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Graphics card for 4k monitor for image processing

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#1 Gert

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:30 PM

Hello all,

 

So I am buying a 4k monitor for my desk PC mainly for home office work and all tasks astro-image-processing.

Turns out, my desk PC does not support 4k. However it has one PCIe x16 slot. (No I'm not going to buy a new desk PC)

I will plug a graphics card into that one.

Now it's about >20yrs that I was shopping for graphics cards. Been using the chip-built-in graphics ever since.

 

So what's a good choice today for a 4k capable card with major priority on astro-images.

* Great color capability & stability

* No flicker or wavery screen images

* Somewhat low power consumption (my desk PC has mini enclosure and power supply)

* Reasonable price

 

The monitor I'm getting to match the card (if such metric exists) is Dell U2720Q.

 

Thanks for helping,

Gert

 

PS John asked about the PC config. This is the box :

http://skywatcher.sp...ad/SH87R6EN.pdf


Edited by Gert, 09 July 2020 - 08:00 PM.


#2 jdupton

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:43 PM

Gert,

 

   Since this is going into an older PC, you should also specify how large of a Power Supply your system has and whether you have any free PCIe Power cables which will plug into the top of the card. Lastly, you need to measure the maximum length of PCIe card that will fit into your free slot. Many cards are too long to fit into compact PC cases.

 

   These things will drive your purchase choices. Almost any current or recent production card will drive a 4K monitor. For image processing, nearly any card will work. None of the astrophotography image processing software I am aware of currently needs or uses the graphics acceleration engines that are important for PC gaming applications. A $50 card will work just as well as a $1000 card assuming they support the 4K monitor resolution and you do not plan to do heavy gaming on the same PC.

 

 

John


Edited by jdupton, 09 July 2020 - 07:53 PM.

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#3 WarmWeatherGuy

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:43 PM

I bought this last December for its price, being quiet, and having 8 GB. Radeon Rx 590 Fatboy 8GB


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#4 DuncanM

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:55 PM

Hello all,

 

So I am buying a 4k monitor for my desk PC mainly for home office work and all tasks astro-image-processing.

Turns out, my desk PC does not support 4k. However it has one PCIe x16 slot. (No I'm not going to buy a new desk PC)

I will plug a graphics card into that one.

Now it's about >20yrs that I was shopping for graphics cards. Been using the chip-built-in graphics ever since.

 

So what's a good choice today for a 4k capable card with major priority on astro-images.

* Great color capability & stability

* No flicker or wavery screen images

* Somewhat low power consumption (my desk PC has mini enclosure and power supply)

* Reasonable price

 

The monitor I'm getting to match the card (if such metric exists) is Dell U2720Q.

 

Thanks for helping,

Gert

We need the exact computer name and model to determine internal graphics card compatibility.


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#5 Gert

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 08:05 PM

Hello Again,

 

I found the below compatibility list on the manufacturer website. So what would be a good / economical / low-power choice from the list ?

 

The PC  is : Shuttle XPC  SH87R6.

http://global.shuttl...?productId=1707

 

SH87R6EN_graphics_list.jpg

 

Thanks,

Gert


Edited by Gert, 09 July 2020 - 08:09 PM.


#6 ccs_hello

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:00 PM

@ OP

 

First thing first.  You migt have to think it hard to see why you must use the 4K monitor in 4K mode.  It could work perfectly fine in FHD resolution 1920x1080.

 

The reason I ask this is: most of the astrophotography related software, unlike gamng or VR type of software, AFAIK do not use GPU for accelerated processing or CPU offloading.

That is, the AP software's processing tasks will still be landed on your (old) Intel CPU.  If your PC is old, the CPU may have have enough power left for 4K AP work.  If it does not have enough RAM, it's going to be even worse.

 

P.S. if it's just for displaying 4K images (while the main image processing task is done elsewhere), that is a different story.



#7 Noah4x4

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 01:19 AM

@ OP

 

First thing first.  You migt have to think it hard to see why you must use the 4K monitor in 4K mode.  It could work perfectly fine in FHD resolution 1920x1080.

 

The reason I ask this is: most of the astrophotography related software, unlike gamng or VR type of software, AFAIK do not use GPU for accelerated processing or CPU offloading.

That is, the AP software's processing tasks will still be landed on your (old) Intel CPU.  If your PC is old, the CPU may have have enough power left for 4K AP work.  If it does not have enough RAM, it's going to be even worse.

 

P.S. if it's just for displaying 4K images (while the main image processing task is done elsewhere), that is a different story.

This is 100% correct, but it's not just an issue with older computers. Much depends on the load on the CPU.

 

I bought a 7th Generation i5 Intel NUC with Intel Optane 4K UHD graphics and was live stacking the 48mb frames generated by my 16 megapixel camera and transmitting them wirelessly to indoors.  OK, this is extreme use, but my processor crawled. Perhaps that is OK for AP, but useless for EAA.

