end up doing a lot of paging out to and from disk, and that brings the performance of everything to a crawl.

Putting your Roon core on a dedicated NUC means you won't be making it compete for resources on your iMAC. 
I had to separate my ROON Server and client from 1 machine to ROON Core (a cheap and crap DELL server). The reason is because my client computer has a NVidia graphics card. Occasionally, when Windows does an update, they inadvertently update the NVidia drivers. This causes the CPU on my machine to go up and become noisy (a no no). The ROON client GUI is very GPU intensive so I had to solve this Windows upgrade issue by migrating to ROON Core or manually revert back to a particular Nvidia GPU driver. 

ROON Core migration is the most complex thing you can do with setting up ROON. I am software developer and know my way around. However, it maybe simpler for most folks to start from scratch if they also have this issue and need to go CORE.

This type of bug happens in both Windows and Macs. Go to the ROON forum and checkout the threads.

I love the CORE setup I have now. No more upgrade headaches. I also posted a few minutes ago on another thread how I get my music to my DAC with some pretty cool (and relatively cheap) noiseless fibre cables. That is the reason I can use  a cheapo computer for my CORE. 

I specifically didn’t want to rely on a computer (and have it on all the time) for my Roon Core, and so waited to get a server/streamer that could do it. I considered several, including Wyred4Sound and Innuos (one box solutions), but decided on the Small Green Computer sonictransporter and the microRendu. I keep the SGC box on my desk in the corner of the listening room (router is there) and have the tiny microRendu tucked away across the room on the hi-fi rack. It’s been excellent. Quiet, dedicated box for just Roon and storage of ripped files.
+1 on the SGC ST.  I moved my Roon Core off a iMAC to the ST inside the gear rack.  Simple dedicated box dedicated to running the core.  No more problems with the iMAC patches causing issues. 
besides taxing the CPU of my mac and causing interruptions to the stream (which is very annoying) are there any notable improvements to the quality of the sound?  When you say the mac is introducing noise, what is that exactly?  Please excuse my ignorance.  I'm close to getting a NUC but I just want to know exactly what it's giving me over using my Mac as the core.  I leave my computer on 24/7 so that's not a problem

I started with an Innous Zenith MKII hosting Roon Core.  It wasn't powerful enough to use DSP or upscaling so I purchased a Small Green Computer sonictransporter i7 for Roon DSP w/o storage and everything worked fine.  I used it for over a year but eventually sold it because after a few choice upgrades my system sounded better w/o DSP or upscaling.  Having said that, the sonictransporter is an excellent component and Andrew's customer service is second to none. 
I had Lucas Domansky of Lucas Audio Labs design me a roon server/core from scratch.  Much improved roon performance, sound quality vs when running roon on old PC and sending it to streamer.  The skys the limit with features and so forth, but worth investing in some sort of dedicated roon core.
I have Roon running on an Innuos server, which is cable-connected to my DAC and then into my amplifier. I enjoy that it is located in my rack. For Roon I like it can be controlled from my phone that acts as remote. I like the SQ a lot.
I switched from using my Windows PC to using a NUC running Roon Rock. When I had the NUC connected over my home network (through an EtherRegen) to a Bryston streamer, I can't say for sure that the NUC sounded any better. But it was certainly a lot easier to manage since I didn't have to content with Windows updates causing issues and the Roon Rock automatically handled backups and updates.

But one big advantage of using a dedicated Roon server in a device that can built without fans is that you can have the device located next to your equipment. If you plug a USB CD drive into the NUC running Roon Rock, it will automatically rip a CD by just inserting it and add it to your library. 

I have recently rearranged my system by replacing the Bryston with a Denafrips Gaia. This isn't a streamer, but buffers and converts different digital audio signals. I moved the Roon Rock to the output side of the EtherRegen and connected it to the Gaia with USB. The Gaia is now connected to my DAC with i2s. This change made a big improvement in sound quality.
Moved Roon Core off my Innuos to an Antipodes Core and left the Innuos as the endpoint.  Lower noise, better music.

For me it was better than Experimental Mode on the Innuos with the DSP to DSD from Roon.

I also use a Denafirps Iris DDC to I2S and agree with the improvement in SQ.