Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

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VK3AZZ
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:49 am

Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby VK3AZZ » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:05 am

Hi,
I am looking to buy an inexpensive windows laptop to run my SDRplay.

I want to be able to access all features, run full 8Mhz bandwidth and a number of decoding programs for the SDR.
I have been looking at entry level laptops with Intel Pentium Quad cores (N3700), AMD A4-6210, AMD A6 6310 and Intel i3 Dual Cores (5005U).

As I can't find anything that gives a clear recommendation of what the PC requirements are, I thought I would ask here.

I have read a couple of threads on this forum that suggests that the PC is probably best if it is 64bit and uses a Nvidia video card (sadly few cheap laptops use this, most use Intel or Radeon).

So what are the minimum specifications required for a Laptop PC to run SDRuno and other typical programs that are commonly used with SDR play ?


Cheers, Mal
VK3AZZ

PS : As I am in Australia, specific models of PC that you have in the USA or UK etc may not be available here, so I would prefer if you could keep it generic. Thanks.
Last edited by VK3AZZ on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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wd8kel
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:46 am

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby wd8kel » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:41 pm

Hi, Mal.

For my SDRPlay RSP, I was running HDSDR, but have found SDRuno to be an interesting replacement. Both run fine on my now 5 (or is it 6?) year-old ACER Aspire 5336-2524 laptop that I bought new, on sale, for about US $250. Google the brand and model for full specs, but basically it's running an Intel Celeron 900 / 2.2 GHz. The only "major" improvements I made was to increase the RAM from 3 to 4 GB and upgrade from Win7 Home 64-bit to Win7 Pro 64-bit. So far, it's run everything I've thrown at it, except SDR#, which bogs it down. I usually run FLDigi or MULTIPSK for decoding and an instance of VB-Audio Virtual Cable, often times in the background while I'm working with some other program, like LibreOffice.

Disclosure: Lately, the machine is starting to bog down, but probably due to the many processes caused by loading a bunch of stuff over the years that I really need to start taking off, as I'm not using it as much as I thought...

Anyway, it certainly doesn't take a high-end gaming machine to make a VERY usable SDR. The question becomes, what software do you want to run and what are the requirements for it? I'd suggest looking there first.

Have fun.

Rick, WD8KEL
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Excalibr8
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:51 am

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby Excalibr8 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:03 am

My opinion, not near enough processor on that machine. I just replaced a core 2 7500 machine with 4 Gb Ram because it wasn't enough. With only a couple web tabs open (QRZ and Gmail), it ran up to 2 mhz pretty good but using 80% or more total cpu usage. Sometimes i had to back it off to 1 mhz. FYI, this was my ham shack computer and ran digital mode software and had programming software for my radios. So very little installed on it. I replaced it with an I7 3770 desktop with 8 GB ram, only used 15% to 18% at 10 Mhz! Cost for used computer was just $200. No, its not a laptop but gives you an idea of what a difference a processor makes. On a laptop, an I5 is a dual core. I would shoot for that with an I3 as a bare minimum. 4 gb ram is probably ok, 8 is better, IMHO
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someYguy
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Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby someYguy » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:08 pm

I am using an RSP1 with HDSDR on an older Dell Optiplex 330 (Core Duo, 2.8ghz, 4ghz RAM) running Windows 7/32. I can go full bandwidth - 10mhz - with the RSP1 with no trouble and good demodulation with no chops or cutouts in the audio. CPU load averages 55-58%. I didn't do anything special, just installed drivers & software. BUT, that machine is devoted only to the radio and nothing else. No web connection, no anything except radio software.....

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glovisol
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 6:42 pm

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby glovisol » Wed May 16, 2018 3:36 pm

I definitely think that the manufacturer should give the host PC requirements for every model of the Radio Spectrum Processor. For instance an IBM (Lenovo) X61 laptop with the following specs:

- Processor Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7300 / 2GHz.
- RAM 2 GB.
- Operating system 32 bit.
- Windows 7 Professional

Working in conjunction with the RSP2pro barely makes it and from time to time Sys overloads and I must be careful to keep SR to 2 and Dec to 2 or more. Unfortunately in any given condition I found that raising the Decimation can appreciably reduce the sensitivity.

