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Author Topic: Computer build for sdr  (Read 11832 times)
NR5P
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Posts: 160




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« on: March 29, 2016, 10:13:21 AM »

1st off I know that I can buy a computer that will do what I want cheaper than I can build. But I'm wanting to do it for the fun of it. I'm wanting to do a budget build from scratch that will meet my needs. Here is my thoughts

1. Will be running Linux mint (I love it) I will need to research the motherboard to make sure of hardware compatibility
2. Will be running power SDR on wine(tried in lap top and seemed to work fine
3. Have m audio Delta 44 card I'd like to use, so I'll need to make sure I have the PCI slots
4. It's always possible I may want Windows 10 later
5. Will be using solid state hard drive
6. I play 0 games. The only thing besides basic stuff is for running SDR and rig control. Possibly Skype or similar for listening to the radio in the house from shack

Do I really need to even worry about specs or will just about any motherboard/processor combo on newegg meet my needs since I'm not gaming?
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KD8TUT
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 10:36:12 AM »

1st off I know that I can buy a computer that will do what I want cheaper than I can build. But I'm wanting to do it for the fun of it. I'm wanting to do a budget build from scratch that will meet my needs. Here is my thoughts

1. Will be running Linux mint (I love it) I will need to research the motherboard to make sure of hardware compatibility
2. Will be running power SDR on wine(tried in lap top and seemed to work fine
3. Have m audio Delta 44 card I'd like to use, so I'll need to make sure I have the PCI slots
4. It's always possible I may want Windows 10 later
5. Will be using solid state hard drive
6. I play 0 games. The only thing besides basic stuff is for running SDR and rig control. Possibly Skype or similar for listening to the radio in the house from shack

Do I really need to even worry about specs or will just about any motherboard/processor combo on newegg meet my needs since I'm not gaming?

Given the application I'd go with one of the AMD APUs. Since they have a built in GPU- you may be able to leverage that feature in future SDR offerings. The rumblings on some fronts are that GPUs may be used for signal processing. Though there may be a gotcha there and be nVidia only.

That being said, an Intel i5 would be relatively future proof for SDR. I also like the AMD A10-7700K for this application.

But... it's still true- pretty much any quad core processor should be able to handle the load easily.
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Putting a Shatnerologist in a room full of ordinary people is like putting a velociraptor in a room full of wiener dogs.
NR5P
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Posts: 160




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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 10:52:25 AM »

OK I'll check that out. I was looking at the gigabyte boards for the fact they look easily compatible with Linux. The options were overwhelming though. But I noticed they were all for the most part 2ghz processors which I've heard is the minimum spec. I'll be using softrock right now so I'll be needing to process the IQ signals.
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KD8TUT
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 11:11:05 AM »

OK I'll check that out. I was looking at the gigabyte boards for the fact they look easily compatible with Linux. The options were overwhelming though. But I noticed they were all for the most part 2ghz processors which I've heard is the minimum spec. I'll be using softrock right now so I'll be needing to process the IQ signals.

Gigabyte makes a great board. I've got a later model UD3- for an Excavator quad. Asus is also excellent. Those are the two boards I tend to go for when not building around a Xeon.

I also failed to mention- AMD has a new core coming out in October based on their "Xen" architecture. If waiting is an option, you may (emphasis on "may") be able to get i7/i5 level performance for quite a bit less than the Intel part.
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K0YQ
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 11:29:28 AM »

Have you looked at PC part picker?

http://pcpartpicker.com/
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NR5P
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Posts: 160




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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 11:35:06 AM »

So what about something like an a3 AMD? Would I run into any issues right now or is it more of an issue with possibly not being enough for the future?
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K5ACL
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 12:45:51 PM »

I use one of the older i7 chipsets, the 920 I think. 2.93 overclocked I believe. More than capable of running any SDR application. Future proofing is good when it comes to SDR's, the faster the processor speed the better. Some SDR applications will even utilize your GPU, so look into that too if so inclined. Good luck w/ the build!
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KD8TUT
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 02:51:27 PM »

So what about something like an a3 AMD? Would I run into any issues right now or is it more of an issue with possibly not being enough for the future?

I'm not familiar with the a3- unless it's an older APU which I missed. But the AMD site seems to start at the a4 series.

Think of it this way: 4 threads sufficient, 8 threads better.

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KD8TUT
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Posts: 522




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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 02:53:34 PM »

I use one of the older i7 chipsets, the 920 I think. 2.93 overclocked I believe. More than capable of running any SDR application. Future proofing is good when it comes to SDR's, the faster the processor speed the better. Some SDR applications will even utilize your GPU, so look into that too if so inclined. Good luck w/ the build!

