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First Build graphics editing/mathematical modelling (Resolved)


Best Answer Batbloke , 14 February 2016 - 09:04 AM

Hi Folks, I think I have all I need to get on with acquiring bits now.  I've decided to go down the Intel route and I am either going to build as per the suggestion (even if a little over... Go to the full post »


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#1
Batbloke

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Hi,

 

I'm a geek too...but the biosciences kind.  I have a reasonable (but largely out of date) knowledge of programming but little knowledge of modern hardware.  I'm near Chepstow, in the UK.

 

I've been getting some help elsewhere on this board with a problem I've been haing with my existing PC which died yesterday.  I am paranoid about data backups so nothing was lost as a result of my problems. It's coming back to life slowly....I think.  The experience of being without a PC for nearly two days and not really being able to make any progress with my research has been frustrating and I have decided I'm going to invest in a second PC so I don't get stuck like this again.

 

I'm not a gamer...well, I have been known to play the occasional game for an hour or two but that's not the focus of what I want to do. 

 

Apart from the usual MS Office admin stuff, which can include some larger spreadsheets and Access databases, I mostly analyse wildlife data.  This can be sound files (bats and birds), Mathematical modelling using tools like Matlab and Program Mark, Stats using SPSS or R, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with large, multi-layered maps and, to a much lesser extent, picture editing using Photoshop Premiere Pro but we are talking about short, 10 - 20 minute video clips of animal behaviour rather than feature-film length pieces.

 

I do have a few older, specilst s/w applications which I know run OK in Win 7 Pro and don't want/plan to upgrade to Win 10 anytime yet in case I lose functionality with those.  The only other unusal thing (in this modern world) is that I do have a few older pieces of hardware that I connect using an RS232 serial card.  I will need to replicate that in my new machine too.  USB/serial adaptors have caused me problems in the past.  My current machine has 2 hard drives in RAID 1 and I would like that functionality on my new machine if possible.

When I am using the PC, it's not unusual for me to have 10 or more windows open, simultanously looking at maps, GIS data and be running a mathematical model.

I want to create something that's reasonably quick for the task I have to perform, and with performance that won't degrade significantly when I have multiple apps open.  My budget is from £900 - £1,300.  Any suggestions?  I'm very happy to try sourcing used parts to keep within my budget.  I realise my budget might be too small for my ideal machine...as always in life, compromises may have to be made!

Many thanks in advance.


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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome:   Batbloke,

 

Never been one for RAID configurations so will leave that for colleague iammykyl to help you with along the way, I will put a list of parts together for you to peruse, you mention wanting to stick with Windows 7 for now, no problem with that atm but you will need to purchase new Windows 7 media and accompanying product key, for the same OS that you are running on the present computer Windows 7 Pro will cost not far off £120.00.

 

A reasonable budget there for an Intel build but an AMD build would cost less, can you let us know if you have a preference before I compile your list of parts.

 

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#3
Batbloke

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Thanks for the welcome :)

 

Appreciate your comment about having to buy a new licence.  It's a point well made. Thinking about it, I guess I could try upgrading my old laptop, currently running Win 7, to Win 10 and see if the apps I'm concerned about will still work.  It won't help me check whether my old serial port (and sound cards) will work but I guess I could have a poke about online to see what issues people have been having.  Alternatively, I might just de-install Win 7 from that laptop and put it on the new desktop...the laptop is old, literally held together in places by tape, and should have been given a decent funeral a long time ago I think. Best assume that any software costs are over and above the budget.

 

As far as the Intel vs AMD debate, I'm not really sure that I have sufficient knowledge to make a properly informed decision but, for what it's worth, I've always believed that Intel processors were both more expensive and better performing than AMD.  I might just have picked up and believed someone's hype though so ready to take a more informed opinion than mine. 

 

I hope that answers your questions but do let me know if you need any more.


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#4
phillpower2

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 I might just de-install Win 7 from that laptop and put it on the new desktop

 

You can do this but only if the present product key licence will allow it, was Windows pre installed on the notebook or did you purchase a full retail version of Windows 7 Pro on a DVD disk.

 

AMD Vs Intel is a matter of personal preference as both make very good processors nowadays, AMD processors just happen to be less expensive, they do though require more power and can produce more heat but neither are a problem with the right power supply and adequate case cooking, will do an AMD parts list for you to consider.

