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Pc for image processing?

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#1 Robstaffs

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 05:44 AM

Hi, fairly new to imaging, I’m using an ioptron skyguider pro with a Williams optics z61 and canon 6d. Feels like my next step up is a PC for processing - at the moment I’m trying muddle my way along using old software like lynkeos on an ageing Mac.
A friend who knows computers (but not astrophotography) has suggested this https://www.scan.co....-ssd-1tb-win-10 which meets my budget......could I get a few opinions here? Is this going to meet what I need to stack and process using DSS/registax photoshop etc? Thanks



#2 terry59

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:58 AM

I couldn't access your link....actually not going to with that warning but, in a nutshell a 64 bit version of the OS, an i9 or ryzen processor, 32+ GB of RAM, lots of hard drive space, but no expensive graphics card unless you play games that need it. A good monitor is important too


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#3 SilverLitz

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:10 AM

PixInsight works best with many CPU cores, a lot of RAM, and fast MVMe SSDs for swap disks, but it currently does not use GPU very much (though there are some add-ons that used GPU for Starnet++).   PI seems to work faster with Linux OS, though most AP software are Windows centric.  Not all post processing software take advantage of as many CPU cores or as much RAM as PI does.  Before using PI, I have had DSS puke trying to stack several hundred subs, requiring me to break the process into smaller stacks and then do a stack of stacks.

 

I like HP Z workstations which are very well made and reliable; Zs are made for 24/7/365 mission critical applications.   Zs are made to handle many parallel processes and address a lot of RAM (mine can handle 1TB of RAM).  Their focus on mission critical applications, leads them to use ECC RAM (error correcting), which has a slight speed penalty compare to standard designs that will allow slight calculation errors.  HP Zs are expensive when new, but very reasonable as refurbs off eBay.  My current driver is a HP Z840 (prior generation of the current Z8 Gen4) and this has 2-Xeon CPUs (each w/ 12-cores), 160GB of RAM, and 2x 1TB HP EX920 MVMe SSDs and runs Windows 10 Pro.  

 

Faster PI machines can be built by using Linux and AMD Threadripper CPUs that have even more cores.  My Z840's PI Benchmark score is 15,720, which is a very good score, but there are Threadripper machines that are significantly faster.

 

AP consumes HD space very fast, with several 100s of large subs for every target, plus all the calibration files.  I also have 4 more spinning HDs in the Z840s hot-swappable bays, to move the files of the targets that I have finished.

 

The use of multiple CPU cores is variable depending on the particular process being executed.  When stacking the multiple filter stacks of a target, I have observed at times all 48 CPU-threads being used, and at some parts only 4.  The use of RAM also varies throughout the process, and I have seen more the 130GB being used at parts of the process.  Even with all my Z840's power running WBPP on a target's multiple filters could take 1.5 hours.  I have heard stories of others that this could take more than 24 hours on a "normal" laptop.


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#4 Robstaffs

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 09:15 AM

Thanks - quite a lot of that is over my head but still helpful. Unfortunately the PC market is not kind to people who don’t speak the language!

#5 terry59

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 12:43 PM

Thanks - quite a lot of that is over my head but still helpful. Unfortunately the PC market is not kind to people who don’t speak the language!

A mentor or 2, or 3 helps in this hobby

 

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#6 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 01:29 PM

Hi, fairly new to imaging, I’m using an ioptron skyguider pro with a Williams optics z61 and canon 6d. Feels like my next step up is a PC for processing - at the moment I’m trying muddle my way along using old software like lynkeos on an ageing Mac.
A friend who knows computers (but not astrophotography) has suggested this https://www.scan.co....-ssd-1tb-win-10 which meets my budget......could I get a few opinions here? Is this going to meet what I need to stack and process using DSS/registax photoshop etc? Thanks

Bit on the light side imo.

Would suggest 16 gb ram, and i5 processor,256 gb SSD., and preferably a sata 1 gb as second disk

 

Have to search also , cause my son will leave the house soon, and will take his machine(s) with him...



#7 tcchittyjr

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 05:40 PM

Bit on the light side imo.

Would suggest 16 gb ram, and i5 processor,256 gb SSD., and preferably a sata 1 gb as second disk

 

Have to search also , cause my son will leave the house soon, and will take his machine(s) with him...

I think, for the price/performance comparison, and AMD Ryzen chip will give you far better performance than any current Intel chip.

 

TomC


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#8 Stelios

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:15 PM

Very simple:

 

You want a fast processor, at least a 9th generation Intel i7. AMD Ryzen is also good. The more cores the better, but at least 4 and preferably 6 or more. 

You want a lot of RAM, at least 12GB. More is better, up to 64GB.