 

The problem is Windows 10 steals System resources when the graphics card is overloaded. I tried doubling my RAM, but didn't enjoy real time performance until I upgraded to an 8th generation i7 with 16Gb RAM. 

 

If all you do is capture data for later processing and are prepared to wait hours for stacking to complete you might be fine. But beware if trying to live stack 4k high resolution output on a slow processor with limited RAM. Disk storage might also be an issue. Ideally you need a large capacity SSD. Older machines have small HDD that are too slow and will fill quickly if used with 4K UHD data.



#8 Gert

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:54 AM

Hi,

 

This is 100% correct, but it's not just an issue with older computers. Much depends on the load on the CPU.

 

I bought a 7th Generation i5 Intel NUC with Intel Optane 4K UHD graphics and was live stacking the 48mb frames generated by my 16 megapixel camera and transmitting them wirelessly to indoors.  OK, this is extreme use, but my processor crawled. Perhaps that is OK for AP, but useless for EAA.

 

The problem is Windows 10 steals System resources when the graphics card is overloaded. I tried doubling my RAM, but didn't enjoy real time performance until I upgraded to an 8th generation i7 with 16Gb RAM. 

 

If all you do is capture data for later processing and are prepared to wait hours for stacking to complete you might be fine. But beware if trying to live stack 4k high resolution output on a slow processor with limited RAM. Disk storage might also be an issue. Ideally you need a large capacity SSD. Older machines have small HDD that are too slow and will fill quickly if used with 4K UHD data.

That's correct. Ram (32G) and 1T SSD are there. That's why I'm not planning to change the PC. Not running Windows 10. Mostly Win7 or Linux Ubuntu. (means that the graphics must also support Linux!)

 

Any recommendations for graphics cards based on above compatibility list?

 

Thanks & Clear Skies,

Gert


Edited by Gert, 10 July 2020 - 02:54 AM.


#9 albusmw

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:21 AM

Are you sure PlateSolve2 gets focal length and pixel scale correct?
Focal length 0 is a very common error, it must be either in the FITS header or the command line argument.

You can also try to keep PlateSolve2 open with the keep open check and see what information it has.

 

Good luck

 

Martin.



#10 ManuelJ

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:06 AM

Those are old cards. I'll recommend you getting the fastest one second hand (search for benchmarks). I think it may be the GTX 970. 4k editing is very demanding on graphics card.

I have a GTX 1660, and it was a game changer.

Beware the power requirements, they are very hungry.

#11 AIP

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:34 AM

Most importantly before buying, What PSU do you have?


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#12 pfile

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:02 AM

one thing to consider is whether or not your PC has EFI instead of BIOS. because you are running windows 7, you might need an old card. but an old card might not have EFI compatibility. sometimes you can flash a graphics card with a newer firmware which is EFI-compatible,

 

hopefully because the PC is old it has BIOS and that will not be a problem for older video cards. but that might preclude newer video cards. i dont know if new video cards have both BIOS and EFI compatibility or just EFI.

 

but i think you may be stuck with older video cards due to using windows 7. not sure if drivers made for windows 10 will work with windows 7?



#13 Epox75

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 11:03 AM

I agree with AIP, check you PSU wattage and the PSU wattage requirements of the video card and also the output cables of your PSU: how many 6 pin jacks, how many 6+2 pin jack and how many 8 pin jacks you have available. 

 

I have a GTX 1660 TI, newer and medium tier, it requires a 8 pin jack. Before that I had GTX980, older and high tier, and it required 2x8pin jacks.  

 

Video cards don't play a big role in astro image processing besides visualization so unless you don't want to do video editing or gaming I wouldn't care much about the power consumption, the card will probably run most of the time at a small percentage of its full power. 

Anyway any medium tier video card produced by AMD or NVIDIA  in the past 5 years, should be more than capable of 4k visualization. 

 

Edit: i see you have a 300w PSU, that's a bit low, check this thread on Tom's Hardware forum : https://forums.tomsh...t that it uses.


Edited by Epox75, 10 July 2020 - 11:07 AM.


#14 Gert

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 01:11 PM

Hello All,

 

Below picture show the power supply with remaining power plugs and the spot where the graphics card would go. The PC boots with BIOS. What graphics cards can be recommended?

 

shuttle_pc_20200710_105723s.jpg

 

shuttle_pc_20200710_105914s.jpg

 

 

Thanks,

Gert



#15 pfile

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 01:33 PM

Hi Gert those attachments didn't come through...

 

rob

 

edit: maybe it is just me?


Edited by pfile, 10 July 2020 - 02:20 PM.


#16 Epox75

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 02:01 PM

Hello All,

 

Below picture show the power supply with remaining power plugs and the spot where the graphics card would go. The PC boots with BIOS. What graphics cards can be recommended?

 

Thanks,

Gert

There's the GTX 1650, it requires 300w power, supports 4k resolution and has a 6 pin connector. I see you have one available. I can't tell from the specifications of your PC if you have a PCI express 2.0 or 1.0, anyway in both cases you will have a slight performance loss compared to the 3.0 slot. Thou I guess this difference will be noticeable only when the card is at full workload. 

