My own custom built 'Nucleus' (MOCK)

I’m a new roon user and after some time hosting the roon server on my PC I was in the situation of choosing a server hardware for Roon.

  • A NUCLEUS would really look good but it is expensive.

  • A NUC 10 would be much cheaper but I would have to hide it anywhere because of its unsexy appearance. And although a NUC 10 is powerful enough for the roon server requirements, something makes me shy away from buying outdated hardware. It’s just such an unreasonable caveat.

So I decided to use an old, no longer used motherboard with 16GB RAM and an Intel core i7-8700 CPU, added a cheap 240 GB M.2 SSD (Corsair MP510) as system drive and an old 512 GB-SATA SSD (Samsung SSD 850) as data drive for the music files.

I could have assembled all these components into a cheap desktop case, but my goal was a device which would look good in my HIFI-rack.
So I bought a Streacom FC5 all aluminum case. The case is fanless and works with heat pipes to dissipate the heat to the lateral cooling fins of the case.
You can get this case with or without slot for a Slot-In CD-drive. I took the case with the CD slot and paid 370 € for the case, a matching external power adapter and a slimline slot-in CD-drive.

Installation of ROCK was straightforward and simple.
The server is running for about six weeks now without any problems.


Looks great, welcome, and happy listening.
Gruß aus Hessen.

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viel spaß damit = have fun with it :slight_smile:

Gruß aus HH

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Roon has always suggested that the server not be in your listening room. Big server sitting elsewhere, small Endpoint in the listening room, is the design goal. Even with Nucleus.

I have mine in the basement, in a big full tower case.

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Many of us in space scarce cities (I’m in Singapore) have very little option other than to run things in their listening rooms, I don’t even have a store cupboard never mind the luxury of a basement. I do have a car but but have to park it in open air parking, so no garage either. Living on the 8/9th story of an apartment block means I have no expansion options either short of hanging something out the window or on a balcony (yes I do have a small balcony).

Fanless systems these days are readily available, prebuilt or diy options and I’ve build quite a few, Streacom and HDPlex chassis being my most used choices.

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I’d say that advice is of it’s time considering it was issued when Nucleus was but a twinkle in someone’s eye! Enough progress has been made for that advice to be held only for people with the largest collections or who choose unfriendly hardware as a distinct choice. An i3 today is as powerful as an i7 was when that advice was first issued, and can be run silently with no penalty. A modern i7 can be run silently with a small penalty depending on the efficiency of the case.

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I think that’s a custom built “MOCK,” not Nucleus.

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I’m responding to Dan and mention the Nucleus as part of the timeline we are discussing. I’ve a MOCK build of identical specification I am rehabilitating right now with an i7 8700 processor. I went with a different case though, mine is a HDPlex item. My remit was to build something better than an i3 Nucleus on a similar budget. It buys you a lot, but it is hard to ignore the fact a decent case is a big chunk of that budget, as it no doubt is in the cost of producing the Nucleus.

Here is a solution with the case and motherboard sorted.

Passive cooling, accepts SSD and Intel compute cards up to i7.

Only slightly more expensive than a standard NUC.