You want an SSD (256MB minimum). Larger is better, up to 1TB.

You will want storage for your images. This can be external, but I would advise a minimum of 2TB of hard disk to begin with. If your SSD is small, then you should have an internal HD.

You *don't* need a fancy video card. Intel graphics are fine.

You will likely need a large monitor, at least 27". Again, the bigger (up to about 38") the better. That's almost a whole separate question.

 

You should be able to get an adequate system (minus the monitor) for about $1,000 and a good one for about $2,000. With $3,000 you will be the King of the World :)



#9 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:06 AM

 

 

 

You *don't* need a fancy video card. Intel graphics are fine.

 

Sure about that Stellios? Allthough i have a bit thesame thinking,

 

You think the on boards intel cards are good enough. It is important to know, euro or dollars saved on that could be used for more RAM,imo 


Edited by F.Meiresonne, 27 September 2020 - 04:06 AM.


#10 terry59

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 05:18 AM

Unless one plays games where frame rates, etc. are important, buying an expensive graphics card for processing is a poor allocation of AP funds. I use my on board graphics, the wife and I play Heroes of Might & Magic and Civilization with no problems but they don't need the speedy graphics either


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#11 Hypoxic

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 06:04 AM

I just built a computer and opted to put a decent video card in it. From what I’ve been reading, Developers are more and more making use of them in processing.



#12 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 09:11 AM

What video card did you choose Joël?



#13 Hypoxic

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:27 AM

What video card did you choose Joël?

Hey Freddy, I installed a Sapphire AMD Radeon RX 580 8Gb 1366MHz.


Edited by Hypoxic, 27 September 2020 - 12:44 PM.


#14 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:36 AM

Mmm,allready  heavy stuff that one...



#15 AAbby

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:38 AM

I just built a computer and opted to put a decent video card in it. From what I’ve been reading, Developers are more and more making use of them in processing.

As they should be.  GPUs are terrifically good at fast computational work.


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#16 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:03 PM

Thanks - quite a lot of that is over my head but still helpful. Unfortunately the PC market is not kind to people who don’t speak the language!

Right you are.

 

I do user support. I know their pains!

 

IT stuff over the years still did not get user friendly and has become even more complicated then in the MS-DOS times....



#17 awong101

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 02:07 PM

OP, you can look into my setup. It's relatively budget friendly I can tell you that novice like us, this machine is overkill. (I originally built it for video editing)

 

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X

Motherboard: ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X-570 + Wifi

Graphics Card: MSI Gaming X Radeon 580 8 GB

Memory: G. Skill Trident 32GB DDR4 3200

Hard Drive: XPG m.2 512GB

 

I haven't been able to even come close to stress it.



#18 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 02:11 PM

Heavy machine....



#19 Robstaffs

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:58 AM

Thanks everybody, lots to consider

#20 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

FWIW , worked with Startools almost the whole day ...still many questions but i checked pc performance....CPU was really occupied , mostly 100 %, memory also....Startools runned out of memory processing +500 mb tiff files, Graphic GPU well,iddle....

 

But version the next  version 1.7 should be working with GPU also so...

 

Bottom line, indeed , for processing having a powerfull CPU seems no luxuary...

 

I  was using an I5, 12 gb ram, an older machine that will be decommisioned within a couple of months...



#21 kyle528

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:34 PM

The Intel vs. AMD argument isn't even an argument anymore, I simply fail to see how people are still recommending to build Intel anymore. Just a quick look at benchmarks and real world applications in high CPU load processes shows AMD is superior, not only in performance, but also in price, and by a large margin. 

 

For running PI, you want a lot of cores running fast. I started with a 2700x 8 core at an 8 core OC @4.5Ghz and am now running the 3900x 12 core with a 12 core OC at 4.35Ghz. Make sure you get a board capable of handling the voltages required for overclocking (1.4-1.45v range--- x570 chipset is good) and a power supply to back it up. Cooling is another thing to think about, AMD chips tend to run cooler than Intel, but any 8 or 12 core chip is going to want good cooling, overclock or not. Fast RAM is nice, good fast RAM can be overclocked with good results as well, either way, you'll want plenty, 32Gb is pretty standard and not too expensive. Nvme drives are best for swapping, but a good SSD would suffice as well. A couple large SSD's or even 3.5" HDD's in RAID 1 are a good idea for archival storage when you get to that point, but something to think about when choosing a case. 

 

Like others said, the GPU is not necessary for running PI, but it's nice to have at least a decent one, and the AMD chips I mentioned don't have integrated graphics anyway. If you look in the right places and find some deals, you could get it around $1k, $1500 if you opt for more drives or a fancy case. 


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#22 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 04:42 PM

Indeed, if i buy a new machine it will not be with an intel....




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