This is exactly what I plan on doing. So it’s so good to read this. I too currently have just a Surface Laptop connected to the Router (via Ethernet) and then to my McIntosh Receiver. And I get thrilling sound already.
I have the Nucleus coming as well as SSD for the inside of it. And I look forward to a machine that has been designed for/with Roon software and has been hardened to protect itself from malicious “whatevers” as well as being a new model etc.
I feel even more sure that I’ve made the right decision. And that I can follow install directions for everything. And that it will recognize my Roon-tested Receiver. Along with an external CD drive (also coming) I feel sure I can slowly rip my CD collection as well as listen to FM classical stations (without a laptop deciding to suddenly go to sleep in the middle of something on internet radio now).
I was glad to see this thread. Which reassures me all the more.