Jump to content


Photo

Computer for Processing

  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 Skywise2

Skywise2

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 25
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Michigan

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

We lost our main computer in a house fire and need to replace it. What would you recommend, O wise ones, for image processing--speed, memory, video card? Thanks a million! :confused:

#2 dp297

dp297

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 285
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2010

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:34 PM

Preferably,
i7
8-16GB memory
60-100GB SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD
24 inch screen
1-2GB Graphics card

Shouldnt be more than 1500$

#3 ChrisBeere

ChrisBeere

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 708
  • Joined: 20 Oct 2010
  • Loc: London, UK

Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:05 PM

Yeah that's a solid spec

#4 akulapanam

akulapanam

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 256
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2012

Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

I recommend an Asus g75 laptop. That can give you:
i7
32 gb ram
500 gb solid state drive
3gb 670m graphics card
17 inch screen

For $2,100 from xoticpc.

#5 piaras

piaras

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 819
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Niagara Region

Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

Get an i7 that you can overclock, not a locked version. That way you can get all the potential that you paid for.

My setup is no longer what is currently 1st tier, Sabertooth Z77, small SSD, 16 gig Ram (32 later if needed), 500 gig HD, 2tera network drive, i7-3770K.

OS Ubuntu 12.04.

Started at 3.5 ghz and now at 4 ghz without water cooling. Can be pushed to 5 but will require better cooling if I push it further. No need at the moment.
Pierre

#6 LeCarl

LeCarl

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 183
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2011

Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

I recommend an Asus g75 laptop. That can give you:
i7
32 gb ram
500 gb solid state drive
3gb 670m graphics card
17 inch screen

For $2,100 from xoticpc.


Absolutly agree, my friend have one, the full hd version have MAT SCREEN!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!! WANT, WANT, WANT!!! :roflmao:

I can find it in canada full hd version from 1700cad$ (12gb,
1.5gb 7200 drives...)

Sadly ,I bought an Asus N75s just before the G75 show up
(near same spec, but my N75s have GLOSSY SCREEN!!!! PAIN PAIN PAIN, silver keyboard! wow see my finger on screen, the white of my eyes, backwall reflection! wow! very funny about working on dark images on glossy screen)

sorry about the capslock, this is the worst of the year I think, I work with this sh.... screen all days, annoying as hell!!! :mad:

Other things, the starshoot autoguider absolutly don't work on asus (and some) usb3 port (hopefully it has 2 intel usb2 that work good with it!)

My N75s is really fast (SSD) 8(4 )cores turboed never goes under 2.8GHz full load under DSS (start 1-2 minutes at 3.1GHz)
The computer is very silent/quiet! make near no noise, with ssd is not audible (even in full load, it make no noise at all... and a lot less then my previous lenovo T61p that reputation to be silent/quiet!, it has a 15.6 inch mat wuxga screen! wow!)

I take my N75s with me at imaging, it consume not that much power, between 45W iddle to 80w at full load (high performance/turbo setting) the videocard is optimus so desactived if 3d is not needed (it can go up to 120+W full load on game, the rare time I do this... ;p )

Asus G75+ssd! :grin:

#7 hytham

hytham

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1323
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Northern Tundra

Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

Go with a solid machine because it makes a world of difference when performing post.

The system I originally built for gaming (I'm a kid at heart ... sue me!), but has now taken on a role for learning how to process images:

AMD FX-8150 (8 core cpu)
16GB RAM
1.2GB GTX 580Ti overclock video card
Win 7 64 bit
2 x 1 TB WD Black edition
gigabyte ga-990fxa-ud3 board

Even with the specs above, it's amazing how much resources are still used.

#8 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5402
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:55 AM

I would recommend something equivalent of following (E6530); I just configured it for you for pricing estimate. Note: It is a 'business' line PC from Dell.

On the SSD (Solid State Drive) front, this... is the one of the best drives available at the moment; also comes in 512GB....

I currently use E6510 in dual monitor configuration... for image processing; E6510 used to be a predecessor of E6530 over a year or so ago. Native display on both of my displays is 1920x1080, something I would highly recommend for imaging stuff (requires capable video card). Thx

Attached Files



#9 dp297

dp297

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 285
  • Joined: 14 Dec 2010

Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:59 AM

You really dont want a laptop for processing.
There are several issues pertaining firstly to screen issues and of course available processing power.
You can easily get a powerful system with less money than you would a laptop. And of course, the screen which is essential for processing is absolutely not match for a true 24-27inch LED.

