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Mr niall

How much power should my new computer have?

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Hi all, sorry a rather tedious computing question (im boring myself just asking this ?) I’m thinking of buying a new laptop (or more likely desktop) soon and I must admit it’s  been about 10 years since my last purchase and I’m a little unsure what to look for.

I currently have a HP pavilion with an Intel i3, and 8gb of Ram. It surprises me but it can’t really cope with startools, or photoshop, it’s quite slow and crashy. Mrs Niall and I think it might be broken and are going to send it away for repair (it has other quirks like not thinking it has a network card and crashing completely when unplugged, and not booting up correctly etc) which is a real pain.

So anyway, was just wondering what people thought a sensible minimum would be, or what are people currently using for editing? Budget, as ever, is the absolute minimum I can get away with spending! (Leaves more money for proper scope stuff!)

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Hi Mr Niall,

I just purchased 2 refurbished laptops from Morgan computers, both Dell's as I'm familiar with those, but other brands were available. I see no reason to pay the infl;ated prices for new laptops and they both came with a 3 month warrenty.

For image capture and observatory control I got an i5 4GB RAM Win7 pro x64 (I didn't want Win10 as I read too much about device driver issues for cameras. mounts, etc.) and for image processing I got a more powerful i7 12GB RAM Win10 pro x64.

The combined shipped price for the 2 laptops was just under £700 (i7 £395 ex VAT; i5 £188 ex VAT).

Hope that helps.

Geof

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Hi Mr Niall,

Like you I have been looking into new laptop options. I have a very old Dell that's still going (albeit the battery last about 7 minutes :D )

I have found these guys on eBay who seem to do good discounts on brand new returns.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/eComputers-LTD

Also keep an eye out on laptop sales using www.hotukdeals.co.uk

Just search for laptops and the more "heat" (users rate the deals as hot (good) or cold (bad) then higher temp is better)

USB 3.0 is important so get as many of those Ports as possible.

Im trying to go down the 27" iMac in the study route so I can stay inside :)

Hope it helps and good luck in your hunt!

Murray

 

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Hmmm, I use an older dual core pentium with 8 gig ram, and it copes with both startools and photoshop absolutely fine with no issues at all....also I have an i3 laptop and that copes even better, by that I mean it’s even faster....so not sure what your issue is but if you gave it a good clean up or even a wipe and re install of windows, I bet you will find is perfectly fine.... :)

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if I was after A desktop id go for a ryzen 5 2600 "6 cores 12 threads" or if i was flush a ryzen 7 2700x"8 cores 16 threads" the latter being about the best processer on the market at the money. charl.

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1 hour ago, LightBucket said:

Hmmm, I use an older dual core pentium with 8 gig ram, and it copes with both startools and photoshop absolutely fine with no issues at all....also I have an i3 laptop and that copes even better, by that I mean it’s even faster....so not sure what your issue is but if you gave it a good clean up or even a wipe and re install of windows, I bet you will find is perfectly fine.... :)

Could not agree more with a reinstall of Windows. Works wonders.

https://www.ccleaner.com/ccleaner This is what I use to clean my 

computer. Use the free one. Make sure U untick the box for Google Chrome. 

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I've just done a clean install on both my laptop's, they were win 7 and win 8.1 that had the win 10 upgrade.

They are like different laptops now 

Well worth  a bash !

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If you do buy a new one, then take the hard drive out of the old one, buy a hard drive enclosure off Ebay/Amazon for about 7 quid and you can format it and use it as storage space for whatever you want. I upgraded my laptops to SSD drives 2 years ago and the old hard drives were under the bed since then . Just bought 2 of these and now I can store my raw data and keep the laptops memory clean.

20180609_125748.png

2018-06-09 13.02.21.jpg

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3 hours ago, geoflewis said:

Morgan computers

Wow! Are they still going? I miss the 'Morgan Flyer' every month, I bought my first laptop (Windows 2000) from them and it still works (when plugged in).

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Yeah seeing Morgan computers was a blast from the past - even the website was the same! I remember when I was 20 I built a pentium Celestron 750mhz with 256mb ram and a 16gb hard drive - mostly with stuff from Morgan. The enclosure looked just like a Nokia 3210; it was the coolest and fastest thing at uni - how times change!

Think I’ll go with a strip and rebuild, I can do that easily enough - and sounds like you e saved me from forking out on a new laptop!

thanks all.

