NUC new build opinions

Hi all,

I am looking to buy a NUC and I wanted to get people’s opinions that I am ordering the correct kit and whether I need to think about anything else.

I have an annual subscription currently, I am a Tidal subscriber and I run the Roon Core on my PC currently in my office. I use a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone and Hudl 2 tablet to control (in addition to PC). The Roon end points are on wired connections via homeplugs (see below for details). I have been experimenting with the DSP and I am currently upscaling to DSD 256 and 24/652 but not generally at the same time.

The rest of my set-up;

• Internet enters here into a BT Homehub 5 (modem/router/wifi access point)
• I then run the internet into a Devolo 1200 homeplug (no wifi capability)
• Roon end point - Raspberry Pi 3 (with IQAudio DAC HAT) connected to router (and onto Denon amp and Monitor Audio Speakers)

• I use a Devolo 1200 Homeplug to access the internet (no wifi capability) which runs to a switch
• I connect my PC to the switch - Roon Core runs on PC - (connected to Arcam irDACII and Adam F5 speakers)
• Above this room is a further Devolo 1200 Homeplug with wifi extending capability

• I have a Sonos Play 1 as Roon endpoint
• The Sonos is connected to a Devolo 1200 Homeplug via ethernet- this also has wifi

So I want to buy a NUC to replace the Core on my PC. I have done some reading and the kit I think I need is as follows;
• NUC - Intel ® NUC7I7BNH (7567U processor) Micro Intel® 3500 MHz SOC, IRIS PLUS 650
• RAM - Crucial CT8G4SFD824A 8GB DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) DR x8 SODIMM 260-Pin
• ROCK HDD - TCSUNBOW M.2 SATAIII NGFF32 GB 64GB 120GB 240GB Solid State Drive Disk (22*42mm ) (120GB)
• Database HD - Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 inch External Hard Drive

I would be plugging the NUC into an extension cable for power and into the office switch via Ethernet.

Ideally I am looking to future proof my NUC build hence the I7, I currently have 2,670 albums, 33,000 tracks at 455gb of local files, mostly FLAC with the remainder coming from Tidal. I do have a few questions which I hope people will be able to answer;
• I understand I don’t want a 4 core processor as it will be too hot, I really want this build to be quiet. So, with these components will this be quiet?
• I have read through the process for setting up the NUC and for taking across the back-up. I assume once I have done this, I can uninstall the old Core off the PC, is that correct?
• What else have I missed?

Thanks for any help

I have the NUC7I7BNH and whilst not noisy it is not silent especially when working hard, the fan will be heard.
Devolo plugs can be ok, I use a pair but they can also be an issue, is there no way you can run lan cables?
The BT HH does not make a very good switch so try to keep connections via a separate unmanaged gigabit switch with a single connection to the router.
For the NUC Roon advises 8 gb of RAM (2x4gb), you list two hard drives? You need the M.2 ssd for the db and ROCK os if that is what you will be running, then you have a choice of an internal disk which I believe will be 2tb max due to physical size constraints or an external USB drive which could be up to 10tb and you could have four of them!
You are right once you have restored your db you could uninstall Roon on your pc or convert it to being a remote.

Hi Ratberg,

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I have had a few issues with the plugs, but I have sorted it now. Its an old house, that has been recently decorated which means I have missed the opportunity to run lan cables.

I forgot to say, I actually do have a NETGEAR GS105UK 5-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Switch, right by the HH so I could run into there. I think I should consider getting a larger switch then, I think Gigabit do an 8 port one as my 5 port is fairly full of various other bits of kit.

Right, I think I need to change the ram from one 8gig Dimm to 2x4gb then. Good shout.

I was thinking the SSD for internal and ROCK. The external would be a new location to store my database on.


External for db? Do you mean the music library?

Yes, so I was thinking I would connect a USB external drive with the whole library on it. I would then have the back-up on the main pc, so I would have a little bit of redundancy.

I am thinking I won’t muck about, an 8 port switch will only just be able to fill my needs if I use 1 connection between the BT Smart Hub (mine is the SmartHub rather than the Home Hub) Router and the switch. So I was looking at 16 port unmanaged Netgear switch instead which looks like it will do the job. I understand that I would connect the router to the switch and then all my kit then connect to the switch - would there be a potential bottleneck here?

No you should not have any bottleneck issues, as for the backup idea it should be ok, always good to have a backup.

Just to be clear:

The SSD used for ROCK OS will also hold the actual Roon database. This internal drive is not available for storage use; it is just the OS, Roon and it’s database.

In your setup description, your music files will be on the external USB drive. However, the Roon database will be on the internal ROCK OS drive, not the USB drive.

Thanks @Rugby for the clarification.

I had another look at the Roon Optimized Core Kit webpage to look for the recommended memory for the NUC. I actually upgraded from the 2133 MT/s memory recommended by Roon to the 2400 MT/s memory modules shown below (I think this is the speed). Will this will be ok, or should I go back to the 2133 MT/s?

Crucial CT2K4G4SFS824A 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR4 2400 MT/s (PC4-19200) CL17 SR x8 Unbuffered SODIMM 260pin

I would go for these on Amazon I have used them and they are fine.
By the way I used this SSD

The samsung NVMe works great. I have that in my ROCK build as well.

Thanks @Ratbert and @Rugby - I am glad I double checked the ram, the NUC doesn’t support the 2400 stuff. Now I am off to compare hard drives, its an exciting life…

All purchased now - awaiting delivery!!

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Thanks @Ratbert. for all your help and for pointing me in the direction of the guide.

I did have a few teething issues, I didn’t seat the ran properly first time round leading to no post. I worked that out after about 30 mins of trying different things. I also had some issues getting the right codec and then unzipping the file, then had an issue with laptop not being able to see Roon share, which I managed to sort with my main PC. Anyway, it seems to be working. I have uninstalled my previous Core, after backing up. I also moved my library to a new HDD now attached to the NUC. The backup process worked well.

I have tested all the end points and they seem to be working along with their previous up-scaling settings. I might think about doing EQ for the different rooms, but I need to understand the principles before I attempt that. I also want to read up on the HQ Player.

Well done, something always catches you out, like the RAM seating, of course nothing ever goes wrong for me :innocent:

Thanks @Ratbert - whereas for me, it always seems to go wrong whenever I attempt anything.

I am sat listening now at my PC. Sounds very good to me, at least its working, which is the main thing right now.

Its very easy to get carried away with getting new stuff, I am also thinking about linear power supplies and whether to change plug extension cords over to hifi ones. Although this does seem quite pricey and I am not sure whether I will hear much difference. More research me thinks. And I suppose I should think about a lifetime membership at some point!

I was kidding, I am up to Volume 3 on my past mistakes!

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I’m just/finally learning to take my time, as in weeks of listening, to each change; one at a time! to really understand the impact, good or bad and to be aware of confirmation bias.