Just ordered a Skull Canyon NUC

Finally giving up on running my core (125000 tracks) on my old i5 NUC, and have ordered the following:

Skull Canyon i7-6770HQ
Samsung 960PRO SSD
HyperX Impact 2400MHz DDR4 (slightly too much of it, but hey)

Oh experts, please let me know if I did wrong already.

Can I run a Skull Canyon headless without any kind of a sink? Or do I need to do something special? Or just buy a monitor?..

I was thinking I can use my touch-screen monitor (currently plugged into the old i5 NUC) while setting it up, then take it down to the basement and start it and log in using Teamviewer.

(I’ll also be moving over to directly attached disc, having suffered performance anxiety with my NAS for some time.)

Any gotchas in what I’m planning so far?

Linux, Windows?

There are some Motherboards now that do require some sort of video plugin to boot, I am not sure about the Intel NUC series, the Gigabyte NUCs aka Brix, that I have used so far have not had a video plug requiremen. @andybob does your Brix need a video plug?

Windows. I think. I hate it, but it would be the fastest performance, right?

Who has a Skull Canyon here, actually? I’m sure there are some, if not @andybob.

I have one.
Runs windows 10.

Run it as an HTPC currently, but it will also run headless, just like any other nuc.

I typically use VNC to log into my headless nuc’s. Unless I happen to have sprung for windows pro, in which case I use remote desktop.

The only thing to keep in mind is that the skull canyon is not exactly silent. But, you won’t hear it from you basement I expect. :slight_smile:

Actually, I can hear my MD600 from upstairs… But that’s a siting problem (it’s on some light Ikea rubbish), and I also have some new heavy-duty shelves which I am building tomorrow.

It’s awesome having a proper basement with Cat7 going into it. :slight_smile:

Like the proverbial babies bottom.

I have the skull canyon setup with both video outputs, hdmi to my 4k tv on 4K of course and 1080p to my Meridian HD621 for sound.
In the BIOS I’ve locked the primary, so it doesn’t switch to 1080p when I turn on my TV later, but that is all the tweaking I’ve done.

The others nucs, just running headless, have been fine without any tweaking as well.

You’ll be all set to unleash that raw power on Roon 1.3… you will just need to find something else to warm up the cat7. streaming some audio won’t do that :).

I just bought exactly the same last week. I am intending/hoping to run RoonOS on it.

Just waiting for that to hit alpha…

If for any reason that doesn’t work out I’ll add Win10 as I know how to manage that.

Not Roon Core Kit?

RCK should be quicker that W10 I think…if I recall comments from @danny a few months ago.

Whilst i7 hasn’t been explicitly mentioned with RCK I am sure the guys will need to support it. There are likely to be many users out there that buy it simply to remove any doubt about performance of either library size or mega DSP functions.

You’ll love it Ludwig.

I set up my i7 BRIX using a USB boot stick created with Rufus as per this guide..

I used a monitor, mouse and keyboard to install, mainly to get into the BIOS which can’t be done remotely sfaik.

The only wrinkle I can recall striking in assembly was that the RAM had a preferred solo slot between the two available and I initially picked the wrong one for the single module I was using.

I opted for Windows Server 2012R2 because I was interested in Aidiophile Optimiser. Now that Ethernet connection is possible using Roon Bridge rather than direct connection of a DAC to the BRIX (which is what I initially used) AO is unlikely to make a significant difference (haven’t tested).

A minimal Linux install is now also a possibility, whether RCK (if it supports i7) or something else. But I run HQP on the BRIX also and it needs a GUI (embedded version doesn’t support network connection from Roon). The Windows Remote Desktop is really easy allowing access to HQP on the BRIX from my PC and iPad.

These days I would probably opt for Windows 10.

I can recall reading about folks having trouble getting a video signal out of a NUC HDMI port. I think they solved it by using the mini-DisplayPort initially and updating firmware/drivers.

There was an issue about using various small computing devices headless without something in the HDMI port and dummy dongles are still available to overcome it, but I think Intel fixed it as per the link.

