Intel NUC8i5BEH + Auralic Aries Mini

Hi ROON Communities,

Nearly a year I have my ROON setup with Intel NUC8i5BEH, 8GB DDR4 RAM as ROCK and external 1TB SSD and Auralic Aries Mini as Roon Endpoint then USB output from Aries Mini to my external DAC (Topping D90 MQA) then to amplifier and speaker.

Lately I think I could bypass Auralic Aries Mini, i.e. connect USB output from Intel NUC8i5BEH to Topping D90 without Roon Endpoint. Have any community members try that? What’s advantage and disadvantage? No streaming services like TIDAL if I bypass Aries Mini ?


It should would fine, and so will TIDAL. Why not give it a try?

Hi, yes it works very well on my very similar configuration - NUC8i7, ROCK, Topping D90/A90 via USB.
Trust your ears :headphones:

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What you lose is the opportunity to use the Auralic for other things, bypassing Roon. If that doesn’t matter to you give direct connection to the DAC a try. I’d be interested to know if MQA works OK via the Auralic.

Yes, I have tried, there’s subtle difference between the two. Since I have Auralic Aries Mini, i just connected it until it kaput.

Cool setup ! Is your D90 of AK4499? I love this warm velvet sound of DAC very much. I have A90 too :slight_smile:

Since most of time I am using Roon app/platform, i hardly use Mini’s Lightning DS app.
Ya, haven’t tried if MQA works for Intel NUC/ROCK alone

Yes, it is still a “before the fire” D90 :slight_smile: But don’t over-estimate the pure DAC-chip, sound quality is a result of the whole (electronic) design in which it is embedded and this has imho a far bigger influence. I also use a Grace Design m920 (based on an ESS9018-2M) and a Nativ Wave (based on two Burr-Brown PCM1792A in balanced mode) and they all do a great job although they are complete different animals.