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4 hours ago, Mr niall said:

can’t really cope with startools

Hi. A few bits to have a think about? Will it take another 8GB? If so, putting StarTools' database files on an 8GB ramdisk really flies. Or add an SSD drive and put \temp there. The only way I've found to run ST in real time on big images is on a gaming machine: €1000 sort of market. Another trick is to software bin your stack before processing. In ST of course.  HTH.

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52 minutes ago, Mr niall said:

The enclosure looked just like a Nokia 3210

Whoa - blast from the past indeed, we have several custom pentiums made for work back in the 90s that came in uber-cool 'Nokia cases' ?

At one point my work desktop (well hidden under the desk) was the ex-server  complete with a perspex side panel with random coloured LEDs all over the place, including the fans!

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Occasionally ponder on updating my desktop, not been done since it was all singing and dancing upgraded so my grandson could play "Need for Speed" AGPX8 all the RAM it could hold, 17" iiyama flat screen diamond monitor, clear side panels with interior lighting which shows up the coating of dust nicely  :grin:

Dave

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My i7 desktop has 16 GB RAM and recently it's been thowing up "out of memory" errors when processing the 20 mp FITS files from my ASI183, using AstroArt5. May be time for another comp, as it does date from 2011.

Tip: work out how much RAM you think you will need, and double it.

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Hi,

Have a look at the Dell Optiplex 9010 and 9020 series, as well as the HP Elite 8300 series (i7 models). They are regularly sold for (relative) peanuts (check eBay for example - use a coupon if you can find one to get more off the price) once they have been written off by the office, university, government organisation, etc. that - often lightly - used them. The i7 processors in these are very, very capable. They use DDR3 memory which, right now is much cheaper than the overpriced DDR4 memory. Upgrading (if needed) to 16GB of RAM should be very cost effective.

These cases are very compact, but an extra 2.5" SSD drive will fit no problem. SSD drive have recently really come down in price.

If you don't expect the need to fit a graphics card in the future, these machines are an absolute steal and the (IMO and AFAIK) the most cost-effective way to get your hands on an extremely capable photo editing machine.

If you don't have Windows 10 yet, you can get a totally legit OEM keys from eBay for a couple of pounds/dollars; the install media can be downloaded freely from Microsoft. Often times, the machines themselves already come with Windows 10 though.

 

@DaveS

If you are getting "out of memory" errors (in any software), you are likely running a 32-bit version of the software, a 32-bit Operating System or your virtual memory settings are incorrectly configured. Modern Operating Systems (and applications) should never really bother you with an "out of memory" error, simply because they use your hard/SSD drive to supplement RAM (this may slow things to a crawl, but should never really result in an "out of memory" error!).

 

Edited by jager945
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6 hours ago, jager945 said:

Hi,

Have a look at the Dell Optiplex 9010 and 9020 series, as well as the HP Elite 8300 series (i7 models). They are regularly sold for (relative) peanuts (check eBay for example - use a coupon if you can find one to get more off the price) once they have been written off by the office, university, government organisation, etc. that - often lightly - used them. The i7 processors in these are very, very capable. They use DDR3 memory which, right now is much cheaper than the overpriced DDR4 memory. Upgrading (if needed) to 16GB of RAM should be very cost effective.

These cases are very compact, but an extra 2.5" SSD drive will fit no problem. SSD drive have recently really come down in price.

If you don't expect the need to fit a graphics card in the future, these machines are an absolute steal and the (IMO and AFAIK) the most cost-effective way to get your hands on an extremely capable photo editing machine.

 

Thanks pal I’ll look into that.

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Laptop for capture. Desktop for editing.

A relatively cheap laptop will be all you need for guiding & capture. A nice powerfull desktop makes editing less painful. Reserve a good chunk of money for a decent monitor. Working with a good sized, calibrated monitor is better tha n struggling on a 15" laptop screen. You can sometimes tell on SGL that pictures have been edited on poor screens- to everyone they have odd colour castes etc!

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9 hours ago, jager945 said:

Hi,

@DaveS

If you are getting "out of memory" errors (in any software), you are likely running a 32-bit version of the software, a 32-bit Operating System or your virtual memory settings are incorrectly configured. Modern Operating Systems (and applications) should never really bother you with an "out of memory" error, simply because they use your hard/SSD drive to supplement RAM (this may slow things to a crawl, but should never really result in an "out of memory" error!).

 

Well, it looks like AA5 is 32 bit, as I found it in the x86 folder, but my OS is 64 bit Win7 Pro. I had a look in the preferences menu but there was no option for virtual memory settings.

Um, on thinking about this it might be in the System section of Control Panel.

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I've used AstroArt for the past ten years on various machines - no issues....

The website says " Fully compatible from Windows XP to Windows 10.   "

 

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