At the High End show in Munich, Roon Labs launched a brand-new product called the Nucleus developed through a partnership with Intel.
Roon have built a custom based operating system around the Intel NUC board. The two companies have worked together on power management so Roon can shutdown the box appropriately. The Nucleus will be housed in a special casing and runs fanless so it can be housed with your hi-fi equipment if you need to connect it via USB to your DAC. An optional 19V linear power supply will be available as a future upgrade to further optimise the Nucleus’ sound quality
It runs Roon core extremely fast booting up in 1.8 seconds and after software updates reboots in only 3 seconds.
There are two variants available. You can choose an i3 or i7 version both of which have an integral SSD for the operating system with an option to add a SSD or HDD hard drive or choose to connect via USB or NAS for music storage. It’s HDMI output supports multichannel playback and works with any network Roon Ready device. The i3 based Nucleus will be priced around $1200 and the i7 Nucleus+ $2000. (UK pricing to be announced soon).
For those of you who don’t want the special case or upgraded power supply and would like to build your own NUC-based Roon server for around £500, Roon will be releasing their custom OS free of charge with direction on the hardware equipment you need to purchase.
Ultimate Stream are now a registered Roon partner and can offer advice regarding Roon software and will be able to provide customers with either of the Nucleus products.