I use a Mini as my personal computer, and it works fine as my “Office Bridge”.
Now I want to set up another Bridge with both USB and HDMI (for my many 5.1 files) outputs. Is there a better, cheaper or more featured piece of hardware than a “renewed” Mac Mini that will serve my purpose?
You can use even a very old MacMini like 2010 for RoonBridge, or just about any other Small Form Factor (SFF) PC with an HDMI/USB port. PC based with windows or you could try ROCK as the OS if free - if it works. Handy if your devices require Windows USB drivers.
CPU for RoonBrige is very minimal demand so cheap and good applies.
An Intel NUC with ROCK on it. Works great. You can also lower fan-speed in the BIOS, so its nearly unhearable. I have a Celeron based NUC as a Roon-Bridge, though it is not officially supported by ROCK. It works like a charm for my 5.1 files.
An easy and reliable choice…if you don’t need windows drivers that is. Might just resurrect a couple of old 2010 mini server units that are ssd now for roon duties instead of a RPi or 2 where hdmi is not an option. And even the possibility to run a chrome display for now playing to the tv.
Apologies, i wasn’t particularly clear… Should you desire to run ROCK to accomplish the ”appliance” style endpoint (which of course also is a Core and Server) a MacMini won’t be suitable as hardware…
And frankly, i missed the fact that you had a Nucleus for Core/Server duties