Intel NUC with ROCK processor advice

Hi, i m planning to build a server like nucleus+.
I m planning to buy nuci7 on a fanless case + js2 uptone lps.
Here are the specs i m planning to go for, please i need some advices cause i m not that technical.

That Kaby Lake processor is almost 3 years old. That’s not necessarily a problem, depending on the money you’re spending.

You can probably get a more current processor (7th or 8th gen) for about the same cost as one that is 3 years old.

Don’t know the size of your library, but the base Nucleus is good for 100,000 tracks and up to 6 endpoints. That Nucleus only has an i3 chip. Of course, if you are exceed those specs or are going to do any DSP then you might need to build more.

I have four endpoints and do DSP on some of them and I use ROCK on a 7th gen i5 NUC, without any problems. My library is under 100,000 tracks.

All your other specs seem OK.

Thk you very much.
My library is under 100000 tracks i think.
Thks for the head up, i will check a newer i7 .
I dont t do dsp and upsampling, and only one endpoint.

Don’t know what your wallet is or your future plans, but an i3 is probably all you really need.

FWIW. :sunglasses:

The issue with what you’re proposing is that it’s a so-called “MOCK”: it isn’t a NUC. It might work fine now, but you aren’t guaranteed it will in the future.

Instead of the current CPU / motherboard combo you have, you need to pick something from this list if you want to be reasonably sure it’ll work and be supported down the line.

And if you’re curious, Roon’s CTO uses a NUC7i7DN* in his personal system.

That is pretty much the same build that I am using for my MOCK (check out my profile). It’s has worked without any issues for over a year but as others have mentioned it may stop working as it is unsupported.

If you are just going to use it for a ROCK build then personally I would get a NUC and put it in a fanless case.

I reckon that if you were to use a NUC8i5 or NUC8i3 you wouldn’t need to bother with a fan-less case. In normal use my 8i5 is inaudible in my listening room. A number of other 8i5 and 8i3 NUC users have posted similar results.


Hi Peter,

I just read through this thread and your comment that Windows is the fastest OS for Roon was intriguing. Have you done benchmarks between using Windows and Unix/Linix? Most of my experience has been that Unix/Linix supports higher performance in its applications.


I think it’s a bit more nuanced than that. This post by Brian goes into a lot more detail…

Thanks for the link Geoff. An interesting read.

I have a NUC D54250WYB I would like to use for ROCK. Long time user of Roon, using dedicated custom PC’s with Fidelizer and Audiophile Optimizer on Windows server 2019. I’m interested in hearing and comparing ROCK. I rely on native digital resolution, have high end linear power supplies, ground isolation and isolated/reclocked ethernet switches. I feed PS Audio DS DAC direct Conrad Johnson ART tube amps to Harbeth 40.2 anniversary edition speakers. Any experience out there or Roon folks comments on comparability? Thanks in advance.

Compatibility nor comparability…spell checker!

See here Roon Hardware Platform Suggestions for my experiences with a NUC with Gen3 i3 and then Gen5 i3 CPU - what you have here is Gen4 i5.
Now you will need a m.SATA SSD through a SATA Cable but with some thing like the Crucial MX500 you will get read/write of 500 MB/s for the storage of the Roon database. The Media storage would have to be USB DAS or NAS as no other storage options in the NUC.
Before you get concerned or the ‘get as much horsepower as possible’ recommendations come in, see here List Your NUC Capabilities Here for benchmarked performance of a ROCK server on a NUC5i3 doing multi zone DSP just as well as a NUC7 and NUC8 unit.

Thanks for the insight. This NUC has 16 gig memory and a 1 TB Samsung mSATA drive. Specs though show bus speed of only 100mhz.

Well given it has RAM and an SSD fitted, why not flash it with ROCK onto the current disk, and access media via USB-DAS or NAS and see if it boots and works in your configuration and the formats you presently have.
If so, then you can investigate a m.SATA SSD for RoonOS and database and then use the 1TB SSD for internal storage.

Works perfectly. Two zones working fine. I’ll experiment with sample rates,

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Will be interested in the capabilities you are able to obtain from this NUC running ROCK.

At Florida home with smaller systems. It’s networked with files from symbology nas and connections to Aurelic Aries mini to ps audio sprout using Aries DAC plus a Sonos with 4 speakers. Plays very well and controlled thru a zone for each ( 1 Sonos with all speakers grouped and the other the Aries) simultaneously playing all controlled by Roon. DSD256 native thru the Aries, no noticeable latency or dropped/paused tunes, again with Sonos zone also playing.

I will try hdmi and usb outputs to ps audio ds DAC when I’m back north. Very interested in SQ vs custom pc’s.

Success so far!

Native DSD256 or upsampled from a lower DSD format, or converted from PCM?

However, good to hear that your NUC with 4th Gen i5 is holding up.

Native. Yuko Mabuchi Trio downloaded from Native DSD. Aries set to play native as well. I’m impressed.

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