ROCK on a normal PC?

Newbie to ROCK here. What is so special about the NUC? Why do people ONLY talk about ROCK in a setup which a NUC? What is special about it? Is a NUC anything different than a small PC?

Can’t I run ROCK on an old PC which still matches he hardware requirement?

I am asking this because I would like to run Roon on a dedicated device which has no other job than to run Roon (ROCK). But I’ve got more than enough old PC hardware here so that I actually don’t want to buy a NUC for that.

So is it possible to run ROCK on an old PC?

There is nothing special about a NUC, per se.
Roon worked with Intel as a partner to optimize ROCK to run with the NUC. They (Roon) have really stripped things down to a bare minimum and depend, to some degree, that what is on the computer will run with ROCK in a minimized state.
Now, you can run ROCK on other machines, but technically it is not supported by Roon. We refer to these as a MOCK and you can find a slew of different builds in that section under “Tinkering”.
You could try to run ROCK on the old PC. It may or may not work. You may need to have a somewhat higher than average knowledge of computers if things don’t work out ‘just so’.
There are also folks that just run Roon on a dedicated Windows machine and it works fine.
Good luck!

As long as it meets the minimum specs you can run it on whatever you like. People run it on micro PCs, workstations, laptops etc

You can try and install it. ROCK only has the specific drivers for the approved Intel NUC hardware. These drivers may or may not also be compatible with the old PC. Usually, the network adapters have the most issues, but, if the older PC is using an Intel network chip the results are usually ok.

Also, the i3 minimum is real. I have setup Roon on old Core 2 Duo’s and while it can work, it is sloooooooooow.

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Lots of us run or have run MOCKs. ROCK on non NUC hardware. What you can’t expect though is support for ROCK on unsanctioned hardware. So if it doesn’t work you are stuck. But if it does work you have a good solution for no extra outlay.

Search “MOCK”. Lots of people running ROCK on something that isn’t a NUC. NUC is nice because its supported so there are detailed instructions and direct support from Roon. But, if you want to tinker, there is an entire forum, right here, of friendly folks to help you out as well.