Current recommended NUCs for ROCK? (Jan. 2024)

The media drive is generally much less important and it does much less writing. Typically, music files are written once when copied onto the SSD and, thereafter, only read.

Any SATA SSD will give adequate performance so go for one with an appropriate reliability/cost/capacity compromise.

If using an internal Sata SSD for local library storage, you will probably want to make sure that you music is stored/backed up somewhere else as well. Even the best SSD’s can fail and, you do not want your precious (time and/or money) media files to be subject to a single point of failure.

Note: the ROCK/Nucleus backup that can be performed automatically, only backs up the database. It does not backup the media files.

Good point about the backup! Can the ROCK media drive be backed up like a regular network drive?

I have an automated backup (Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac) that runs weekly that backs up all of my external media drives. It can handle network drives without problem. Any reason this wouldn’t work for the ROCK media drive?

Not necessarily: Depends on how you use it. A single endpoint/room streaming 44.1/16 cd standard FLAC files with no DSP will not make it sweat in the slightest.

On the other hand, multiple endpoints/rooms each streaming DSD512 (for example) with DSP such as volume levelling and room correction will work a NUC very hard indeed - even to the point where the NUC can’t cope. Powerfull desktop machines are recommended for running Roon Server when the DSP demand is very heavy.

On the subject of RAM, 8GByte is RAM is suppose to be good for all but the largest of libraries ( significantly more than 100,000 tracks). 16GBytes would be good for anything. However, it is better to use tw0 small dimm modules rather than one large one (e.g. 2 4GByte modules are preferable to 1 8GByte module).

I am not a Mac user and I don’t know Carbon Copy as a consequence, but I can see no reason why it would not work.

On the other hand, I keep my media files on a NAS as my primary storage (which is itself backed up) and copy any additions to the NAS and the ROCK internal storage when I aquire them. Since, for my usage, I only add media files to the ROCK, there is then no need to explicitely back up the NUC internal storage - because I already have a copy on the NAS.

Note: I could dispense with the ROCK internal storage altogether and just use the NAS - but since the NUC ROCK and the two most used endpoints are both connected to a different network switch, having the copy of the files on the NUC internal storage does three things:

  1. It keeps the audio stream traffic for local library streaming away from my main computer network
  2. I means that I am not using my NAS network bandwidth (I only have a 1Gbps etheret connection) for streaming.
  3. The network path from Server to streamer is kept minimal for the local library (and more importantly, it is kept away from the Ethernet of Power system that I use to get ethernet into my lounge) and so local streaming reliability is maximised.

Together, points 1 and 2 mean that my NAS system is allowed to perform better for the purposes for which it was originally specified.

As far as the drive for the music files, I keep mine on a SanDisk 2 TB USB drive on my Nucleus. I manage my music using JRiver on my laptop, where I attach the SanDisk drive and copy the files to the SanDisk, unplug it and go plug it up to the Nucleus.

I have a NUC 8i7BEH. I can mount its ‘Data’ share on both Windows and Mac. So, you could use CarbonCopy or other backup solution on this share. The path on the NUC is Data/Storage/InternalStorage/Music (slashes as per your favorite OS). I don’t remember if I created the final ‘Music’ folder myself or not.

But like @Wade_Oram I keep my media files on a NAS as primary and for the same reasons.
The NAS is independently backed up to the cloud with iDrive. Whenever I acquire new music via CD rips or the like, I add them to the NAS and run FreeFileSync to update the NUC Music folder. No music is streamed from the NAS.

The Music folder is one that you created yourself.

Data/Storage/InternalStorage is setup by Roon Os when the NUC internal storage is formatted.

If you were to use USB connected drives for library storage, then the USB drive would also appear as a folder (or multiple folders if using more than one USB connected drive) under Data/Storage

You should not Add/Modify/Delete anything in the Data/Storage folder itself.

Why buy outdated technology in Intel? Buy an AMD Ryzen mini and you will be set for years. I’d use an Apple M1/M2 before I’d use an Intel based server

Thanks to all for their help so far! I have my NUC8i7BEH in hand and the first thing that was obvious was that the fan was loud. Really loud.

Simply booting into BIOS and doing nothing else had the fan at 7000 RPM. And the fan made this odd pulling-the-lawnmover-starter sound.

I haven’t made it past the BIOS screen––no installation of the OS, no nothing––because the fan noise did not seem right. Is this normal? Or might I have a defective unit?

Running BIOS 2.2.23.

Is the nuc new? If not, you may have to clean the fan and exhaust opening. I’m installing my own rock today with a new 11th gen i5. Will initially set up and see how the fan noise is. I have an Akasa fanless case waiting on standby.

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Used unit, 8th gen. Hope you have better luck than me.

The fan may well be performing sub optimally.

Personally I would think about stripping it down and putting it into a fanless Akasa case. I have done two of these and they have worked great.


This fan speed in idle mode seems to be a hint for a dirty or defected fan.

I agree, it’s an easy job and it looks like this from the inside.

Cheers John

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At worst, it may be that someone has broken and then incorrectly re-made the thermal connection between the processor and the heatsink.

If simply dusting the interior thoroughly does not fix it, it may be time to dissassemble the case and re-do the thermal connection with a good quality thermal paste such as Artic MX-4 which is my goto thermal paste for home computer build projects. If you have not done anything like this before avoid the ‘liquid metal’ pastes. Although when used correctly, they give much better thermal conductivity, they are much more difficult to apply and, since they are electrically conductive, they can cause damage when incorrectly applied.

Of course, if you are going to this much trouble then you might want to simply transport the processor board into a suitable fanless case like those made by Asaka (Make sure that you select one that is compatible with your NUC).


You could start by resetting the bios to defaults.
just in case someone set the CPU or fan to max.

Next step to to check the fan unit isn’t dusty.

But nasty noise does sound like a bad fan.

Easiest fix for that probably is a fanless case.


Good point. I forgot about this possibility - mainly because I would not entertain such an idea myself :smiley:

I’m inclined to agree - but something else must be going on as well. The fan should not be turning on at all unless the NUC is under a relatively heavy load - and the Roon server does not load the NUC heavily until you start doing some serious DSP.

Again, I don’t disagree - but I would be inclined to clean the case, sort the bios and do whatever is necessary to make the NUC run cool enough that the fan does not run under light loads before I invested in a new (relatively expensive) case.

Or, if you don’t want to go the fanless route, a replacement fan might be the alternative if it is faulty, e.g.


If the unit is doing Audio Analysis then it will be loud during that process. You can tell if that is the case, by going into Settings / Library and turning OFF all analysis as a test. If that works, I suggest leaving analysis OFF and putting On Demand to fast. Then it will do the analysis when you attempt to play a track.

But, since it is an older machine, I always suggest a good cleaning. Even fanless cases could do with a clean out depending upon the environment; mine always collect a bit of internal dust that I clean out once a year. Just good PC maintenance, imho.


No heavy load at all. It’s at 7000 RPM just booting into BIOS. I will clean out the fan. If that doesn’t solve things, I’m inclined to simply return the machine.