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Astrophotography and Sketching >> DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing

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Skywise2
member


Reged: 08/26/11

Loc: Michigan
Computer for Processing new
      #5591430 - 12/27/12 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!

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dp297
sage


Reged: 12/14/10

Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: Skywise2]
      #5591443 - 12/27/12 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$


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ChrisBeere
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: London, UK
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: dp297]
      #5591476 - 12/27/12 05:05 PM

Yeah that's a solid spec

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akulapanam
super member


Reged: 08/27/12

Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: ChrisBeere]
      #5591668 - 12/27/12 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.


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piaras
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/26/09

Loc: Niagara Region
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: akulapanam]
      #5591710 - 12/27/12 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


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LeCarl
super member


Reged: 03/16/11

Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: akulapanam]
      #5591747 - 12/27/12 08:13 PM

Quote:

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!!!

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!!!

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!

Edited by LeCarl (12/27/12 08:19 PM)


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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: LeCarl]
      #5591884 - 12/27/12 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.


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: Skywise2]
      #5592050 - 12/28/12 12:55 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

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


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dp297
sage


Reged: 12/14/10

Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: mmalik]
      #5592089 - 12/28/12 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.


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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: dp297]
      #5592604 - 12/28/12 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...

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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5592636 - 12/28/12 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


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akulapanam
super member


Reged: 08/27/12

Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5592643 - 12/28/12 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.


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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: akulapanam]
      #5592816 - 12/28/12 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.


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TopherTheME
sage
*****

Reged: 02/11/11

Loc: Rochester, MI
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: akulapanam]
      #5592817 - 12/28/12 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.


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Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: dp297]
      #5592874 - 12/28/12 03:32 PM

Quote:

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


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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: TopherTheME]
      #5593292 - 12/28/12 08:26 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.


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Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5593322 - 12/28/12 08:49 PM

Quote:



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


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piaras
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/26/09

Loc: Niagara Region
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5593375 - 12/28/12 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.


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Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: Computer for Processing new [Re: piaras]
      #5593932 - 12/29/12 08:45 AM

Quote:

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


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TimN
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Computer for Processing [Re: Charlie B]
      #5594102 - 12/29/12 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.


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