NUC 11 coming out ... worth it?

I am reading that the 11th generation NUC computers are starting to come out. I was looking at getting a NUC 10 to run ROCK. Is there any expected benefit to getting the new version? Or perhaps this just means there may be some deals on the 10th generation?

Sometimes there are temporary incompatibilities between ROCK and the newest generation of NUCs.

Probably no benefits, so why bother?

I’ve never noticed Intel discounting older models.

Just a quick look at NUC11i7 : 4 cores @ base speed 2.8 GHz.

NUC8i7 has 4 cores @ base speed 2.7 GHz from memory…

Haven’t compared i3 and i5 to see if those differences are small or not…

Not an Intel discount but some retailers are selling the NUC8i5 for cheap atm.

Like 1/2 their original RRP… Still with 3 year warranty.

That’s good value for what you get.

Yes, I should have been more specific.

I’ve never noticed the current Intel NUC being discounted when the next generation is released.

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Why would you need that horsepower for Roon? An 8th generation i3 is more than adequate for the majority of users.

Regardless, I’d wait for Roon to confirm support of the NUC11 first unless you’re prepared to take on the risk that things may not work.


As mentioned:

Some good deals on the NUC8i3BEH too. From your [the OPs] opening post I read that [they] wanted to know about getting the new version. How large is your library? Do you use DSP? How many zones?

NUC8 are 28 W TDP with high base (and turbo) clock speeds.
NUC10 are 15 W TDP with low base (and high turbo) clock speeds. NUC11 are back to 28 W TDP with high base (and turbo) clock speeds.

Take that for what you will.



Oh wow, I thought the power consumption on the 10th gen chips was a real step forward. That sucks.

This one looks interesting, should be a quick little NUC and might even run heavier DSD up-samplings in HQPlayer:

It might be ok for ROCK only but the i3 is only 2 cores.

i5 probably makes a better machine for a multipurpose machine now, or the later repurposing of a ROCK machine.

I’m getting a NUC8i5 now because I sadly need a Win10 machine to handle convolution for my DSP 3-way speakers and room correction.

The convolver I use on Win10 is excellent and I’m yet to find one or macOS and Linux that does everything I want, in a simple to use way.

Yes Roon has a convolution engine but on Win10 with convolver I can apply room correction to Netflix, Spotify etc which is handy… 10ms latency even with 65k tap filters, so lip syncing isn’t an issue.

The i5 has a nice balance between audible fan noise, powah and zippiness. I’ll probably disable Turbo Boost.

When it gets here I’ll decide whether the fan noise is enough to make be build another fanless machine. But disabling Turbo Boost should bring CPU temp down and fan noise down. 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz base speed should be fine.

That will sound like a vacuum cleaner running HQPlayer with upsampling to high rate DSD.

And if you put it in a fanless case you might need to be careful if in a warm room/environment. Or when running for a long time. The internal temperature build-up can start to affect performance of components other than CPU, in funky ways. Read below review.

For HQPlayer, better to build a more powerful machine than this NUC and with a big Noctua fan !

I will go with an upgrade for my stationary (perhaps AMD Ryzen 9 5950X) partly for HQPlayer but also because it never hurts to have a fast stationary (on that CPU HQPlayer can do its job at the same time I use computer for other things).

But if I wanted a NUC for HQPlayer, I would use the CPU I listed once its available.


Having used a NUC with HQPlayer with non-EC modulators (fan = loud), I can only imagine how much louder the fan would be with EC modulators.

So I would strongly advice against ANY NUC for HQPlayer :grin: Even putting it in another room, I would be thinking about longevity of that fan running at max speed for so long.

Unless using PCM-only upsampling of course. Or if using it as NAA only…

I even used a fanless NUC but won’t go down that path again. I much prefer the Noctua big fan solution now, running quietly, like in my i9-9900K. With my closed back headphones, I don’t even hear it at all…

Some info on one form factor of a NUC11

RTX2060 inside.

Oh that explains the TDP bump then.

No, that is the NUC11 Enthusiast aimed at gamers. The NUC11 Performance units are the mainstream NUCs that align with current and previous Roon recommendations for core hardware.


Thanks for all the replies and knowledge-sharing. Still struggling with different generations and chips. I expect to sit near the NUC in my home office, where I listen most (that’s where the router lives, and I may mount the NUC under the desk). Noise and performance are my concerns.

My library is about 12,000 local files plus Tidal. I listen to 1 zone at a time. I do not use DSD but I would like to play with it, so I am not ruling out paying for the processing power to support it.

Reading about NUC noise is bound up with discussions on heat, fans and loads. It is a lot of info and not conclusive.

The 8th gen NUC has a TDP of 28 while the 10th has TDP of just 15. I had to look this up; from Wikipedia, “The thermal design power (TDP), sometimes called thermal design point, is the maximum amount of heat generated by a computer chip or component (often a CPU, GPU or system on a chip) that the cooling system in a computer is designed to dissipate under any workload.”

To what extent does the graphics component affect heat? Are the TDP figures higher because of a graphics processor that will sit unused? Does that still generate heat? If so, can it be disabled?

Does Rock take advantage of more than one core? Speculation leans toward both answers. Is clock-speed king? I read that a stressed single core can generate a lot of heat (even when the chip shows 25-30% usage). So is the i7 cooler than i3 since it has more cores to avoid overheating a single core? Or is the i7 by its design going to run hotter regardless of how Rock uses the cores?

The 10th [EDIT: the post I read indicated that the 8th gen had received a larger fan] is said to have a better, bigger fan that has a less obtrusive sound. Either gen has “fiddleable” BIOS fan settings, but letting the unit stay hot is unappealing.

I believe I have read 2 cases of rubbing fan blades (8th and 10th); in one case, the user removed the MB, bent the blades and reported fixing the noise.

Happily, many Roon users post about being satisfied with Rock running on 7th, 8th and 10th gen NUCs. The prevailing thinking seems to be the two following positions. (1) Why pay for more than you need, get the 8th gen (or no need to upgrade from 7th). (2) The price range is basically a couple of hundred bucks and with all the time and money invested in the hobby, why not just get the newer tech (10NUCi7FNH).

FYI, I am currently finding (bare bones)…
8th i3 $243
8th i5 $305
8th i7 $479

10th i3 $298
10th i5 $390
10th i7 $520