Hardware opinions/advice needed

Hey fellow roonies,

Hope this is the right category.

Looking for some opinions/advice.

My current set-up for roon is a i7 laptop running roonserver and all files are stored on a WHS2011 machine in the spare bedroom, storage solution is Stablebit Drivepool.

All was well, until a few weeks ago. After the 1.3 release I decided to analyze all my 60K tracks using the 4 core option and apparently that kinda fried my laptop fan a little :grin:. Since that moment my laptop fan makes a noise as if it wants to dig a hole and leave. Next to that cue “Murphy’s Law” as the PSU on my WHS2011 machine is starting to die. Have to physically disconnect it from the power, discharge it and only then it fires up.

So time to change a few things.

I am thinking of 2 options, but I am not entirely sure.

Swap the PSU on the WHS machine and replace the laptop with a i7NUC as long as it is fanless. That NUC would be ROCK based.

Build new server around i7 and probably WIN10 and use a microrendu as endpoint.

What is important to me is total silence in the livingroom. I played around with the DSD up-sampling options in roon as well as HQplayer, but I am still on the fence. I kinda prefer the original FLAC versions I have as is. But would like to have the option to still come back to this. Would like to future proof for the next 3-5 years.

Both options have their own merits and that is what it makes difficult to choose. Compliments to roon for having such a flexible product, but it also poses for the less technical under as a wall of choices that is difficult to navigate.

So my question to other roonies, with much more computer/hardware skills than me, what would you choose? Or maybe a third option I did not think of.



@allineedis I believe that Intel NUC’s have fans, absolute silence would depend on cpu utilisation, chances are when doing a library analysis as occurred after the 1.3 upgrade the fan would be operating and possibly audible, again if doing lots of ‘DSP’ it may also be the case?


The way around much of the fan debate is one of the passive NUC solutions. My 5i5 gets luke warm at 20-30% CPU utilisation upsampling to DSD. In fact the warmest local heat point is where the M.2 SSD sinks against the lid. Akasa do a number of different solutions at varying price points and storage solutions so even if you buy a low profile NUC you can still end up with a solution that can hold a HDD.

I would build a good capable server and keep it in the spare bedroom and have a diet Pi or MircroRendu as the endpoint in the listening area. So Option 2.

PM me if you want to discuss specific parts.

Thanks, I will try to compile a list of parts and see if they make sense. As luck would have it, now even my regular desktop is screaming for attention (probably the harddrive is failing). Is going to be an expensive month, but new toys :grinning:.

Have an extra question.

Seeing that my desktop also needs upgrading, I was thinking to combine the server and desktop into one machine, saving some money.

Are there negatives in doing this?

The desktop will be in use doing office work (databases/excel models). There will be max 2 zones used from within roon, 90% only 1.

as long as you plan on leaving the desktop on 24/7 assuming you want immediate access to your core anytime of the day and that you are probably not using it also for HQP or DSD upsampling in the core then I guess you should be fine as long as it is adequately capable of over and above both concurrent performance needs.

Personally I am a supporter of different horses for different courses, and while I currently use a dedicated Win10 Pro setup for the Core - I would most likely move to the NUC/ROCK setup as soon as it is ready to go.

I’m using a SOtM SMS-200 and I’ve ordered this below last week. Don’t like the NUC/Mac Mini as I feel these are overpriced, not fanless and too limited (functionality/performance/expandability wise).

Mind you I chose not the most current/common mainboard (thin mini ITX) as it has a direct 12V input so I can power it using a Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4 LPSU I already own. Of course you could choose any mainboard and add a PicoPSU style ATX PS.

Case: Streacom FC8 Alpha Optical Fanless Chassis - Silver
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H110TN-E
RAM: Crucial DDR4 2133Mhz CL15 - 8GB (kit 2 x 4GB)
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700T (2.8GHz-3.6GHz, quad core, hyper threading, 35W, 8MB L3 cache)
Arctic Silver AS5 - 12grams (thermal compound)

Found the i7 used for less than the latest 7th generation i5 7600T.

This cost me 573 euro’s, a lot less than any commercial seller/manufacturer would charge.

Will add a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD and entry level server grade PCI-E Intel I210-T1 ethernet adapter I already own to make the system complete.