New NUC Build - please check

Right, thinking about taking the plunge and have been following the Roon Knowledge Base FAQ

Will this meet the requirements?

Do I need anything else? How will it link to my iMac - where the files are? Will the Imac still be the control - ie the iMac is connected to my DAC. Or will the NUC be connected - if so what is the best connection? (connecting to a CHord ExQute)

If you are running from an iMac why do you want a NUC?

Really, not being snarky. What are you trying to accomplish?

I would use an M.2 ssd perhaps something like this, it is higher performance than the sata ssd you listed, also you may want to consider a nuc7i3 or 7i5 as they run much cooler and therefore have less intrusive fan noise than the i7, all depends on your library size and what you are interested in doing with regards to upsampling etc.
Files wise I would put them on an appropriately sized usb drive attached to the NUC.
To attach to the Chord you can either connect directly to the NUC (another reason to be careful on the choice of NUC to avoid fan noise especially if you will have it in your listening room) or use an Ethernet to usb bridge such as a RPI or Microrendu.
Your Mac will operate as remote control whether it is the core or the NUC is the core.


As Slim_Fishguttz says, stay with the Mac… decisions decisions.


A couple of things. The first probably isn’t essential but I would purchase 2x4 gig sticks rather than 1x8 gig. Probably not essential but worthwhile. Secondly I would put a M2 NVME stick in rather than the SATA SSD. That leaves the SSD space free to use if you wish, and NVME is faster than SATA which will be reflected in Roons performance. All of that said though, what you have chosen should still work just fine.

I have been advised elsewhere on here that given my ‘large-ish’ library - 130k tracks - that the sluggish performance i have been getting is due to ‘spinning disc’

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Interesting thx

Cheers Russ

The benefit of the SSD is that the db runs on it, the library of music files are fine on a spinning disk.

Probably cheaper to simply upgrade iMAC to an SSD.

Is that something one can do / I have a late 2014 imac with a 2TB fusion drive

Any Apple store should be able to upgrade and transfer OS to new SSD. Don’t know what it costs, tho.

Cheers, will enquire

…or you can buy an external usb3 enclosure with SSD. Even m.2!

Using symlinks on MacOS, you can point your ~/Library/Roon to the SSD


Have you tried doing something similar on a Windows system with the new Creators Update?

One more thought from me -

What chip is in your iMAC, i5 or i7. That will also make a difference.

I am also looking at taking the plunge on the NUC route. I have two questions

  • Is there any benefit to getting the NUC with the Intel Optane memory pre-installed
  • Is there any benefit to upgrading the DDR 4 memory to 16GB

I have Roon driving 8 zones and I make use of the DSP Sample Rate Conversion facilities. My current laptop based system copes fine up to 192KHz but DSP is a stretch too far

All feedback & input appreciated

No Intel Optane desirable for ROCK?
and No, see

Thanks for the prompt reply and for the link , had somehow missed that one !

Thanks Danny interesting…

I thought the SSD had to have the OS too?

Please could you point me to more information - is it different to using this (which i already have)

What is Symlinks - is that needed because you are working around the fact the SSD doesn’t have the OS???

The SSD needs to be there for Roon’s DB – that’s it. On MacOS, that’s in $HOME/Library/Roon

You have to create a symlink from that dir to your SSD if you want to not upgrade your OS drive. This method is pretty technical and requires an understanding of mount points + basic UNIX command line skills. I could give you the commands to run, but if you have a problem later, you will suffer. I suggest just upgrading the OS drive for the least trouble in the future.