PC Upgrade Feedback

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W8JJ
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PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W8JJ » Sat Dec 19, 2020 1:45 am

I'm preparing to order a (7000DLE mkII). Thus, I've decided to concurrently upgrade my PC and I would like to share my thoughts and plans with the group. My current home-brew PC has a Gigabyte GA-H270-HD3 mother board with a H270 chipset, 550W PS, Nvidia GTX 650, 8 GB RAM, a i3 6100 processor, and Windows 7 professional 32 bit.

Upgrade Plan:

I've discovered that my MB will support up to a 7th generation i5 processor. Thus, I'm looking at finding an i5 7600 (or so) for starters. Next, I'm considering a Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, Windows 10 64-bit, and a 4K monitor. My PC has a NIC card ethernet connection and it's open at the moment as I use a wireless card or wifi. Do I need any special type of NIC card for the ANAN? If so, what is recommended? I can also connect to an open port on my Apple AirPort router which is in the ham shack. Should I upgrade to a dual ethernet port and forgo the wireless connection? Maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. But, I just want to be sure that I have all of the necessary hardware needed for an efficient installation.

Do you see any problems? Should I be happy with this proposed amount of computer horse power? Do you recommend any other upgrades to the PC that I've not listed? I'm trying to get one more life cycle out of the motherboard before the next processor upgrade if possible. All feedback and advice welcome as I'm a newbie to this community. Please share your lessons learned with me so I don't have to make the same missteps.

Many thanks to NP2G and K2YN for sparking my interest in the ANAN radio and for welcoming me into the community!

73 Tim W8JJ
K1LSB
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby K1LSB » Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:43 am

Welcome Tim!

You've come to the right place, there's lots of good help in this forum.

The system you propose should work fine, but make sure your ethernet card is gigabit capable.

Mark
kc2rgw
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby kc2rgw » Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:50 pm

I’d be tempted to try what you have now but you will need a gigabit wired NIC for sure.

I run wi-if for the internet and the NIC is just networked for SDRs. Works fine.

I would recommend a clean OS install but your existing hardware may be able to run things well enough if funds are tight.

My PC died and I replaced it with a bottom tier commodity gaming PC from Dell for a few hundred. It’s a Ryzen 5700 with 16G RAM and it just sleeps. The CPU use is so low, it’s really way more power than needed.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:11 pm

GTX 1060 is plenty of graphics power for our radios.

Clean, bare metal install of Windows 10 Pro is the way to go.

You do not want to run WiFi to the radio hardware. You want a hardwired GigE connection. If your Airport is GigE I'd connect the radio hardware and the PC to that. If not, then make it a separate, dedicated run to the ANAN, and use WiFi for internet.

Win10 will run on 8GB, but it's better with 16GB.

The biggest issue is that you really want to go to an eight core processor. Both PowerSDR and Thetis run much better with more cores available. You can't do that with an H270 motherboard. I'd recommend a buy once, cry once approach. Time for a new motherboard and an 8 core processor. I'm banging up against the stops on my I7-7700k machine and will be doing that upgrade myself, soon.
W8JJ
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W8JJ » Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:57 pm

What are your thoughts about this proposed PC upgrade? In particular, I'm wondering about the graphics card as compared to the GTX 1060. And, the motherboard is pretty basic. Do I need a more robust MB? This build is exclusively for the Anan, audio tools, and logging software. Should I go for the i7 processor?
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w-u-2-o
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:55 pm

That graphics card is overkill.

I still recommend an eight core processor for any new build.
W8JJ
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W8JJ » Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:36 pm

Ah yes, I see that now. I misread your previous post and went looking for a 6 core processor. Is there a list posted somewhere of graphics cards that we know will perform well? I keep reading and hearing about the GTX 1060 series. But, that appears to be circa 2016 technology. What are the equivalent models to consider today? What is a CUDA core? Some graphics cards have them and others don't. I hear users on the air talking about the number of cores that they have. But, I don't know what it means in relation to this Anan PC build.

Are there any current build lists published that are specific to what we are trying to accomplish with our SDR set ups? I own a newer ATX case that I like, HDD, and a newer 550W power supply. And, I'm ready and able to purchase and mount whatever new hardware is needed for max performance.

But, I don't know what specifically to buy and it's very frustrating. I want to get this right without overdoing it. A little headroom is good and I'd like to try 4K with a 27 inch monitor (or two) if possible and have the ability to fully utilize all of the audio software tools. I noticed that the AMD products seem to get better ratings than the Intel processors from the gamers. Does this community have a preference as it relates to SDR? I'm kind of interested in exploring AMD products unless it's counter productive to my goals for the 7000 DLE mkII.

Sorry for all of the questions. But, I'm relearning this environment after a long break from pc building. My last full build was around 2008 and I switched to Macs as my daily drivers shortly thereafter.

73 Tim W8JJ
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Tony EI7BMB
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby Tony EI7BMB » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:50 am

If you are changing the motherboard anyway you might also consider a Ryzen 8 core processor. I use a Ryzen 1700 which works very well with Thetis
KA5KKT
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby KA5KKT » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:54 pm

Apache Labs uses Intel NUC mini computers for their models with CPUs build it. Should a NUC be a consideration in this case? Pros..? Cons..?
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w-u-2-o
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:24 pm

Tim,

You are way overthinking this.

