I went down the mini-computer (Intel NUC) route simply because the original Raspberry Pi wasn't powerful enough to meet my needs. LIVE stacking of multiple short exposures requires far more computung ooomph than single long exposures or post processing type stacking. At that same time, Atik's Pi based solution also wasn't powerful enough for LIVE stacking for my high resolution Atik Horizon. However, Pi has since been upgraded hence why AtikAir and ASIAir and similar are now viable options for those seeking an all in one box solution. But I wonder, for how long will this status apply given the trend towards ever more demanding cameras or if you add more devices outside of your current scope of peripherals? Will they be supported?
To be fair, I had to upgrade my i5 NUC to i7 as my computing demands grew when I added more devices and functions , but it was an easy upgrade path . I am not locked into Atik or ZWO software and cameras. Sharpcap does have a learning curve, but it is (IMHO) superior to Atik Infinity and ZWO ASILive. Both are are great for beginners, but too limiting as your skills grow. For example, Infinity doesn't offer dark subtraction and even if I upgraded to Atik Dawn and Dusk software they won't support my ZWO cameras. Similarly ASISuite won't support my Atik. The joy of Windows based solutions is they tend to be universal, and that is where (IMHO) a mini-computer is superior to Pi, Android or IOS. Yes, there are solutions such as Windows emulators, but it just adds another level of complexity and compatibility challenges.
From within SharpCap/Windows I can manage everything for all of my cameras/mounts/devices from different manufacturers, including focus, slew directions and Platesolve because of how it integrates with CPWI and autofocusser software. I previously used Sequence Generator Pro,, but given the recent significant price hike I now can't justify its expense. But only it and Maxim DL offer more features than the inexpensive Sharpcap.
In summary, if you are reasonably skilled, I think the flexibility and freedom of the mini-computer route is better. But if you need simplicity, then ASIair and AtikAir etc offer benefits. But I was hugely frustrated that Atik Infinity software didn't support my ASI 294 forcing me to learn Sharpcap. But it is probably the best thing that has happened to me as it opened a new paradigm of opportunity. I'm hence glad my choice was mini-computer to give me a more flexible base from the outset.
Edited by Noah4x4, 02 October 2020 - 03:52 AM.