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I have decided to not head down this road! I was going to do an enhanced custom version of this with OS installed and provide setup. The numbers are not there for my business to proceed. Here is what I think is a better way for everyone. I am looking at a way to source a semi-custom fan-less NUC endpoint or server running the NUC7i7DNxx board (Dawson Canon). I am proposing a product that would use this board with a case and an SMPS. There would be a couple of configuration options that include memory, Optane SSD, possibly WIFI. The hardware would have a 1 year warranty that could be extended for a fee. The system would include a license an support for AudioLinux. The current thinking is to provide time limited online and phone support to get the product going on the end user's system as a part of the cost. I am trying to gauge interest. There are several ways that this could go. I am open to suggestions. Think of this as a Raspberry Pi in theory. One step above buying parts at Newegg. No Soldering required. You will still need a display, mouse, keyboard for setup. It might not work with your DAC or your whatever. The final cost is not determined. Bob NOTE I am a managed service provider and this is a possible extension of my business.
I currently use a CAPS v3 (Intel Atom processor, etc) as a Roon end point in my listening room. It uses Audiophile Optimizer in its core mode on Windows Server 2012 r2. After considerable tinkering with the registry, I got the ASIO driver that supports the exaSound e12 DAC to start automatically at boot. The machine also has an JCAT Femto USB card. The USB card and SSD are fed by a 5vDC linear power supply, which also supplies 12vDC to the Atom motherboard. In addition I'm using one of Paul Pang's SATA cables to connect the SSD to the motherboard. This setup sounds pretty nice, but I'm tempted by the idea of trying Roon ROCK on a NUC, on the theory that Roon's customized Linux OS would be even cleaner and thus sound better than stripped-down WS 2012r2 with AO in core mode. Some questions are: (1) Has anybody already made such a switch (or something similar) and have any thoughts on the SQ improvement, if any? (2) Is there a fanless NUC that will run Roon ROCK? (3) Does such a NUC support an add-on USB card?
I read about this device recently, and it is described as an endpoint. Roon newbie questions; what is the difference between a Roon Server and a Roon Endpoint? if I store my music on a NAS, do I still need Roon Server hardware, or is Roon Server software that I can install on my Netgear Ready Cloud NAS?