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Help me buy a new laptop


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Now then.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a new laptop (PC).  On it I will be running the usual culprits, PHD2, DSS, PIPP, AS!2, Reg6, but new to me I will be using it for image capture (Firecapture).  This is purely a laptop for use solely on my Astro needs, nothing else.  I have acquired a ZWO ASI120 MM with which I will do planetary, lunar and solar imaging and in the future I will be investing in appropriate kit to do NB DSO imaging.  I have absolutely no clue what I need as I haven't purchased a laptop (PC) for about 9 years and I hate Windows with a passion but I will grit my teeth in this instance.

So please can you advise me on the specification I will need please.  Much appreciated.

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When I was looking for a laptop, I offhandedly ask the Grandson-in-Law and he said he always liked his Toshiba's.

I wound up getting a Toshiba Satellite. It has an AMD processor with 4 core and seems to run everything just fine.

The technology changes all the time, but I always look for two things, big RAM, and a big hard drive.

I also recently upgraded both my desktop computer from Windows 8.2, and the Laptop from Windows 7, both to Windows 10. So they are both on the same playing field, and both have the same astro programs, and same settings between them. I use Tight VNC to wifi the laptop at the mount, to my inside computer. (I also have TeamViewer 11, but hate it's nagging.)

Best wishes for a happy ending!

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On the imaging only front I settled for a Toshiba Kira 13" netbook, not cheap but long battery life and SSD , this is solely for image capture, I process on a bigger laptop or desktop.

When using Firecapture I save directly to  1TB external USB3 drive, easily transportable for processing and saves cluttering up the imaging lappy with videos.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T
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8 hours ago, Davey-T said:

On the imaging only front I settled for a Toshiba Kira 13" netbook, not cheap but long battery life and SSD , this is solely for image capture, I process on a bigger laptop or desktop.

When using Firecapture I save directly to  1TB external USB3 drive, easily transportable for processing and saves cluttering up the imaging lappy with videos.

Dave

Now we are talking. SSD.  What Windows OS do you find most stable and will that OS run the freeware programmes I mentioned above? Thanks Dave.

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Came with Win10 so everything worked on it except my Orion SSAG, so I bought an Altair GPCAM for guiding which also refused to work on Win10 so bought another Loadstar which works.

Currently I have PHD2, APT, Maxim, ASCOM, Artemis Capture and Stellarium and required drivers.

Tried to remove all the other clutter that came pre-installed and switched off WiFi as Win10 keeps trying to update stuff in the middle of the night when you're imaging.

Boots in seconds thanks to the SSD and lack of rubbish, battery lasts all night.

As I only want it for actual image capture I'm trying to keep it clear of unnecessary stuff.

Dave

 

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Just before Christmas'I bought an refurbed HP Elitebook 2560 (oldish now) Core I5, 8gb Ram, 500Gb hardrive, DVD RW. Blisteringly fast even without SSD, and the great thing is external swappable batteries that don't cost the earth, so you can carry a couple of spares with you.

On Win 10 platform, running ASCOM, AstroEQ, PHD2, Sharpcap, Stellarium no probs.

Just over £100.

Edited by roblegion
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try browsing through amazon laptops,some good cheapies on there

http://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-EliteBook-6930p-Professional-Refurbished/dp/B014SVCE8C/ref=sr_1_5?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1457003994&sr=1-5&keywords=laptop

if its just for basic imaging rig,i would avoid the stores ie:pcworldrobberies

some still have win7 on them with ability to get win10 free upgrade should you want to,but as davey-t has said it wants to upgrade all the time with updates

and does so in the background hogging resources,or continually wants to run windefender app

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Just check that the USB is capable of actually coping with the frame rates and resolutions of your cams.

 

I got a Lenovo T410 - and it can't handle a QHY5l-II at full resolution and 30fps - best i can get is 15fps. Handles everything else just fine

 

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12 minutes ago, ngwillym said:

Just check that the USB is capable of actually coping with the frame rates and resolutions of your cams.

 

I got a Lenovo T410 - and it can't handle a QHY5l-II at full resolution and 30fps - best i can get is 15fps. Handles everything else just fine

 

Good point but I wouldn't know how to go about that.

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

Came with Win10 so everything worked on it except my Orion SSAG, so I bought an Altair GPCAM for guiding which also refused to work on Win10 so bought another Loadstar which works.

Currently I have PHD2, APT, Maxim, ASCOM, Artemis Capture and Stellarium and required drivers.

Tried to remove all the other clutter that came pre-installed and switched off WiFi as Win10 keeps trying to update stuff in the middle of the night when you're imaging.

Boots in seconds thanks to the SSD and lack of rubbish, battery lasts all night.

As I only want it for actual image capture I'm trying to keep it clear of unnecessary stuff.

Dave

 

By the way, did you give up on running everything on your MBP via Bootcamp?

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