NUC 8th Gen i3 vs 7th Gen i5

New lifetime subscriber to Roon here.

I’ve started off using my QNAP TS-453 pro (Celeron 2ghz processor, 8gb ram, SSD for database). On the whole it works very well, my collection is around 2500 albums, 35000 tracks. I also use Tidal.

I generally output to one device (a Naim NDS) using lms-to-upnp which runs within a container on the QNAP. I also have some Naim Muso’s and a few other zones that use with Airplay or UPNP. I do not use DSP.

Performance wise most things come up in a second or so (overview page 2-5 seconds) but sometimes a search can take longer. Generally the albums on Total that match an artist in my collection have been fetched by the time I scroll down but sometimes I have to wait for these to pop in. It doesn’t seem very consistent and I do find that a restart once a week sharpens things up. Starting playback from local or Tidal is instant. Looking on the QNAP the CPU is nowhere near maxed out.

I’m wondering longer term to move to a NUC with Rock will be a good idea. If I do this I will install an M2 SSD to run Roon and probably still access the music from the NAS.

Looking at the range I think I need with an i3 or i5, i7 is probably overkill given that I don’t use DSP?

When I further explore the ranges it seems that an i3-8190U (8th gen NUC) has a better CPU benchmark than a a i5-7300U (7th generation). This is looking at the Passmark score.

My thoughts are that I would be better off buying an 8th generation i3 as it is cheaper and seems to offer the same or slightly better performance than the older generation i5? Does anyone concur or disagree!?

Also at this level of hardware and my use case do people feel that this will improve search times and make them more consistent?


Hi there,

I have a similar sized collection to yourself. I also run an NDS, but using a Sonore UPnP device. I use no DSP settings within Roon and my music collection is on a Synology NAS.

I used a Win10 PC core i5 from about 3 years ago when I was testing out Roon to see if it was for me. I decided it was and decided a NUC running Roon ROCK was the way to go.

I bought an NUC 8 series Core i5 with a M2 drive. The performance is night and day. Searches are pretty much instant everything is very much snappier.


The NUC 8i3 will beat the pants off the Celeron processor. If I were you I would go for the 8i5 just for future proofing and/or if the need arises, experimenting with high processing functions such as DSP, room correction, multizone use, etc.

Yes for i3-8109U.

I agree with the others, get the quad core NUC8i5BEH if you can.

I have also had to perform regular reboots since 1.6, also running Core on a QNAP (however with a i5 3470T quad core and 16Gb RAM) I’d wager it’s not your hardware, it’s Roon 1.6…

Thanks for you insight. I have only used 1.6 so don’t have a baseline to compare to but I do see some rumblings on the 1.6 thread.

It’s very usable at the moment, from instant to only a few seconds lag.

I think I will hold fire for a short while, maybe a maintenance release for 1.6 may bring consistency. It will help the pocket too, the Hifi budget has taken a bit of a thrashing recently, £5k since just before Christmas!