NUC for ROCK setup

Seen the threads on advise for which are the supported NUCs, etc. But after guidance - better to go for later generation lower processor - e.g. 9i3 - or earlier generation but faster processor e.g 7i5? (substitute 7i3/5i5 as appropriate).

library of ~2500 albums and growing fast via Tidal - mixture of locally stored FLACs & some mp3s about to be upgraded all on a NAS drive, and Tidal versions.

Also, the ROCK will be in a separate room so noise isn’t directly an issue, but does the fan noise make a streaming difference, and so am I better off with a fanless case, or is it not worth the extra?

It depends a little if you ever think you’ll ever do anything CPU intensive, e.g up sampling to DSD. If not an i5 is more than adequate and will handle a few endpoints at once with convolution filters. Older vs newer gen tends to be evolutionary not revolutionary so I’d go with the best price. The fan noise won’t affect streaming over ethernet for sure. Fanless cases have an aesthetic appeal on top of the silence but if it’s in another room who cares?

One thing is memory, you’ll need it if your library’s growing to keep things snappy. I’d go future proof with 16GB as it should only be a little extra,

1 Like

not too likely to upsample, but who knows?
will have a few (4-6) endpoints, and not too much in terms of convolution going on.
According to Roon specs, 8GB is ample for ROCK?

8GB is adequate but I monitor my Roon process memory usage and it’s regularly above 8GB. That’s a 2K library of local and Qobuz albums. The process seems to leak memory, mines running on Linux. The choice is yours but it’s a lot cheaper than a fanless case.

fair enough :slight_smile: Agree that if the electrical noise generated by the fan doesn’t interfere, then the actual noise isn’t an issue…

@killdozer - can you fix your link - it just goes to the main forum page at the moment, rather than posts detailing a possible memory leak. Thanks.

Done. Thanks for the heads up @Geoff_Coupe .

1 Like

Some after doing some more reading, I’m more confused. Many people seem to achieve better Roon performance on things like a Mac mini than on a NUC, whereas I would have hoped that ROCK on a NUC is much moire lightweight and snappier…

My current Roon Server is a late 2010 iMac with a 3.2GHz i3 and 12GB RAM (and an SSD) - if I want to get a NUC that will offer snappier UI performance, run three or 4 zones, with minimal DSP, what is an upgrade? I assume anything that is i5 and 16GB RAM would work…

That’s a pretty old Mac now and an i3 to boot. The i5 NUC and ROCK should perform better as a core particularly if you use your Mac for other things. ROCKs certainly lighter weight than Mac OS as ROCK’s a custom distro for a specific purpose. Comparing Mac Minis and NUCs without spec details isn’t that useful but NUCs are more a commodity item and generally offer better value. An i5 NUC with 16GB of RAM will definitely cope with the workload you described. It’ll offer some headroom above that also.