Recommendations for a mini-pc?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Baylo
Posts: 154
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 26 May 2024

Hi all,

My music pc recently gave up on life after 10+ years of sterling service. It was a self-built Intel i5. I initially thought I'd replace it with my laptop, but that's not really working out great for various reasons.

So instead I'm contemplating a mini-pc. There seem to be some compellingly powerful and pretty cheap options these days - from the likes of Minisforum and Beelink though these seem to be targeted at gamers. More established brands like Lenovo and Dell have more expensive options that seem to be targeted to offices. My ideal device would have plenty of ports, be whisper quiet, and be reliable for its primary/only purpose: music.

Does anyone here have any experience using one of these for Reason? I'm not doing any particularly heavy lifting, though it would be nice to have something quicker than the pc that died! I have Reason 12, a bunch of REs, a handful of VSTs (eg, Ozone, BBCSO), a Nektar Panorama, a couple of MIDI'd devices and an SSL2 interface.

Any recommendations or experiences are welcome. I know a Mac mini is an obvious suggestion, but I was hoping to stick with Windows for the sake of compatibility and familiarity. If possible, I'm targeting ~$600 budget.

Thanks in advance!

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miyaru
Posts: 641
Joined: 28 Oct 2019
Location: Zaanstad, The Netherlands

Post 26 May 2024

Does it has to be small and maybe portable?

If not, stick to normal formats...... This is more cost effective, $600,= ain't much to build a decent PC!

Also the bigger housing of a normal format can house liquid cooling, to keep things quiet and cool easy.
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason12, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

Baylo
Posts: 154
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 26 May 2024

Thanks for the reply! It doesn’t *have* to be a mini-pc format - it’s been years since I bought a desktop and this was a new form factor to me that seemed to be getting some great feedback. My interest was piqued and, since I rearranged my hardware layout to accommodate the laptop experiment, this seemed like an easier substitution.

Plus, knowing that I could do 90% of what I needed with a 10+ year old i5, I figured that I likely didn’t need to worry about liquid-cooled, high spec machines. ;-)

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DaveyG
Posts: 2599
Joined: 03 May 2020

Post 27 May 2024

You haven't said how you PC died. Given that it was self-built is there anything that can be reused to make a new one? You might get away with replacing the motherboard/CPU/RAM and maybe the boot disk.

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jam-s
Posts: 3128
Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 27 May 2024

For mini PCs going the used/refurbished route can be quite a cost effective option. But keep in mind that a small case usually comes with the disadvantage of small fans that have to spin fast and thus are more noisy when they have to get rid of heat under heavy load. Used/refurbished desktop PCs from tech companies might be another alternative if they are not too old (e.g. from Dell or HP) as they usually have quite good thermal design and quiet operation demands as they are used in offices.

Heater
Posts: 903
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 27 May 2024

Yes. An M1 Mac mini.

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3945
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 27 May 2024

Heater wrote:
27 May 2024
Yes. An M1 Mac mini.
Nothing will be quieter than this. At least for the moment. While pcs are just now starting to move to ARM with the new Qualcomm chips, it'll take a while for those to be widespread, and afaik they aren't as heat efficient yet compared to Apple's M series chips, and thus not as silent, yet.

Also, have heard that water cooling is actually very loud 😂 louder than regular PC fans.

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bxbrkrz
Posts: 3916
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 27 May 2024

Baylo wrote:
26 May 2024
Hi all,

My music pc recently gave up on life after 10+ years of sterling service. It was a self-built Intel i5. I initially thought I'd replace it with my laptop, but that's not really working out great for various reasons.

So instead I'm contemplating a mini-pc. There seem to be some compellingly powerful and pretty cheap options these days - from the likes of Minisforum and Beelink though these seem to be targeted at gamers. More established brands like Lenovo and Dell have more expensive options that seem to be targeted to offices. My ideal device would have plenty of ports, be whisper quiet, and be reliable for its primary/only purpose: music.

Does anyone here have any experience using one of these for Reason? I'm not doing any particularly heavy lifting, though it would be nice to have something quicker than the pc that died! I have Reason 12, a bunch of REs, a handful of VSTs (eg, Ozone, BBCSO), a Nektar Panorama, a couple of MIDI'd devices and an SSL2 interface.

Any recommendations or experiences are welcome. I know a Mac mini is an obvious suggestion, but I was hoping to stick with Windows for the sake of compatibility and familiarity. If possible, I'm targeting ~$600 budget.

Thanks in advance!
My best advice is to keep an eye on that YouTube channel. This is what they do professionally. Mini Pc, portable game consoles, etc. The latest and greatest. @ETAPRIME 1.18M subscribers

https://www.youtube.com/@ETAPRIME/videos
757365206C6F67696320746F207365656B20616E73776572732075736520726561736F6E20746F2066696E6420776973646F6D20676574206F7574206F6620796F757220636F6D666F7274207A6F6E65206F7220796F757220696E737069726174696F6E2077696C6C206372797374616C6C697A6520666F7265766572

avasopht
Competition Winner
Posts: 4024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 27 May 2024

I've got a Dell Micro with a 10th-generation i5 CPU and an M1 Mac Mini. Both were used, well priced and awesome!

I've performed live with the Dell Micro with a 5" screen and without any screen.

Without a screen, I configured it to log in without a password and automatically launch Maschine. The musicians thought the Maschine was a standalone device.

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Re8et
Competition Winner
Posts: 1532
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 20 Jun 2024

This maybe? If anything Windows, otherwise a M1 mini is the clear winner in anything else.
A custom i3-1200F pc build is cheaper anyway than this mini.
Some mini has Intel Arc mini graphics cards also, which is a step up in terms of 3D graphics, some ot the newest
Intel NUC I believe has them, but there are a tons of builds out there. Price ranges also spikes up quite easily outside
Mac mini territoy.


https://www.bee-link.com/collections/mi ... er8-8845hs

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