Ryzen Embedded Core Server Installs?

I searched for Ryzen Embedded and got very few hits. So thought I’d starts this.

I’m always looking for alternatives to Intel NUCs for a core server install that are small, efficient, and quiet, for less $$$. The Passmark site shows the R1505G and R1606G Ryzen Embedded chips (tho even the lower level V1202B would suffice; and the other V-series are even faster) are on par with my NUC that uses the Intel i5-7260U. Which I find is very adequate as a Roon Core Server.

Has anyone built a Roon Core Server using one of the Raspberry Pi or NUC sized SoC computers using Ryzen Embedded CPUs? If so…

  • What OS did you choose to use?

  • Was the memory, harddrive/NVME and USB interfaces up to the task and free of bottlenecks too?

  • What was the price?

I wouldn’t call the Ryzen Embedded SoC devices commodity items prices like a Raspberry Pi… quite the contrary. The few prices I found from makers, usually marketed for embedded / manufacturing, is pretty costly. Seems it’s still cheaper to build a Core server using a NUC or NUC clone. Do you know of any ‘cheap’ ones?

The best NUC sized clone I found was one from ASRock. That one is quite affordable, barebones for $289, you add drive(s) & RAM.

Thanx for all informed replies!

How about this? No pricing yet, unfortunately.

Ya, I have hope things like that become affordable commodity items. My chrome mobile homepage touts a list of things it thinks are my interest. And it’s been showing me these Ryzen Embedded boards for a few weeks now. And it’s what got me to make this post.

When I looked into existing NUC sized “complete system” offerings (with ram and storage) from manufacturers announcing these boards, many were more like $700 and up than the $400 - $500 I’d be willing to spend. Ideally, I’d like to spend less.

I’ve been trying to get friends buy into ROON. All hardware and software together, It’s too expensive for them. A cheap core server built on one of these would lessen the overall cost tho.


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Now if sellers can just knock a good percentage off that kind of pricing, we’ll be in commodity territory. :wink: I can see the utility in it, et al. But it’s too rich for my friends.

Saw this yesterday:

Dunno why they’re so cagey with the price of entry tho. Doesn’t bode well for affordability : “The CAPA13R is available now at an undisclosed price.”

Hmm, PFSense machine?

Now we’re talking! $378 for a fairly performative GHF51 Ryzen Embedded R1606G SBC, 4GB RAM. … WITH power supply and heatsink.

Looking forward to part 2 of this article.

Am I wrong? Or would one just need to add a USB3 [or better, USB 3.1 Gen2 ] HD/SSD to have a RoonCore Server in a raspberry pi form factor at a very affordable [commodity] price point? (And perhaps making a case for the combo would be my first 3D print project)

Limited to 4GB of ram I assume I would want to run Linux [headless?] And not Win10 on it [edit: I see it runs Win10 IoT, which there is no build of the Core for due to lack of demand; cant argue that as much as it may be useful here]. Not sure if Roon would need to compile a version of the core specifically for this, or the current Linux compile could run on it? Not clear what ‘linux’ runs on this yet.

These are ready for prime time. And base config (sans ram & drives so factor those in) are in the price category I like:

Not embedded, but anyway I just wanted to share - I just built my $486 server - based on ASRock DeskMini A300. I used Ryzen 5 3400G with 16G ram and 500GB NVMe SSD. Running Roon server on WIndows 10 pro. Loving it :slight_smile:

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I have used that case/motherboard combo (or very similar) but with a Ryzen 3 3200G and only 8gb of ram and installed ROCK no issues at all. It’s been 100% reliable and no performance issues whatsoever.

Just because I like to be sure that it’ll run cool I did stick a dirty big Noctua low profile fan on the CPU. It spins slow and is very quiet. Am contemplating going to 16gb and perhaps a big SSD for the actual music files which currently reside on a NAS device but given how reliable it all is I see no pressing need.

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I like what you did with the cooler fan. I’ll do that on mine :slight_smile:

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The fan is immense. I am a huge fan of err… Noctua’s huge fans. The MOCk server is just behind my monitor and I can barely hear the fan but it shifts a huge amount of air. no concerns at all about thermal performance with it running.

I have their NH-D15 on my workstation - barely hear it unless I am running something very CPU intensive (PixInsight for example) and that keeps my overclocked Ryzen 7 3700X as cool as some liquid cooled solutions can manage. It wouldn’t fit in this dinky little case though - it’s huge!

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As expected better and better offerings are coming out, cheaper, better packaged, w/ a lower TDP, as time goes on. The ‘cheaper’ part in stark contrast to what I saw happening with NUCs a year ago when I last looked.


That’s a pretty terrible spec though. Unless I’m reading it wrong it is based on a 1st gen Ryzen 3 so 4 or 5 generations old.

Are you referring to Ryzen Embedded procs? I.e. the SoC version allowing for compact form factor deployments (ultimately what I want is a credit card Raspberry Pi sized SoC that is capable of running Roon Server and is very affordable).

Then either processors are being released at breakneck speeds, or it is taking manufacturers a long time to release product using a processor. (or both?) As Passmark says the processors were first seen on the charts in Q2 2020 (which isn’t all that long ago):

Found this nice PassMark ‘mega’ page and applied a ‘ryzen embedded’ filter. I see now that pretty much any Ryzen Embedded SoC is sufficient, if not more than sufficient, to run Roon. As my i5 NUC7’s CPU mark is around 3885 and single thread/core mark is 1991. And it runs Roon just fine.

Also found this today: A consolidated list of Ryzen Embedded systems available for sale


p.s. As nice as above is, I see that it is non-exhaustive. Missing for example is this pretty sweet little system: ECS Liva Q3 Plus Review | PCMag (tho, must settle for eMMC, and one must use an external drive, NAS, DAS for your music library; and wish it had USB-C.)