Nuc newbie after advice

Hello, I’m after a bit of advice. I’ve searched the forum but haven’t found an answer (or I’m not looking in the right place…)
I currently use Roon with Tidal and with the core set up to by on my mac laptop. I want to migrate from my laptop to a NUC. I was on the cusp of buying the NUC (NUC10i5FNK) but then saw that it’s not possible to put the music library on the internal SSD. I believe that’s correct - yes? So does that mean the m.2 SSD? If yes, does that mean that I should instead get one the taller NUCs (NUC10i5FNH) and install an additional SSD/HDD inside? Or does it mean that I shouldn’t have any internal storage and instead simply have an external USB HDD? I’m a bit confused. If you are able to have the second storage device (i.e. not the m.2 but an additional HDD/SSD) as the music library, how do you transfer music to it? Is that done using the web interface for ROCK?
All help gratefully received. Sorry if the questions are obvious…

Yes, that is one option.

Yes, that is another option.

Either one is OK. It’s a matter of convenience, looks, where you are putting it, etc.

The Gen8 NUCs are better to run ROCK on.

ROCK exposes a share that one can write to.


Hi thanks for the reply. Super-speedy!
Would you recommend an external USB drive over an internal HDD/SSD or does it make no difference?
Is there a particular reason why the NUC8 is better than the newer NUC10? I had just assumed that as the 10th generation devices are newer they’d be better/faster… I didn’t consider the 11th purely as it’s not on the ROCK listing of compatible devices… the 10th generation devices also seem easier to come by…
(Thanks for the help!)

It makes zero difference SQ wise or speed wise. An external drive will let you attach it to another computer to directly transfer files. An internal drive is neater.

I was afraid you were going to ask that. My memory’s good, but it’s short. A GEN8 runs cooler and I think that single core performance, which is important for Roon, is better, Either one is good. Someone else will probably jump in with more info.

Roon sometimes has to change its ROCK kernel for new Intel releases, so it’s better not to be on the bleeding edge.

Here’s an example of a GEN8 -

Whatever you pick, do not follow Roon’s instruction to update the BIOS. That ROCK step is out of date and can turn into a real hassle, so try it out first without an update. You can always update later if need be.

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Thanks once again for the quick reply. I’m based in the UK so I’ll need to look elsewhere than And, whilst they do have the 8th Generation devices on from some sellers, I’d rather look elsewhere. Indeed, beyond Amazon the 8th Generation devices seem quite hard to find (most retailers say ‘sold out’). I’ll keep searching - but unless anyone else out there has a really compelling reason to avoid the 10th Generation device I may take the path of least (less) resistance… That said, running cooler is quite compelling as I plan to put the NUC in a cupboard… (bad idea?)
Thanks for the tip about the BIOS - I had read on the forum people running into difficulty there and suggesting the instructions are updated.

FWIW I run a NUC8i3BEH with an external USB C HDD. It’s what I had available and it’s convenient. Easier and quicker to copy media files that via a file share. And, HDD is all you need performance-wise (my NUC isn’t in the listening room.)

IIRC the main difference between 8th and 10th generation NUCs relates to thermal design power (TDP) and single thread performance. @wklie Peter Lie posted a good summary recently. If I find it, I’ll post.

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I bought a NUC 10 from, good prices, easy to use configurator and they sold me a really cheap keyboard and mouse to go with it for initial setup. Like you I am a Mac user and had no suitable keyboard and mouse. The NUC runs really well (it’s an i3) and I have no issues with it running hot.

With an external drive you can also use it as a Roon database backup location. You cannot backupmth database tinan internal drive so you need an external anyway for backup.

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Unfortunately no. For i5 class the CPU is not necessarily faster.



If someday you decide to switch from ROCK to Windows it’s even worse because of the severe downgrade of the built-in GPU.

Thanks Peter…
How naive of me to think that a newer NUCs would be better! And the difference is really quite significant if you just take the passmark score… I will attempt to find the 8th Generation device!

I use one of these:-

…with internal 2TB HDD. I’d have used an SSD if it was in the same room as the hifi but it’s tucked away near our main pc in a different room so there’s no need.


Thanks for the tip Michael. I have now managed to track down the 8th Generation NUC and it should arrive today. So then the fun starts…
Above @xxx said not to follow the instructions on updating the BIOS settings in the ROCK installation guide. Is that still the case or are there more up-to-date instructions now? I presume these are the instructions… yes?

Sorry - one further question:
Do I only need a monitor for the initial NUC/ROCK set up? At home I only have an Apple monitor with mini-display-port input but I could do the initial set up with a borrowed monitor…
After that can I simply access the NUC via a web interface (including transferring music or using the NUC/ROCK for importing CDs)?
Thanks for all your help!

You only need a monitor and keyboard for the initial setup. You could use a TV with HDMI too.

Great. Thanks Martin. No TV here either :slight_smile: I’ll work something out.
Out of interest, is the Roon OS ripping process worth a try or would you skip to dBpoweramp? The first looks fool proof whereas the second looks like there are lots of settings to change. The idea of it being a very simple process appeals to me!

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dBpoweramp does take a little time to tweak but once done, it works very well and is a reliable way to rip and provide metadata, get album art, etc.

Thanks @H_Lesser - from this do you mean that dBpoweramp is better than the Roon OS ripping fucnction? Do you mean that you don’t get the metadata/album artwork etc from Roon OS?

My understanding is that Roon rip does not put metadata into each track but that Roon itself populates the information internally. I have no doubt that the quality of the rip will be fine either way. I do know that with a good external CD drive (I use a Teac) that rips can be very fast (typically 10-20x speed meaning 1/10th to 1/20th of play time to rip). It’s also easy to edit metadata in case it’s wrong, and that will import to Roon.

I did note that you can export tracks from Roon once ripped and when you do so the Roon metadata apparently is included – haven’t explored this in detail.

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I’d already ripped most of my collection using dBpoweramp, but find the ROCK ripping process perfect for those occasional CD purchases.


Edward - yes, I think if you buy a new NUC now, you’ll likely not need to update the BIOS. As was suggested, try the install without updating (but ensuring you make the correct settings -legacy boot etc.) and see if that works. If so, you’ve missed a potentially painful process!
And yes, you will need a USB mouse & keyboard, and some sort of monitor with HDMI, but only for the very initial install. Once ROCK boots ok you can run it headless.


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