FS: Intel Nuc 8i5s in Fanless Akasa cases with ROCK installed

I recently came across a few used Intel Nucs, and given the lack of availability of suitable new hardware for ROCK - I thought it was worth testing / upgrading these in case they are useful for people here.

As you probably know Roon have done a great job of putting together Rock as an effortless way to run Roon.

The Nucs I found are a couple of different generations of Intel i5 CPUs - and I’ve initially focussed on getting the two highest spec machines working.

The two I can currently offer are both 8th Generation i5s. The 8th generation are generally thought to have the best performance for roon (later generations have more cores, but less compute power per core). These 8th generations i5s have 4 cores - and are actually a little more powerful than the 4 core i7 in the nucleus plus. So they would be a very good choice even for someone with a large library - or wanting to do a lot of upsampling.

NUC 1 (on the left) is an 8i5BEK now in a Akasa fanless case. It has 16G of memory in a single DIMM card (2x 8G would have slightly better performance) and a 500G NVMe SSD. This is more disk and memory than you can use - you don’t need more than 8G memory or 128g SSD for Rock.

NUC 2 (on the right) is also a 8i5BEK now in a Akasa fanless case. It has 8G of new memory on two DIMM cards (the memory in the machine previously was lower spec - so I’ve installed new). This one has a 256G NVMe SSD. This is in line with the Roon recommended spec. In spite of having less memory - the dual DIMM cards may give it a small performance advantage running roon.

I have installed Rock and I’ve finished testing NUC1. I will finish testing NUC2 in the next couple of days. Both run well - and are very fast running roon (and are pretty much idle except when doing the initial media scan). Being fanless with SSDs they are completely silent. There is space in the case for an extra SSD for media storage, so if you’d like a Samsung 870 QVO SSD for media storage I’m happy to include for my purchase cost.

Both are priced at £550 plus postage (around £20 - the Akasa case is heavy) and the cost of an extra SSD if you want one. I’m not open to offers for these at the moment.

I will ship with a fresh install of Rock, so this will be plug and play.

(BTW If you’re looking for a lower spec machine - my next projects are an 7i5 and 6i5 - just looking at suitable cases etc before testing - please get in touch if you’re interested).

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The 6i5 is now tested and ready, details here:-