Fan noise from your NUC/Mac Mini/Macboo Pro?

Can I ask for your real world experience?

I am weighing up my hardware options, whilst trying not to blow crazy amounts of money.

It seems I can build a very powerful 5th gen i5 for a nice price, similar to a mac mini. Both of these I would use as a RoonServer with iPad Air 2. I am also considering a Macbook Pro without iPad. All of these options would have to live in my listening room so I am paranoid about fan noise. From your experience of using these devices, does running just Roon on them cause the fans to kick in? Hopefully coming into the UK winter will help things.

The fanless NUCs add a lot more to the budget and seem to need more DIY skills than I am comfortable with.



Using a Gigabyte Brix S GB-BXi7H-4500 for RoonServer on Windows 2012R2. The fan comes on when I move a heap of music onto it, but not for ordinary playback of music up to 24 bit 195 Khz. Haven’t tried it with DSD yet or in summer. The fan is very quiet on this unit, provided I enable the Fan AI process in the BIOS. If I turn that off then the fan goes flat out all the time with a very annoying high pitched whine. So I have learned to keep it on !

Putting a NUC board into a fanless case is really very easy and as long as you have a space to put it where it can get decent ventilation is a good solution to noise. I run a lower powered NUC as a video media server and can’t hear the fan a couple of metres away.
My i5 in a tranquil case is very tranquil :smile:
Processors and solid state drives are much more tolerant of relatively higher temperatures these days.

Similar on a 1.8GHz C2D MacMini. No extra noise, even with hires music, except when importing new files and even then it’s not that bad. I did put in 4GB and an SSD in.

Running it as a server with USB output to amp. with iPad and Macbook as remote (not tried them streaming at the same time btw)

I’m running Roon on a MacMini with an external USB hard drive holding my music. I’m also using a little external USB3 SSD as my system drive so the internal drive in the mini isn’t even spinning or generating heat. I’ve never noticed any noise from the fan except when I imported the 80,000+ files into Roon.

I’ve never actually heard the fan running on my Mac Mini (2.3 GHz Core i7). iStat Menus shows the fan running between 1600 and 1800 RPM whether I’m streaming FLAC via Roon or not (I also run a DLNA server on it as well).

Thanks guys. That is all reassuring. Now just have to decide if I am willing to put up with Windows or not!

if you are running a headless server the once it is installed then you really don’t have to “put up” with an OS at all. Especially if you put it on Windows10 and just let it get on with it. :smile: