The cheapest ROCK you can get?

There is a gent on Ebay (US) selling used Nuc5i3’s in a fanless Akasa Newton case for about $100, so I picked one up to make a(nother) ROCK core for my music. It was ready to go straight out of the box with RAM and SSD already installed. I loaded ROCK onto it and it started right up with ethernet and was a mediocre little Roon Core. However, once I upgraded the RAM (to 8gb) and swapped the SSD for an M.2 drive it became an identical Roon experience as my Nuc8i7(also in an Akasa fanless case). I added an Intel wireless card to the remaining M.2 slot and had a perfect wireless Roon Core, all for a total of $170.

So, if anyone is out there and wanting an inexpensive Roon experience, or would like to try Roon without a large equipment outlay, I would highly recommend these older Nuc5i3’s. They can convert up to DSD 256 without a snag, even if you run a bit of DSP on top of that.



I tried it on an old i3 (primarily to hear any difference in an audio optimised pc vs nucleus)

I ran it for a few weeks - no problems at all

Hi, I ran a NUC5i3MYBE as my Roon Core from 2017 with the first release of ROCK upto recently. This had 8GB RAM and a 240GB SATA SSD, which probably provides the same throughput as a M.2 SATA SSD, circa 500Mbytes/s for Read & Write.

It performed without issue against a growing Library circa 100k tracks, and was able to cope with DSP, upsampling, upconverting, downconverting, downsampling etc.

In fact I have 2 of them, as spare ROCK servers - one as a Backup and the other just incase.

I only moved to the NUC7i7DNKE (with 16GB RAM and a 250GB NVMe SSD) as I saw that NUCs suitable for ROCK were getting hard to source, so jumped in on a 2nd hand one and rebuild from a Windows machine to a ROCK server.
Music analysis is faster as this is a Quad core machine, so 8 threads instead of 4, but everything else is identical as the NUC5i3MYBE unit,

It is only until you get to the very latest Intel CPUs are there significant differences in the architecture of the chipset etc. and these are in the NUCs not yet supported by ROCK.

Thanks for making the community aware—this is a very good deal.

Is this the seller you’re referencing?

I’m running a NUC5, and it’s been flawless, FWIW

1 Like

That’s the one. I think he has a number of them that are all similarly spec’d.

It is cheaper than a Raspberry Pi off Amazon (for the moment).