Installing a new SSD in an existing NUC running ROCK

Hi there,

I am waiting on the delivery of a new fanless case for my NUC7i7BNB NUC running ROCK. It currently has a Samsung 250GB NVMe SSD installed along with Crucial 2x4gb 2133 DDR4 ram. I have a Qobuz subscription and around 5k albums stored on my Synology DS918+ NAS. I also run HQ Player on my desktop PC.

So, to access albums currently the NUC accesses the NAS over ethernet and it works pretty well, but I have started wondering whether I should add a futher new SSD into the NUC as music storage with the NAS then relegated to back-up duties.

The main reason for doing this would be speed and that is my main question, would installing a good quality SSD into the NUC improve performance? Its not exactly slow now, but a ‘punchier’ experience is always welcome.

I have posted this in tinkering as it seems the most appropriate place.

AFAIK, there would be no increase in performance using an SSD instead of a HDD for music storage in a NUC. The only advantages would be a) increased storage over a HDD and b) silent in operation.

I think he wants to use an internal SSD for his music instead of his NAS. If you are experiencing any delays loading new albums or songs, I would think you would see a significant improvement.

And c) the “Watching for new files in real time” would work…

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Hi Ross
I have all my music on a ReadyNAS, then went and upgraded my Roon Rock server to a NUC with an SSD drive. That made a difference to the speed the data was updated, the music wasn’t that different. However, the addition of an SSDHD to my NUC, with my music copied onto it, the sound was immediately changed, the sound stage completely changed, much wider, better low and higher notes, and a lack of sibilance.

However, if you are using a standard PC and do not have a high quality (i.e. Naim/Linn) system it is unlikely you’ll notice the difference.

The rest of my system is Neat Motive 2’s a Naim 200/202/TeddyPardo TeddyCap/MARCH DAC as a Roon endpoint, which is set to DSD256,

To be honest there would be little improvement by changing it unless he rest of your system is up to it!

I also have a Pink Triangle PT!/Rega RB300 arm, reworked by audio origami/Rega Elys 2/Naim Stageline, still sounding better than digital sources, but they are very close indeed

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I doubt moving music files from a NAS to SSD would have anything to do with SQ. How could it?

I’m sure it can! I didn’t hear a difference when I put music files on a USB3 drive on my NUC (files normally reside on a smb mounted share on a NAS), but the drive was a spinning HDD (1 TB Seagate Expansion). NUC is quite old and only has one mSATA slot, no SATA ports so I can’t use a SSD. When I upgrade my NUC I will certainly try an internal solid state SSD for music files.

I would definitely use an internal SSD for music storage, but I would not expect to hear any difference in SQ.

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Maybe not, but it would be a very neat solution with a silent case.

Thanks for the replies.

I would be interested in an internal SSD in the NUC (a second, the first is already in place with ROCK installed), to store the music, as an alternative to accessing the music across the network, with the music stored on the NAS. The new case, which is in the post, will mean silent operation.

It depends on how you define “improve performance”.
I switched from NAS storage to internal SSD drive in my NUC. My observations:

  1. New music is noticed almost instantly versus who knows when on the Synology NAS.
  2. The start of new music is slightly snappier. Especially the first track of music you start spinning. We’re not talking seconds. Maybe tenths of seconds. But it was noticeable. Once tracks are queued there is no difference.
  3. I’ve repeatedly switched back and forth from the NAS to SSD playing the same high resolution track. I can not hear a difference. This is with an MSB Analog DAC, Pass XA100.5 monoblock amps, Rockport Atria speakers and 63 year old ears (but I’m spry!).
    Personally, I think it’s worth the upgrade. Read this as expectation-setting.

Thank you for hte reply.

I would not be expecting any change in sound, I was thinking more performance and like you described really. The NAS performance is by no way poor, but I am always looking at stuff with a ‘tinkering’ mindset, and adding an SSD to store the music in the NUC seems like a way to eek out a bit more performance. The main downside that I can see is cost. I have around 1.2tb of files right now, but I have some stuff to still still to encode, so I think I would want more than 2tb, and then it becomes pretty expensive.

I would bet there is some portion of your library you don’t listen to very often (or at all). That could be put on a separate watched folder on the NAS. It will still show up in Roon, but it would just take a few seconds longer to load. You could even disable the NAS watched folder most of the time.

Unfortunatlely performance with an internal SSD is much worse than having the files on a good NAS. But as Roon does nor recognize file changes via smb protocol, I had to move them to an internal SSD.

Not happy with it.

I think he’s talking about using Roon, not using NAS without Roon.

Brian posted about the merits of NAS v SSD storage here:

One thing to remember is you cannot Focus on folders on an Internal ssd. Not a problem if it is a new setup but if you use this feature it can become frustrating. It would be nice if this option was added to internal ssd Storage.

You also cannot use it as a backup location. I really like using external drives, all the benefits with no real downsides.

I moved 21k tracks from a Sinology NAS to a 2TB SSD on my fanless Ubuntu Server NUC a while ago. Main reasons are access speed and no need for annoying rescans.

My workflow for new music and backups is as follows. I manage downloads and CD rips on a Macbook Pro that has the NAS mounted via SMB. I store the music files on the NAS. The NAS is also mounted on my NUC. I run a small rsync script on the NUC to bring new and updated music files from the NAS. IOW, I always have an immediate copy. In addition, the NAS backs the download subset of this music up to cloud storage regularly and automatically. Last, I back up the NAS regularly to separate hard drives.

Thanks for the input @Fernando_Pereira , did you see much performance difference, e.g. speed of access etc, when shifting from the your music stored on your NAS to the music being stored on your internal SSD?