New computer specs??

General discussion about StarTools.
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whixson
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Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:51 pm

New computer specs??

Post by whixson »

Hi! About to pull the trigger on a new Velocity Microsystems workstation PC primarily for Astro image processing and regular photo processing. $7500 budget. Looking for comments on the primary specs for using with StarTools and other AP software like PI

Threadripper 3 24-core processor

128 GB main memory

11TB Enmotus hybrid drive for boot and main image storage. This is 1 TB high speed SSD and 10 TB HDD
2 1-TB drives in RAID0 for working directory/swap files.

NVIDIA 8GB Ti 3060 video card

Any comments/suggestions welcome!

Wayne
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Re: New computer specs??

Post by admin »

Hi Wayne,

Many cores is always good, but there may be diminishing returns with regards to how things scale and depending on the algorithms you are planning on running.

If a chip clocks lower to accommodate more cores, in comparison to a chip that clocks higher, but with fewer cores, then you may very well be better off with the fewer-core chip.

The more cores, the more some tasks have to wait for the memory bus to become available, so that too may impact many versus fewer core chips.

In short it *really* depends on the workload you are planning on giving your system.

I personally run a 16-core/32-thread AMD 5950X, which I find has a good compromise between IPC (instructions per clock), clock speeds and multi-core performance. Not to mention cost-effectiveness. In terms of multi-core performance it is not too far off a 3960X ThreadRipper, while easily beating it in fewer-core tasks.

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AM ... 3617vs3862

For StarTools, a great deal of computing is now off-loaded to the GPU, so a powerful GPU is becoming quite important (as is the ability to transfer data quickly between GPU and CPU). I would probably save some dollars on the ThreadRipper by opting for a 5950X platform instead, while springing for an RTX 3080 or higher card (if you can afford the crazy GPU prices at the moment).

Hope this helps!
Ivo Jager
StarTools creator and astronomy enthusiast
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