Adding an SSD to a NUC vs NAS

Hi there,

I am wondering about adding a 4TB SSD to my fanless i7 NUC running ROCK. I have had a spinning drive in there, but I am working to make the listening room quieter, so I have removed it.

Anyway, right now, the NUC is playing files from my NAS across ethernet. Is it worth changing? Am I likely to see better performance between the NAS and the SSD?

I did that a few years ago because I was getting annoyed with the relative sluggishness of the NAS-based setup, especially the forced rescans I had to request often because Roon did not reliably “see” updates to the music files. It works perfectly. I use the NAS as backup for the music files now.

Internal SSD should be faster than NAS. It should have a slightly higher speed than the internal spinning drive.

What kind of performance problems do you have? Did they appear when switching from internal spinning drive to NAS?

No massive performance bottle necks, the NAS is perhaps a bit slower than the USB drive when it was directly connected, although this is subjective.

This was internal drive or USB?

Both! Actually, I ‘shucked’ a small 2.5" driver and installed in the passive case, but it was connected over normal USB.

I have a QNAP NAS with an available PCIe slot. I put a card in there that as an SFP+ port. I now have 10GbE fast ethernet to my NetGear router which has a built-in SFP+ port. Blazing fast speeds.
Never had any problems. My Intel NUC is hardwired into my router. So is my SimAudio/Moon 680D Streaming DAC. My QNAP NAS also has a couple of SSD’s installed in it for cacheing. Blazing fast. I backup my NAS for free to Backblaze.com Don’t be afraid to run ethernet cables through your attic. Just dont fall through the ceiling like I almost did.

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Thanks @TKelley. I have run ethernet around my house like an exoskeleton, with cables coming into the loft and down into an internal cupboard. I have a number of cheapo netgear switches, which I doubt have 10GbE, but the possibility is definitely worth exploring. I have a DS918+, a Synology NAS, I will have a look at the specs. I didnt end up adding SSDs, as I didnt think I would benefit from the caching, but I wonder if I should review that decision.

If you like to tinker with library management then a drive directly attached to NUC is preferable. Using NAS and having to force rescans is a PITA (a bit like squeezebox from years ago).

For room sound levels I keep NUC,USB drives and backup NAS in the garage. No need to have any of it in the listening space (assuming network capable DACs or streamers feeding the DAC).

Thanks @ncpl. I am still ripping CDs actually, a few 1000 to go though, so I am always doing library management.

I have played around have a USB drive attached, but I do want it to be quiet in the main listening endpoint. I have also tried the NUC in my server cupboard, but its a bit too warm in there. I also have a HDPlex 200, which powers the NUC, Streamer and switch, again that bumps the temps up for the server cupboard. I am just wondering if I could locate the NUC away from the main listening area.

This is the only HOME netgear WiFi/Router that I could find that has a built-in SFP+ port. It is the SFP+ port which runs at 10GbE. You will also need to get a DAC (Direct Attach Cable) unless you want to go with a Fiber Optic cable.$$$$$

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Literally anywhere on your wired network is OK. I used to have it all in my study but I realised it was much cooler year-round in the garage. NUC + USB drive is small enough to hide usually.

Mine is in a passive case, so is pretty big, ditto for the HDPlex (although long term I may stop using this). I wandered around the house last night looking at my current ethernet endpoints. The garage is no-go as it leaks like a sive and is not connected directly to the house. Loft maybe, but dusty environment and may have other issues with heat in summer months. I am now also thinking if there is an optimal place where I could install a new wire. Or, I could buy the SSD. But obviously thats a bit more expensive! First world problems…

Edit - I suppose I could add an NVME to my NAS for the music, not sure, need to research. Or perhaps SSD. More research needed…

In my case most of the noise from my external USB hard drive (12TB WD) comes from transmission of the drive noise to whatever it is sitting on (shelf, cabinet, etc.) I have cut such noise quite a bit by putting the drive on a small piece of foam. Be careful not to block ventilation holes on the drive, if there are any. If you use a large drive (such as those with their own power supply) mounting the drive horizontally will leave vent holes open.