Having just upgraded my Roon membership to lifetime, I’m thinking of ‘upgrading’ my core from my self built quad core desktop PC to a dedicated intel NUC with ROCK; the PC has loads of power and runs Roon brilliantly, but it’s not ideal having all music playback tied to a full desktop always being switched on. I have a very small library compared with many of you (currently less than 10,000 tracks) and the only processing I use at the moment is parametric EQ. I’m primarily running only one zone, though will almost certainly get another end point so I can run a wireless speaker somewhere else in the house (grouped 90% of the time) and longer term I also want the ability for my missus to listen to whatever she wants while I’m listening to my headphones on the Chord Mojo.
Given the comparatively small library and limited DSP demands I don’t think I will need an i7 and I want the option to upgrade to a fanless case in future if the fan noise annoys me, so that means I almost certainly want the lower TDP offered by a 7th Gen i3 or i5. It’s not a huge step up in price to an i5, but most of the benchmarks for these processors show their max capability in turbo mode while gaming, so not a fair representation of how Roon will be running. Interestingly, the i3-7100U actually has a base frequency that is higher than the i5-7260, so after any experiences of how the two run in real-life ROCK world.
So I guess my question is, for day to to day running of Roon ROCK, is there really any performance advantage from the i5 with a lower base frequency, or does the extra MB of L2 cache swing it for the i5-7260 (there is also an i5-7300 which runs a bit faster than the 7260 but has the same 3MB cache as the i3).
In reaaaaaally short form, i3-7100, i5-7260 or i5-7300 for my Roon server??