ROCK and 2 M.2 drives

Hi I have a NUC with ROCK and it works great. But I want to build a music PC and connect it directly to my DAC.

I know that roon recommend a server and a endpoint, also that ROCK are build for the Intel NUCK.
But humor me.
I have bought HDPlex H3, Gigabyte Z390M, Intel cpu M5, 16gb ram, 1 M.2 512GB for the core and 1 M.2 1TB for the music files. Last I have bought Matrix Audio Element H USB card and a very good external PSU for the USB card.

I would like to use ROCK instead of installing Roon server on a Linux box. Why? You don’t need to patch your os.

I have installed two M.2 drives on the MB. HOPE that rock will recognize the second M.2 as a file storage device.

Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I forget about ROCK and move straight to the roon server software?

Should be no problem. Use ROCK to format your second M.2.

Thanks do you know if there are a first and second order of the M.2’s
I want roon installed on the small one

When installing it should ask you to confirm which drive you want it on.

Some comments,

  1. Just to be safe, I Install 1 drive. Install ROCK. Then install the data drive.

  2. ROCK is a closed Os, you can’t load any drivers. If you need to load drivers, use a different OS. Don’t want updates, I use win 10 enterprise LTSC.

  3. ROCK is only supported on the officially listed hardware. ROCK installed on other hardware is considered tinkering. Others on the forum call them a MOCK, aka fake ROCK. So, if official support is important to you than use a different OS on that machine and load RoonServer.


Thank I will follow your advice

Ive used a MOCK core for many years on an ASUS and on an MSI… I also ran Windows on the same MSI motherboard until it died (not sure if it was Mobo/CPU so replaced it with ASRock and 10th gen i7 running windows - must try ROCK again on this oneway.

Rock is very stable and if you have intel chipsets you are normally pretty safe. I even managed to get ROCK running on a 2012 MacMini but the network port needed to use a USB dongle - otherwise it worked fine, but you had to manually select the boot drive.

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Looks impressive, but I would never connect such a beast running Core to a DAC. I’ don’t understand the fascination with doing such things. I guess if it was running JRiver Media Center and the year was 2005, this approach might make sense.

No offense. Good luck.


No offense taken :grinning:
I have been using a NUC + a MiniDSP SHD Studio for the last 3 years.
Want to try something new

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A misstep, compared to running ROCK.

To fully realize its potential, subscribers must stop thinking of Roon as “computer audio.” Decades ago, John Gage of Sun Microsystems said, “The network is the computer.” This change in perspective applies aptly to Roon. Think of your home network as a component in your audio systems.

If you’d like to try something new, I suggest this:

You’ll need to build out a robust network infrastructure if you don’t already have one. Roon Labs has good suggestions here.

High-performance network audio is fertile ground for exploration for those who thirst for more than the simple Media Server + DAC paradigm that was popular years before Roon arrived on the scene.


I am not sure about connecting your Roon core server directly to a DAC. But I don’t think you need to make a complicated server setup. All I did was get myself from Amazon: 1. An Intel NUC10i7 barebones. 2. 32GB dual rank RAM. 3. A 256 or 250 GB M.2 SSD 4. An Akasa Turing case so the server could be fanless. I put this together. Adjusted the BIOS per the ROCK install instructions and enabled turbo boost in the BIOS. I connected it to a LPS I happened to have. But I have been told that using a SMPS will yield no issues in this scenario. I connected the sever to my audiophile network switch. My streamer Lumin U1 Mini is also etherneted to the same switch. My DAC is connected to my Lumin streamer. I use good cables. SQ is wonderful. Roon runs snappy with no crashes. This whole setup is much better than with the Innuos gear I used to own. No need to make a complex computer box. If you want a complex project built a speaker and crossover. Nothing to see here. This is easy. Good luck.

I am up and running. Very happy wit the result and the SQ