What are our hardware options when using Onyx?

To date, all we’ve been using is a MacBook booting to Windows 8 with a mouse, keyboard, and a single external display.

Needless to say, we’re a bit limited…or that’s what I think at least.

Our budget is being poured into camera gear right now, so we’re limited regarding what we can do to upgrade the lighting hardware.

By default, we are upgrading our computer system to Windows 10 Pro on a new PC.

So, here are a few questions:

  1. Are there any PC specs that are an absolute need (RAM, Form Factor, GPU, etc.?)
  2. Would adding a touch-screen monitor improve our experience, or just complicate it.
  3. Would it make sense to have a touch-screen and a console for control, or just a console?
  4. Is the NX Touch an ample controller, or should we go bigger?

Context: 38 fixtures. So far, one universe. A typical Sunday incorporates MIDI triggers from ProPresenter to fire off one or more of about 10 different playbacks.

We have 4 movers (2 wash, 2 spots) and the rest are washes or ellipsoidals. On occasion, we need to quickly program new functions or scenes (wedding receptions, etc.)

With only a mouse and keyboard, it seems like a pretty slow process.

Thoughts? Thanks!

Hey Jon,

So you have some options. We run several PC setups and Consoles in our facility and here’s what I’d recommend. First, I’d take a look at the minimum systems requirements and the hardware that was built into the NX4.

They can be found here.


https://obsidiancontrol.com/nx4 - Look under hardware tab towards bottom of page.

With that said, I would recommend a touch screen, and at least 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and an i7 processor. Form factor is your preference. I’ve used desktop workstations and laptops. If it’s an installed environment a desktop might be preferred. Also, an all in one touchscreen may be an option for you. However, I do like the ability to have the option to switch out “components” if something fails. Like if a monitor acts up I can just switch it out. Or if the desktop crashes, I can plug in a laptop.

If you have a touch screen that will definitely speed up your workflow. But I do have volunteers that prefer the mouse and keyboard. So I would have both options available.

The NX-Touch is a nice console surface or even and NX-Wing (or the older M2PC). It really depends on your workflow. If you are currently using a mouse and keyboard, just going to a touchscreen and an NX-Touch will be a great setup. However, if you’d like to have a physical keypad and parameter encoders then I’d look at the NX-Wing.

Whatever options you choose, start with a more powerful of a PC as you can. You can always continue to add control surfaces and hardware (Obsidian / ONYX is a very scalable system) as you continue to grow.

Hope this helps,


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Thanks! So we’re waiting on delivery of an Intel NUC i7 with 256SSD and 1TB 2.5 with 16GB Ram and support for I think up to 3 external monitors. We also went ahead with both options a) a touch screen display and b) the nxtouch. I think it will work out. We’ll see what happens when I put it all together.

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@arretx I was wondering if you can provide an update once your setup is complete.