Choosing a fanless computer for recording

Not sure this is the best forum to post this kind of question, but at least the community is friendly :slight_smile: (and hopefully does not frown on such a question).

Does anyone here own a fanless computer that they use for their home recording? I am looking at what is out there and wondering about the prices, seeing some sexy-looking models (albeit more expensive than conventional desktops).

My interest in a fanless computer is mainly to reduce noise during recording.

Can you maybe recommend a good brand? What kind of specs should I be looking at for DSP? Do I need a multicore processor? How much memory is sufficient? I would probably be running Ubuntu Studio or Mint Linux if that makes any difference.

Lots of good information based on careful testing at
I’m not fanless but I have an Antec P150 case (still available rebranded as the “SOLO”) which is very quiet as well as being a very nice design to work with. The PC is also under my desk and surrounded by sound absorbing foam. You may need to build a system from the components. If you are looking for ready-made your choices might be rather limited.
Fanless power supplies and CPU heatsinks are available if you really want them, but a well designed system with quiet fans can be good enough.

Multicore processors help. Ardour 2 could use two cores, while Ardour 3 can use as many cores as you have. CPU requirements depend on how many channels and plugins you are going to run. I’ve recorded and mixed 8 channels on a 2 core AMD 3.3GHz cpu without problems, and I think others have done more with less.
2GB of memory is enough unless you want to load tons of plugins & channels or run other apps at the same time (not advisable for a number or reasons).

Since last week i am also working on to reduce the noise form computer(got an old one and planing to use it for ardour3)… the PSU and the CPU cooler are too loud and it seems coupe of fanless PSUs and CPU coolers found online should be fixing my issues… may be need to replace the HDD with SDD for better acoustic and operational performance…

I have root and system on SSD now, but use a Samsung Spinpoint HDD for /home where all my audio and other data files are. They are very quiet (as are most modern drives) if mounted on a soft suspension as provided by my P150 case.

silent but not fanless are the carrillion computers, check them on the net. they re made for sound applications and i m quite happy with them. Having the computer in another room than the recording room of course always is the best option if possible…

I did a completely different approach: I made a small hole in the wall for cables and placed the computer and UPC in the garage outside the studio. Not a thing everyone can do of course, but is what I did. Now, it’s only my tinnitus that’s making noise, but I think that my ears should be in the studio where I am. :slight_smile: