I’m in the process of selecting a NUC. I really like to use at least an I5 to be somewhat future proof. I have a medium size library that I plan to grow.
I’m looking for recommendations for models and memory suggestions from seasoned users.
An i5 and 8mg RAM is more than enough to handle a library of about 100,000 tracks, streaming to multiple zones at the same time and will perform all but the highest DSD upsampling and conversion. You generally don’t see more than an i5 in other NUC servers like the Nucleus, such as the servers from Small Green Computer. Here is a link to Roon’s article on which models to use, how much RAM and Storage is necessary. What size is your library now?
Between family members we have close to 10k.
I’d go with the 8th gen Intel i3 NUC (NUC8i3BEx). When you buy RAM, go with a matched pair of DIMMs instead of a single, as the NUC supports dual-channel memory (better performance).
You’ll have to decide if you want to store music files locally on the NUC or externally since this decision affects which NUC model you select (Slim or Tall). If you go with internal storage, you’ll also need to buy an internal 2.5" SSD/HDD. Music files can’t be stored on the boot NVMe drive.
Roon has some storage recommendations here.
I see NAS storage is an option. Is a Synology NAS a viable option or internal storage the best option?
What internal 2.5 SSD would you recommend?
If you’re asking me, or even if you’re not, SSDs are all pretty much the same.
Just make sure it fits. I think some SSDs might be too thick for a NUC. Dunno.
I don’t use ROCK, so I’m not sure if there is a capacity issue. I don’t believe there is.
Someone else will chime in.
Edit: M.2s also come in different sizes. Make sure you get one that will fit your NUC. The 80 sized M.2s usually do. The ones I showed you are just examples.
I also suggest going internal and getting a 2.5" SSD for your music files. If you do not want to do that for some reason, I would suggest using an external SSD as others have mentioned. I agree with @xxx that it seems using a NAS to store your main music library that you will be using is not a great option and should only be used for back up.
Samsung 2.5" SSD are your best bet between budged, performance and reliability I think. A 2TB or even 4TB option give you room to grow your library. I use the Samsung 860 EVOs and have had no issues, but it’s only been a year. This is what I use because it was recommended by nearly every review and comparison I read. They also have higher life expectancy in terms of how many times it can be written to (I forgot what its called) vs most others in a similar price range and have the longest warranty, which is 5 years. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0786QNSBD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
I have no experience with the Western Digital drives, but the WD Red series are also supposed to be good and also have a 5 year warranty.
Edit: I should also point out that I use the exact parts that @xxx 's has recommended and linked to. Along with the Samsung 860 Evo 2.5" SSD. My NUC has been flawless since day 1. It is a little over a year old.
My thanks to all that shared info with me. If you guys or anyone else would like to share their system or any other information I’m all ears.