Is anyone out there running all 8 panadapters full-time with no lag, etc? What are your computer hardware specs? I also want to run other apps (multiple copies of jt65, etc) along with other software, skype, IRC chat, facebook, etc ;-)
I used to build computers for a living but it's been a while. Gotta catch up with technology and see what is out there. I'm open to suggestions for something that can drive all 8 panadapters with no sweat.
I am sure you will get lots of responses. But I have a machine that I built in Feb this year.
AsRock Z87 Extreme9/ax LGA1150
32GB Ram RipJaw X Series
Sapphire Dual-X Radeon R9 270X 2GB 256MB
Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
HighPower Astro PT 700W, Digital, 80+ Platinum PSU
Corsair Force SSD 512GB (Boot)
6 x Barracuda 2TB Drives
Runs SmartSDR and everything else I can throw at it while also running 4 virtual machines, visual studio, Skype, PhotoShop, Lightroom, Teamviewer and multiple browsers of different flavors.
I don't use it as my primary SmartSDR machine, but when I want to fire it up while at a loose end - it does not break a sweat at all.
I built a Shuttle PC for the FlexRadio:
A Shuttle XH61V with a 512GB SSD, 16GB Ram and an i3-3245 (4000 series Graphics)
Indeed, its not a spec that will do anything near what the above will, but copes with SmartSDR and all the HAM Radio apps you can throw at it without breaking the bank. A big departure from the latency laden days of PowerSDR.
The new computer is a new Intel 8-core 5960x with a Asus x99 ROG Rampage motherboard, and a asus 980 graphics card, and 16gb ram. Yeah, this thing is a beast. And, it runs SmartSDR like a beast too. No problems running all 8 panadapters at full screen 4K resolution with several JT65 decoders/spotters in the background while watching a full screen 4k youtube video.
For anyone interested, here is the parts list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/68rZGX
The second reason is that these actually take up a lot of space inside the case so you can often find they are not the easiest thing to install. After installing a few, you get the hang of it but how many of you install a few.
Third, comes the air flow controversy. Corsair (the most recognizable brand of these devices) actually recommends that you have air from the outside of the case being pumped into the case, which is the opposite logic for most other fans, especially in the areas where you will mount the radiators. I had one customer take a computer damaged in shipping for repair (out of country) and the repair guy reversed it even when I gave him the url to corsair's website explaining why you wanted to have the cool air from the outside of the case being pumped into the case. Beware if you don't follow the instructions exactly.
Finally, I have had one case where the cooler obviously leaked some fluid on the motherboard. That was my last one I installed.
I find the old-fashioned coolers are MUCH quieter and reliable. YMMV,