Questions about setting up a NUC with Win 10

Hey guys,

this is my first post. I hope I’m doing it right.
I have the following equipment: active Dynaudio Focus 600XD, minidsp SHD Streamer/PreAmp/RoomCorrection, Tidal HiFi subscription. I will use Tidal for 99% of my listening. I hardly use my ripped music and don’t have a whole lot of it on my NAS.

This is what I want:

  • Roon, obviously
  • NUC8I5 or I7 (8GB Ram, 128GB or 256GB SSD)
  • The NUC should run Roon as a server and player (output) or stream to the minidsp SHD when it is RoonReady.
  • Upscaling Tidal to 96/24 (the SHD can’t do more, my speakers can handle 192/24 max)
    Signal way: NUC --> USB in SHD --> Dirac application --> SHD SPDIF out --> SPDIF in Dynaudios. I know I’ll lose MQA for now but I don’t care too much. Room correction >>> MQA imho.

So the questions that ocurred to me:

  1. which Roon software would be right (Roonserver?), since the NUC should function as Roon server and player? I don’t plan to turn the NUC off at all.
  2. Do my Tidal favourites count towards the library-limit of Roon? Or only the files on my NAS? Because I’ve a lot of Tidal-favourites but not a lot of ripped music.
  3. Would you go for an I5 or I7, since I don’t plan on doing a lot of sound processing and don’t have a very large library, so no heavy lifting for the NUC here? Price difference is not huge though…This might change if Dirac became integrated in Roon (if ever) or if I change my system to be able to playback DSD, which will not be the case for a looong time.
  4. Should I stream to the SHD via USB or over ethernet/wifi repeater once the SHD is certified as RoonReady? How is the electric noise regarding USB on the NUC?
  5. How about the NUC power supply? Should this be replaced? With which one?
  6. Are there alternatives to the NUCs since I’m not running Roon Rock but on a basic Win 10 machine. One might think, every Mini PC should work and be running Roon on Windows 10?!
  7. Are there any tutorials on how to set a NUC up? I only know the ones from Hans Beekhuyzen on YT, but those are for Roon Rock. I didn’t find too much useful stuff on this.

Now, that was a lot of questions, but Roon can be a little confusing in the beginning and there are not nearly enough plug&play standalone servers/players or they are terribly overpriced.
I thank everybody in advance for taking the time to answer to one or more questions! :+1:

Hi @MBO — Welcome to the Roon Community!

If you haven’t already, our Software Packages article should answer some of your questions about this.

If you plan on using the controlling Roon from this machine, Roon is what you’ll want to use as it includes the UI elements. If you’re not looking to control Roon from this device and will instead be using other remote devices exclusively, then RoonServer would be a good option.

TIDAL favorites are included in your Roon library. There isn’t necessarily a hard limit on the number of tracks that Roon supports, but when accounting for library/database size, these TIDAL tracks are included.

This is mostly up to personal preference. If you have a smaller library and don’t plan on using much DSP, then the i5 should be fine. For more about our recommendations, please see this article.

This mostly comes down to personal preference. I would suggest trying each and see which you like better. You may also want to start a discussion in the #roon category to get further thoughts from our community members.

This too is more of a personal preference type of questions and isn’t something that we generally suggest one way or the other, but others here on the forums would definitely be able to give some advice.

If you’re specifically looking to run Windows 10 with Roon, the main thing is to consider our requirements that I linked to above. As long as our requirements are met you shouldn’t have any issues.

We have documentation about setting up your Nuc to run ROCK, but we do not have instructions for Windows 10. What kind of information are you looking for? General setup of Windows 10 on the Nuc, or Roon specific setup?

If you already have an inclination for DSP (Dirac) and upsampling, just get the i7 and you’ll never worry about having enough.
The only other things you need to consider when running it under Windows 10 are:

  1. Start Roon on startup (in case of power failures or reboots)
  2. Enable autologin for the same reason.
    Those are easy to find via the internet and could probably be found here in the Forum.
    Also, consider that if you get a Nuc and are using it fairly intensively there will be fan noise. I put mine in the basement, via a switch, and it feeds my DAC via ethernet. You can talk to the remote Nuc in Win10 with Remote Desktop. Some people want the Nuc close by, so they get fanless cases as an add on.

I use Win10 as well for my Nuc, remote is Teamviewer. It works and is very stable.

Wow, thank you all for your input, that already helped a lot!

@dylan: regarding the setup I was looking for info on how I have to configure Roon to be server and output at the same time (how to tell the machine that it should stream to itself). But that is not an urgent topic. I’m still gathering information if and how I could make my personal Roon project work. I think I might figure the answer to my question out, when I get my hands on the Roon software. Roon appears to be a very intuitive and tidy piece of software. If not, I might ask again. :wink:
And I forgot to mention that I would control Roon with a Tablet. So RoonServer it is.
Thanks a lot for your time and effort! It helped a lot.

@grossmsj: I was thinking about reducing the TDP in the BIOS of the NUC (I read about that here by another user) if I don’t need too much power for the Roon operations. I’m a little afraid of the noise level of an I7. Do you have experience with that? Does it get very noisy? And I was also thinking about a casing for using the I7 passively cooled.

I wanted to put the I7 close to my player, I even have to, since the SHD is not certified yet and USB is the only option right now. That way I could also hook it up to my AVR and TV. That would make configuration easier.

So there are still a lot of decisions to make. But I was always following Roon and find it very interesting especially since I used Volumio for 1 day now in the SHD. :see_no_evil:
It’s most likely only a matter of time when Roon will be part of my chain.

I’m sorry I can’t give you perspective here. My i7 Nuc is in my basement so I never hear it.
I think you have to assume when you are pushing it hard enough that the i7 vs i5 makes a difference, there will be fan noise. At that point though, you’ll probably hear it from a maxed out i5.
Hopefully someone with hands-on real world experience can help you.

Before you go the windows route take. A look at ROCK as it might save you a copy of windows as it’s free to use/try.

Could this also be used as server and player with a tablet as remote?

Rock has no running display option, only remote access via roon remote pc/Mac/tablet/mobile devices

As @wizardofoz said, there is nothing to ‘watch’ with ROCK. It is just a dedicated program that only runs Roon.
To your question of could it be used as a server and player with a tablet remote. Yes.
As a server, it just runs Roon and you monitor the status of the program through a browser. It just shows you the status of the system and nothing else. But you control what is being played on the server the same way you control Roon running in Windows 10.
I run Roon on a ROCK system. I can view what is playing in Roon via my Android phone, laptop or iPad. Personally, I think its a better choice as you never have to deal with Windows updates or other Windows quirks. But there are people that prefer to run Roonserver under Windows 10. There are no bad choices between these options.

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