W8JJ wrote:Is there a list posted somewhere of graphics cards that we know will perform well? I keep reading and hearing about the GTX 1060 series. But, that appears to be circa 2016 technology.
Any modern card will work just fine. You need Direct X support, but literally every graphics adapter in the universe has that. This is not a video game and you don't need anywhere near super-performance. Your real performance driver is your desire to run a 4K display. Do you want a card that will run 4K at 30Hz for Thetis and office type applications? Or do you want a card that can run 120Hz so you can play video games when you are not playing radio?

I can tell you my "vintage" GTX1070 card is happily running triple 4K displays at 30Hz. 30Hz is adequate for running our radios, 60Hz is more than adequate. Don't buy more than you need.

What is a CUDA core? Some graphics cards have them and others don't. I hear users on the air talking about the number of cores that they have. But, I don't know what it means in relation to this Anan PC build.
CUDA cores are NVIDIA specific functionality that allow for GPU number crunching over and above just being a graphics card. At this time there is no version of PowerSDR or Thetis planned that uses CUDA processing so you don't need it.

Are there any current build lists published that are specific to what we are trying to accomplish with our SDR set ups? I own a newer ATX case that I like, HDD, and a newer 550W power supply. And, I'm ready and able to purchase and mount whatever new hardware is needed for max performance.
Again, you are overcomplicating things. For our purposes, pretty much any eight core processor and 16GB of RAM will totally crush this problem. Add any SSD just because it makes using your system so much nicer (fast boot times, etc.) Depending on your station setup, having the ability to put in a real, old-fashioned RS232 serial port card to run amp's and other station stuff might be a good idea. That way you don't have a mess of USB-to-serial adapters.
W8JJ
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W8JJ » Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:24 pm

Thank you for the feedback and the concise explanations. I’m definitely feeling ready to fill my virtual shopping cart with components.

73 Tim W8JJ
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w-u-2-o
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:30 pm

KA5KKT wrote:Apache Labs uses Intel NUC mini computers for their models with CPUs build it. Should a NUC be a consideration in this case? Pros..? Cons..?

IMHO, absolutely not. The NUC is a small form factor and you actually pay a premium for that while being somewhat limited in terms of performance. For the idea of an embedded PC option it's a good one. But if you are not embedding a PC inside something you don't want to go that way.

Personally I much prefer having a separate, full size PC. Less expensive. Better performance. More IO and options. Easier to maintain and upgrade.
W4WMT
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W4WMT » Wed Dec 23, 2020 10:30 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:That graphics card is overkill.

I still recommend an eight core processor for any new build.


Can't stress this enough.
Thetis is a core-hungry animal.
Far more important than any video card choice.

73
W8JJ
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby W8JJ » Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:25 am

I’ve selected a new MOBO, i7 9700 (8 cores), 16GB RAM, and Windows 10 Pro.
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rbduck
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby rbduck » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:52 pm

Put that high power Motherboard and CPU in an ugly case and call it a "sleeper". That pair should run what ever you throw at it and still have room to breathe. Don't forget the NVM2 SSD to top off the setup. Merry Christmas!
73
Ruben
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Black 7000DLE MKII
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KA5KKT
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby KA5KKT » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:55 pm

"...Thetis is core hungry..."

I have an Anan 7000DLE MkII on order.

My daily driver is an I5-9600K. It has 6 cores / threads and 16gb of ram.

Will be useful upgrade the processor?

While on the topic of cores, do additional threads help as much as additional cores? I.e., I9 processors have 2x threads per core vs. 1 thread per core in I7 and I5 processors.

Sidebar: I have Thetis v2.8.11 installed on my computer. With Setup / Appearance / Disable picDisplay selected and per Windows Task Manager, it had substantial CPU drain while just idling. I can't turn it on as there is no Anan connected at this time. Yesterday there was an MS Windows Update to .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8. I thought to check the CPU usage of Thetis today and find (again, not running) and the CPU usage is down considerably. Why should Thetis draw much of anything on the CPU when not running? Does the reduction of CPU demand I have been seeing make sense in terms of yesterday's update to .Net Framework 3.5 and 4.8?

I'm looking forward to notice of payment due on the 7000.
K1LSB
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby K1LSB » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:16 am

No need to upgrade that processor at all. I have a 4 core 8 thread i7-6700K and run 15%-17% CPU load (total system load) while running Thetis v2.8.11 with 2 full panafalls (2 receivers) on a 40 inch monitor. My son has a 6 core 6 thread i5-8600K and his machine is faster than mine on all the CPU benchmarks. And your machine is superior to his.
KA5KKT
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Re: PC Upgrade Feedback

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:18 am

K1LSB wrote:No need to upgrade that processor at all. I have a 4 core 8 thread i7-6700K and run 15%-17% CPU load (total system load) while running Thetis v2.8.11 with 2 full panafalls (2 receivers) on a 40 inch monitor. My son has a 6 core 6 thread i5-8600K and his machine is faster than mine on all the CPU benchmarks. And your machine is superior to his.


Thanks for the informative reply.

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