That processor is legendary in my mind. One of the best Intel ever released for desktop applications.
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Putting a Shatnerologist in a room full of ordinary people is like putting a velociraptor in a room full of wiener dogs.
W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 06:37:24 AM »


 I also like the AMD A10-7700K for this application.


The AMD would be last choice. Chip can draw close to 200 watts and is not as fast as it's 10 cores imply. A Intel core I7 will smoke it on a fraction of the power.

There is no need for a mega processor. Even a core I3 will work fine as it also supports hyper threading that makes CPU more efficent. (Note after years of resisting AMD is finally going to introduce it's own hyper threading).The potential bottle neck is memorymnot CPU. Make sure you have enough so there is no paging of code to a swap file while using it that could cause issues. Ripping DVD's is far more resource intensive than SDR and CPU power needed for SDR is not near as high as some think.

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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD8TUT
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Posts: 522




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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 02:24:15 PM »


 I also like the AMD A10-7700K for this application.


The AMD would be last choice. Chip can draw close to 200 watts and is not as fast as it's 10 cores imply. A Intel core I7 will smoke it on a fraction of the power.

There is no need for a mega processor. Even a core I3 will work fine as it also supports hyper threading that makes CPU more efficent. (Note after years of resisting AMD is finally going to introduce it's own hyper threading).The potential bottle neck is memorymnot CPU. Make sure you have enough so there is no paging of code to a swap file while using it that could cause issues. Ripping DVD's is far more resource intensive than SDR and CPU power needed for SDR is not near as high as some think.



You have no idea what you are talking about. It's a 95 watt, 4 core, APU chip which costs $115.
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Putting a Shatnerologist in a room full of ordinary people is like putting a velociraptor in a room full of wiener dogs.
W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 04:15:19 PM »

I unlike you do know. It is considered a 10 core chip with 4 CPU's and 6 GPU's and 95 watts is not very accurate as I have seen tests where it draws a lot more depending on processing load. The only advantage AMD has over Intel is price because they are more power hungry and slower per clock tick than current Intel CPU's. AMD is trying to re-invent it's processors and add enhanced power management to reduce power usage and hyper threading to boost performance. AMD was/is getting close to going belly up and are trying to turn things around.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD8TUT
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Posts: 522




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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2016, 05:48:21 PM »

I unlike you do know. It is considered a 10 core chip with 4 CPU's and 6 GPU's and 95 watts is not very accurate as I have seen tests where it draws a lot more depending on processing load. The only advantage AMD has over Intel is price because they are more power hungry and slower per clock tick than current Intel CPU's. AMD is trying to re-invent it's processors and add enhanced power management to reduce power usage and hyper threading to boost performance. AMD was/is getting close to going belly up and are trying to turn things around.

Work on that grammar there sparky.

It's a 4 core processor. It has 4 x86 cores. If you want to argue thermals- who cares? If he goes that route he has 4 threads to work with and perhaps a built in GPU- just in case.

And he's only spent $115.

You're one of those guys who likes to nit pick for personal reasons. But help the OP? You could care less.
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Putting a Shatnerologist in a room full of ordinary people is like putting a velociraptor in a room full of wiener dogs.
W8JX
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 03:45:30 AM »

I unlike you do know. It is considered a 10 core chip with 4 CPU's and 6 GPU's and 95 watts is not very accurate as I have seen tests where it draws a lot more depending on processing load. The only advantage AMD has over Intel is price because they are more power hungry and slower per clock tick than current Intel CPU's. AMD is trying to re-invent it's processors and add enhanced power management to reduce power usage and hyper threading to boost performance. AMD was/is getting close to going belly up and are trying to turn things around.

Work on that grammar there sparky.

It's a 4 core processor. It has 4 x86 cores. If you want to argue thermals- who cares? If he goes that route he has 4 threads to work with and perhaps a built in GPU- just in case.

And he's only spent $115.

You're one of those guys who likes to nit pick for personal reasons. But help the OP? You could care less.

I do not need to. AMD considers it a 10 core die not a 4 core one. A GPU is a processor as well with a different function. DSP rigs have a processors too.

As far as helping I did by stating what is needed for a good SDR computer. The days of 100 watt desktop CPUs ended years ago in Intel world. Why you feel a coffee cup warmer is needed to listen to a radio is beyond me. Some like you just look at window dressing while I lot under hood as that is what gets it done.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W1XWX
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2016, 07:42:46 PM »

I have a Flex 3000, running perfectly on an AMD quad core with 6 gigfs of memory. This is a desktop with a fitrewire card added.
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