Thinking about a M1 Mac Mini

I’m being gifted a new M1 Mac Mini for Christmas and the plan is to use it for server/Roon duties. The plan is to go the headless route via my iPad Pro using Luna Display.

My curiosity is how seamless this will work with DS Senior utilizing Bridge 2.

Anybody else thinking of doing the same and what should I look out for to get the maximum performance?

Too many “what if’s?” In that equation for my blood. You’d have to find someone who is an early adopter and has used it with those apps/programs for that purpose already. Dunno if all of those things work together yet or not.

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I have done it. No need for the bridge at all. Headless MAC Mini running Bit Perfect, using SplashTop to control the MAC mini with an iPad. I use a usb into the PSA DSD. When it works it’s great, at times it can be a hairshirt experience.
I’d save up my pennies for an entry level Innuous. As Apple continues to revise their OS the MAC mini in this application will become obsolete.

I had to look it up:

hairshirting The shallow regimen of feigned, token suffering and “paying your dues” that is disgracefully required of already perfectly-talented newcomers by petty, candle-snuffing incumbents who control some particular bottleneck industry.

In my experience, Roon Core runs best on Intel PC hardware, just about anything newer than 2014 will run ROCK or Windows with RoonServer. ROCK is by far the most stable option.

MacMini with M1 is wasted running RoonCore in my opinion but those who’ve run it on the M1 chip say it works just fine and it should as it will be run by Rosetta 2 the emulation engine. Roon is not native on any platform, rather is uses a framework that is common to all platforms it runs on. The advantage is only one development effort but none are stellar on their respective platforms. They are all highly refined ‘kludges’ and many of the issues are because of this…but they are so far down this black hole of a choice there is likely no going back.

RoonCore works fine with BridgeII over the network, well as well as the BridgeII works anyway or USB direct works to but then you have the potential for USB noise gremlins.

Save the very nice gift for another use and use an old Mini or old PC to run ROCK and don’t look back.

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Yeah, I don’t run Roon. I didn’t see the need for it, personal preference. Personally I’d sell the MAC mini and put the funds towards a proper streamer/server solution. The sound you ge out of a MAC mini is nothing special, by the time you get it tweaked you could of put funds in a proper server/streamer and spent your time enjoying the Music.

From Websters - Hairshirt:

  1. An uncomfortable garment made of coarse hair or other material worn against the skin. Used in some religious rituals as punishment or penance.
    In ancient times, men would wear a hair shirt as a sign of repentance to their deity for wrongs they had done.
  2. By extension, something a person does to intentionally make an aspect of their life uncomfortable or unpleasant, often as a form of penance.

I’d recommend Roon ROCK on a NUC every time.

It turns the hardware into an appliance and Roon controls all the software that runs on it. It’s not that hard to set up and once running, it is bulletproof because it runs the same software they use on their Nucleus solution. If you want to get fancy, you can put the board into a custom, silent case, but if you have a streamer attached to your system like Sonos or Bluesound, or even a Pi, you can locate the NUC elsewhere in your home.


That all being said? The M1 stuff is magnificent as high performance, general purpose hardware. I just like appliances on my stereo where the seller owns the solution soup-to-nuts.

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Your definition of hairshirting is some world class creative, sarcastic writing my friend. A tip o’ the chapeau to you!

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If your library is big >50K tracks get the 16GB or you will be in swap file hell…otherwise its great 256GB SSD is fine for roon.

if you got already and 8GB only you have till 8 Jan to return if from an apple store/online

I have the8GB / 512GB as a desktop but my roon library is 250K+ tracks and its a struggle with 8GB ram only as my library and roon consumes more than 4GB

Urban dictionary. I can’t take credit.

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I have the latest M1 mini 8GB + 512GB SSD with roon and streaming via ethernet to ds jr.
It works fine for me.

I have about 22000 tracks library.
8600 on hard drive and the rest a mix of Tidal and Qobuz.

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How are you controlling your M1 mini, I use SplashTop which can be great or problematic depending on the day. Also, iTunes seems less and less user friendly.

I use Roon on my ipad pro to control streaming and roon config from my hifi room.

The mac need to be set up with auto login and autostart roon app if you want to start roon at boot. I use the mini for home office also so I have display and keyboard connected for that.

I have not used itunes.

Big difference! iTunes is just so-so, and the controller I use, SplashTop is a workaround. Thanks

I bought a M1 Mac Mini about 2 weeks ago to replace a 9 year old Mac Mini that I have been solely using as a music server. It is just a base model 8 GB of RAM with 512GB SSD, which was the same as my 2011. The M1 performance is excellent and far exceeds my old mini. I have 50,000 tracks on an old external Thunderbolt drive that I use with Roon and have had no issues with performance at all. Apple has a winner in this M1 chip. I cannot wait to replace my aging iMac when it gets a M1 type processor.

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A note for those with large libraries >75-100K tracks get a 16GB M1 option or you will be swapping out to disk instead of staying in RAM. I have a 270K library and am suffering swap file all the time.

Otherwise performance is great with DSD512 upsampling at a solid 3 x Processing Speed

Grab 2020-12-17 at  16.52.57