As others have noted the Skull Canyon isn’t a silent runner, but that’s what basements are for. I’ve snuck the BRIX into my eldest daughter’s room now that she’s at Uni with a boyfriend. (Her desk also makes a good soldering station; I won’t hear a word against that fine young man).

I think you’ll love the SSD on an i7, really snappy.

I should look up the latest. Wasn’t there going to be some limitation as to where storage was? (No NAS, or only NAS, or no USB, or something like that.) Should check.

In any case I’ll likely set it up with W10 initially just to get going. Quite apart from the increased speed, I’m curious what problems in my set up it might solve. (Specifically the crashing zones which have been forever blamed on poor performance.)

RCK was limited to USB or NAS storage; didn’t include on-board music storage as last announced, I think Danny indicated might be possible in future.

That’s already not ideal for me. I have a chunk of material in a OneDrive folder which I can access and edit at will from all my Roon installations. Sounds like that wouldn’t be possible.

I’m sure RCK will be great apart from that though.

I’m using a Skull Canyon NUC for my Roon Core as well! I’m using a Crucial MX300 525GB along with 16GB of Kingston HyperX RAM. I’ve installed Windows 10 Pro. For installation and basic fiddling with settings, I did connect it to my TV via HDMI as well as a spare USB mouse/keyboard. Once that was all taken care of, I run it headless and connect in using my main Windows 10 machine via MS Remote Desktop Connection. I’ve noticed that it’s much less resource intensive to use MS RDC than Chrome Remote Desktop judging by how much less often the NUC fan kicks into high gear. I’ve also set it so that it it logs in automatically if restarted.

I haven’t noticed any problems with Roon. I also use it as my Plex server and I haven’t noticed any hiccups using Roon and streaming/transcoding a movie via Plex.

I now have two Skull Canyons, with similar set up to yours.

I’d love to have held out for RoonOS on the second but needed to make sure all was working.

Both run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS headless. I am not Linux savvy, but have learned enough to keep them up-to-date.

To set up you’ll need a memory stick (not too big as it needs to be formatted to FAT32) and a wired keyboard for the initial set up.

I tried creating a USB bootstick using the app unetbootin on OSX but it wouldn’t boot properly on the Skull Canyon. Kept telling me it couldn’t find a CD to boot from. Same ISO created using a programme called Rufus on Windows worked first time.

Don’t plug the USB stick into the USB 3.0 ports of the NUC, as I’ve read this can cause issues.

Once Linux is set up you can SSH into it from Terminal on a MAC or even an iPad (I use an app called Console that has a lovely retro CRT look to it). If you set up portforwarding on your router this can be done remotely so i can always have my NUCs up-to-date.

I’d dearly love Roon to move forward with RoonOS and more importantly cloud based database backups as this will greatly reduce the impact of having two systems in different places.

Using W10pro here (it’s free if you don’t mind personalization and can stand the watermark on the bottom left(not an issue if headless) or around €30 for VL) set up with black viper’s service config and disabled a lot.

MS RDC works really fine, most of the time I only use it on my iPhone.

I’ve got a Skull Canyon with the same SSD and lots of RAM, running W10Pro.

It’s much faster than the i5 SonicTransporter, as an example: almost shockingly so. And while it’s obviously harder to manage (being a full W10 install) and more vulnerable, the speed made it worthwhile, for me.

I’m guessing that much of the speed difference is the SSD, as opposed to RAM or CPU. It’s especially noticeable when searching.

Another easily noted difference, as opposed to the SonicTransporter: my music is stored on a Synology NAS, and when I update or add things, they’re reflected almost instantly in Roon on the Skull Canyon NUC. On the SonicTransporter, it might take a day to update, unless I explicitly re-scan. I think Windows is subscribing to “server change” notifications that the Orbiter’s Linux build doesn’t offer (or use).

Do you really mean sonicorbiter (the little 2x2 cubox based item) or do you mean the sonicTransporter i5?

Oh, jeez, yeah, I meant the Transporter. I’ll edit the reply. Thanks.

Did you have ssd drive in sonictransporter? How many tracks in your library?