NUC Generational Differences?

Sorry, NUC7i7DNHE has a quad core processor

I was looking at replacing my NUC5i3 with one, as many on the ROCK thread were, but I then said, “Well what I am getting, what will this do that the my current NUC from 2015 doesn’t”
So I borrowed a multi-node Room EQ file to switch on DSP, found the upconvert button in the DSP setting and ran the benchmarks I shared.
I was surprised, but then I have run ROCK since day 1 as well as using Roon since it was in Beta release, and never had any issues in terms of it struggling to playback any content.
I decided to save my €1,000 of unnecessary spend - given I don’t use DSP, don’t upconvert to DSD128 and only 17 albums my Naim NDS Reference Network player won’t play back natively, I have all the processing and headroom I presently need.

BTW the 17 out of 6,339 are (3,560 of the 6,339 are 24-bit or DSD)

Right. I forgot that NUC7 went through two revisions (dual core NUC7i7BNH and quad core NUC7i7DNHE).

Future proofed for the next 20 years!
The Roon Core database is very small, and only if you are more than 250k tracks has ROCK been seen to need more than 8GB RAM.
To cool an i7 you need a huge fanless case, but it is going to sit there all of the time just idling

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So ROCK seems to initially use a separate CPU thread for each endpoint zone, however each CPU thread can support multiple zones.
So a user will need to be undertaking simultaneous playback to over 8 zones, before the quad core architecture is needed.

In real life most ROCK utilisations will be one main zone & a couple of secondaries, so are quad-Core necessary?

Up to 2 cores per zone for sigma delta modulator. Other threads are needed for UI, library management, watched folders, communication with remote, etc. Analysis can use all cores if configured.

But in my benchmark tests, I was able to have DSD128 conversion, plus 3 other zones undertaking DSP simultaneously on a dual-core i3 ‘Broadwell-U’ CPU at 2.1GHz without Turbo boost, from the Maple Canyon NUC.
I have 3 watched folders, one for the main library, one for local MQA files, where I have PCM versions greater than MQA96, and one for DSD files, greater than DSD64, but I have DSD64 versions in the main library)

So what type of playback environment needs a quad-Core architecture?

Interesting article here about DSD512, and how these files are derived, as recording this format is not possible.

In motorcycle/automobile forums there is frequently a separate thread category named “oil thread”. It is given over to discussions by people who assert, sometimes quite aggressively, that one type of oil is better than another.

I apologize for starting an oil thread here at Roon.

Simon_pepper seems to have understood the gist of my question: which chip to choose to maximize utility without overspending? Looking now for a good i3.

Thanks to all.


Welcome to the public forum where you will encounter many types of opinions.
Nobody try to say one is better than the other except that some with in depth experience seen that a certain type of processor just does not cut it for certain tasks.

You got form this thread what you wanted to hear. “Cheap” go getem :wink:

Fernando - Looking for best value does not in any way connote "cheap’. Unless my goal is just to show off, I really don’t need a Ferrari to do errands around town. I would get to brag about how fast it will go while never taking it out of second gear.

The fact we’re discussing this at Roon probably means neither of us is “cheap”. OTOH, if I save $100 buying a nuc by choosing wisely, that’s $100 I have to spend on some other foolish pleasure.


You still don’t get my point. Is about avoiding the issue down the road and coming back here because your system does not meet the demands of the application.
We are not even accounting what direction Rock goes which could be more resource intensive in the future.

You took one person’s input and closed your case. This is what we call, you heard what you wanted to hear.

Take care and good luck.

Hint: I have an i7 Gen 8 and when I do dsd256 the threads go crazy.

Question - How are you seeing this? ROCK does not provide any level of hardware monitoring of the underlying platform

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I don’t use Rock, I use roon server and that’s no different application wise.

But there are many differences to running an embedded dedicated software stack for a single function that runs an optimized stripped down OS with limited drivers and application support, to an application running on a general purpose OS with a full complement of drivers, desktop etc etc etc

So could we ensure we are comparing apples to apples, and not apples to oranges, please.

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Go ahead and get a previous generation NUC. LOADS of us run them or even crappier stuff with no problems at all.
Caveats are already stated in the thread.


I can see your logic behind it when it comes to efficiency, kernel thread handling, etc… But makes no sense when an application requires CPU cycles…
If it needs CPU cycles that’s not going to be different anywhere else. Yes rock kernel might be better at handling threads but do understand that the CPU will get taxed.
Like @ged_hickman1 said just go get it. Is all fine.

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That wont matter here. It seems that the OP is looking for the least configuration possible with no future upgrades nor future requirements, just a system to get by.
The above states what I have been saying all along. Need to do heavy stuff. Get a heavy CPU.

Not everyone wants to do “heavy stuff” upsampling to some perceived better sample rate isn’t for everyone. Why pay for kit your never going to use?


He did qualify his statement. If you need it, get it.