Small Form-Factor PCs


Who has purchased or built a small form-factor PC to run Cantabile?

How does it compare on cost/performance to similarlly-specced laptops?

Any other relevant insight you could provide?



I bought a $150 atom based PC to run Cantabile and QLC+, but I’m only using it for playing backing tracks. Can you expand on what you’re looking to do with the PC?

What do you mean with small factor? Is MINI-STX (14x14cm) small enough? I have one running an i7-7700k. Stunning!!

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Good question by FantomXR… Is an NUC PC considered small form factor? It’s the size of a paperback and sits nicely in my gig rack. As a Core I7 with 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD it is more than man enough (so far) for the task…

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I need to run Cantabile with a variety of soft synths loaded.

I’m currently running Win10 on an i5 laptop, 32GB ram. typically around 200 samples in the buffer.

Most of my playing is with Addictive keys, with Kontact being a close second. Heaviest CPU load is my OB-X model.

Ah, that’s a new one. I’ll have to look into that.

What do you do for a monitor? Are there multi-monitor options?

I’d be interested in experiences with the case as well as cpu/mobo. I started trying to build a mini-stx, but due to cooling issues, moved to 1u then 2u for a huge quiet fan. Still overheating playing outside (OK its almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside here in Austin, TX).

Hi. I’m using the GeChic 1303i touch monitor that Neil recommended. Not cheap but an excellent device, and very nice resolution. I have the Quiklok tablet holder to get it onto my keyboard stand.

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Not sure if you are referrring to the NUC? So far it has been fine, but we do not get those sorts of temperatures in Wales! I was thinking about getting a fan I can stick in the rack case if needed, even one as a temporary lash up if essential.


I’m working with a “start up” that will be bringing this unit to market. It’s just a small build Win10 pc with desktop performance and laptop portability. This unit fits in a 1U rack soft case. Specs are for this unit shown is 3.4 GHz 8 core; upto 64 Gigs of ram; C: drive is a M2 NVME ssd with read /write rate between 1-4Gsec; and up to 2 sata 3 ssd’s. Has a 16 usb powered screen that fits in the outer pouch or use a wearable display that fits on you glasses. I’ve been using that on gigs and do not miss not having a screen. …I normally use 10-14 vst’s with 2 controllers with no cpu glitches I would get with my i7 MB pro!

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