#10 waassaabee

waassaabee

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5149
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Central California Coast

Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:31 PM

I totally agree that image processing is best accomplished on a desktop machine. If you're computer savvy, build one to your spec. I think dp297's baseline is very good, and I'd try to stay with reputable manufacturers. I do 99% of my computer purchases on Newegg...

#11 NeilMac

NeilMac

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3249
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2010
  • Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada

Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Build one, dont get a generic store bought.
Find a reputable store and a guy/girl that knows what their talking about and not some sales person. A machine good for crunching :)

#12 akulapanam

akulapanam

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 256
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2012

Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

I disagree on the laptop vs. desktop issue. The laptop I suggested was $700 less than the Dell and more powerful than the Dell in several areas (RAM, Graphics, SSD). While desktop chips or server chips tend to be faster we use this type of configuration for processing SQL databases and SSAS cubes which are extremely resource intensive. The difference between processing time between a similar server, desktop, and laptop configured like above is minimal.

The laptop benefits from portability and being able to bring it to the field if you have power. If you are concerned about screen size just buy an external monitor for a couple hundred dollars.

#13 waassaabee

waassaabee

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5149
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Central California Coast

Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

I keep waiting for the OP to chime in on if he has a budget, and what are his preferences. Personally, I don't don't like working on a laptop, I use one for image capture only because of convenience.
My perfect world processing computer would be a Apple product of some form because image processing is their strong point and their monitors are the best IMHO. They can emulate Winblows when they have to and in native OS they are rock solid.

#14 TopherTheME

TopherTheME

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Rochester, MI

Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Laptops typically have weaker chipsets and are forced to take slower memory (due to size and power). Laptops are generally slower, even with similar processors. They are designed with energy savings in mind, no computing power.

I'm personally an AMD guy and if I had to build a new machine I would go with an AMD Bulldozer chip. I've got one in my workstation and school and they are fantastic for the money as long as you're running applications that can use up all 8-cores (which DSS and PS do). I'll second Hythams recommendation with the exception of the video card. Image processing doesn't require that much video hardware. I'd put that money towards an SSD.

#15 Charlie B

Charlie B

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Sterling, Virginia

Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:32 PM

You really dont want a laptop for processing.
There are several issues pertaining firstly to screen issues and of course available processing power.
You can easily get a powerful system with less money than you would a laptop. And of course, the screen which is essential for processing is absolutely not match for a true 24-27inch LED.



I use my laptop in the field for computer control of the mounts and cameras. A stand-alone desktop for processing is nice, but not necessary. If you process, like I do, with Pixinsight, you need a minimum of a 64-bit processor and 8 GB of ram. I currently have that and a laptop with an intel i5 processor. I bought it on sale for $499 at Sam's Club.

It processes plenty fast enough for me and I have an external monitor to connect to at my desk.

Regards,

Charlie B

#16 waassaabee

waassaabee

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5149
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Central California Coast

Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

Laptops typically have weaker chipsets and are forced to take slower memory (due to size and power). Laptops are generally slower, even with similar processors. They are designed with energy savings in mind, no computing power.


A lot of merit to that statement.

#17 Charlie B

Charlie B

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Sterling, Virginia

Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:49 PM


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Laptops typically have weaker chipsets and are forced to take slower memory (due to size and power). Laptops are generally slower, even with similar processors. They are designed with energy savings in mind, no computing power.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A lot of merit to that statement.



True, but since I have to carry batteries for all power, I make the trade of low power consumption over speed and a laptop that can carry through the night is precious. It really only depends on your needs. In the best of cases, I would have a powerhouse desktop and a good low-power consumption laptop.

Charlie B

#18 piaras

piaras

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 819
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2009
  • Loc: Niagara Region

Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

My in the field is a 4 yr old laptop with 2 battery packs, Toshiba Sat Pro and at home the PC that I mentioned in the earlier post. (I use the onboard graphics not a seperate video card)
All processing is done at home, the laptop is just used to get the pictures off the camera. In the morning I will review the shots and delete, transfer to either Home PC or if at the observatory, copy onto another drive, either USB stick or USBHD. That way I have a copy, just in case. It has happened to me that a HD fails while on the road, at the worst time and POOF no pictures etc.
When I get to the home PC, the shots are copied to the network drive as well. THEN I delete from the laptop.

I can not compare to a new i7 laptop but a friend has a i7 64bit laptop, mind you it's 2 yrs old, at Christmas he tried a 105 picture stack using PI. After an hour it was up to #48, he aborted and will try again on his PC. I did a 85 picture stack on my PC and it took 241 seconds.

