Will this Mini PC work with ROCK?

I have a Mini PC with the following specs:

Mini PC Windows 11 Pro, 8GB DDR4 128GB SSD Intel Celeron J4125 Mini Desktop Computer, Support 2.5-inch SSD, 2.4G+5.0G WiFi, 4K HDMI x2, Gigabit Ethernet, BT 4.2

I just use it to run Roon core with Tidal, seems to run fine.

Will audio dramatically improve if i install ROCK instead of running on Windows 11.
What other options do i have?

No, it will not change at all

Are we assuming you keep this same hardware? Are you currently using the NUC with Windows and running Roon Server, or are you using it as a GUI as well?

I’m not sure I understand your question. I was hoping to keep the same hardware. Am I missing anything by doing this?
I only use this setup to run a Roon core.

I just don’t know your plans when you ask what options you have, or if you used the Mini PC as a GUI as well. Better to ask before giving advice :slight_smile:

So if you keep this Mini PC and don’t need a GUI, your options are:

  • Keep Windows installed anyway. But the hardware is not very fast and it’s not the most lightweight OS, so much of it is spent for running Windows, which does not actually do anything for you. On the other hand, it already works for you, so what else do you need

  • Install ROCK. However, your Mini PC does not seem to actually be an Intel NUC, so it’s unsupported hardware. It may work and most likely will, but no guarantees.

  • Install Linux and Roon Server

If i moved up to an Intel NUC would i improve the sound?
If yes, what model NUC?
Im running this setup with a Cambridge 200M DAC.

I’m new at this…thanks for your help.

Once again, no, it would not improve the sound quality. That’s rather like asking does a fish need a bicycle.

An Intel NUC running ROCK is all about altering the user experience - it gives you a music appliance which you can connect to your network and use as a Roon Core.

Watch this:

It depends on whether you want it to improve the sound and how suggestible you are.


So if i bought a Roon compatible NUC running ROCK is it only for the user experience or is the sound enhanced as well?
…or are my fish riding bicycles again?

I already told you - nothing changes as far as sound quality is concerned in reality. However, as @xxx suggests, confirmation bias is a thing, and you may want to believe that SQ has improved.

Obviously a fish would need a motorcycle.

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If your setup is working why do you need options?

If you load Rock on that pc you would be tinkering and not have a supported environment.

To run rock and receive official roon support uou have to use hardware from the supported list.

What os runs roonserver has no sq impact. Rock is just for convenience.

Here is the deal. Roon is about the user experience. If, when you press a button Roon responds correctly and quickly (plays, stops, skips tracks, loads images on your remote etc) then Roon is working well for you. Back in the latter half of the last decade the machines chosen as supported hardware all did the user experience thing well. Older machines were more variable ranging from OK to falling on their backsides under the load. None of the supported machines were chosen because of sound quality.
These days a gen 10/11 Celeron is as powerful as older i3’s and so, while not officially supported you will find they mostly work fine. The reason to use ROCK is to make your PC into an appliance that will run itself if you set it up that way in a way a Windows PC can only do with a lot of user input. Months between re-boots, and a box you can connect to power and your network and practically forget. The caveat is that ROCK is written for NUCs so it may not work on a machine that isn’t an Intel NUC. But if you read the MOCK thread or even ask if anyone else has put ROCK on your particular machine you may have a machine that is OK with ROCK.
Finally, you never know but you may prefer how it sounds. But my advice would be to keep that to yourself! :joy:

Are there tweaks i can make to Windows to reduce its overhead and allow for more resources for Roon?

You can buy products that switch stuff off in Windows or get some form of Windows ‘Lite’ that have much of the bloat stripped away. But be aware that security can be compromised in these situations, and Roon may not work as intended either. I couldn’t get a W10 Lite build to see a NAS using Roon.

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