Building PC platform

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
Looking at building up a new PC system to run SSDR (6500) and Photoshop CS5 of CS6.  For PS the images are large (500 mpixel - 16 bits per RGB -->  gigabyte files - scans from 8x10 film).
Not sure if the GPU matters much to PS for still photography but for SSDR it obviously does. hHmmm since 1.4 has reduced ethernet traffic can one infer less GPU loading?  Probably dangerous assumption.  Also - No interest in any 1D, 2D or 3D games.

 This C{U box + the 6500, think it should have:

Graphics card - make / model.  Want a  256b wide GPU.

two (Gb) ethernet ports, one dedicated to the Flex (other to internet). 

Blue Tooth capable

Stereo Audio card?
    A 24 bit / 96bps 2-channel audio interface (USB based) is in shack already but maybe audio should physically  be in the main CPU box - less wires / less chance RFI ingress / egress. 

Intel chip set _ I7  |  I9 cores?

Thanks your expert opinions.

k3Tim
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 803 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
  • OK

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Too much is made of the need for GPU grunt IMHO. I can run SSDR 1.3.8 just fine at FULL FPS without a burp with my 6300 on the integrated graphics chipset in my laptop, the Intel 3000 HD. The *only* reason I choose to run it on the internal nVidia graphics card (630M) is that the memory sharing tricks the Intel chip does plays havoc with fast Flexcontrol scrolling - I've tuned below 0Hz!

Photoshop may use 3D acceleration techniques, some of my lesser graphics programs do - again, performance of the card not much of an issue.

You'll be fine with any mid-range sweet spot graphics card. Network activity is not related to graphics card performance, it's to do with the screen display. There have been, IIRC, graphic optimisations in SSDR to reduce the graphics load.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 8672 Posts
  • 3261 Reply Likes
Guy, with only two max panadapters for a 6300, the integrated GPU is OK.  With a 6500 or 6700, it can become overloaded running 4 or more panadapters and a decent graphics adapter is important.
(Edited)
Photo of John n0snx

John n0snx

  • 229 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
I agree Tim... no reason to over kill and waste the money.... The money you save could be a start for a second Flex...hihi
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
Got it now Tim.

Best wishes.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 640 Reply Likes
I still don't think it matters much. Where gpu discussions heat up is with complex 3D graphic transforms and 'realism' displays, Ray tracing, hidden line, life-like faces, etc. I believe virtually any sub $100 video card will work fine. The real question is, will running all four or eight panadapter simultaneously be a real world use case? One can spend thousands of dollars on a high end card. I find an AMD Radeon $67 R7 240 works just fine.
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
my fanless PC with its HD5500 chip set runs 4 slices without a hitch .. save the cash!
Photo of Terry K8EET

Terry K8EET

  • 88 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
A computer capable of running Photoshop C6 will have little trouble with SSDR.
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 803 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
Thanks guys, I think all the other goodies that maybe / should be included are in the list at the start of this thread.  

May ask Tim to look over the final h/w list.

Regards,

Tim
 
Photo of John n0snx

John n0snx

  • 229 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
K4TIM

   I bought my Dell off ebay a lot cheaper than it cost to build one...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-OPTIPLEX-760-Core-2-Quad-TOWER-COMPUTER-PC-WIN-7-PRO-64-BIT-DVDRW-8-GB-...

Just a thought... Been using mine for over 2 years now... only upgrade I did was a new video card..

No need to go thru the hassle of ordering and putting it all together when these machine are ready to use ....
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
I like putting my own pieces together as I like speccing my own machine. My first and last Dell was a Pentium 133 with a 1.6GB h/d (IIRC) - it came with Win 95. Would never buy a Dell again, too much proprietary stuff and dumbed down BIOSs for my liking. In the old days when I needed support, it sucked.
Photo of KF4HR

KF4HR

  • 428 Posts
  • 114 Reply Likes
Hi Tim - I'm a Flex newbee (only had it a week) but in this short period of time it became quickly apparent that SmartSDR requires (and automatically captures) a lot of PC resources to operate my 6700.  My shack PC is an Intel i7 machine with 8gb of ram and a high end video card. 

Prior to buying my Flex I had numerous USB PC connections for DStar(DVP), Wires-X, Satellite operations, station control (multiple rigs) etc, with all connections happily playing well together.  After loading SmartSDR I'm now fighting a battle of PC resource conflicts. (And I have no idea why SmartSDR added 62 Flex sound card ports, rather than 40, as it should.) 

Don't get me wrong, no complaints against Flex, I love the radio and I'm having a ball with it, but it's becoming obvious I need to seriously start thinking about a dedicated PC for it.   

Back to the thread subject.  If I buy or build a PC for my Flex I certainly wouldn't want to create a bottle neck with an inferior video card, CPU speed, or memory, so I'm also curious to know what the minimal PC requirements would be (for a 6700), or to know what [PC specs] other 6700 owners are working with.   

KF4HR (Edited)
(Edited)
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
see my article on fanless PC's ... I think half the problem people have with PC's and SSDR is the rest of the stuff thats already installed! 4 slices on a fanless PC HD5500 chipset works fine ... not a hiccup inc working N1MM and CW skimmers  at same time
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 803 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
This thread is from Jan 2015 when I was new to the 6500.  The PC was shuddering.  The changes in SDR since then have decreased the load on the PC hardware significantly. I ended up with a Xeon E5-2650 @ 2.3GHz (20 cores), 128GbRam and an Nivida GeForce GTX980.  SDR doesn't burden the system.  :-)

I set 64Gb aside as Ram Disk (RD).  Running Photoshop from RD with it's scratchpad there smokes!.  A 1.5 Gb file copied from SSD to RD takes ~1 second.

I agree with Simon (post above).

k3Tim
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 803 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
This is a 10 cores with two hyperthread, sorry for my mistake.  The Windows performance graph shows 20 "CPUs".
 
Of course, it runs SSDR w/o problems.  Large (>1gb) image files( 8x10 film scans) in Photoshop are no problem either. Fortunately, Win10 was able to still use the SCSI drum scanner that is from the previous century.

Regards All,
Tim
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 640 Reply Likes
Yep, to the OS, Windows or Linux, a hyperthreading looks like a processor (CPU). But its important to know it really isn't. The actual processor supports a degree of parallelism in the execution pipeline. Hypervisors can make excellent use of them but for the average user, its about 20 percent of a real processor. Still, you could rent time on it. Look into and consider project Condor, or Folding @home.

Tim, did you build that or is it a Dell PowrrEdge?
(Edited)
Photo of k3Tim

k3Tim

  • 803 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
Hi Walt,
The box was built up by Aztek.com out of Irvine, CA.  Gave them some basis specs "fast and mean and not lean"....  :-)
Long ago I wanted my parents to mortgage the house and start a computer timeshare business.  That didn't happen needless to say. It might be interesting to take a fresh look at this however.
Thanks for the info about folding, I will look into that as the gear is running 24-7.  Running their project on the RAM disk would save the SSDs.  BTW I have turned off paging to also save the SSD.

Again thanks for the info about folding...

Best Regards,

Tim
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 640 Reply Likes
:-) I would have mentioned SETI@home but that often produces eye rolls. Doing molecular testing on widely distributed processors basis I feel is quit laudable. It is the same framework as seti.
also Condor is a distributed research environment that facilitates worldwide university research projects.
(Edited)
Photo of Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

  • 1687 Posts
  • 387 Reply Likes
I have BOINC running 24/7, for the World Community Grid, currently number crunching for a Cancer Markers project.