Some older model like the GTX 1050 requires 300w and supports 4k. Anyway in both cases I'm referring to the vendor specifications. There's a list here based on tests, if you pick one model that may work on your pc, check for the maximum resolution supported. If it supports 4k then it may be a good choice. https://www.realhard...vos/Page362.htm

As soon as you install the video-card, make sure to disable the integrated graphics from the BIOS.  


Edited by Epox75, 10 July 2020 - 02:16 PM.


#17 nimitz69

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:01 PM

i just finished setting up an $1,100 desktop system solely for PP with Pixinsight and purchased the cheapest graphics card there was since its basically irreverent to processing photographs .... now if you're a gamer that's a different story ....


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#18 Gert

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 03:03 PM

Hi,

 

I called the PC manufacturer 'Shuttle' support phone. Nicely within short moments a tech-guy answered and told me to go with GeForce GT 1030 cards. (Nice support work)

 

Amazon has this one among others, (this says 'low profile' which I like for the compact PC box)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071DY2VJR

 

Is it OK for 4k 60Hz and astro-imaging-stuff  with the Dell U2720Q ?

 

Is there an appropriate KVM switch available? I assume my old one doesn't support the 4k.

It only has DVI connector. (I need to share the screen with my work laptop)

 

Thanks,

Gert


Edited by Gert, 10 July 2020 - 03:04 PM.


#19 pfile

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 04:58 PM

on the amazon page there is a spec sheet PDF and on that PDF it says:

 

4096 x 2160 x 24bpp @ 60Hz

 

so you should be good for 4K.

 

i dont know about the KVM, but i'm sure you can find one that's appropriate for 4k on amazon as well.

 

rob



#20 Gert

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:59 PM

@pfile

 

Thanks for finding the spec sheet. I had missed that before. That's great. The spec says 30W TDP which is nice and low and will help the small box PC. Also confirms 4096 x 2160 x 24bpp @ 60Hz. It says in footnote to use HDMI 2.0 which I expect the Dell monitor to support.

 

The spec sheet PDF refers to PNY card while the Amazon page says Gigabyte. But photos are the same, probably the same card is sold under two brand names.

 

Thanks for helping!

Gert


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#21 tomb18

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:04 PM

In my opinion, a 27" screen is way too small for 4K. Given that most astrophotography software  doesn't really do much with graphics other than just display it, you can always just zoom in or out on a HD display.You will see no difference with a 4K screen at 27".

The first thing you will notice is that the text on the screen and in the applications is just way too small to be useful.  You will then need to up the DPI to 200% at which point there is no difference at all over a regular HD display.

Where 4K really becomes useful for astronomy software is when you can actually have your desktop at 4K.  You can then have 4 times as much screen real-estate to see the images you capture, the atlas, the graphs for the autoguider etc.

So, buy a 40" 4K TV. a few $100 and you will enjoy it much more.

Once you have used it you will never want less.

Tom



#22 Bart Declercq

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 05:36 AM

In my opinion, a 27" screen is way too small for 4K. Given that most astrophotography software  doesn't really do much with graphics other than just display it, you can always just zoom in or out on a HD display.You will see no difference with a 4K screen at 27".

The first thing you will notice is that the text on the screen and in the applications is just way too small to be useful.  You will then need to up the DPI to 200% at which point there is no difference at all over a regular HD display.

Where 4K really becomes useful for astronomy software is when you can actually have your desktop at 4K.  You can then have 4 times as much screen real-estate to see the images you capture, the atlas, the graphs for the autoguider etc.

So, buy a 40" 4K TV. a few $100 and you will enjoy it much more.

Once you have used it you will never want less.

Tom

I disagree - I'm somewhat nearsighted so I have to wear glasses, but I _have_ 2560x1440 27" monitor and a 4K 27" monitor side by side - the difference is quite obvious. And setting the DPI to 200% changes the size of the icons and other interface elements, but doesn't change the actual pixels, so you'll still be looking at your images in 4K resolution (and it is glorious!)

A 40" 4K tv you'll need to put much further from your face for it to be pleasant to use, so you'll end up in pretty much the exact same situation, just taking up a lot more space in every direction.



#23 pfile

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 10:44 AM

@pfile

 

Thanks for finding the spec sheet. I had missed that before. That's great. The spec says 30W TDP which is nice and low and will help the small box PC. Also confirms 4096 x 2160 x 24bpp @ 60Hz. It says in footnote to use HDMI 2.0 which I expect the Dell monitor to support.

 

The spec sheet PDF refers to PNY card while the Amazon page says Gigabyte. But photos are the same, probably the same card is sold under two brand names.

 

Thanks for helping!

Gert

yes, what happens is that nvidia and AMD create reference schematics and even reference board designs and put them out there. then the chinese/taiwanese companies pick these up, tweak them a bit and mass produce them.

 

so it is not unusual to see stuff that looks the same coming from different vendors. what's important is the amount of memory on the card and which asic is being used.

 

rob




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