INFO: Very Affordable Intel Celeron NUC Endpoint

Not sure if I am allowed to do this; but I couldn’t resist; it’s just too good a deal.

The Intel NUC6CAYH Kit is still available (I guess) in very limited quantities from a New York Internet vendor @ below a $100.00 cost. (an Intel NUC PC Kit @ less than a Benny?!? - I may need a Benny :wink: :laughing:)

The NUC6CAYH makes a great Roon endpoint which can service both USB DACs and HDMI-capable receivers/integrated amps which have internal DACs. Have been thinking of doing another one of these for my bedroom Audio & AVR setup, and have been looking into the more affordable Raspberry-Pi endpoint solutions for quite a while now (plus I wanted to do something new). But I wanted multichannel audio capability as well. RPi doesn’t seem to be there as of yet, and may not for some time. So, when I saw this, I couldn’t resist - still one of the most affordable NUC endpoint solutions available.

If you already have a multichannel USB or multichannel ethernet DAC – then, you probably don’t need this NUC endpoint. However, without that, to do any multichannel, this NUC may be the most affordable alternative, but you will have to use its HDMI output. It will take a Roon RAAT input and transmit a multichannel feed to an AVR via HDMI very nicely. For DSD multichannel, you will have to convert the DSD stream to PCM via your Roon Core. As far as a transport/endpoint to any USB stereo DAC, it should be able to do up to 2-channel native DSD 256 and PCM 24/384 (at least, and probably more), if your DAC can handle it. I’ve tried DSD 256 files (via USB) with my main downstairs system (which has an existing fanless-NUC6CAYH endpoint - no issues). It also does 5.1 multichannel PCM (24/96) via HDMI to my AVR just fine.

Anywhose, I got one because I couldn’t resist the price - doesn’t bring it down to RPi cost-levels, but it comes closer, and gives you a much better endpoint solution, multichannel capability, and all with lots more trouble-free functionality (using the ROCK OS configured as endpoint-only).

I hope this post is OK - the vendor is B&H Photo. I’m NOT associated with them in any way (I work in health-care), but I couldn’t pass-up letting other potentially-interested community members know about this. If I’m in violation of any community policies – MODERATORS, please let me know and I will delete or modify my post.

[EDIT (2020/06/06): Unfortunately, a week or so ago, the B&H Photo price on this NUC went up (back to $147 from $97). Don’t know if they’ll drop it down again, but it’s still affordable for an endpoint. Also, the NUC6CAYH needs to have its stock wireless card replaced with an Intel AC 7265 (around $14/15 on Amazon) if you want wireless function on a ROCK install]


The mods have no problem with this post but are moving it to #sales-and-trades as a better place for it.


Thank you for this, I ordered one and it’s on the way! :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Pretty great deal, huh?! I also ordered one (will use it as my bedroom transport/Roon endpoint-streamer)

1 Like

Hey man, just based on your recommendation I ordered one. I don’t even have roon yet but thinking about getting a lot lately. Can this nuc be used as a core or only an endpoint/player? I don’t know much about roon and set ups but was just wondering.

1 Like

Only as an end point in theory but you could use it as a core bearing in mind that it’s WAY under specified.

1 Like

I have a small library of 44/16, would that make a difference as a core

In theory. Some people use a NAS with a celeron that does everything and it’s ok, others suffer!

I understand, thanks

Thanks for the heads-up.

I bought two because it actually is on par, price-wise, with the highest model raspberry pi (with case, power cord, SD card, etc.).

I went this route for an endpoint via eBay. Works great.

the only thing with the nuc is that it comes with no ram or storage so you still have to pick it all up. It will be about another $80 if I go with the full 8gb of ram and a 128gb ssd. You can go with 4gb of ram and a smaller drive if you can find it.

Very true. I have that kind of stuff just lying around, though. The perks of being a computer geek.

yeah I hear you but from what I read this nuc is very specific about the ram it uses. Make sure you look into it before you start putting in anything. You will run into a lot of issues.

1 Like

Yes, RAM is specific; important to use DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3L (the L is important; it denotes the 3.5V version). You will need only 2gb max for an endpoint, but others have reported issues with getting one 2gb module and making it work; don’t have any idea why. I used a single 4gb module ($24.99 at New Egg) in my first NUC endpoint (same Celeron NUC), and ordered the same for this new NUC. Also ordered a Kingston 120Gb 2.5" SSD ($29.99 @ Amazon); almost the same one I used for my first NUC endpoint – however, it’s about $3.00 cheaper @ Walmart, if you can wait a little longer for deliver. Both the RAM and the SSD were significantly cheaper when I put together my first NUC endpoint about 6-8 months ago. I wouldn’t use this NUC for a core, but as Ged said, it might work in a system that will have very little demands put upon it. Kinda fun to put these little PCs together; they’re amazing!

1 Like

I’m excited to try it out and see. I have the Pentium NUC (NUC7PJYH) which I’m using as a player in my current squeezebox set up. I feel like having these awesome little units as players is a waste. I feel like they need to be doing more work since they are fully capable. If I can’t get core running on it then it will just be an endpoint as suggested by you. I picked up the 8gb of ram (probably overkill) but if I can use it as a core I want the most out of it. Also picked up the Kingston 120gb from Amazon. Total for the ssd + ram about $85.

Yes. These NUC KITs are really astounding - so much engineering in such a compact, yet stable, container. The NUC6CAYH KIT actually has a quad-core Celeron processor; not super fast, but capable (and low heat, hence low-noise). So, if your demands are modest (not too many Zones, and playing native files w/o convolutions or extreme up-conversion), it may function as a core very aptly. Will be interested to hear of your results. Good tinkering!

  • john

The benchmarks suggest that if you have both the NUC6CAYH and NUC7PJYH the latter would make the more capable core. In fact the NUC7 would match or better the older but supported 5th gen i3 in many measures.

1 Like

I think the issue is that the NUC7 doesn’t have legacy mode. Is that only for ROCK? I would rather install ROCK then have to get a windows license to install the core.

Ah, I remember giving a thumbs up to a Celeron Brix for someone who then told me he couldn’t get ROCK on it for the same reason.:hushed: