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Old 21-02-2013, 10:40 AM
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New computer for observatory

I need a new computer for my observatory.... the smoke was let out of the prior one a while back!

I intent on running nebulosity to drive at this stage my old DSI-II, and hopefully in the near future a better/newer CCD (likely QHY/Atik).... Given I use OSX completely elsewhere I'm gathering advice on any specific system requirements I should look for in a new machine.... I'll probably do most imaging processing on my MacBook Pro inside, and really just want the obs PC for image capturing, and maybe basic web access.....

Any reason to slant towards AMD or Intel, or any particular processor/RAM etc ??- I'm not used to such choice when buying a computer!

I've put this thread here because of its relation primarily to astrophotography.... I won't be offended if it is moved....
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Old 21-02-2013, 12:40 PM
acotiga (Andrei)
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I recently bought a Pentium 2.4Gb, 500 Mb RAM and 40 Gb hard to run the EQ6, The Sky, Maxim Dl and do plate solve. It is more than enough. The price you ask? 80$ with display and all and this is Christchurch. I imagine that on ebay you could get one for even less.
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Old 21-02-2013, 12:45 PM
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whzzz28 (Nathan)
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Are you going to be running planetarium software?
If not, then any basic PC will work.
For instance:
- Intel i3 CPU, whatever is cheapest
- Cheap mobo, any brand
- 4gb of RAM (cheapest)
- case that looks good for you
- 400W~ PSU
- 1TB HDD or whatever size you want.

Should be able to build that for $300-$400 or so with cheap parts.
An atom processor machine will work fine as well if power consumption is a concern.

If you are planning on running planetarium software that is image heavy, such as Starry Night pro, then you will want to add a graphics card to that.
An AMD 7750 for around $100 will be good enough.

PC's dont need to be very powerful for astrophotography. Only planetarium software is really power hungry, except Cartes Du Ciel which has no graphics

If your after a prebuild PC then take a look at a cheap Dell or system built by a PC store. Dell do make some really cheap basic machines that will work well.

If your after a tiny PC to throw in a corner, you can get some prebuilt and barebones from this company:
http://mini-box.com.au/barebone.html
http://mini-box.com.au/complete%20kits.html
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Old 21-02-2013, 12:48 PM
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I agree. Cheap and second hand. Remember it may get quite wet with dew.
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Old 21-02-2013, 01:09 PM
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lazjen (Chris)
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Depending on your skill level, you might want to look at using something like a Raspberry Pi (approx $45). It's a small unit with ethernet, hdmi for the display connection, usb to connect to storage, etc.
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Old 21-02-2013, 01:15 PM
Poita (Peter)
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Whatever you decide on, if you are on a budger, grab a 60GB or 80GB SSD for the boot drive, it makes everything so so so so so so much better to use, even for something as simple as a basic PC, and is the best <$100 you will spend.
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Old 21-02-2013, 02:19 PM
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Colour is over-rated

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry B View Post
I agree. Cheap and second hand. Remember it may get quite wet with dew.

I think that is why I need a replacement.... I've just fired the obs up after a 5yr hiatus, the other computer blew the RCD when I turned it on! Had more than a little bit of cockroach poop in it.....
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Old 21-02-2013, 02:21 PM
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Colour is over-rated

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Thanks guys, this is exactly the info I was after....
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