SonicTransporter I5 (3. Gen) vs. Intel Nuc (NUC10i7FNH) as Roon Server?

Dear All,
I am currently using my Synology NAS as Roon Core Server, but looking for a new alternative, as I would like to have in the near future in best case a noiceless or at least much less noisy solution for the Roon Core than I have right now with my NAS. The Roon Core is (unfortunately) placed in the living room.

Since the last posts on this topic, that I could find here, date back to 2018, I would like to re-open this discussion and appreciate any advice when comparing the SonicTransporter I5 (3. Gen) with the Intel NUC ( in particular NUC10i7FNH, since the NUC10i3FNH is currently not available at Amazon DE).

My setup:

  • Synology NAS 220+ as current Roon Core
  • We have an Apple-dominated household (thus iPad, iPhone, Mac Mini as Roon app)
  • Bluesound and some Sonos products as Roon Audio products

What are the Pros and Cons of both Roon Core solutions (the Roon Nucleus is out of discussion)?
Your thoughts and recommendations are highly appreciated.

I can only speak to what I have experience with.

NUC8I7BEH/ROCK. Originally with 16GB ram, Samsung 970 m.2 NVMe drive for OS/Database and 1TB internal SATA drive for my library. Cost around 800.00 to build. I’ve not had any problems with upgrades or any other issues I can recall.

Recently upgraded the internal storage from 1TB to 4TB and decided to add a 32GB ram kit while ti was open.

I’ve never heard the fan although I have read posts that mentioned fan noise in the listening room.

I like the NUC/ROCK approach with all software updates provided by Roon.

Good luck with your project…

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Thanks @Mike_LC for your input. And good to hear that you made good experience with a NUC/Rock solution.

I had an ST i5 a couple of years ago after using QNAP for core. Had some issues and went back to QNAP. Later got a NUC 10thgen with i7 running ROCK and haven’t looked back. No fan, so silent.

Thanks @pstrisik. Allow me one question/comment: as far as I know, does the NUC have a fan, or not? Or is it still noiseless, even with the fan?

I‘m running a SonicTransporter, though 2nd gen, for years. Very reliable, silent and robust. I am tempted to buy a SonicTransporter 3rd gen wirth its easy mountable internal SSD. It looks great.
The SonicTransporter doesn’t have USB out. So if you think of USB-connecting the ST to your DAC, that’s not going to work. But that’s in Roon-speak, anyway a bad option, as the ST should stream to an appropriate endpoint.

The NUC most definitely has a fan, but under most running conditions it makes little to no noise. When adding new music to your library, you will most likely hear the fan until Roon is done with its analysis.

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I think the sonicTransporter is the superior solution. It runs on much better hardware and offers much more flexibility. I have been using a sonicTransporter for 4 years and could not be happier with the experience.

I hear my NUC fans when importing new music, and when playing with DSP upsampling.
They are relatively quiet. My synology is notably louder.

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Put a nuc into an Akasa fanless case.
Looks more like hifi than a computer this way too.
For those who unfortunately have to place it in sight.


Another BIG FAN of Akashi cases as well.
Utter silence and never had an issue since building mine.
Even upscaling the i5 Nuc10 to DSD256 it has never skipped a beat.

My old Nuc7 does some duty running HQPlayer now and it screams.
I might have to buy an Akamai case for that as well


I migrated it all onto a 1u rack unit in the garage.
Good to be a geek. Now I just use the NUC to feed Plex to the TV/HDMI audio tinkering. no fans kick in.
My next NUC will be in a fanless case though.


I been using ST i5 for over a year. I got a SQ bump when moved core off an old iMac. Thing is bomber so far. Sits in the back of my rack and you never know its there.