Based on this experience, I would advise a dual core, 2.8 GHz machine with 8 GB RAM as minimum requirement.
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vk7jj
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:56 am

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby vk7jj » Thu May 17, 2018 8:03 am

I definitely think that the manufacturer should give the host PC requirements for every model of the Radio Spectrum Processor.


Please don't consider these comments any sort of rebuke but imho the software you use with the RSP and the audio card are significant factors and that makes for such a range of variables it's a difficult thing to do. Then there is the platform that you use be it Windows, Linux, Apple, Raspberry Pi, as well as what background processes might be running ... and on and on.

As per your own observations there is the issue of the user's choice of bandwidth and decimation which points to the difficulty of deciding what might constitute a satisfactory "usage yardstick".

Finally, one get's unexpected results:

I mostly use an ageing 2011 iMac running Windows 10 in VMWare Fusion, allocating Windows only 2GB RAM and 2 processor cores. Amazingly that works happily up to 6MHz with all the available software.

Yet CubicSDR (Macintosh version, VMWare not running) on the same iMac pushes the Mac's processor harder than the above.

So despite it being a desirable thing to do, starting down that road is rather daunting...

Regards, Phil VK7JJ

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F1BJB
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: Beauvais France

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby F1BJB » Thu May 17, 2018 12:25 pm

Hi
I too think that it totally depends of what you want to do with the RSP and the software you intend to run.
Receiving NDB and DVBT2 HEVC signals have very little in common.
Neglected important features of the computer used are:
It's power consumption.
It's EMC performance.
Performance of it's USB ports.
Audio performance .
Then there is the impact of other software running on the computer at the same time.
SDR is an almost real time process if it runs with other programs of this kind, problems
can arise.

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glovisol
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 6:42 pm

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby glovisol » Sat May 19, 2018 4:45 pm

I apologise for not having clearly expressed myself. What I meant was a set of MINIMUM specifications for a PC under two /three sets of well defined operating conditions. This info would be very useful to perspective buyers/users.

It would only take a few of us: One with a low end PC, another with a medium performance PC and one with a top gun PC. Each one would post his results, stating a list of operating conditions, similar to what I did in my previous post.

Cheers,

Gianfranco
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Ambrose Wolfinger
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Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby Ambrose Wolfinger » Mon May 21, 2018 8:47 pm

I had the same difficulty as the OP when selecting a new computer. I willfully went a bit overboard, I admit, but have had no problems with my Asus UX430UA notebook. I7-8250U quad core with 16 gb of ram, onboard Intel graphics. it doesn't even break a sweat when using SDRUno or Console along with Fldigi or Multipsk. I usually keep Uno set to a sample bandwidth of 2 mhz. I use the full 10 mhz briefly on occasion.

That said, based on my own reading and suggestions of others, I think an I5 processor with 8gb of ram is a good minimum to go with. Those specs should be available at a low cost these days. A few people have mentioned using an I3, but prices being what they are, an I5 setup shouldn't be too costly.

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Tech_Support
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Clear Recommended Computer requirements (for RSP on a Laptop)

Postby Tech_Support » Mon May 21, 2018 9:30 pm

I run the RSPduo using a pretty old Core i3 540 running at 3.07 GHz with 8 Gbytes of RAM. I can run both tuners in SDRuno with a total CPU load of around 30%. A single tuner at 10 MHz bandwidth needs about 35% CPU with SDRuno 1.23. I am also able to run dual tuners in SDRuno, with one tuner decoding stereo W-FM whilst the other is piping FT8 signals through a VAC to WSJT-X for decoding and Grid Tracker for plotting. At the same time I am able to run a third tuner using a RSP1A for ADS-B reception. With all of this running, I can see the CPU run at an average of around 45%, but it does spike up to over 90% when WSJT-X is decoding the FT8 signals.

As with everything, it all really depends what you want to do at the same time as to what the spec of the machine should be. opening up some webpages can cause a pretty big spike in the CPU load. Similarly using the PC for Skype or teamviewer at the same time as running multiple instances of SDRuno also pushes the machine pretty hard. There really is no minimum spec as you can use a RSP1A with a Raspberry Pi, but we recommend that people have at least a Core i3.

Sincerely

SDRplay Tech_Support

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