Inferring the performance from the size leads to misleading conclusions: even a 1-liter case can pack a lot of computing power, as the devices in our comparison test prove. Modern mobile technology or desktop CPUs with a moderate TDP (thermal design power, power loss class) from AMD and Intel provide enough computing power for most PC activities such as word processing or image editing, but also for smaller video projects. Single-board midgets like the Raspberry Pi with ARM CPUs purely designed to save energy cannot keep up.
But right from the start, one thing has to be clear: physics specifies a triangle with the cornerstones of performance, (low) volume and size, within which you can shift the focus. Without much effort you can only get two of the three factors under one roof.
In practice, this rarely leads to limitations, because where a lot of power is required, it doesn’t always have to be quiet, and where silence is the top priority, the highest performance is rarely required. If this overlap occurs, as with audio processing, you have to spend money to solve the problem. For such special purposes, companies such as Cirrus7 or Prime Computer offer silent, passively cooled computers. Other manufacturers have specialized in equally silent DAWs (digital audio workstations).