Introducing Nucleus One - the most affordable Roon Server ever made!

I just specified mine , the shop put it together and tested it etc all I did was install ROCK and copy content .

No different than installing any software , maybe the BIOS settings scare people but they too are straight forward

Certainly. But to spend time seriously answering hypotheticals from someone who might or might not purchase a $500 appliance? Do it once, and everyone would be wanting it, too. Not going to happen. Now, if it was a $50,000 appliance, it might be different.

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Sad, but likely true. :frowning: I guess I’m old; $500 is still a lot to me. :grin::+1:

FWIW - I purchased a new mini PC. This isn’t to slate the N1, but to help give an idea to those who may want one, of what it may be like, performance wise.

These are the specs - maybe similar to the N1 :man_shrugging:

12th Gen Intel Alder Lake N100 Mini Computer (up to 3.4 GHz),16GB RAM 512GB M.2 SSD Mini Desktop PC with 4K Dual Display/2 HDMI/WiFi 5/BT4.2/RJ45

If close enough to the N1, I’d be confident in saying this about the N1;

Running DietPi for this first test.
Streaming to 3 zones with no DSP - NO ISSUES
The fan in this particular mini PC is super quiet.


Now playing DSD512 to 2 zones at the same time with DSP, but running Roon Rock


Added both my Tidal and Qobuz libraries
Edit: Tidal library added after playback testing. Qobuz library has 77k tracks

Screenshot_20240401-232326

This is for information purposes only.

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Good to see this - but I suspect your 16GByte of memory might be more than is fitted to the N1. This may be what allows you to get away with a Roon Library so far in excess (150%) of the recommendations for the N1.

Sorry, my bad and to clarify, I added the Tidal library after the playback testing.

I could easily swap out the 16gb for an 8gb and run things again. If I were to do this I’d install DietPi for the data Rock cannot provide.

However, it was more the performance through playback I wished to get across.

The HTOP screenshot shows RAM consumption with a 77K track library.

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I’d also like to add, multichannel tests via HDMI with DietPi gave good results.

Playing this

Conversion to 2 channel - endpoint a WiiM Pro Plus

Via HDMI to TV, to Sonos Beam gen2 and pair of Fives as surrounds

I didn’t take screenshots, but 5.1 content on Qobuz played totally fine.

My only issue from TV to Sonos Beam is my lack of eArc it appears. Although I can feed the TV multichannel, it’s passed through the TV, down to 2.0 PCM. As far as Roon is concerned it was fine.

Yes it’s DietPi and not Rock for these test. I had an issue with Rock and the HDMI/USB - NOT ROON’S FAULT, MY DEVICE ISN’T SUPOORTED

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As mentioned, the 100,000 tracks limit is not a hard threshold. If your library is not utterly complex, the N1´s quadcore Celeron with 8 GB of RAM should also be able to handle a library of 149k tracks. It might be reacting a bit slower, and with every track added, there is a risk that it runs out of RAM.

Just looking at benchmarks without ever trying one, I would say this N100 CPU is expected to be a bit faster than the Jasper lake generation quadcore Celerons being used most probably in the Nucleus One.

It is a lot for many people, and those people should be sure before they spend their money. So, if you want to ask Roon questions about a product before you buy, I think that is sensible. Now, as others have pointed out, Roon doesn’t seem to want to discuss hardware specifics for this unit, which is their prerogative, so you may never get an official response on that.

If knowing such is a deal breaker for buying the equipment, then I would suggest waiting for real world usage results (1) and the inevitable breakdown that someone will do and post the actual internal hardware information.

As to what does 100k tracks as a device limit mean, that is a potentially longer discussion. And, one I don’t think Roon can ever really pin a good metric for as there are too many moving parts and everyone’s library and Roon usage is unique.

I would suggest that the 100k limit assumes the user is using a small number of simultaneous endpoints, very little DSP, not very many Tags and Playlists, and a well groomed and structured library. And the further your use case and library move away from that the lower the expected track count.

(1) One such account is already here from @Jamie in his blog post.

Edit. If you are already close to the limit then you might want to think about something higher as most libraries are growing. For me, the real question is not what is your current library track count, but, what will it be in the future, say four years.

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Roon principals have stated that more and more users are primarily or exclusively streaming listeners. As such, planning for future library size increases, especially greater than 100,000 tracks, may become an almost nonexistent concern.

