After trying out the 6000 series at Dayton, have opted for a Flex 6500 which will I think require an upgrade from my present shack computer (Intel Core 2 Duo CPU @3Ghz, 4GB RAM and NIVIDA GEForce 9800 -600mhz/512mb video card).
I believe this is marginal for running the Flex.
I am contemplating this system on sale at my local computer shop:
A4-6300 APU 3.7GHz , Asus A55M-E Motherboard, Integrated AMD Radeon HD 8370D,y4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
And add either a GeForce GT610 CSM 2GB PCI-E GeForce GTX 750 Ti SuperClocked 2GB PCI-E for a graphics card
Thoughts? I did read the helpful videocard comments on the Flex community.
However, if you've got the money, the specs you provided will make for a nice computer!
I would not go with the CPU as you are buying an integrated CPU and video controller. If you are not going to use the video controller, you are really throwing away half of the CPU (plus its not a particularly powerful CPU to begin with).
While you are not doing all of the computation involved in powerSDR with a SmartSDR-oriented computer, it is not a "very light" system to run, especially when you add the DAX audio channels into the mix.
Finally, you are buying a computer so it makes some sense to buy a decent computer that will last you for years instead of the slowest machine you can buy that could run SmartSdR. Remember you will likely be running SDR, CAT, DaX, a logging program, a digital program and a web browser all at the same time. Its just not powerful enough to invest in.
The A-series processors are in that "slowest chipset you can run" category. The FX-series AMD CPUs are much more powerful at a lower cost than any of the Intel chips. If you really need to buy the cheapest machine, look for a computer with an FX-63xx or FX-83xx CPU. These are great for the money, offer a lot of processing cores and should be good for years to come and will run 120-160 USD. For instance, the Passmark benchmark score for the FX-6300 is 6,377 ($120) while the A4-6300 has a score of 2,165 and retails for $50. Its just too small to invest in. The FX-6300 is 3 times more powerful (and still not a very fast processor).
I would be more than happy to send you a good computer configuration if you email me your relative price range. Then you can take it to your computer shop and see what they would charge to assemble it.
Send me your cost requirements to nealk3nc at gmail dot com.
Oh, one more note....I was one of a few that purchased a Radeon R7 260X video adapter, thinking it would be the "cats meow", only to find it will not work with SmartSDR. The folks at FRS are looking into it, and it appears it might be a Windows7/AMD driver issue, but I reverted back to onboard 8670D video with no issues.
Apologies for taking so much bandwidth, but I wanted folks to know that you can successfully run SmartSDR via embedded graphics on the processor die. AMD and Intel both offer this type of configuration.
At the time of my 6700 purchase, I thought just keeping my old Core2 Duo would be adequate -- and it was until I started running a half-dozen other programs that work in tandem with SSDR. I would recommend getting the best performance you an afford. You may not need it now, but you'll likely need it in the future when you see how cool SSDR syncs up with so many utility programs.
Here is something you can try. Passmark provides a benchmarking program that you can run for 30 days at no charge. It will provide an overall performance number for your system and a lot of details on the specific components and sub-systems.
A few of us are collecting the data to see if we can determine a ballpark threshold for good performance when running SSDR. Early indications are it will be around 1,500 but that depends on several factors.
- video performance metric (which is one of the many specific details provided and factors into the overall score)
- the number of other programs you run concurrently (browsers, email, streaming video, etc)
- how your use SSDR and the related programs in your situations (4 panadapters and 4 CW skimmers will obviously take more resource)
Email me for details and more information if interested.
We are also looking for more feedback (numbers and user experience) from others.
- What is your passmark number
- your system description
- how it performs in you SSDR situation.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
AT form factor desktop (i5, GTX 750 ti, 8 GB). Same screens and applications. 4 pans open with multiple slices per pan. FlexControl keeps up scrolling lubber line or pan. 3D Passmark around 3600. In 2 days no lockups. CPU around 20% and GPU baseline at 10% with slow creep to 40% and back down to 10%.
Subjectively I am much happier with the GTX750 video card performance than the HD5000 integrated graphics. Can't comment yet on how DAX and digital mode software or skimmer will affect the mix.