NUC 8th Gen still the best option? and best retailers?

Brand new to the Roon-verse - introduced yesterday and currently drowning in all the info to learn. Do already know I want to get a Core up and running asap - and reads like NUC 8th gen may still be the best option. Just wanted to check that is till the case and there hadn’t been any recent developments, or announcements of ‘imminent’ updates to supported NUCs list that I’ve missed.

Would appreciate any recommendations as to retailers that consistently have very competitive NUC prices. Thanks

8th Gen are getting on a bit now, as I suppose are most of the supported NUC platforms.

Nuc10 platforms have worked well for me for the last two years and they are fully supported by Roon, but you will have to wait until RoonOS 2.0 is released to find out whether it is just UEFI support or a whole new range of NUCs are supported and what drivers work.

I would try Roon out using an existing computer, before deciding on buying gear.


@Rugby Excellent advice.

In case @Daud_Power needs HDMI output, beware that ROCK on NUC10 without HD Audio / 3.5mm audio jack cannot output HDMI from Roon (last time I checked - somebody correct me if I missed an update).

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I swapped from PC to NUC 6 months ago , I went for the 10i7 as my library is quite big . The NUC 8 is as @Michael_Harris points out is getting on a bit. NUC 12 is coming soon.

The advice is is still sound to check out Roon on your existing PC before spending , you will get a better understanding of the requirements . As long as your PC has a SSD and an ethernet connection its a good toe dipper

Once you are happy then go NUC , taking that HDMI comment in mind.

Out of interest my NUC is the 10i7 , tall version with a 4Tb SSD and 32 Gb RAM (Bit OTT 16 would have been fine BUT , for a small library 8 even BUT RAM is cheap so go big)

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I’ve seen two threads where this mistake was made.

But have better single thread performance than a 10th Gen NUC.

I agree with @Rugby, use Roon on a PC before buying kit. After using Roon for a month or so, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need rather than what you want.


Martin I am talking about the age of the device components not speed. Also the fact that you will be buying it second hand. Nuc7 and Nuc8 have both been around a long time and second hand is always a risk for someone who wants to buy an appliance.

So my advice stands.

Though I Also PM’D Daud and told him to wait a while to see what happens with Roon OS 2.0

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The length of time matters a lot less with an appliance. Roon can’t degrade performance of older models in order to take advantage of newer. Note that they can with Mac or PC builds but not Roon OS builds because of their appliance status. I’d also argue that most Roon cores have a relatively easy life. So age is less of an issue than, for example, a gaming machine driven hard in order to render complex games. Finally the OEM boards Roon use in the Nucleus product are supposed to have longer supported lifespans than regular NUC boards.
All of that said, Roon OS 2 will shape Roon into its next phase. And I’ve noticed Roon are trailing future developments of the product like they did just prior to Roon 2.0 so they may make me a liar! :wink:


Henry based on the amount of dust I took out of my Nuc7 I would have to disagree. Not about the rest of that though
I started getting random crashes on the Nuc and I was happy to take it apart (and was pretty much disgusted with the state of the innards after 3 years), but not that many will not want to do that or will not understand the necessity to do this.

When I built my next Core I went straight for an Akasa fanless case and never looked back. That with Roon OS become a complete appliance

I am hoping that Danny managed to resolve the driver issues with the latest NUCs as that will open up a new market to user’s waiting patiently for Roon OS 2.0

My experience almost exactly mirrors yours. As always we share more in common than not! :joy:
One point is that there isn’t a driver issue with later NUCs. The issue is UEFI which is the primary thing Roon OS will bring. The drivers could be fixed today (IMO) but it would be pointless if ROCK won’t load because of the UEFI issue. Once 2.0 is launched then ROCK will be good for the future and open it up to a lot of hardware past, present and future for those who like MOCK builds. This change is hard for one main reason. All hardware can do UEFI but getting people to adjust bios settings to accommodate 2.0 will be a nightmare support wise. So do we have separate builds like 2.0 and 1.8 legacy? Or will they be able to automate it? Or will it just be a case of taking the pain like they’ve had to with ARC?

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Henry I rarely find myself in disagreement with you and again not now.

The comments from Danny around an Ethernet driver issue (from memory, though it was a year ago) that was a problem, but that means nothing without the UEFI boot system working.

I will stick with the Legacy mode I have for the next couple of years as there is no need to go through the upgrade process if everything works perfectly well.

