I have the core i7. I am very pleased with it. However, was unable to use ROCK with it because it lacked ethernet drivers so am using Windows 10. I thought it might have less fan noise than previous versions, but it is only slightly less so.
I am a new Roon user (in the trial period). I went for the NUC8i5BEH, with 8GB high performance DDR, 256 GB EVO 970 nVME drive (overkill) and 1TB Crucial SSD. I wanted Roon ROCK, not Windows. The 1TB internal SSD is meant to be my primary music store. These components are the same as those used for this NUC Blog review of this NUC, though I arrived at them independently. (BTW, he has a NUC8i7 review up now.)
I did have some issues in getting everything going that I don’t understand. Perhaps there was a display issue? A cable issue? Some BIOS settings not saved properly? Maybe pushed F2 too many times or too much (yes, apparently that is thing!). Anyway…
In the end, things were basically working. In the BIOS, I set the processor power policy to “LOW” (which might mean the effective TDP is now 15W), enabled all four cores, set the primary temperature sensor to CPU and set the fan mode to “Quiet”.
When idle, the fan is off. When doing anything at all, even just one USB connection on the NUC serving 24-bit, 96KHz, the fan is on. It is not too loud - about twice the level of a disc in my OPPO UDP-205. The sound is not quite as smooth as that of the OPPO disc spinning, but close. I can certainly hear it 15 feet away in a quiet room if I pay attention. It gets only slightly louder serving 3 zones simultaneously: local USB DoP; Local HDMI 24-bit 192KHz and network to 24-Bit 96 KHz.
I intend keeping it in my primary listening room, serving my Benchmark DAC3 from the local USB port. I don’t really expect to be doing critical listening in the primary room while other zones also use it. I think I can live with the fan noise. If necessary, I can position the NUC behind some sound barrier and run a 16’ USB cable back to the DAC3. I’ve also been in touch with AKASA. They are investigating a future adaptation of the Plato X7 that could be used (the CPU location has moved from the NUC7iX boards).
I certainly have many teething problems ahead to get everything in the house running as I want, but that is it for this topic.
FWIW, here is the latest BIOS documentation as of the time of this post, but they have not revised it for the NUC8 series:
I’ve been running ROCK (build 159) on a NUC8i7BEH for a few days now without any problems to do with hardware that I can see. I updated the BIOS (BECFL357.86A.0051) prior to installing and the ROCK install worked flawlessly. Wired Ethernet worked as expected.
The only issue I had was related to getting one of my Windows 10 boxes to see the share on ROCK to copy the FFMPEG CODEC (which probably has something to do with network settings / host-based firewall) - but worked fine from another computer.
On Max performance - with a fairly large library - using 8 cores to analyze, I didn’t hear a fan spin up ever.
Just bought a NUC8i3BEK. Unfortunalety no time to install it yet. But seeing the previous entries I have good hope that it will go smoothly. But, if someone knows any issues I must be prepared for, I’ll be grateful to share it with me. I’ll keep you posted.
Configured a NUC8i7BEH about three weeks ago. The hardest part was getting into the NUC BIOS as this device shipped with the drive initialization time set to 0, so no splash screen shows up on power-up. Once I was past that and updated the BIOS to Version 056, everything went very smoothly. This build has a 240GB M.2 NVMe drive as well as 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD for the Music store, and a 2TB external USB 3.1 drive for backup. Yes, this is overkill, but at some point I may install windows on this device and I don’t want to open the case if I choose to do so.
I intentionally left all power management settings at their default values as the device is not in the same room as any of the audio systems it services so I do not care about fan noise. I did shut off the hardware that ROCK will never use.
As I was (almost) new to Roon, and had done no real library tuning, I just let ROCK import the library. The NUC did indeed get warm and noisy during import and analysis, but during normal operation it runs quiet and cool to the touch.
It appears to handle everything I’ve been able to throw at it, including 5 simultaneous streams with 3 of them being upsampled. I should note that all of these streams are over ethernet, so I can’t comment on how well the NUC will handle USB DACs. This setup does not sound any different than my previous core running on a windows desktop, but I wouldn’t expect it to given that all my endpoints run over ethernet.
Based on my experience with this build, I have no reservations recommending the NUC8 for ROCK use.
Thank you Michael, good to know! The NUC8i7BEH is indeed my target for a ROCK upgrade, I need some CPU power for 8 channel convolution and upsampling to 384kHz for my new DIY active speakers. I was wondering if 8xDSD64 or (why not?) 8xDSD128 upsampling was achievable, can you share with us the performance you have in the signal path for a 44.1k–>DSD64 or DSD128 stereo upsampling ?
I got a NUC8i7BEH and tested some DSD 512 Stereo upsampling music few days ago. The answer is yes, it played okay at prosessing speed 1.2-1.6x. But a multichannel file…hmmmmmmmmmmmm… Don’t think about it (′゜ω。‵)
HI - I notice that some of you have installed Rock on an 8th gen NUC, and wonder if you could answer a question for me?
I am in the process of setting up Roon Rock on an Intel NUC8i5BEH. Normally, the first thing I would do is update the BIOS to the latest version, but I am worried that the latest version of the BIOS offered (version 56) may not support ‘Legacy Boot’. Can any 8th gen users tell me if version 56 of the Bios does allow legacy boot?
The version of the BIOS bundled on my NUC is version 41. I’d appreciate some advice from users before I go ahead with the update.