Reliability of NUC+ROCK vs Roon Server on a general-purpose Mac?

Considering getting a dedicated NUC+ROCK installation to act as a Roon Server, mostly to increase reliability over my current solution of running Roon Server app on my general-purpose Intel iMac 27". Has anyone here made a similar switch, and can they comment on if they feel that their Roon setup is running more solidly after the switch to NUC+ROCK?

The issues I keep on running into once or twice per week on minimum is seeing all endpoints suddenly disappear from remote apps, only to return automatically in ~10 seconds (causing a pause in playback as well naturally) and “media loading slowly” errors causing track skips on Qobuz/Tidal playback (while network is otherwise fully responsive).

The iMac is connected over wifi due to the location, the NUC+ROCK would be connected with Ethernet cable since I can place it near the router – so guess that should at least improve the network-level stability, if nothing else.

You could most likely resolve all the issues you mentioned by running Ethernet from the imac to your router. But the NUC/ROCK with Ethernet would still be an improvement over the imac as a dedicated music server.

I’ve been running ROCK on the NUC for 3.5 years 24x7, and it just does its job day in, day out. Updates are handled in Roon, so I don’t need to worry about anything else.

In contrast, keeping my MacBook up-to-date needs more effort, and from time-to-time, macOS changes break apps.

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I think a key distinction lies in the single purpose-ness of the computer

I run a nucleus+ now but previously I ran a Mac mini but even then Roon server was the ONLY thing I ran on it.

In my opinion that is of first importance. Having a machine that is only dedicated to this purpose. At that point you can diverge from that to choosing the best platform for you.

Most people that I see in this community that have them are extremely happy with their self assembled NUCs running ROCK

Oh yeah and connect your core via Ethernet. That’s an even bigger deal

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Yeah that’s not really a practical option for my setup so getting the Roon Server running on an Ethernet-connected device pretty much dictates it’ll be the NUC in my case.

You started out stating the solution to your own issue. Go with what you know @mnp75

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I run Rock on a tiny Dell Optiplex Micro PC (7th Gen i5 + 8GB Ram +M.2) connected via ethernet to my router. It’s been rock solid. I don’t remember the last time I had to reboot. It updates automatically and keep my music organized. Never had any hiccup connecting with Tidal to my MQA DAC. It’s been the best part of my music listening experience.

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Update from OP… Installed a NUC couple of weeks back, so far 0 skips, pauses, glitches or any other issues. And as mentioned in the original post, couldn’t get even do one full week with one or more annoying interruptions with my earlier setup.

I’ve got a NUC11TNBi3 board inside a passively-cooled Akasa Newton CTN case, and connected with Ethernet cable directly to the router. Of course impossible to pinpoint was it the cabled connection alone that did the trick or did having a dedicated machine also help – but nevertheless, I’m very happy with the new setup!

The big bonus here of course is that I can listen via Roon even during the times when I’m running something taxing like video rendering on my iMac – and vice versa, can without a worry run DSP stuff freely on Roon without needing to worry if that’s gonna slow down my work machine.

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