NUC vs MAC mini

Hello Roon family,
I am new member i would like to buy NUC or Mac mini but i do not know to select which best for play. Please help me …

If you are not already in the Apple eco-system, then a NUC with ROCK installed is the best option. In fact, even if you are in the Apple eco-system, it’s still the best option.

See this for a list of viable NUCs -

Note: One can’t run any other software on a NUC that is running ROCK.

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They are both equally good. Use what you are you familiar with. If you use Macs a lot then the Mac Mini would be more familiar. You could get a NUC and run Windows, if you are more familiar with that. Or, use ROCK.

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Either will work.

I’m a Mac guy - but I still much prefer the effortlessness of running my Roon Cores (x2) on NUC/Rock machines.


I would get the Mac mini. My MacBook air M1 let’s me effortlessly upsample to pcm 768khz and DSD512.

No idea how beefy a NUC has to be for that but I quess it won’t be less than a Mac mini.

If your local library is insanely big the NUC might be a better option though because you could install a well sized Nvme SSD and plenty of Ram.

Get a NUC running ROCK.
I’ve never used a Mac for Roon, but I did use a Windows PC. The NUC is so much better.

The NUC is like an appliance - you get it running and you forget about it. I think I’ve had 2 issues in 3 years that required a reboot, and I was able to do it from my iPhone. Plus, the NUC is rugged - I have it in a basement utility room, and it just works and works and works.

I used to use a Mac as my core. (Am fully in Mac ecosystem.) Then decided to give the ROCK on an i7 NUC a whirl. Decided to stick with it. With the NUC, you don’t have to worry about the Mac restarting because of an OS update, or going into sleep mode or some weird issue with an OS update that messes up the core or whatever else.

The NUC just works, day in day out. I’m a techie but love tech that doesn’t require hand holding.

Go with the NUC and ROCK.

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Yep. 25 minutes of hassle / effort, a lifetime of carefree listening.


Thank you for your great information and i will play Roon Rock.


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I would also recommend NUC witch ROCK. I had Roon on a Mac mini for many years before going to a fan-less ROCK. Can’t say I noticed any difference in sound reproduction performance — but in reliability the NUC is stable as a rock (pun ofc intended).

I haven’t had a need to reboot the machine for 3 odd years now. Only time I have turned it off was due to something else (for example some a mad thunderstorm that made me anxious).

Kind of set it and forget it — Roon will tell you when it needs to be updated and will handle that somewhat automatically.


I’ll be sad when my 2012 Mac Mini is no longer supported, because it’s performed flawlessly as my roon core.

So, when that time comes, I’ll have to decide whether to get a new mini or enter the NUC/ROCK environment. Not afraid to tinker, but the mini works so well, and it’s so easy to manage headless with Apple Remote Access, etc…