Intel NUC recommended BIOS settings


I am an old user of Roon Core on Windows PC, and a new user of Roon ROCK on Intel NUC (NUC8i5BEH). I performed all installation steps, and everything is working fine. Thank you! :grinning:

I am searching for ways to optimize the NUC configuration for Roon ROCK, mainly on BIOS settings. Beside disabling all unnecessary devices to me (on board audio card, SD card reader, WiFi etc.), I found here below settings in NUC BIOS, and I believe (but I’m not sure) that they are not required for Roon ROCK.

  • Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT)
  • Intel VT for directed i/o (vt-d)
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Intel Rapid Start Technology
  • Intel Smart Connect Technology
  • Intel Platform Trust Technology
  • Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX)
  • PCIE Active-state power management (ASPM) support
  • Native ACPI OS PCIe support
  • Turbo Mode

Would you please advice on here above BIOS settings? For optimizing sound quality, which are the recommended values for these settings?
There are other BIOS settings to be set for sound quality optimization?

Thank you.

I would have thought hyperthreading is useful to a 2 core machine.

Its a quad core machine. 8th gen doubled the core count over the 7th gen the nucleus uses.

I have no issues with computing performance (my NUC is always cold). I’m just aiming for audio “purity”. I sow multiple sites / instructions, and general instruction is to disable any hardware not necessary for audio, and also different speed improving options that are impacting sound quality. Of course, it is not about a major impact, but may be a noticeable one.

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I think the only place where Roon would go into that detail is in the Nucleus bios assuming it is accessible by its users. ROCK guides tend to instruct us to do the minimum to make things work. I have gone into the bios of my MOCK build and switched off everything I know to be unnecessary in my setup (graphics, sound, manual settings where auto is the default etc). But I haven’t touched the core functions around the CPU. Yet! :nerd_face:

I am still waiting for Roon Support response…

Hi @DanielAvasilichioaei,

Apologies for the delay here. We suggest setting your BIOS according to our ROCK BIOS Knowledge Base Article and leaving everything else as the default setting. We don’t test any settings other than the BIOS settings listed on that KB page, and disabling specific BIOS options can get your NUC into an unstable state.

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Other than the changes mentioned in the KB article, I just turned off Bluetooth & WiFi since I have no need for them. Everything else is at default.

I was expecting some more guidance from Roon Support …
Disabling features that are not required is a common way of improving both performance and sound quality. For example, Roon ROCK certainly does not use any virtual machine and does not run under one. So at least the first two items on the list that I originally sent are useless for Roon ROCK.
I tried various combinations of BIOS settings and saw that it significantly affects the sound quality. That’s for any operating system, not just Roon ROCK.
It would be very useful for the installation instructions to include more detailed BIOS indications (at least the list of features that are not required for Roon ROCK operation).

We’ve put a lot of effort into making sure Roon OS runs in lightweight, high-performance way without requiring additional “tweaking”. The idea is that there’s basically no configuration to do – you follow the instructions and it just works.

You’re of course welcome to tweak BIOS settings on ROCK, but that’s not something we can test or support. If tuning the performance of your Roon Core is something that’s important to you, it’s possible ROCK isn’t for you – that’s completely your choice, but other operating systems are going to provide significantly more flexibility here.

If you’re going to use ROCK, our support team can definitely help with any issues where things aren’t “working as designed”, but advising about the possible effect or benefit of any changes outside the documentation isn’t something they can offer a lot of feedback on, since our recommended settings are already clear in the documentation.

Hope that helps explain this a little better @DanielAvasilichioaei.

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