Netbook/ Laptop choice?

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Looking to use my 6500 and Maestro together with a netbook or laptop running CW Skimmer and N1MM+. I'd appreciate any advice on either proven/recommended netbooks or indeed those to avoid. RF 'quietness' is a prime consideration for me. Thanks in advance....Paul M0CVX
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Paul Bradbeer

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Posted 2 years ago

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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Paul,


I faced just such a dilemma when I first bought my 6500.

After much research, I settled on a Microsoft Surface Book with the i7 processor, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

It runs SSDR and every other amateur radio application that I could want (including WSJT-X, HRD, FLDigi and various memory management programmes for my Icom VHF/UHF rigs and also everything I need for my KX3 etc).

It is dedicated to amateur radio and is accessible remotely from anywhere in the world by VPN.

An expensive solution no doubt but I felt it was worth it!

You're welcome to visit and play if you're so inclined!

David G4NRT
(Edited)
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Paul Bradbeer

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Hi David, thanks for the offer, it sounds like quite a machine! To be honest, I just want something I can use for cw skimmer and logging, which isn't too big and can be close (easy eye scan) to the Maestro. I'm wondering if here is a popular choice out there...Maybe DXped groups? Loving the Maestro by the way. Regards Paul
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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The great thing, IMHO, about mine is that I can separate the two halves and sit on the sofa downstairs having QSOs using it as a tablet!

Horses for courses, I guess!!

David G4NRT
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Steve Gw0gei

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Thanks for the info David - i am considering a surface pro 4 i7 to replace my i3 elderly laptop in the shack. The new break out box should allow me to connect my 42inch hd tv and expert amp too, but have the option of taking the touch template downstairs via wifi.
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Lawrence Gray

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I use an off-lease refurbished Dell E6410 core i5 with 8GB RAM and a 200GB SSD.  The laptop was $259 plus the cost of the SSD.  I have it in a dock in the shack, but can just pop it out to move around the house.  I run Win7/64.  I run SSDR/WSJT-X/FLDigi/NetLogger/NiMM/CW Skimmer....  The laptop is loafing most of the time.  

No real need to spend huge bucks on a laptop.

Larry, KC1DAD
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Mike va3mw

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For the most part you buy anything you can find today for what you can afford and be good to go.  The key part is how do you de-crapify it so it works like it should.  I used to spend hours killing services, etc.  Go for any Costco model and if you don't like it, you can return it up to 90 days later. 
 
Then, one of our guys at work (we are a high tech company) suggested to run AVG PC Tune up.  I didn't believe him, so I gave it a try.  Funny thing, is it actually did work.  

I tried the free version first my wife's.  (Why would I try mine first ;) ).  A very noticeable improvement.   I liked it so  much, that I subscribed to it.  

My 2 cents.  For me... money well spent.

Mike va3mw
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Norm - W7CK

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How about something like the new Dell XPS 13 with an i3 processor.  Does anyone know if this will be up to running SmartSDR, logging program, cw skimmer, DDUtil and maybe DM780?   I tend to be focusing on the smaller CPU because of the much improved battery life.  I'll gladly go for an i5 if it really is warranted.

Anyone using an i3 laptop and running lots of programs along with their SmartSDR?

Norm - W7CK
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I don't know about that particular i3 processor. By my Lenovo Ideacentre K410 desktop has an i3 with a passmark rating do right at 4000. The video card I added has a passmark of about 650. It runs everything just fine on my 6500, including a couple of digi programs, loggers (both n3fjp's ACLog and N1MM+, and Internet dx watch, pstRotator program, and more, all at the same time.

Check your processor against the passmark ratings. Some i3's are faster than some i5's. And for the 6000 series, video card speed can be more important than brute force cpu power.
(Edited)
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Norm - W7CK

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Thanks Ken.  I'm guessing the desktop i3 is a different beast than the laptop i3.  That is good news though!  Thanks. 

Hopefully someone else has an i3 laptop they can report on. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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About two years ago I ran a demo of the 6500 on my wife's Fujitsu laptop with an i3 and it ran ok. It had a passmark about the same as my desktop. This was before some of the added features came to the 6000. I also didn't load it up with lots of extra programs. So I don't really know how much it would handle under stress. But it handled everything I put to it, including remote audio.
(Edited)
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I'm using the XPS-13 but the i7 version. Video is fine and it works great, but it's a bit more $$ over the i3.  I've used it remote several times and for FL QSO party buy just plugged the radio into a TP-Link AC1750 router and worked the radio inside via 5 GHz WiFi 100% (unless I got to far away). Even linked my Bluetooth head set to the laptop.  I like the XPS-13.
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DrTeeth

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I have a bog standard Acer Aspire 5575G that I bought a few years ago (3-4?), before the time I re-tookup ham radio. I have a 6300 rig and that runs fine off both the integrated Intel graphics chip and the nVidia card. Cannot speak for a 6500 with the extra graphics demands. I have just replaced the HD with a fast SSD. It only speeds up disk activities (of course). Though the old hard disk was a bottleneck, it was not that slow that I HAD to get an SSD; nor is the SSD that faster. Initially, I would save the money and put the saved funds into other areas of the hardware.
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