 

AMD parts list - an OS here

 

Disregard the compatibility warning for the CPU and MB, I have checked and ASRock have tested and passed the CPU with the board, see CPU support list here


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#5
Batbloke

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That looks fine to me....and the right side of my budget too.  Thank you very much for that :)

 

I'd not come across that site before - looks to be very useful too.


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#6
Batbloke

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Meant to addd that I have the original Win 7 DVD.  The laptop originally had XP on it :)


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#7
iammykyl

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Never been one for RAID configurations so will leave that for colleague iammykyl to help you with along the way, 

 

:wave: Phillpower2, Always happy to help row the boat.

 

Gday Batbloke.

 

If you wouldn't mind answering some question so I can better understand what may be required.  It's quite a bit. 

is the RAID 1 the only working drives in the system?   Using the OS software or RAID card?

What version of Matlab are you using?

R(GIS) with this sort of configuration?  > https://r-arcgis.github.io/

Are you generating 3D maps?

Video clips.   All done on the one Drive?

RS232 serial card, please list what devices you connect.

How do you backup, to, the cloud, NAS, Drive encloser?

Please provide your existing hardware specs.  Thanks.


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#8
phillpower2

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That looks fine to me....and the right side of my budget too.  Thank you very much for that :)

 

I'd not come across that site before - looks to be very useful too.

 

You are most welcome  :)

 

The SSD was included for your OS as it will speed up your boot times, the 1TB HDD intended for data only.

 

Aye a very useful site and flexible as well meaning that you can swap items to suit.

 

JAFYI: An Intel i5 based parts list would come in at around £780 to £800 and an i7 £900 to £1000.

 

 

Meant to addd that I have the original Win 7 DVD.  The laptop originally had XP on it :)

 

That saves you a fair bit of cash then, just be sure that you uninstall Windows 7 from the notebook as soon as you have completed the build, installed Windows 7 and the drivers for the MB and tested the system, once done you should install a good free AV such as Avast or MSE and fully update Windows 7.

 

Please note that you may be prompted to activate Windows 7 over the telephone, no panic if this happens, it is an automated system that requires you to input a code that you will be given, the above does not always happen but can do when a previously activated product key is reused with different hardware or after multiple installs on the same system.

 

 

Never been one for RAID configurations so will leave that for colleague iammykyl to help you with along the way, 

 

:wave: Phillpower2, Always happy to help row the boat.

 

Gday Batbloke.

 

If you wouldn't mind answering some question so I can better understand what may be required.  It's quite a bit. 

is the RAID 1 the only working drives in the system?   Using the OS software or RAID card?

What version of Matlab are you using?

R(GIS) with this sort of configuration?  > https://r-arcgis.github.io/

Are you generating 3D maps?

Video clips.   All done on the one Drive?

RS232 serial card, please list what devices you connect.

How do you backup, to, the cloud, NAS, Drive encloser?

Please provide your existing hardware specs.  Thanks.

 

 

Thanks Michael, as ever much appreciated  :thumbsup:


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#9
Batbloke

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Hi Guys,

 

Hopefully, this answers all the questions...if not, let me know :) I've included a Belarc print below which I hope has all the current system configuration details you need.

 

I believe the RAID implementation is within the motherboard chipset but I'm not entirely sure.  You can probably be more sure from the Belarc print. 

 

I use an open source GIS product called QGIS.  Can't afford ARC and QGIS does everything I need and more.

 

CAD package is TurboCAD Professional. 

 

I would love to do 3D work but have only really played with it...mostly due to lack of knowledge, talent, skill and ability(!).  I don't generate 3D maps or CAD although I do sometimes get sent them by clients.

 

I use the Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox...but this isn't something I use heavily.  Program MARK, which I sometimes use very intensively, is written in FORTRAN.  Some of my models can take a few hours to run on this current machine.

 

Video editing all done on one drive.

 

Currently backup to two external USB drives.  Internet here is 2mb/s on a good day :(  Was wondering about backing each of what will be two PCs when I get the new one sorted to each other.  Probably a dumb idea.  I should probably buy a NAS.  Maybe in the summer when we're earning money again.

 

Serial card is used for a number of things.  I have a few old bat detectors that only have serial ports.  I'm also a radio ham (and do a bit of RF hardware work too on occasion) so I'm connecting to radios (Yaesu FT1000MP, Elecraft k3 if that means anything to you) and those ports also drive my SteppIR aerial and directional aerial rotator.  I've got some old test kit too, including an AIM vector network analyser.  The latter in particular has refused to work on any USB/serial adaptor, whatever chipset it has in it.  I know some people have made this combination work, but I've never succeeded.