My two cents less taxes - is a good PC and older laptop for in the field, but if money is tight then a very good laptop is ones only choice. Start it processing and grab a coffee and watch the clouds row by.

#19 Charlie B

Charlie B

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 967
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2008
  • Loc: Sterling, Virginia

Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

Start it processing and grab a coffee and watch the clouds row by.



Yep! In such cases, two or three hours processing on a cloudy night is no big deal.

Charlie B

#20 TimN

TimN

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1664
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

A lot depends on how the software is written. It's almost always better to use a desktop for processing - then use a cheap laptop for field work to capture the image.

I use StarTools and the most important thing to it is the number of cores, followed by memory and only then by processing power. So, an i5 in a laptop - which is 2 core - would be worse than an i5 in a desktop - which is 4 core. However, there is less difference between an i5 and an i7 in a desktop - at least where StarTools is concerned. The desktop usually allows for more memory and is easier to modify than a laptop.

Finally, I feel better with my old laptop sitting out in the cold capturing images than I would with a new expensive laptop that I would have purchased to do image processing as well.

#21 LeCarl

LeCarl

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 183
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2011

Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

ahhh. yes laptop is slower, but...
(usually laptop have slowest 5400rpm HDD and stuff...)

Mine have an SSD with I7 (never go under 2.8ghz per core in full stacking, and do a minutes+ at full 3.1ghz)

(this take 1.5 to 3 minutes to stack 20-30 images in DSS sigma clip, with dark)

If you don't have enough memory, it begin to swap file in HDD and this slow a lot the processing

The worst is slow drive...

And... old laptop use 40-60W, new I7 laptop use 40-60watts too but it is 4x-6x more powerful, you have the choice to use way too slow laptop for taking picture, it use near same power at all anyway...

Ultrabook and netbook are far less powerful (they use ssd to improve a bit response) still consume 25-45W... but 2-10x less powerful (atom is 10x...)

I really like to see the result when taking the picture to evaluate stuff in process! (not after) ;)

#22 andysea

andysea

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1542
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:48 PM

I do all my image processing on my 2.4GHz i5 Macbook pro and it works fine. I prefer working on it rather than on the iMac. The only nice thing about the iMac is the 27" screen but I can't work on it while I'm in my chaise longue :)
I'll be getting the retina display model soon.

#23 mmalik

mmalik

    DSLR camera modifications

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 5402
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2012
  • Loc: USA

Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

For those interested, following is the drive/s layout of my dual/multi boot system (Dell Latitude E6510..., Intel i7-640M, 2.80GHz, 1066MHz 4M L2, 8.0GB, DDR3-1333 SDRAM); I have yet to test Win 8 but I use Windows 2008 Server with Hyper-V for running native VMs.

Disk 0 is an SSD: Samsung 256GB 840 Pro Series 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD)...
; one of the fastest SSDs available.

Disk 1 is an Intel SSD and is installed INSIDE the CD-ROM drive bay with the help of a caddy....

Disk 2 is an hybrid SSD/Spindle drive connected via high-speed eSata... controller to an external eSata HDD enclosure....

Disk 3 is connected via USB 2.0 port to an external HDD enclosure....

Note: Disk 1, 2, 3 are just some extra repositories/backup areas; Disk 0 being the real workhorse.

A little about partition structure on Disk 0; Win7 and 2008 are dual boot 'primary' partitions. V: and Z: partitions are just areas for VMs and OS page file/IE cache, respectively.

I use Win 7 (C: partition on Disk 0) for really demanding work of image processing with ImagesPlus and Photoshop Extended CS6.

Feel free to ask you need more information on this setup and/or how to setup your system. Thx

Attached Files



#24 brave_ulysses

brave_ulysses

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 126
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2009
  • Loc: far outside the wire

Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:36 AM

for a monitor, you might take a look at a 27" 2560x1440 korean unit. found one on ebay (shimian qh270-lite), from a us seller, for ~330.

#25 avarakin

avarakin

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1884
  • Joined: 13 Jul 2009
  • Loc: Parsippany NJ, USA

Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

It is good to get an i7 but in reality any modern computer should work just fine, just slower. It is important to know which software will be used. For instance DSS can utilize additional cores so AMD would be a good option in this case because AMD cores are slower but cheaper. If your software can not utilize multiple cores, then Intel would be better because their cores are faster than AMDs.
You should be fine with 4G of RAM and old fashioned spinning drives (not SSD).
Of course if budget is not limited then as others said, go with i7 + 16GB of RAM and SSD storage.


Alex






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics