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Does a NUC make for a good music server?


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Thinking about acquiring a new music server/computer. Will this this unit do the job?

Intel NUC D34010WYK, Mini HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0, 4th Gen Intel Core i3-4010U, Consumer Infrared sensor.

Amazon.com: Intel NUC D34010WYK, Mini HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0, 4th Gen Intel Core i3-4010U, Consumer Infrared sensor: Computers & Accessories

Can I use Linx and the XBMC program to do the job. I plan using a SSD drive. Will it sound as good as the same unit with windows 7 on it?

Thank you any suggestions or help in advance.

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Hi I have built one of these and used an Akasa Newton fanless case for the sole purpose of being a music server and also HTPC. I have the i5 version. I use JRiver on it and haven't had a hiccup with it. I am quite sure the i3 would still be fine for audio.

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If you build one in a fanless case they are absolutely silent.

 

There are a couple fanless cases out there designed specifically for the NUC motherboards. I built mine using the Akasa Newton case and it was very straightforward (my first computer build). The CPU is in direct contact through thermal paste with the case which is all metal and acts as the heat sink. The case only gets slightly warm under use. As a result of no fan it it totally silent.

 

If you go this route make sure to order the motherboard only version and then buy a case separately. You will have to take the fan off the motherboard but that was relatively simple with a couple screws and a connector. I bought everything but the case through Logic Supply. Logic Supply also makes a fanless case as well but I don't have any experience with that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm just getting started with computer audio, starting soon to rip CDs to my iMac, expecting to buy a DAC soon. Can't afford it yet, but thought about dedicating a used MacMini rather than using my home office iMac. But the idea of using one of these NUC's is appealing. Back in the day I built some WinPCs from parts, with some help. Have no experience with NUC or raspberry pi or gallileo or linux. Wondering how I might learn how to build one of these, install an OS (which one?) and connect it to SSD, install appropriate sw for music serving etc. Maybe I can find a tutorial to fully build it, maybe with Win7 (arrghh, strongly prefer Mac OS). Then maybe another tutorial about install jriver to serve music stored on a NAS connected via enet . thoughts?

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I run the 54250 model (headless), ethernet wired, USB HD for music, SSD for OS, JRMC 19, JPlay, running Server 2012R2 with Phil's AO. And for just music playback, no issues what so ever. You can even run in CORE mode with this model. Win 8.1 also plays nicely with this model. The 3 series NUC can also run Win8, but they are only i3 and I prefer the faster i5 in the 54250.

 

If you want to have the board in a fanless case (like Akasa or other vendors), make sure to just by the board and not the kit (case and MB).

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Maybe it would be a simpler start if I configure a NUC as a regular win7 PC , dedicated for music. (internal ssd for OS, external HD for music files), use dbpoweramp to rip CDs, and download hires tracks to it, use Jriver player. this way I wouldn't try (at first) to connect to my iMac. I guess it would need its own monitor, keybd, mouse, but I'd want to operate it from an ipad. Does that seem reasonable? any downsides? If so, then the NUC seems like a cost effective, compact computer for this purpose.

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Maybe it would be a simpler start if I configure a NUC as a regular win7 PC , dedicated for music. (internal ssd for OS, external HD for music files), use dbpoweramp to rip CDs, and download hires tracks to it, use Jriver player. this way I wouldn't try (at first) to connect to my iMac. I guess it would need its own monitor, keybd, mouse, but I'd want to operate it from an ipad. Does that seem reasonable? any downsides? If so, then the NUC seems like a cost effective, compact computer for this purpose.

 

You will only need a keyboard and monitor for the initial set up. You can use remote VNC software or Remote Desktop to access the server headless after you set it up. You can configure the system for auto logon and have your music server auto start. The only time you will be connecting to it is for maintenance or to change settings, JRemote on your IPad will control the Player.

 

regards

Bob

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