Prebuilt Quiet PC 2021

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:18 pm

Prebuilt Quiet PC 2021

Post by dbfrese88 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:12 pm

Hi! I've been browsing through SPCR, mostly in this prebuilt and SFF forum, and haven't found much current discussion in this area. Looks like most people here are into building their own, but I'd like to avoid that if I can, and go prebuilt (please don't laugh) with a budget of maybe $500 or so.

I need a new PC, and will be using it as a DAW for voiceover work, so I'd like it as quiet as possible. I might be able to isolate it somewhat from the recording area, so it might not need to be totally silent (Fanless). I prefer it to have an SSD anyway. I will not be using it for gaming, just recording audio and perhaps some video editing and using Word, Excel etc.

So the question is, is there anything "off the shelf" that I can get that will fit the bill? I've been looking at the fanless builds available on Amazon, but I'm leery of brands that I've never heard of before, and also wary of buying off of Amazon from sellers that I have no idea of their true reputations, and unless the PC comes "DOA" it is not even returnable even if it doesn't perform as expected.

It doesn't have to be fanless, but a pre-built model with ultra quiet fan(s) would be awesome too, and that might be more do-able with my minimal $500 or so budget.

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Re: Prebuilt Quiet PC 2021

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:08 am

Welcome to SPCR.

Most of your tasks don't require much cpu horsepower at all (unless the DAW work is using lots of channels, audio doesn't use much). Video editing can and will use as much CPU as you can throw at it. For $500, you are looking at maybe an Intel i3 based solution. Asus has some mini PCs sold as a pre-built system. The sweet spot for you might be the PN60. Has an I3-8130U, so not the latest gen part. But, good for your audio work. I have not found any quantitative info on the quality of the internal fan or it's profile. There are some qualitative reviews saying you can't hear the fan for light duties. Asus claims 19dB idle. It looks like you can outfit it for your price range. The 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD version could be your sweet spot.

It looks like it shares the same case as the PN50 (and if you had a higher budget I'd say go for this one) and Akasa announced a fanless case for the, you might ask Akasa if the case is compatible.

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