Without knowing what the ‘future enhancements and developments’ are your question is impossible to answer, I would buy the best fully supported NUC available which I believe is the NUC7i7BNH, the 8th gen will work but I don’t believe ROCK has been adjusted for them yet? Maybe @Danny can advise.
I have that model and it works well, I believe the Roon Nucleus + uses it but I am not certain.
Regarding memory it depends on your library size? 8gb will cover most bases 16gb will cover everything except very very large libraries say >50k Albums
NUC7i7DN…(works for me without any problems with the ROCK; the eighth generation is more energy-efficient; in BIOS settings: Low Power Enabled and Turbo Boost disabled and in Roon DSP upsampling settings: all into DSD256 the processor speed is about x2.4, the fan is very quiet)
Not to get off topic, but this really annoys me. I carefully read the Roon Rock knowledge base and the new model is not mentioned nor is there any warning that the old model is not quite powerful enough. I’ve just spent a lot of money on an inadequate solution (MQA 192 does not work properly), all because I needed a wired connection since Roon Wifi support stinks. Now, I’m getting dropouts that I never got with my wireless connect, but the iOs Remote works. Frankly, I’m getting a bit fed up with Roon. Ugh.
You could do this, but it’s pretty cost-inefficient and power hungry and involves putting fans near endpoints unless you spend even more $ to put the NUCs in fanless enclosures.
All DSP runs on the core, so you are not getting any extra scalability out of this arrangement.
I would stick to ARM-based endpoints like Raspberry Pi if you are just looking for network->usb bridging and want to roll something yourself. There are also commercial ethernet->USB bridges like the microRendu, which are very turnkey + cost less than that NUC7i7DN per zone.