Is The Nucleus the Best Buy ever?

Sonic Transporter I7 8GB, never give me trouble.

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Mac mini 2012, 10 years running audirvana, pure music, and now Roon with no issues. $500-$600 new in 2012, and you can get 1 now for $150.


Nope, don’t think it’s the Best Buy ever. Not even close. Especially not if you can follow simple directions and build your own.

My core is waaaaay overbuilt and resides in a fan-less Akasa case. 32gb of Ram, 500gb dedicated to ROCK, 2tb of ssd internal storage for digital library and another 2tb of external storage primarily for backups. All that cost me less than $1,000.

Trouble free, runs 24/7 for the past 2 years and never misses a beat.


Looks great (cirrus7 nimbus) but isn’t it a bit expensive compared to Intel NUC?

It’s more expensive that an Intel NUC but it’s fanless and it’s much cheaper than a Nucleus. Note that the price I quoted is with both SSDs (I should have written SSD not HDD) and the 4 TB SSD is a considerable chunk of the price


Been using a Synology 216se and a Mac Mini 2014 with upgraded RAM for 4 years now. No issues at all.


But the Nucleus is ‘turnkey’. That was the major attraction for me. I didn’t want to build a NUC etc.


3rd parties aren’t allowed to install ROCK it has to be done by the customer. Some do but shouldn’t.
So no support.

But you do get local hardware support and remote customer service software support from Roon.

I do agree that the Nucleus is the “full package” and is clearly the most turnkey of all solutions.

It would seem that the nucleus sellers don’t seem to explain very well to their customers that warranty and support is meant to be through them directly. That’s part of the reason the cost is higher…direct from roon is a bit different but they seem to have similar pricing when I last checked.

I do have a rev A nucleus and it runs well but once out of warranty I took the steps to replace the SATA ssd with an M.2 and upgrade the ram to 12gb. It happily supports 300k track local library on a network share.

Makes a good endpoint now as totally quiet and looks sexy in the HiFi setup plus does HDMI multichannel to boot, and now runs on a LMPS or battery one .

Who would know who installed the OS? How is Roon Labs going to know that you paid somebody to install Rock? I would do it myself, it’s not hard but some basic linux knowledge would help.
That’s the main issue with building a nuc with linux, nobody knows linux and it’s not very easy to get to know the storage system commands, fsck command to repair disks, and the knowledge to backup and restore. 99.999% of linux users don’t know how to tune the system for ssd, which makes a difference in performance. I have many white papers I’ve written on this subject and even the vendors of music servers using ssd don’t tune their system.

I’ve redacted the name/link of that party as they’ve repeatedly ignored our request to stop distributing our intellectual property.


None of this is necessary with Rock though. Just follow the not very difficult instructions:

For anyone who does not want to do that, the Nucleus is a great solution

You both know this isn’t true. If rock won’t boot up or you have any OS issues, what are you going to do? Does the rock install guide tell you how to add and format a new disk? Does the rock docs show you how to backup and restore all attached disks?
Also, if you want a good laugh, watch a windows user or any non-linux user play with vi to edit a file.

You talk to support if stuck. You don’t need to know anything about Linux to install rock at all. Flash to usb stick from a mac or Windows , enable legacy boot in bios and boot from UsB stick, it formats and installs. Job done. Rocks UI will help format any additional storage disks. If you have issues you talk to support but it really is pretty damned simple.


Rock is based on Linux but isn’t a normal Linux distribution. Even most experienced Linux users wouldn’t easily know what to do. I don’t know if there’s even a terminal to log into and if the tools that you normally expect on a Linux distribution are even installed.

I’ve used Linux and Windows for 30 years and have professionally supported Windows users for 20, and I say with confidence that the vast majority of Windows users are just as stuck when something goes wrong with Windows - and there’s orders of magnitudes more ways for Windows to go wrong than with Rock. (And even Windows pros are helpless in many cases because of how opaque Windows is)

If something went catastrophically wrong with my Rock installation, I’d just reinstall and restore configuration from backup, why would I dick around. (Same with Windows, incidentally)


You obviously know nothing about rock or how it works. If it’s broke re-image it, done.
The … you are talking is why LINUX isn’t in the desktop after thirty odd years, pushing FUD.


My point, most users will take their computer down the street to a geek squad or you neighborhood pc repair to fix a pc or Mac if they can’t but these guys won’t have a clue about linux.
I know linux/Unix better than windows (will never use that flawed system) and I have built million dollar enterprise servers using these operating systems (when you add the cost of enterprise software on them) so I do know all the command line commands to perform whatever is needed, most people won’t.
Most people will use the gui to install but won’t know how to configure the backup or won’t know how to link the servers disks to a pc/Mac to perform a backup. Then when the disk fails (all disks including SSD’s will fail, sometimes SSD’s will fail before hdd), how are you going to restore the data. I got 8TB of music that is ripped to a hdd which took me years off and on to rip the cds, I don’t want to lose that data

I have zero idea what this has to do with Rock. If the SSD with the music files fails, you restore from backup