Macbook pro vs intel nuc

Hi there! I’ve been happily using roon for two years, and I have a question regarding roon core. I’m wondering if configuring an intel nuc with rock os would be better sonically than using a macbook pro with the roon app in exclusive mode.

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I’m pretty sure you’ll get lots of different answers to this questions. Mine is: It’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to reliably test which of the two solutions “sounds better”…

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My experience after moving the core from a MacBook Pro to a NUC with ROCK: there was no change in sound quality. “The song remains the same.” :slightly_smiling_face:

In both scenarios the core was / is connected via network to a streamer.

What I gained was a more convenient and versatile overall setup.


I changed from a mac book pro recently.I purchased a NUC ,always on with connected 4TB HD,purely for Roon/Rock.Its freed my Mac up.Sound wise i couldnt hear the difference between the two, but have since added a SMS 200 which did make a sound gain.

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@stephen_colman, Would you please share your NUC spec!

NUC 7i5 BNH 8GB mem,Samsung 860 evo SSD,
Connected 4TB WD HD

If you can afford the extra with the NUC and depending on how you use the core (output(s) on the core itself, or external device), it can be a good choice.

A NUC can stay up 24/7 without drawing much power. A laptop come and go.

The most basic NUC today can sustain the resources the software requires, unless you go nut on filter. Make sure your network is performing well with a good switch, wiring if you’re into it etc… would help avoid any rebuffer. If it works today, I would spend my $ into upgrading my listening gear.

I have a 7th gen i3 with 4 GB RAM and 64G internal SSD drive, it is working like a charm, I can throw anything at it, my main concern today is the NAS it is attached to, made of spinning disks, I have to wait 2-5 sec when it is a bit cold (go some energy saving settings on it), I think I can improve this switching to SSD, but not urgent, and again i3 is plenty enough for my need.

Hope this helps.

Would the same be true between running CORE on a tower PC vs ROCK NUK? My endpoint would be a network streamer.

MacBook, Tower Win10 PC, ROCK = all sonically basically the same on the LAN

None whatsoever assuming no dropouts in either case.