I have been using a general purpose Dell XPS 8930 PC (latest gen i7 with 16gb memory) to serve via Roon, JRiver and Audirvana. All music is stored on a NAS and is streamed to three Sonore rendus. All connections are via ethernet.
I recently followed suggestions in various forums to try upsampling everything streamed to two of my DACs to DSD256. I was very pleased with the SQ, especially on RAAT, but not with how crazy hot my CPU ran even when it was doing nothing other than upsampling music. Turns out this model Dell is known for overheating and that aftermarket cooling isn’t easy to fit if you don’t want to start cutting holes in cases. It thus might be time for a dedicated server.
I am interested in a NUC or similar form factor Intel cpu-equipped mini-PC because I want to run Windows so I can preserve my investments in Audirvana and JRiver. I like Roon SQ at DSD256, but I am not confident that I always will be a subscriber, so I am not looking for something dedicated to Roon. I am confident that I will always use JRiver to manage my metadata and library maintenance functions. I might want to try HQ Player if there’s enough horsepower. Add that I am more familiar with Windows than Linux (although I have owned Linux boxes before) and that I have limited desktop space, and a NUC in an aftermarket fanless case like this one becomes an interesting proposition for me.
(Please don’t flame me for these choices. )
What I can’t figure out is how to choose between the various versions of the NUC out there. An i7 or even i9 seems critical for constant upsampling, but, beyond that, I don’t know which generation board to buy for this application. I note that there is a version of the Turing case for 8th generation and that the Turing FX in the link works with the 10th, but there are at least a couple versions of each generation of i7 board from which to choose. I also am not wedded to these cases if other board versions are the smart way to go and there are other good fanless cases available for them. I also am not wedded to the NUC itself, as noted above.
Is there any particular board version or US-available mini-PC that’s most useful for an audio application?
I expect to use an m.2 ssd for the OS and a spare 1TB 2.5" ssd just to get it out of my closet. 16gb minimum RAM.
Thanks for your help.