Nucleus/ROCK alternative - opinions please

Looks from the description like they give you a bootable USB stick that does the install. So walking a fine line.
Mini PC. All you have to do is run the included USB stick

It is a computer, nothing more. It is not special or unique.

And, tbh, if you really want a fanless case and you are technically challenged, then go with a Nucleus. The Nucleus OS is tweaked to manage thermals in a fanless case. ROCK, which is what you would use with that device, does not have that thermal management.

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Thanks - looks like they assemble it in a fanless case. I’d be really interested if anyone was using this set up -and their opinion. From reading comments so far it’s nearly infringing copyright, but not quite.


Ironic that they use ROCK pre-installed as a selling point so that they can better compete with Nucleus.

cirrus7 nuc based pc.

A post was split to a new topic: Are Nucleus orders being fulfilled and shipped?

Ultimately the situation is this: The Nucleus is fully supported by Roon. ROCK devices on specified NUCs are supported by Roon. Official partners support their hardware and OS while Roon supports their own product. But the Inside Tech device is strictly speaking a MOCK build. It isn’t guaranteed into the future and if anything breaks or could work better Roon are not obligated to fix it. I have no doubt the proprietor will support his hardware but this still leaves a black hole in support that might be tough to fill if you are not computer savvy. So beware of anything that claims to be the equal of Nucleus. Because it may well be right up until something goes wrong.

Thanks for that -the Nucleus is a rare and expensive beast in the UK, so what other options are there which are ROON supported?

Interestingly having looked at the Inside Tech products, he has actually used NUC boards. So the product should be fully supported. Where he is on shaky ground is the Nucleus comparison, the use of Roon marketing information and the distribution of ROCK with the product. But that is a commercial matter between him and Roon, it shouldn’t affect your entitlement to support once you are up and running. During installation I suspect he would need to provide that support.

A further/alternative option…

Scroll down the page for NUC information.

I rather like the look of this but no idea if it would run rock, but windows or Linux no problem if rock didn’t work…not cheap but more oomph than a nuc

You can run Roon Server on any Windows 10 computer, Mac or Linux machine and be fully supported. You don’t have to run ROCK by any means.

Alternatively you could buy a fully built up NUC that is compliant with Room’s specs and install ROCK on that (a very very easy task BTW) and be fully supported too.

If you have any technical capabilities at all and don’t mind fiddling with computers a bit you could try to install ROCK onto a non-compliant pc but if it doesn’t work you’re on your own. This is the route I took but then I’ve been building pc’s since my school days when the 486 cpu’s were very new and 8mb (not gb) was considered overkill for anyone but a true power user.

I remember when I had my Compudyne 386SX16 “upgraded” to a 486DX50. Wow, I thought that was something. I think I had 4 megs of RAM. Nobody could ever need more.

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And swapping jumpers on motherboards to overclock AMD 486DX40’s to run at 50 :slight_smile:

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Thanks - some very helpful comments and suggestions. Has anyone actually got the set up as in the original post?

I run Roon on one of these and installed ROCK on it myself in less than 10mins I was up and running. Runs brilliantly for over 18 months.

Thanks - that’s really helpful. What do you need to run ROCK? Once up and running, are you able to adjust DSP via Macbok/Ipad etc? Does it run hot as I usually leave my main hifi permanently on -to avoid the on-surge -and my kit lasts…my last major change in hifi was 16 years ago…so like to buy well first time if I can.

Basically just a “decent” NUC, please see the “What hardware does ROCK run on?” section in

Depending on your library size and DSP requirements a modern (7th or 8th Gen) i3 or i5 might be sufficient, with a 8th Generation i7 you will be on the save side as this is the CPU used in the Nucleus+.
Ofcourse it is not compulsary to go for a “fanless” solution but it is very convenient at least if your NUC is placed close to your listening position.

I am not using any DSP but yes

My fanless Cirrus Nimbini is permanently on and just lukewarm (but I am not using any DSP)

Thank you for answering some of the specific questions -much appreciated.

They look like standard NUC components assembled inside Akasa fanless cases. There are multiple members here with Akasa fanless setups (do a search) - so in terms of functionally equivalent setup instead of purchasing from this company, yes. I have not done the math, but with a DIY build the cost may be lower.