I have nothing negative at all to say about any other platform, I just wanted to chime in with my thumbs up for running an entry-level Mac mini with the M1 processor as a dedicated Roon server.
I have been running Roon on my laptop from downstairs but the stereo is upstairs, plus, that laptop is a multipurpose machine and I wanted one that was dedicated to my music library.
I was going to buy an Intel NUC and install ROCK, but I decided to go with the Mac mini for the power and for the ability to back up the music files with time machine. Not much more money.
It has been amazing. It’s utterly silent, blazingly fast (near as I can tell as fast or faster than an i7) and it was a breeze to set up as a headless single purpose server. It’s handled all the DSP I can throw at it.
I’m also able to rip CDs to it which is another advantage.
Anyway, Nucleus would be amazing, and while an i3 or i5 NUC with ROCK would be a lighter install and work great, overall I can definitely recommend this to anybody who is on the fence over a NUC or a Mac Mini.
At $699 it was so worth it to me.