NUC vs. MacMini


I have been very happy with my current Roon setup on a 6 year old MacMini (SSD/ethernet) in one room and a microRendu / Naim DAC connected to my amplifiers. Most of my music is streamed through Tidal and I use HQPlayer for upsampling. So far so good and no issues whatsoever, but I was wondering if the sound quality would improve if I go or a small Intel NUC with ROCK instead of a MacMini?

The NUC w/ROCK will require less maintenance (software updates, etc.) and probably run Roon a little faster (depending on the size of your library), but audio quality in your setup will be exactly the same.


If you have a sound quality itch to scratch, messing around with DSP in Roon, or doing some physical work to improve your listening room could make a significantly notable improvement.

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Thanks both, I am really happy with current setup and maintenance / stability never seems to be an issue on a Mac. Of course it is always interesting to get small improvements without any big investments :wink: .

Hi @janvangemert
I’m in the same situation like you, I have a Mac Mini late 2012, quad core 2.3Ghz with 8gb ram and 250gb SSD, running Roon Core with a QNAP storing my music library. I’m thinking about buying a NUC to replace the Mac Mini, however after reading and asking a few experts I decided not to go ahead. I think either Mac Mini or a NUC will do the same job without any improvement. However if I want to upgrade, I will consider the Sonic Transporter i5 or i7 from Small Green Computer, it will be an improvement to the NUC or Mac Mini.

I am on a Macbook Air 8GB RAM 128GB SSD running Roon Core with my music on an external hard drive attached to Macbook Air via Thunderbolt. I connect my mac straight to my dac which are Devialet amplifiers using Ethernet RJ45. So far, everything is good without any issues but I wish to scale-up performance by going for a dedicated Server system running Roon Server. Roon remote would be an iPad/ iPhone. I would like to hear from people running NUC as to what degree improvement I can expect. I read a head-to-head review on AudioStream where a NUC vs. SonicTransporter i5 were put to test & the sT i5 seems was far superior than the NUC. Roon Nucleus+ is pretty much based on the NUC and really wonder how good will the Roon Nucleus+ be against a NUC & sT i5 …

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