 

I think that's it....and thank you :)

 

Denis

 


 

Operating System Windows 7 Professional (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United Kingdom)
Installed: 13/09/2013 15:29:50
Boot Mode: Legacy BIOS in UEFI (Secure Boot not supported)

 

System Model Enclosure Type: Desktop

Processor a 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4770
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
8192 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Hyper-threaded (8 total)
Main Circuit Board b Board: Z87-G43 (MS-7816) 1.0
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
UEFI: American Megatrends Inc. V1.2 05/17/2013

Drives 6001.00 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
2006.22 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-224DB SCSI CdRom Device [Optical drive]

Disk drive -- drive 2
Generic Compact Flash USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 1
Generic MS/MS-PRO USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 3
Generic SM/xD-Picture USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 4
Generic STORAGE DEVICE USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 5
Intel Raid 1 Volume SCSI Disk Device (2000.38 GB) -- drive 0, s/n Volume1, SMART Status: Healthy
WD Elements 10B8 USB Device [Hard drive] (2000.36 GB) -- drive 6, s/n WX81A15R3850
WD My Passport 0741 USB Device [Hard drive] (2000.36 GB) -- drive 7, s/n WX31A93W7479
Memory Modules c,d 16330 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'ChannelA-DIMM0' is Empty
Slot 'ChannelA-DIMM1' has 8192 MB
Slot 'ChannelB-DIMM0' is Empty
Slot 'ChannelB-DIMM1' has 8192 MB Local Drive Volumes           c: (NTFS on drive 0) * 2000.27 GB 1157.02 GB free     j: (NTFS on drive 6) 2000.36 GB 485.75 GB free     k: (NTFS on drive 7) 2000.36 GB 363.45 GB free    
* Operating System is installed on c:
Network Drives None detected

Users (mouse over user name for details) local user accounts last logon  Denis_2 31/01/2016 07:49:19 (admin)  UpdatusUser 31/01/2016 07:49:13   local system accounts  Administrator 21/11/2010 03:47:20 (admin)  Guest 30/11/2015 10:27:49    HomeGroupUser$ 31/01/2016 11:58:06  
Marks a disabled account; Marks a locked account
Printers Adobe PDF Converter on Documents\*.pdf HP Photosmart Wireless B109n-z on WSD-62c96319-7290-4e6d-bca4-cc7d6cadfa1f.0036 HP Photosmart Wireless B109n-z on HP_192.168.1.64_CN9BBC602205C8 Microsoft Shared Fax Driver on SHRFAX: Microsoft XPS Document Writer on XPSPort: Send To Microsoft OneNote 2010 Driver on nul:

Controllers None detected
Display NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 [Display adapter]
Iiyama AS4332 [Monitor] (17.1"vis, April 2002)
ViewSonic VA2213w [Monitor] (21.7"vis, s/n R9L092601647, June 2009)

Bus Adapters Intel® Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
Intel® 8 Series/C220 Series USB EHCI #1 - 8C26
Intel® 8 Series/C220 Series USB EHCI #2 - 8C2D
Intel® USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller
Intel® USB 3.0 Root Hub
Multimedia C-Media PCI Audio Device
NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio

Virus Protection [Back to Top] avast! Antivirus
Group Policies None detected

Communications       Microsoft ISATAP Adapter ↑ Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller primary Auto IP Address: 192.168.1.66 / 24   Gateway: 192.168.1.254   Dhcp Server: 192.168.1.254   Physical Address: D4:3D:7E:D8:B3:13   Connection Speed: 100 Mbps Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface     =
Other Devices

HID-compliant consumer control device (4x)
HID-compliant device (7x)
USB Input Device (3x)
USB Input Device (Logitech Download Assistant)
Photosmart Wireless B109n-z
WinDriver
HID Keyboard Device (2x)
Perseus HF Receiver (WinUSB)
PCI Multi-IO Controller
Photosmart Wireless B109n-z
Generic USB Hub (2x)
Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Detection Driver (USB)
USB Composite Device
USB Mass Storage Device (4x)
USB Root Hub (2x)
Generic volume shadow copy
WD SES Device
WSD Print Device

 

 

