Intel NUC NUC8i5BEH spec check

I just wanted a sanity on an Intel NUC that I should be getting hold of in a few days. The spec is:

Intel NUC8i5BEH
16GB Corsair DDR4 RAM
500GB Samsung 970 Evo NVMe

I think that should be fine for ROCK. I have the option to add a 2.5" SSD. My local music library is around 210GB in size. I currently have that on a 512GB micro-SD card in a USB adapter. Is it best to keep it that way or to buy a 2.5" SSD drive for my local music collection?

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Buy a 2.5" SSD drive for your local music collection.

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The micro SD in the USB adapter should work just fine.
Plug it into a port on the nuc and you can then point Roon to it as storage folder and it will then add its contents to your library.

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I would go with the internal SATA SSD. And consider going for more capacity with room for your music collection to grow. I started with a 1TB drive thinking that would be plenty of space. That was before I began to purchase/download hi-res music files.

I now have a 4TB SSD that I need to install. Wishing I had started with the higher capicity SSD to avoid the complication.

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Tax I don’t want to assume, but you have multiple copies of your music?
Micro SD is not the most robust format, but fine if you have other copies

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Yes I do - I have effectively three backups: my Mac, an external backup drive and Time Machine. The music cost quite a bit of money through buying CDs, purchases from the Qobuz Store, TIDAL Store and 7Digital. Thankfully, most of those sites allow me to re-download it if I lost my music (but not TIDAL).

Good to hear that, just had to ask, just in case.
in that case as @TheHammer suggested you should be good to go.

Have fun building getting Rock installed, and don’t forget to update the Firmware end make sure Legacy boot is enabled. A lot of people have got caught up on that with later NUCS

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Very good suggestion, Roon ROCK gives a much better user experience with an internal SSD for the music. I have an Samsung 870 QVO 8TB (perfect for music, without breaking the bank; exist in 1,2 and 4TB versions as well) on both my setups (one NUC8i7 with ROCK and one Nucleus+). Less complications regarding network, scan done in seconds for 140.000+ tracks. micro-SD on USB will work, but why not just make it perfect ASAP and focus on enjoying the music ? NUC8i5 will work fine unless you are doing some heavy lifting DSP.

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You won’t see much if any difference between an 8i5 and a Nucleus+. It will do all of the heavy lifting you need it to do.

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Keep in mind, you cannot do database backups to the internal storage drive so you will need either an external drive to backup to or backup to a network location.

Personally, I find external storage to be easier, less hassle and more flexible than internal storage. But, everyone has their own preference.

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This is an interesting point. I have several large capacity mechanical USB drives that can serve as backup drives. Is there a way in ROCK to backup the storage? Is the storage drive inside the NUC presented as a network share (I vaguely remember reading something about this)?

Yes the external or USB drive are shared under /data/storage which has every thing you need to put backups and music on

Rock has no mechanism to backup the storage drive. You will need to use another PC to move things from the internal drive to … anywhere else actually, even a USB drive on the same NUC. A Storage Backup function has been requested in the RoonOS 2.0 thread.

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I’d just like to thank everyone in this thread for their helpful advice. I got my NUC up and running with ROCK yesterday evening. I’m glad I spent a couple of weeks researching Roon and asking plenty of questions on here. The experience was fairly straightforward in the end due to being forearmed with plenty of information.

So far I’ve I’ve got ROCK working fine and my (fairly small) local music library on the NUC’s SATA SSD has been analysed. I’ve installed Roon in my iMac and signed up for the 14-day free trial. It’s a given that I’ll subscribe. TIDAL and Qobuz integration has been completed. Roon remotes are installed on my iPhone and iPad. This weekend it’s Pi weekend to get three endpoints set up with Ropieee and integrated into my Roon system.

I’ll probably have to move my NUC to another room that I don’t use as I am extremely sensitive to any background noise and even the quietest of whispers from the NUC is noticeable to me late at night.

Has anyone used a HomePlug (Ethernet over mains power) to connect their NUC? That’s my only viable option if I move the NUC and I was wondering if it’ll be okay in terms of sufficient network bandwidth.

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There are people in the community here who have done this and posted their experiences - with varying results. Some makes and circumstances apparently work well, others do not… The Networking Best Practices article carries a warning about these Ethernet over Power devices.

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I have some quite good ones so I’ll see how it goes. They are 1300Mbs 2x2 MIMO devices with Gigabit Ethernet ports. They’ve worked well for Netflix but I realise that use of these devices can be a bit hit and miss.

Good news Taz.
Have you looked at using an Akasa silent case. Fairly easy to put together and then a totally silent (and cool looking) solution.

I still keep mine in a different Room, but when I used to add a lot of CDs, it got really loud with the processing going on.

I also ended up putting in an Orbi Mesh solution around the house to deliver Gb Ethernet into the rooms where I wanted music and that has worked well for me and many others though YMMV with something like that.

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Actually it’s probably not. I used a wireless Eero system for years without any issues.

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I’m happy to report that my Roon system was playing over HomePlugs for around 6 hours continuously yesterday. I’m using a number of the these HomePlugs (I’m in the UK so not sure of these are available outside of the UK):

By next week I’ll have 6 of them around the home. My NUC with ROCK is connected to one. One Ropieee endpoint is connected to one. Another two Ropieee endpoints will be connected to two separate ones over the next couple of days.

My Roon app is on my iMac which is connected directly to my broadband router via Ethernet. One HomePlug is connected directly to the router via Ethernet.

So far so good. No glitches, dropouts or any buffering issues. I’ll see how things go over the next few weeks. These HomePlugs are also serving Netflix at 4K to two different TVs.

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Good news Taz.
Back in the early days of Power line networking I used them a lot (and carried on until Mesh networking was a thing) but I often found I had to power them off and back on quite regularly, which could be awkward depending on where they were situated.

Though it seems that is mostly a thing of the past now based on feedback from other people using them