While local files have to be added to a user’s Roon library, there is little to no benefit to adding streaming albums to a Roon library. Albums can be removed from streaming services or have their licensing identifiers changed at will. Adding streaming albums to a Roon library does not prevent either of those issues from occurring. But as long as the albums remain available for streaming, even when they change licensing identifiers, they still can be accessed from Discography and Search without contributing to the Roon library track count and weighting down the Roon database.

For primarily or exclusively streaming listeners, best practices for maintaining a streamlined Roon database should be to add just 1-2 local files or streaming albums per artist to the Roon library. Those serve as signposts for the artists. All other albums available for streaming from those artists then can be accessed conveniently from Discography.

AJ

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As it currently stands, tagging, favoriting, full Focus features, editing broken metadata, and other things are only available when albums are in the library. Seems like a benefit to me, even though the IDs can change, which happens but not all the time for me (and could be solved)

Nah, doing user maintenance on any streaming albums is a fool’s errand. It is like you paying for the materials and doing the work to renovate the apartment that you only rent.

AJ

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That doesn’t mean that those listeners are the majority. In fact, if you look in some of the music threads in the forum, you will notice there is a fair number going back to physical media ownership that is occurring. ( And I don’t mean just vinyl but CD purchasing as well).

But, you do bring up a point and I know some users who have the same thought. There is one user I chat with that has begun pruning his online library to get beneath the 100k limit to go with the One. I wonder how many others are doing the same.

However, we cannot know if that will affect Valence Roon suggestions. I.e. Is music in your library weighted differently in the algorithm?

It’s not ideal but also not without benefit. I lost a very small amount over 3 years. There’s a bunch of feature suggestions to allow copying of user metadata & edits from one Qobuz ID to another which would be helpful with this and other things and seems like a doable feature. I’d take that.

I did free up recently (from upgrading it) following fanless mini pc, made by Zotac, ZBOX CI660 nano with following spec (bought back in early 2019),

Intel Core i7-8550U (quad core 1.8GHz, up to 4.0GHz)
32 GB, 2 x DDR4-2400/2133 SODIMM
Intel UHD Graphics 620 (Integrated)
2 TB, 2.5-inch SATA 6.0 Gbps SSD
2 x 10/100/1000Mbps LAN

I’m currently running Roon server from Windows machine in HP Z840 server class PC, only because it has Nvidia card for CUDA cores for HQPlayer. But recently i’ve moved on from HQPlayer, don’t use it, need it. And i don’t use any DSP from Roon either. Just simple, straight signal path. Hence, looking to offload the Roon server to its dedicated, fan-less PC that i can just put next to my audio gears. I do play quite a bit of native DSD256/128 and PCM 384khz / 32 bit contents. And all my contents are out in NAS boxes.

Should i wait for N1, i don’t mind the price. Or, will my spare mini PC config above, fanless, be sufficient to function as Roon server in Windows 10?

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Very true.

I get around this by adding ONE album of an “interesting artist” to my library this now means that artist will appear in my Artist view. Keeps the clutter down and gives a simple way of getting to an artist

I now use

Artist View > Filter ‘xyz’ > Artist Page > Discography > Album

as @WiWavelength says.

I have been actively pruning as well. My NUC has a 4Tb SSD and an external HDD, I have 3 base folders set in Roon, one is normally disabled to keep he track count down for performance reasons. It comprises a lot of very big boxes whos contents have been duplicated in the main library as “single CD’s”. - around 70k tracks.

I occasionally import it and let Roon scan it before Disabling it again. It takes few minutes

With that folder Enabled even with an i7 I notice sluggishness

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I’m really looking forward to purchasing this item in Australia when it is released. I wasn’t able to afford the high end Nucleus but the “One” is a game changer I think. I should open the door to a lot of new people wanting to try Root.

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I’m considering the Nucleus One as, while my M1 Mac Mini works perfectly as a core (never really had a failure or need to restart since I moved it to the Mac from my old Windows 10 laptop), running the Mac headless is a bit of a chore and ‘dialling in’ remotely (with Splashtop) to perform maintenance tasks has been a bit hit and miss. I recently ended up having to drag out the table in the hall it sits on, hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to sort it all out.

I believe Roon needs the albums you care about to to its magic. I may add that it is the latest release that makes it possible to run roon server on such a tiny (4 core N100) machine. This would not have been possible without the changes made just recently.

I am pretty sure Roon will fill the gap between their current offerings, so no one will be left behind.