Roon Server NUC and endpoint Bridge – is this a good solution?

I am new to streaming, very interested in Roon and have done a lot of reading/research over the past week or two to try and understand the environment.

I have a Cambridge Audio Azure 851N streamer coupled with a Cambridge Audio Azure 851A integrated amp driving Dynaudio Special Forty speakers. This recently replaced my 22 year old Rotel hardware driving Monitor Audio speakers.

I have ripped all my CDs to FLAC using DB Poweramp to a Qnap TS-252+ NAS running Asset UPnP, and I also have a Tidal HiFi subscription. I plan to trial Qobuz Studio imminently.

The 851N Streamer directly supports Spotify Connect and Tidal but not Qobuz (and other streaming services). The Cambridge Audio app Cambridge Connect is OK but lacks a features, functionality and robustness and MConnect works reasonably well with the 851N but is still not perfect. The hardware is not Roon Ready, and my request to Cambridge Audio to have the firmware updated to support Roon has been noted, but action any time soon or even ever is unlikely, I fear. So, to provide stability, consistency and function I plan to implement Roon and free myself from the constraints of the kit providers propriety controllers.

So if I have understood the Roon architecture correctly, I plan to use Roon Server on a dedicated headless NUC box with a Roon Bridge provided by a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro HAT and connect this to the Roon Server over ethernet and output the digital output stream direct to one of the 851N streamer digital inputs and use the excellent DAC in that.

Referring to although the NUC7i7BNH is the recommended best hardware to date, I see that the supported NUC list has been updated to include “NUC8i7XXX”, so rather than use the Gen 7 i7 I would rather use the Gen 8i7 CPU as it is faster, has more cores, and produces less heat; it is faster and more efficient and provides better future-proofing resilience.

As I intend to build a Roon server that will ‘see me out’ I plan on going with the NUC8i7BEH, with either 8 Gb RAM (2x4 Gb dual channel ram kit), or16 Gb RAM (2x8 Gb) as running a matched dual channel RAM is faster than double the RAM as a single stick. Plus a fast Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD.

Intel state “The Intel NUC8i7BEH Mini PC kit with a true quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor delivers a big jump in performance compared to the previous generation Intel NUC7i7BNH

I want the NUC to be as fast and efficient as possible, so plan on installing the Roon ROCK, don’t want Windows 10 bloats and updating issues, and don’t know Linux at all, so ROCK seems the perfect solution. I want it to be as “fit and forget” as possible.

Is the a feasible/good plan?

Yes. You won’t need 16gb of RAM.

16GB will be better in the scenario where your library is large. As you have not indicated the library size its hard to say if 8 will be enough. 16Gb won’t do any harm for sure.

I use a NUC7i7BNH with 16GB ram and 256 M.2 960 NVMe SSD. Free space is 91% on the SSD. Library 300K tracks on Synology NAS.

My library at the moment is only 5000 tracks, and will probably never get large. But the cost difference between 8GB and 16GB is only 25 quid, peanuts over the cost of the whole system, but if it will never need more than 8 (indicated in documentation), then I will stick to 4x4GB.

Just keep in mind that if you stream via Tidal or Qobuz, every album added to Roon’s library from the streaming service counts in terms of library size.

Ahhhh that is indeed something I did not know, thank you. Well the library will get bigger than I originally thought…

I can’t find the link right now, but I’m pretty sure Roon has said no more than 8GB is ever used or required.

For normal users for sure. However, once a library starts getting well over 350k tracks then things change about minimum RAM, OS, CPU, etc etc.

OK then I might as well go for 16GB, cant do any harm and may prove useful in the future…

Just to bring this to a conclusion: I have now built the Roon solution as per the original specification. The hardware assembly of the NUC8i7BEH was simple and straight forward, and installing ROCK using the Roon Install Guide was perfectly straight forward, this guide gives you absolutely everything that you need to get ROCK up and running. However it is not all on the same page/in this one document, but at each stage there is a link to take you off to another document which guides you through that stage:- found it best to right-click these links and select “Open in a new tab” which made it easy to progress that new stage and then go back to the main Install Guide for the next step.

And it all just worked!

Same with building the Raspberry Pi with HiFiBerry Digi + Pro, assembly into the metal case was simple, and the software build was super simple and quick using the RoPieee guide .

And again it just worked!

I assigned Fixed IP addresses on both, and made appropriate reservations in my Asus Router, connected a QED optical cable to the RoPieee Bridge and my Cambridge Audio zure 851N streamer, and installed Roon on my iPad, Android phone, Windows 10 laptop and Windows 10 desktop, went trough the basic Roon setup from the Windows Control client, and soon had linked the music library stored on my QNAP NAS and my Tidal account setup and music playing.

So to anyone thinking of making your own Roon environment, don’t be discouraged, it really IS very easy!

I know nothing about Linux, but carefully following the above documentation


Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of Roon.
You may want to look at the all in one RoonBridge Image from Hifiberry. Don’t worry about the URL saying it’s for DAC+. It works just as well with Digi+. Actually listening to one now.
This would let you do without RoPiee and reduce system complexity.

I think ropieee has some other things going for it, local support here in roon forums for a start and extensions are also starting to be able to be used on it, like alarm clock.

Edmund I have bought the very same NUC as you. As you have said the set up was straightforward following the instructions given. Did you have any issues with the NUC fan running loudly? I am about halfway through letting the library be analysed from an attached USB drive. There are over 40000 tracks in there. There is constant fan noise which I assume is related to the work in progress. From your experience did you have this? Now that you have been up and running for some time do you have any noise from the NUC?
Any information you feel you may be useful, BIOS settings, tweaks in ROON would be gratefully received.


From my experience, there is a significant fan run up following the installation whilst ROON does it’s database build thing, but for me in day to day running, I never hear it. It is not in the living room or family room where I have my two sets of speakers, but is in the ‘study’ which is a small room off the living room with the router, NAS, a couple of PCs and printers, and there is no door.

I am listening via ROON at the moment, and it is a hot day, so I just went into the study and less than a couple of feet away I can barely hear it.

I do have a silent passive Akasa Turing case for it but haven’t bothered to transfer it yet.

All settings and BIOS at defaults.

Many thanks. As much as anything I was a little impatient during initial setup and did not take into account the amount of work the machine would have to do scanning my library. It’s all done now and whilst there is some noise it blends into the background.