What computer to buy?

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tsbikes
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:53 am

What computer to buy?

Post by tsbikes » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:32 pm

I am using 3.1 and like it. I use a QHY163 cooled, color camera successfully except with full frame live video captures. The software crashes when capturing live stacking. If I reduce the FOV the software runs fine. I use a MacBook Pro and Bootcamp running Windows 7 successfully with other software and with SharpCap in other modes than live stacking at full frame. I run this setup using Teamviewer to another MacBook Pro. I do not have a SharpCap log to send at present.
My solution seems to be a new computer but I'm not sure what to buy. I am looking at the Mac mini. with 3.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz) with 4MB on-chip shared L3 cache.
I will greatly appreciate any help or advice.
Thanks,
Jim Grimes

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admin
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Re: What computer to buy?

Post by admin » Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:04 am

Hi,

thanks for posting about this. Please do send your log files before buying anything expensive like a new computer as it would be good to check that the new computer is likely to solve the problem!

Based on experience, I'd say the most likely cause of your crashing problem with the QHY163 in live stacking is running out of memory - live stacking with large frame cameras needs a *LOT* of memory - particularly for colour cameras. It also needs this memory to be available in large continuous blocks and often finding a free block big enough can be the problem.

Live stacking started out a few years ago with most cameras being 1-2 megapixels and now 10-20 megapixel cameras have become common with some people using 35 megapixel monsters like the ZWO ASI094... I have done a lot of work in SharpCap 3.1 to try to reduce total memory usage while live stacking, but my improvements haven't managed to keep up with the increases due to bigger camera sizes...

To have a good chance of success you will need to have the 64 bit version of Windows running with 4gb or more of memory (ideally 8gb or more) when stacking with high resolution cameras. If you are already running 64 bit Windows with 4gb+ of memory then maybe there is a different issue!

cheers,

Robin

tsbikes
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:53 am

Re: What computer to buy?

Post by tsbikes » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:45 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. I will run some tests and send the results.

Jim

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turfpit
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Re: What computer to buy?

Post by turfpit » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:18 pm

Jim

The way to look into this is to monitor memory during a capture.
  • Start Task Manager either with Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Del.
  • Click on the 'Performance' tab. Notice the references to memory in the graphical display.
  • Run SharpCap and carry out your action which brings on the crash.
  • If a crash occurs, capture the Task Manager screen with either Alt + PrtScn or the Snipping Tool.
  • Post the resultant graphic here for interpretation.
I no longer have a Win 7 machine to capture the graphic to post here.

If this is a first time in this area of Windows, then practise all the steps in a warm place first. ;)

Dave

tsbikes
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Re: What computer to buy?

Post by tsbikes » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:36 pm

Robin,
SharpCap Log.txt
(32.93 KiB) Downloaded 7 times
I have the log from SharpCap and a jpg of the error screen.
SharpCap Log.txt
(32.93 KiB) Downloaded 7 times
error message.jpg
error message.jpg (89.57 KiB) Viewed 127 times
I will try using the task manager next.

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: What computer to buy?

Post by admin » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:52 pm

Hi,

so it looks like you have about 2Gb of available memory and most likely a 32 bit version of Windows - that's just not enough to support the live stacking of high res cameras sadly. My advice would be to make sure you get a new system with 8Gb of ram and use a 64 bit version of Windows on it. For now, you should find that if you choose 2x2 binning before selecting live stacking then you will be fine.

thanks,

Robin

tsbikes
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:53 am

Re: What computer to buy?

Post by tsbikes » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:36 pm

Thank you Robin,

This is exactly what I needed before I send more money.

Please keep up your great work.

Jim

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