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Which Computer?


groberts
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I've been using a Toshiba  P70-B-10T Intel i7 laptop for day-to-day use in my study, which also means it's my main computer for image processing using the usual PixInsight + PS etc.   Last Friday it stopped booting up and after looking at it over the weekend my computer man (who has saved me from such problems many times before) now thinks it may be the Graphics Card (AMD Radeon R9 M265x 4GB) and cannot be replaced i.e. time to look for a new computer!

Before I start trawling the internet I thought I'd ask here if anywone could point me towards something suitable - laptop or PC (mini?) running Microsift Windows i.e. not a Mac.  As I now do more and more image processing using PixInsight, PS, Topaz AI Denoise etc the size of the image files has grown so it needs to be something with the capability to handle this + decent screen >=17" LED backlit or similar, +/- 16GB RAM, +/-2Tb SSD disc, +/- 4 ports USB 3.0 & 2.0, + a higher spec Graphics Card that can handle the current version of Topaz AI Denoise etc. -

Graphics Card (GPU) OpenGL 3.3 or higher required.
Nvidia GTX 740 or AMD Radeon 5870 (higher series graphics cards recommended)

It doesn't have to be a laptop but because of space not too big a PC i.e. probably rules out full size tower.

Any recommendations / thoughts much appreciated.

Graham 

 

Edited by groberts
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Just a few thoughts, I would not bother having USB 2 ports and look for a machine that has USB 3 with additional USB C ones.

Some laptops can have three disc drives in them so I would opt for a 512 Gb SSD for say the OS and software and a similar one for work in progress with a large HDD for storage.

Worth having a browse at the "gaming" machines on offer as they will generally fit the bill regarding possessor/RAM and Graphics card.

Alan

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There are hundreds of ex-business refurbished laptops on Ebay available from dealers, if you do not wish to buy new. You should be able to find one of a suitable spec, provided it is in business use and not just aspirational. I just bought one cheaply with astro in mind - it is several years old but has USB3 ports, 8GB of RAM, i5 processor and 256 GB SSD.  You may not get a SSD much bigger than this even in a new laptop - some have 250GB.  The ten year old laptop I was using has a 500 GB hard drive, but these are no longer a standard fitment. According to the manual, my new purchase has connections inside for a hard drive as well as the SSD, but I have no plans to try fitting one.  Instead, I will just move the files off to a desktop more often.   Adding a hard drive would increase the power drain and reduce the battery endurance out by the telescope.

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It's pretty easy to put a larger SSD into a laptop - you can simply clone the old disk (using freely available software and copy it to the new one). A good 480 GB SSD only costs around £50 and a 1 TB SSD around £80 or so - I personally tend to use Samsung SSDs. You can also put an SSD into an old laptop which had a conventional hard drive, and these laptops may be available to buy much more cheaply. 

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