Roon HW Requirements

I’m a new Roon user (still in the trial period) and so far, I really love it. I’ve been a JRiver Id user for a number of years and I just can’t get it to work for me. The Id is an Intel NUC (6CAYH). My library is stored on a Synology NAS (DS214).

Roon works amazingly well on my old MacBook Pro (ca: 2011), where I’ve imported my NAS-based library to the Roon installation on the Mac. I stream to a Chord Poly through my iPhone and life is good!

What I would like to do is move the Roon core from the Mac to either the NAS or the NUC (once wiped). I see from the requirements that my hardware (the NAS and the NUC) are underpowered to do justice. I write to determine if, in fact, Roon would work on either of my existing hardware or if I would have to upgrade one of the other. And if I did have to upgrade, would it be better to do so with the NUC or the NAS. While I’m willing to invest time into either solution, I really want to avoid what I call the required 20 hours (or whatever) of pain and suffering. I’ve been through that. I now am seeking a viable solution.

So I’m excited by Roon and look forward to making it work, but I’m seeking to do so while reducing my total cost of investment (still need to pay for the lifetime membership plus the hardware).


Hey @David_Weinberg,

Thanks for contacting us regarding your questions. Both your Synology and NUC look a bit under-powered to run Roon according to our Recommended Guidelines. You could probably install Roon ROCK on the NUC, but we have not tested that exact model, we have only tested the models listed on this page.

I would suggest that you get a more recent NUC and put ROCK on it for optimal performance and best bang-for-your-buck in my opinion, the community members will also probably chime in with their suggestions. I hope this gives you a good starting point and any other questions feel free to ask!


Here’s a thread discussing the processor in the NUC. Doesn’t look too promising

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It depends on how big your library is, but most libraries can be run on an i3.
Although you’ll want an 8th gen., here’s an example of what I’ve used -

BTW - You probably understand that once you install ROCK on a NUC, then Roon is all that can be run there.

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I thought my existing hardware wouldn’t be sufficient. I raised the question as Roon plays quite well on my aging Mac so I thought perhaps it might be okay on my existing NAS or NUC.

So my options are to continue to use the Mac as a dedicated Roon core or buy a new NUC. My concern (or perhaps fear) is configuring the NUC. I really am not comfortable under the hood with Linux. I still need to review the online documentation.

@xxx, yes, I understand that ROCK on a NUC makes it dedicated. Also, my library is somewhat large (32K tracks on 2,100 albums). I’m also in the process of ripping ~1000 LPs from the 1970s that will add to my library count. I wonder if I would need the larger Intel NUC (NUC7i7BNH) described here with a library that size?

I thought my hardware was sufficient (older i7 workstation) but I just swapped over to the nuc7i7 and it is a huge upgrade. 50k tracks with upsampling and it hardly breaks a sweat.

If ‘reducing the total cost of my investment’ is the goal, then you need to consider future and as yet unexpected requirements. As well as growing library size, you may wish to experiment or get seriously into DSP and multi-room audio. With this in mind a 7i7 class NUC would be advisable (as per Nucleus+ specs), or at least an i5. The price difference is not that great and you would be future proofing the investment to a large degree. NUCs are also flexible in that they can be run with ROCK or WIN/Linux OS and of course can be used for non-Roon related tasks if you move onto another system.

At the moment I run my Roon Core on a lowly specced Minix Atom with no problems at all.

Hi David. Before you buy anything can I suggest you load Roon ROCK on the NUC you have. It should work OK and if your collection isn’t huge and you don’t try any really taxing DSP you should be OK. This should work quite well and not take too long. Consider also using a Roon backup from your MAC and it should import the settings and analysis of the MAC.

Obviously there are caveats. They are: use solid state storage on the NUC. Max out on the memory (8gb on that machine but 4 will work). Connect the NUC via Ethernet and put it close to the NAS (off the same switch). These are not deal breakers but they all help Roon work more smoothly. The downside is you are outside of Roons support umbrella. But you are at the moment anyway and you have still been offered advice. You can do this at zero cost hardware wise now, so you can invest in a modern NUC later on.

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Thanks for the tips. I decided to try and sell my JRiver NUC so I can buy one that is fully supported.

I am running Roon Core quite happily on a NUC7PIJH (not that much stronger than your NUC6CAYH). Trying your existing NUC out will not cost you anything and you will see very quickly how much it is taxed. Best to do some DSD to PCM transcoding and then watch on the signal path graph at which speed the NUC transcodes.
You may be surprised how little CPU power it takes.
If you do want to upgrade, I suggest you move to an 8th gen NUC (even if not “officially” supported). I have set one up for a friend and it runs ROCK without a hitch. 8th gen improves over 7th gen in several aspects:

  • much larger fan generating less noise
  • 8th gen i3 has almost the same single core performance as 7th gen i7 (i3: 4027, i7: 4530)

Man, I’m so far outside of my lane. Thanks to all for the guidance so far. If I’m unsuccessful in selling my NUC, then I will give my old NUC a shot. As a backup (or if I can sell it), I’ve been looking at the supported NUCs and talking to Intel. So, as I can tell so far, the 8th generation equivalents are the 8i3BEH and the 8i5BEH (both at a lower cost than the 7i7BNH).

If those are the correct models, then I’m future proofing (to the best that one can) at a lower cost with better performance over the current 7th generation models. That I can tell. Beyond that, I can’t tell much…

Based on the differences (in green), is the 8i5BEH the best value? Has it, or another 8th generation model been tested by Roon?


I’d still install on what you have and get your feet wet, then look to upgrade. Take the pressure off :upside_down_face:

You can swap out the hard drive allowing you to put Roon on the NUC but restore it if you need.

Can anyone confirm whether ROCK runs on the OP’s NUC6CAY? I don’t think the 6th Gen Celeron NUCs are UEFI boot only (like my NUC7PIJH), so I guess it should. But I am not sure.
If not, he will have to use dietpi / RoonServer. Not much more difficult, but still slightly more involved.

Single core performance is what seems to be relevant for RoonCore. Here are the single core Geekbench scores:
NUC6CAYH: 1439 (what you seem to have now)
NUC7PiJH: 2127 (what I am happily using, DSD256 to DSD128 transcoding is at the limit, everything else is fine)
NUC8i3BEH: 4027
NUC8i5BEH: 4285
NUC8i7BEH: 5072
The i3 looks like the best value. The i5 is not much faster for higher cost. If your library is huge, go for the i7.
N.B. for multicore performance the picture is very different (i5 much faster than i3), but that is not so relevant for RoonCore.

Correction- my current NUC is the 5CPYH. The 6CAYH is the latest one offered by JRiver (and the one that I cited in my original post). I don’t know if that changes things if I try out my existing NUC.

NUC5CPYH: Single core Geekbench: 1050
Costs nothing to try. Should not be more effort than putting ROCK on a NUC8

Okay, so I am trying it now. I downloaded and installed ROCK on the NUC. After rebooting, I got this response:

I then went to the Web UI and it said the OS and database & settings were OK but the server was missing codecs. I followed these steps and rebooted the NUC. Nothing changed.

So I think I’m getting close, but don’t know what to do next. Any thoughts?

Did you refresh the browser that was looking at And it still says the codec is missing?