Second hand NUC opinions

Hello everyone,

I’m currently running Roon on a 2009 Mac mini without any problem, it’s not blazing fast but I’m ok with it even with some DSD files.

I found a second hand NUC (120€) with these technical specifications:

  • intel core i3 NUC (i3 5010u 2,10ghz)
  • 120 SSD
  • 8gb RAM
  • win 10pro

Do you think should be a good replacement for my macmini or better avoid and save money for a more powerful nuc in the future?

Thank you!

That Nuc will eat the Macmini for breakfast. But don’t get your hopes up for dsd upsampling to higher bit rates like 512 or using a lot of other DSP features

I have very few dsd albums at 64 and barely use the DSP options to be honest

Have a Roon Core running through ROCK on a NUC5i3 with 8GB RAM with a 240GB SATA SSD, it works fine with a NAS based library of circa 82k tracks/6,200 albums.
Use DSP to downconvert higher formats to DSD64 and 24/192 PCM appropriately. Have a number of zones but normally not simultaneously, however did try all of them (6) at once without issue.

So a NUC5i5 should be fine, unless you want to up convert to DSD512 (why this is necessary beats me, given that the file’s native format is going to be best, but some do, though I think because they can!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)


I run a Nuc 5i5 with the same size SSD and memory running ROCK.

I can upsample to DSD512 just, I only did it as an experiment.

I normally just use volume normalisation and 24/192 up sampling and it runs at around 50 to 70x speed most of the time.

At the price you’re paying, I don’t think you can go wrong as long as it’s sll working ok.



^ Same here. NUC i5 works well.

It seems to be a fifth generation NUC. You need the SSD to be M.2 but not NVMe, and a free SATA slot for a 2.5" drive for music files. It has to be NUC5i3RYH, not NUC5i3RYK.

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thank you guys for all the answers…I think I’ll get it since I’m not using any DSP settings nor any upsampling and in the end it’s better than the actual mac mini I own so I’m improving anyway :slight_smile:

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I have the same Nuc as the one you are targeting, running Rock (and previously Win 10). Works like a charm. DSP of all kind is OK in PCM, OK upsampling to DSD128, but forget about DSD 256 and DSD native convolution.
At this price, go for it !

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You’ve already told us that:

  • you’re ok with the Mini
  • you barely use DSD

You can buy a really nice bottle of rum, a nice bottle of scotch, & a round of drinks at the pub with the cash you’d save.

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Then you can start posting here :beers:




I’ve just gone from a mid-2010 Mac Mini to a used 6i3 NUC - so similar to what you’re thinking of but not identical.

The move was prompted by the latest version of Roon, that caused my Mac Mini to struggle (can’t remember which aspect now to be honest). I upsample to PCM Max power of 2, and sometimes DSD 64 or 128. I sometimes use EQ a little as well, but not convolution. One zone.

Bottom line is I’m glad I changed. ROCK is great, and the overall sound quality is better. It’s also quicker. Yes a 7i7 or 8i7 would be even better but for £200 I’m happy.

FWIW I’d splash the cash, but then that rum/scotch/pub option does sound appealing :slight_smile:


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My nuc is 4th generation, so i3 4010, 120gb ssd, 8gb ram, Ubuntu server.
Using DSP to upsample to 24/192, the signal path shows around 13x speed. Doing first MQA unfold and then upsampling to 24/192 shows around 8x.
You will get better results with a newer CPU.

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Thnx everyone.
I bought it yesterday…today I will install ROCK and I’ll let you know!