Current recommended NUCs for ROCK? (Jan. 2024)

I’m new to Roon and looking to set up ROCK on an NUC, but can’t find much information about recommended hardware after Intel discontinued their line back in the summer of '23.

Are the recommended (still officially supported?) NUCs on this page still the best ones to be buying?

I’m running a very modest library with about 2k albums and no DSP. How much should I be looking to spend on the NUC itself? (Since Intel has pulled their line from the market, it’s hard to get a gauge on pricing.)

1 Like

The recommendations are still good.

If you’re prepared to take a little risk and perhaps replace memory / ssd / power supply / clean out a fan if needed - you can get fantastic value on the used market.

The 8th Generation i5 & i7 are very good and great value.

With your needs you’ll be find with an i3 - but for very little extra the i5 is more future proof.

Thanks @GregD!

Any recommendations for where I should be looking on the used market? eBay seemed pretty barren––but then again, I wasn’t certain what model to search for.

What would be “fantastic value”? Amazon lists this used i3 sucker for $260. No idea if that’s a good price.

I’ve rebuilt a few for people in the UK (and put them in fanless cases) - I’ve sourced mine from ebay. I think the are mostly ex-corporate windows desktops.

Where are you located? I’ll have a look…

Having just switched to my backup Nuc which is a 7i3 I would say avoid it with a library that size. It’s a lot slower than on my my 7i7 core. I have about the same size library as you.


I’m in the US. Seeing a lot of NUCs on eBay now that I have an idea what to look for, but would definitely appreciate you recommending something.

Thanks so much!

I would look for an 8i7BEH.

The 8i7 is more powerful than a Nucleus plus, the “H” indicates it has space for a second SSD which is nice for internal media storage. These are fantastic machines and nare very well priced used.

My search showed someone selling more than 20 with 2 left including a suitable NVMe ssd for the ROCK OS . These are likely a batch from an office - and the price looked good.

8G is probably enough - although for top performance you want to use both memory slots (and they ideally should be the same boards) So you may want to add an extra board / replace both boards. Check the memory spec when it arrives - some of mine had slower memory than Intel recommend - which works but isn’t ideal.

Also check the power supply - some of the ones I bought have below Intel spec power supplies. Seem to work - but again not ideal. I replace mine with supplies from Intel’s UK distributer.

But buy and get it working first before you change anything!


Thanks again, @GregD!

You talking about this bloke’s listing?

If not, mind posting a link to the 8i7s you found?

You’ve saved me a ton of fretting!

Yes that’s the one I saw - but you should do the usual and check the sellers reviews etc.

Another one here that looks to be the same spec, except with a bigger SSD. Will this one do the job?

A bigger SSD isn’t an advantage for ROCK - because it uses it for the DB / OS and you can’t use it for anything else.

It’s always hard to be exactly sure what you’re buying with the limited descriptions people put on eBay - but I think that Kingston SSD is a SATA drive rather than an NVMe drive.

Roon recommend an NVMe drive (because it’s faster) for the OS / DB.

Also an SATA drive would use the slot you might want for media storage.

You could buy that one - use the Sata drive for your media - and than add a new NVMe SSD (samsung are the most recommended - 250G is plenty.) Although depending on music format 500G might be too small for your media (my 30k tracks are about 1Tb).

Buying a new NVMe isn’t necessarily a bad thing. SSDs do have a lifetime - and a new Samsung is pretty inexpensive. On the ones I refurbish I track down the NVMe SSD wear statistics - and replace if they look well used.

Bought that one! That seller owes you a commission!

Will swap in a NVMe module if needed. The machine itself was cheap enough to make it worth it.

Thanks again!

And BTW, your studio looks great!


Cool - let me know how you get on.

If it does turn out be a Sata drive - buy the NVMe before you install ROCK.

And it’s easier to install ROCK correctly if there is only a single drive in the machine. So remove the SATA before you install (and then re-install later if you want to).

And thanks on the studio - just planning mics and pre-amps for what should be a great jazz recording session over the next few days (sax, drums, double bass, cello).

BTW I have two 8i7s running roon - one at home and one in the studio, no trouble from either.

Will do!

Turns out that it is an SATA drive in the NUC. I’m leaning towards getting this NVMe module.

Not sure if I need to get a super high-performing NVMe or if something like this is up to the task. This is my first time assembling a computer in like a decade––and even here I’m not sure what the performance requirements are.

I dig that arrangement for your session. Double bass and cello. Good luck!

I have always used the Samsung. Don’t know the WD

I had a Samsung SATA 2TB fail after 4 years (5 year warranty) - and they replaced it without any issue.

1 Like

Should have added - I think SSD performance is critical to Roon - even more so as your library grows.

So probably worth the extra …

My impression (likely wrong) is that the NUC is kind of a junker lifting a light load. Does using a better NVMe, more RAM, etc., really increase performance?

And how high-performance to go? You can drop $60 for the Samsung or $200 for the Samsung Pro NVMe.

Like everything else, only up to a point.

For my NUC/ROCK system I went with a 970EVO SSD rather than an SSD from the higher performance PRO range and I have no performance issues - but my library is still small compared to that of many people posting here.

I suspect that the performance difference between a 1500MB/s SSD and a 5000MB/s SSD would be noticeable - but whether the difference between a 5000MB/s SSD and a 7000MB/s SSD like the latest Samsung 990PRO’s would be noticeable, I’m not so sure.

1 Like

Also, because it is the database performance that makes the most difference, I suspect that the IOPS figure (Input/Output operations per second) is likely to be more important that the headline MB/s figures.

To some extent MB/s and IOPS go hand in hand - but the NVME controller and the way that it is tuned can make a difference.

Got it! Don’t cheap out on the NVMe, but don’t go nuts.

What about the media drive––the SATA SSD? The used NUC I bought comes with a 480 GB Kingston Q500 drive installed. Read speed is 500 MB/s.

Will that cut it? What kind of performance should I be looking for?

1 Like