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  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Cortex PC recommendations ..

    our 24/7 PC (*) is running at something like 90% CPU capacity - that's 5%, and after subtracting 5% for the overhead of Windows Task Manager ...

    advice was, when we bought it, that something quite modest would be more than enough - so we bought something that offered low 24/7 power consumption ...

    'though we should, perhaps, have known better - people always told us nothing much was required for simple word processing & spread-sheeting, and our experience has been always the opposite ...

    plus, when the necessary UPS is added to the equation, its power consumption hardly matters ...

    anyway ... since we doubt it can sustain such a loading for ever, maybe it's time to update !

    meaning - does anyone have, please, any current recommendations ?

    (*) - 1GHz VIA EPIA EK10000 with 1GB RAM ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 28th September 2013 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Task Manager, not Task Master !

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
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    Chris,

    Can you remind me / us as to whether you have CCTV camera's? Does the computer running at 90% actually slow down the responsiveness of your IDRANet? Finally have you used perfmon to track CPU usage without monitoring interactively or with task manager running?

    Paul

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Hi Paul -

    there are two AUI cameras & a four-channel video capture board (installed but not operational, yet, so just blue screens in PlanView), and two IP cameras (not connected, yet) ...

    responsiveness to button presses etc noticeably varies, so it does seem to be affecting IDRANet, 'though mostly things seem OK ...

    we use Task Manager for performance assessment ...

    Chris

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Now perhaps you might understand why we don't ourselves try to sell a specific platform . With its hugely scalable capability, at one end the system would probably run fine on your existing platform if it was a moderate setup but on the other hand could easily get to a point where you would need something else altogether - imagine you were trying to process video from 8 cameras, doing skype calls, and servicing more than 1000 objects for example.. Now I know that you haven't got any cameras running just yet but on the other hand your system I know to be one of the largest that I'm aware of so far, not only for the number of physical nodes (250+ at last count?) but also because of the numerous objects running within it, logic gates, macros, etc. Couple this with what I think might be the least powerful platform that I'm aware of anyone using and I think it's probably not surprising that you're running at 95%. There may also be an element of Cortex taking up more resources as it has developed over the years, though we do tend to be conscious of this and sometimes make quite significant changes even just to eke out microseconds in certain areas.

    Which platform for you? My guess is that without cameras you might still get away with even an Atom based platform. However though I like a challenge I'd say with a system as large as yours and multiple cameras on the way it would be silly to skimp on the brain and you should be looking further up the chain - perhaps an i3 or i5 or equivalent based platform with more memory (4-8Gb is probably minimum anyway these days). A good video component will probably help too. Anecdotally: I recently updated a modest customer system previously running on a Dell Inspiron 510M laptop running Windows Xp with 1GB to an HP Pavillion Ultrabook with an i3, 4Gb and running Windows 8 (yuck). It was actually a pretty reasonably priced platform ~ 320 inc VAT and less power hungry than the Dell. I can't say that the old set up perceptibly struggled other than somewhat with camera processing, but the new platform made a big difference to the latter and also in some other areas which I guess I never really noticed so much before - like in initially logging in 'cold' to the mobile server and indeed to Skype communications. The other good thing - Windows 8 appears to have a native British accent voice , though I look forward to 8.1 (I think ...).

    An interesting looking small form factor platform might be the Intel NUC though I don't know if you can fit the IVC card into this. Its not so cheap either when you consider that a laptop provides a display and intrinsic battery backup, but it does look neat and from the sounds of it efficiency is improving. Unfortunately I don't have first hand experience with this.
    Last edited by Karam; 29th September 2013 at 01:45 AM.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks ... the Intel NUC does look interesting (new i3 & i5 versions due soon, too) - albeit the headline price will probably bear no relation to the reality (RAM, SSD, USB, OS all not included) plus our current VGA monitor not suitable, and no RS232, too - so another (as with current PC) b.minefield to be negotiated to put together a useful package ... if Windows 8, then it would have to be Pro or Enterprise, too, to have Remote Desktop capability ...

    example current version bundles here :

    http://www.fiercepc.co.uk/barebone-bundles/

    but would (not forgetting the 4+ cameras) 1.8GHz + 4GB RAM + 64GB SSD be enough, or should we be aiming for 16GB & 256GB - we've no feel for what Cortex uses for what ... and would i5 be better than i3 ??

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Hi Chris,

    I'm using the Intel NUC (cheapest offering) to host my system

    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/vbull...little-package

    I started out trying ARM stuff but it was no where near fast enough :-/

    Neil

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