Roon core options which gen / processor

Hi guys,

I’m relatively new to Roon and loving it so far. I have Qobuz and Tidal and am building my library.

Question is, I have my Lenovo (work) laptop as the core at the moment but want to move to an Intel NUC. I have 3 options but haven’t got a cluewhich one would be the best.

They are:

Intel NUC | I3 5e Generatie | 128SSD | 4GB | Windows 10 NUC5I3RYK

Intel NUC | I5 5e Generatie | 128SSD | 4GB | Windows 10 NUC5I5RYH

Intel NUC | I3 6e Generatie | 128SSD | 4GB | Windows 10 NUC6I3SYH

Different generations or different processors? Any tips would be great and why.
Thanks in advance.


I’d ho for the 6th gen as its newer. An i3 will be fine until you have 100k plus tracks.
Why just those 3?

Just in case here are the supported models

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Thanks ged, I have a colleague who reconditions computers and this is what he has available at the moment. Very decent prices between 130 and 200 euros.

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For me it’s a toss up between the i5RYH and i3SYH. However the advice to go newer is sound. I’d have him raise the memory to 8gb and install ROCK. You don’t need Windows unless you specifically want to multi task.


Thanks for your tips Henry. I don’t need to multi task but they come with windows already installed. Would it get in the way, should I remove it or would it be useful to keep for possible further use for other programs? I’m not sure whether I would multi task but maybe if I want multi media?

Cheers, Tim

If you have any doubts, leave Windows on it. But if you did then 8gb of memory would be a must for me.

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Thanks again Henry.
If I leave windows on then would I install ROCK or ROON Server. I’m reading loads of posts but getting a little confused now.
What is the best option? Should I just remove windows and instal ROCK? It will only be used for ROON.


ROCK is an operating system - installing it would require wiping out the data (all of it) on the SSD drive. I’m assuming it does have an SSD - if not you will need one to boot Windows for it to be fast enough to support Roon’s database needs.

One advantage of Windows is you can use the available space (within reason) to store music locally. ROCK does not support this on the boot drive but an additional internal or USB drives can be used for ROCK installation or of course windows ones too.

ROCK will need only a very small SSD to install and boot. 64/128GB is more than adequate. Windows you can go as big as you like but I would suggest as 128GB minimum.

Advantage of widows as @wizardofoz says. Disadvantage it’s windows :grinning:
Advantage of Rock, never have to touch it and it updates itself.

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Pedant hat on:

ROCK is a packaging of the Roon OS and the Core and Output components of Roon…

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Ok I think I’m going to try with windows to start with and see how it goes. It seems to make sense rather that formatting etc before I’ve tried it.

Next question with windows, can I just leave it on? If not is it possible to just press the start button and ROON loads automatically?

Thanks so far everyone.

Yes and no… I would suggest you leave it on. You can setup windows to run auto login and then run Roon Server as autostart at login. this will let you run headless. you can still run the roon remote to see whats going on on the system or from any other PC/MAC/ph/tablet on your network

this will keep the lowest overhead on your older generation hardware.

OK clear. Windows with ROON server installed and leave it on. I’ll let you know.

So this then brings the "last"question up:- if I am using windows would there be a better replacement for the NUC? Newer hardware in a similar budget. Then I think I might be done with the decision making part and finally get to listen to my tunes :wink:

Thanks again for all the friendly helpful info.

Well if you don’t mind the constant management of windows updates cheaper options with more power are probably workable. But while rock might also (and does) run in other hardware rock on the nuc is basically like an appliance and as such is probably a more stable hands off setup once it’s installed

Windows is as easy as downloading the install package and running it to get Roon up and it is how most people start. It is also pretty good because hardware almost doesn’t matter. Windows deals with making the hardware work. Roon Server then only has to worry about Roon. Go to ROCK only if you have the confidence to try it and can fall back to Windows if you need to. I will add that it is OK to think about what you want to try. I took over a year from my first trial to committing to Roon for good.

Thanks again, you guys have given clear helpful info. I think it looks like I’ll be heading down Henry’s path although I’m not sure I will hold out for a year! :wink:

Top tips, chaps.

JFYI, Got hold of one of these NUC8i3BEH2 8gb 256gb.
Seems like my weekend is fully booked :wink:

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Well Running ROCK wont need all that 256GB but you cant use it for anything else either with ROCK

Windows you have more options to use it however.

Enjoy your weekend.

Took the giant leap!

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Not sure where that puts you, ROCK or Windows?