USB Storage Use in past 30 Days (mouse over last used for details) [Back to Top]   Last Used WD My Passport 0741 -- drive 7, s/n WX31A93W7479, rev 1022 31/01/2016 09:15:02 WD Elements 10B8 -- drive 6, s/n WX81A15R3850, rev 1012 31/01/2016 09:14:47 Generic Compact Flash -- drive 1, s/n 00000000000006, rev 0.00 31/01/2016 07:48:40 Generic MS/MS-PRO -- drive 3, s/n 00000000000006, rev 0.00 31/01/2016 07:48:40 Generic SD/MMC -- drive 2, s/n 00000000000006, rev 0.00 31/01/2016 07:48:40 Generic SM/xD-Picture -- drive 4, s/n 00000000000006, rev 0.00 31/01/2016 07:48:40 Generic STORAGE DEVICE -- drive 5, rev 9451 31/01/2016 07:48:40 TDK LoR TF10, s/n 14090201003552, rev 8.07 18/01/2016 18:41:42* SanDisk Ultra, s/n 4C532000030517119510, rev 2.01 11/01/2016 16:48:15*
* Possibly used again before the reboot following this time.

 


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#10
iammykyl

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Thanks for the info.

At the moment doing a little more research, so far leaning heavely towards an Intel build.

This Blog may interest you, under Extras: "QGIS2Threejs -Provides 3D rendering & sharing capability through webGL," and the info I was looking for, "from QGIS 2.6.1 QGIS runs as 64bit software, it utilises more than one core at a time for processing and it is noticeable".

 

http://dragons8mycat.../qgis-v-arcgis/


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#11
Batbloke

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I'll have to read that properly later - trying to finish a presentation I have to deliver tomorrow.  looks interesting though.  I wouldn't say whether ARC or QGIS is better but for me, QGIS is an amazing open source tool. 

 

Interestingly, R, an open source stats package, is now giving the traditional paid-for products like SAS and SPSS a serious run for their money.  R was (and still is) largely CLI driven but there are all sorts of GUI front ends being brought to market for it now and a library of scripts from common analysis to the most rare and esoteric that on many occasions, when presented with a new challenge, you can either find something already written to deal with it or find something that's fairly close and can be modified without too much trouble.


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#12
iammykyl

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Some of your infor is a bit over my head as not much of a programmer.

The software being used is a bit of a mixed bag, most is 1/2 core bound with some multi threading, so I think an i7 quad core is the go, although slower than AMD best CPU, it performs more instructions per cycle and performance, single core, is much better than AMD.

 

Your RAID is OS software and being mirrored is slower than a single Drive due to CPU overhead.  read/writes have to be queued. I know you use it for safety, but there is an alternative, would be good for you as you do proper backups.

Build is over your budget, could come down £36 by using the CPU/MB bundle on Dabs also, Phillpower2 could come across with a good cheaper case. SSD not essential, but good to have. 

Build to consider, > http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/43tbqs

M.2 is OS + main programs. Read/writes done simultaneously.  Drive after complete setup is imaged.

HDD 1 is Data storage, All user folders are relocated from the M.2, a programs folder is also created and used for secondary programs like Office.  Proper backup must be implemented. 

HDD 2 is for source files.  again backed up. 

SSD is for scratch/catch when it can be used.

 

PCI cards not included > http://www.brainboxe...ci-serial-cards


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#13
Batbloke

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Thank you for this.  I will take a good look at it and get back to you in a day or so...my next couple of days are a bit hectic.

 

I'm not really a programmer either - well, not in the sense of writing apps.  I'm just a bit of a heavy user of a small number of apps that proper clever people havee writte!

 

Point taken about RAID and speed.  The guy who specced my (currently broken) main PC was very keen on it and I have to be honest, when I had an HDD die six months or so ago, being able to carry on working without any loss of functionality was bliss.  I will give it some thought though I promise.

 

Thank you again.


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#14
Batbloke

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✓  Best Answer

Hi Folks,

 

I think I have all I need to get on with acquiring bits now.  I've decided to go down the Intel route and I am either going to build as per the suggestion (even if a little over budget!) or look for something very similar second hand.  I still can't decide about the RAID though.  I will think on that further and do a bit more reading.

 

I'm happy for this thread to be closed now.  Thanks to all for their advice :)

 

Denis


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#15
phillpower2

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You are most welcome Batbloke  :)

 

Any questions along the way let us know, one of us will be around  :thumbsup:


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