But hopefully it will be upwards and onwards for V2 very soon

One of my Roon setups use ROCK on NUC8i7 - it works excellent. Better single core performance compared to NUC10i7. I also have a Roon setup in another location with Nucleus+ (first generation) - this is based on NUC7i7. I actually don’t notice any difference between these two. I run both with 32GB RAM (could have done fine with 16GB). I have ~200.000 tracks in my collection. Music stored mainly on local SSD (also have a fairly large multichannel SACD collection on NAS).

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Fanless cases don’t obviate the necessity to blow dust out of the system every once in awhile. You also need to check the thermal paste every so often as that can dry out over time.

This is very true and no argument from me

It’s partly why I don’t recommend user’s who are looking for Nucs as appliances buy 7th and 8th gen versions as they are getting on a bit

FWIW - I use a salvaged Dell Optiplex 7040 as my Room Mock Core with an i5 and 32gb RAM and (for now) a 240gb 6gbps SSD.

Works well for my needs and is tucked out of the way due to its size, when not tinkering and running all sorts on a Linux server.

Thought this was the best point in the thread to post my response. Firstly, thanks for all the helpful info and the recommendation to ‘try before buying’. I think I’m understanding correctly in that consensus recommendation is to use my existing PC to start with

I have a tower that I had built 6+ years ago that still works well (I reasonably frequently open the case and clean the case/CPU fans :-)): i5, 16GB RAM running Win 10 Pro. Its only job in life is to be a media server - so has a bunch of 2-6GB drives. I’ve primarily been using Plex to play the content - that of course means that the audio playback of even the CD rips (bulk of my ~2,000 albums) let alone hi-res, is not great - just wished I had heard about Roon years ago.

Anyway, it has a wired connection and an HDMI port. So wanted to confirm the recommended plan of action:
– Install a ‘fast’ SSD (~250GB) I will have to check internals of the tower but have suspicion that might be limited to SATA.
– <After additional reading/learning to figure out what exactly and how> Install all the necessary stuff on the SSD to get it up and running as a Roon Core.
– Then some more reading to figure out how to use the same system as a Roon endpoint (soundbar connected to its HDMI port)

Along the way of course also buy a Roon subscription.

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That’s sounds very like my own situation, I have a tower that runs my main stuff, 4 x 4Tb drives for audio and video content , running JRiver Media Server. It currently serves video and a bit of music. As a retired developer , it was my main dev PC and even has SQLServer running on it , it never blinked running Roon.

The SSD for Roon is pretty much essential, the Roon Db lives on your Windows/Users/AppData . Its a read write intensive set up and Users who try with a normal HDD usually have speed issues. The Roon db is quite small <20 Gb but very speed intensive. It will be SATA not M.2 but that won’t slow things that much. I am not sure if you can get a M.2 to SATA mount BUT …

That said a 256 SATA SSD (or even a 512, is relatively cheap these days and you see the speed benefits of it all over . Startup is particularly improve.

Installation is a few screws and the SATA connector then your only issue is reloading Windows onto the new drive , Roon install is simple , “Just Another Program” installer. You could get the SSD supplier to clone your windows install drive to the new drive for you, they have the software. enclosures etc

Once Roon is running you just need to tell it where your music files live then wait. 2000 albums will take a while to load and analyze but you can let that happen in the background.

Roon imports the album then performs an analysis (audio levels etc)which catches people out they wonder why its so slow , it may take even a day or so.

BUT Definitely ethernet cable this PC to your switch and if you can ethernet to your end points. IMHO WiFi is full of frustrations. It sounds like HDMI to a soundbar is your option anyway.

Get it up and running and then repost to sort out any other issues you have.

If you want to move to a NUC later its also vey quick and easy . Just make sure you set up Automatic Backups on Roon Just in Case , also that’s key to the transition to NUC.

You may wonder why I changed , it was purely cosmetic , I was planning a new Headphone amp and wanted a small appliance liker server alongside it . The tower is a bit too big and noisy for that duty !!


@wklie - Absolutely correct. I bought a NUC10i7FNHN - cirrus7 nimbini v3 (totally silent) and it have no output HDMI from Roon. But I did knew that.

Thank you for all the detail about your setup - very helpful reference points which stop me from second guessing myself when I run into issues. Plus effectively a SSD playbook. I didn’t even know the manufacturers offered cloning software - so discovered Samsung Magician today and bought a 870 EVO which hope to install tomorrow. I did briefly explore whether to get a PCI-3 SSD that would go into the 1 PCI 3 slot I have, but read like I could easily run into (Bios) issues with the age of my motherboard.

Thanks again

the day has finally come folks - I just installed ROCK on a NUC 11!!!
RoonOS (Nucleus / ROCK) build 254 production is live! - Roon Software Discussion / Software Release Notes - Roon Labs Community