ROCK on Homegrown HTPC

All -
I have a small home grown Windows HTPC with a good bit of power currently serving as my Roon Core server. I am having some network issues with the box and need to do some minor upgrades, and I thought about installing ROCK during this process. I know my platform would be unsupported, but am willing to experiment a bit. Before I take the plunge, I have 2 questions:

  1. I currently have my HTPC connected to my HT projector. I have configured a chrome browser instance to launch on startup and connect as a display for “Now Playing” artwork/lyrics, etc. Does ROCK support this or something similar?
  2. I do not have an M.2 SSD on the box (its a SATA SSD). Does ROCK absolutely require M.2?

Thanks in advance

ROCK is very locked down; you won’t be able to run a web browser on it or much of anything other than Roon Core. It isn’t the correct solution here.

The m.2 requirement for ROCK is based on the assumption you are using a NUC (which is the only hardware officially supported). In the NUC, the m.2 slot is for the OS and then the SATA drive slot is optional for storing music locally on the NUC if you want to go that route.

Why would you want to use ROCK. Is it for an improvement in SQ? ROCK is not advertised to improve SQ.

ROCK doesn’t output to a monitor other than some start up messages.

Once you put ROCK on a machine, that’s all the machine can run.

The goal in using ROCK is to get to set and forget. But if there is no way to use it to show the now playing screen through the hdmi port, it is a non-starter.
Thanks -

Concerning SQ it is my experience that there is a slight improvement in the sound quality applying ROCK instead of a win 10 based solution. Not a huge difference but sound feels a bit more relaxed and analog, with more space around the musicians, especially on MQA encoded tracks.

A quite satisfying result at least for me.

My hardware is NUC 8i5BEH.