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Best Astro Laptop for under $600?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 jragsdale

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:18 PM

Been racking my brain trying to track down a new laptop for general use and also astro work. Primary goals are capturing planetary so very fast hard drive, size irrelevant as I can upgrade later. Second goal would be raw processing power for stacking and post processing. The new Ice Lake laptops are out now so my mind is reeling on what would be the best for my limited budget. I figure you guys will know though, thanks! -Jordan



#2 ericthemantis

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Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:48 PM

How about these?

 

https://www.bestbuy....RAM~8 gigabytes

 

8th gen i5, 8+ GB Ram, SSD harddrive.



#3 jragsdale

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 12:20 AM

Just a hair over budget but what do you think of this guy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y6P817F

 

10th Gen Ice Lake Processor +  512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive + 12GB RAM



#4 jragsdale

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 01:15 AM

Or this for $430 after a $50 coupon: https://www.staples....roduct_24393907



#5 RedLionNJ

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 06:26 AM

Just a hair over budget but what do you think of this guy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y6P817F

 

10th Gen Ice Lake Processor +  512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive + 12GB RAM

Shows as $599.97 to me - not over budget at all! :)

 

That looks perfectly reasonable for the tasks defined, to be honest.



#6 ericthemantis

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 02:17 PM

SSD would be more than adequate for what you are asking, no need for NVMe unless you want the laptop to startup in <3sec. Might be able to save some money if you can find a similar laptop with a SATA SSD. But yeah that amazon linked one seems more than adequate.



#7 Tulloch

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 05:38 PM

FYI my 8th generation i5 laptop has both an SSD and a standard HDD. I've saved Jupiter data at 250fps to both drives, with no difference in performance.

 

Just sayin ...


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#8 Eric Seavey

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 01:53 PM

Most new laptops have SSD and USB3.  USB3 is actually most important.  I have been using an old Dell E6420 that only has USB2, but when I bought an express card with two USB3 ports, the performance was night and day.  On Amazon you can get many "refurbished" Dell E6440 laptops with SSD and USB3 ports that are fine. Maybe it is me, but I feel more comfortable taking a used laptop outdoors with weather and dust than an nice brand new one. 


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#9 jragsdale

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 06:42 PM

USB3 is actually most important. 

Yeah, 3.0 is definitely a prerequisite. I was actually hoping to find some with USB 3.2 but it is still so new. 10gbps would be amazing, and will certainly be coming down the pipe soon. I know I could utilize it, hell, I could utilize 20gbps if I could get it! High MP ISS transits of sun/moon the more the merrier!



#10 Eric Seavey

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:12 AM

Yeah, 3.0 is definitely a prerequisite. I was actually hoping to find some with USB 3.2 but it is still so new. 10gbps would be amazing, and will certainly be coming down the pipe soon. I know I could utilize it, hell, I could utilize 20gbps if I could get it! High MP ISS transits of sun/moon the more the merrier!

Yes, to a degree that is true, however, you also have the camera's output bandwidth limit.  If the camera is a 3.0 standard, then that will be the limiting bandwidth thru the bus. Then there are other things of course.  Most cameras have cache to reduce lag.  On my QHY168C camera, I actually am getting banding if I pump data too fast.  This is not likely to be an issue with bright object, but for DSO, I actually slow down the usb speed. I would say that having a "business" laptop that is somewhat rugged is the way to go in the field, as conditions are a little rough.  I have been using a used Dell 6420 for years, in the freezing cold and damp conditions, and it is still purring.  Check out Amazon, they have a ton of refurbished laptops.


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