computer requirements?

computer requirements?

Postby Tomv324 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:52 pm

Hello all,
Would someone help me out with computer set up as far as any minimum requirements pertaining to the processor, operating system, and/or if GBs (gigabytes) matter? Awaiting delivery of a Shopbot 96x48 prs alpha with a 4 hp spindle. Originally thought I would be using my laptop to run the cnc, but after reading many threads here on the forum it seems a laptop is not a good idea. I can purchase a refurbished desktop package from Staples.com. Good idea, bad idea?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Trying to get all my ducks in a row before delivery.
Thanks in advance, Tom.
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby Adrian » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:11 pm

Do you mean a PC to run the ShopBot or a PC to use the Vectric programs on or one that does both?

A lot of people use different PC's for each job as the processing requirements are massively different between the two and you can't use the ShopBot PC for anything else while it's cutting.

ShopBot PC specs are here - http://www.shopbottools.com/mproducts/c ... ements.htm

Bottom line is that you don't really need a modern PC to run the ShopBot software and indeed a lot of people on the ShopBot forum who see to have problems are running newer PC's.

For the Vectric side of things a modern PC pay's dividends especially if you're using Aspire but it's certainly not something that must have as you can see from the specs on this page - http://www.vectric.com/store/aspire.html
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby Tomv324 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:23 pm

Hi Adrian, thank you for the reply. I will use the laptop for Vectric design, etc.I'll be getting dedicated pc to run shopbot. I will checkout the links you provided, if you have anything to add don't hold back. Thanks again, Tom
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby Tomv324 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:30 pm

Adrian, I checked out the links, exactly what I needed. Have a great day!
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:30 pm

I don't have a Shopbot, but run projects on a CNC Shark, Probotix Meteor, and a Multicam 3000.

I have a personal Shark and a newer one I supervise where I work. My Shark runs from a 4 year old Dell running Vista. Of course it offloads the cut file to an SD card in the controller, so doesn't have to be speedy to keep up. Running VCarve on that machine is a bit sluggish but it only bothers me when I try and render a complicated tool path. The work Shark runs from a newer (one year old now) PC with an i5 rpocessor and 512 gigs. We also run VCarve and Rhino and most of AutoCAD's suite on it with no problem. Again, these machines offload their g-code to the controller.

The Multicam has run for two years now, and the PC it started with was 2-years old demoted from a PC lab. It has been upgraded this year, but never been challenged in feeding files to the CNC. Where the newer PC shows up better is in running whatever CAD application or CAM for rendering.

My Meteor came with a quad-core PC, 256gb ram, and runs LinuxCNC only. It has to feed the controller over parallel and doesn't get bothered with other tasks while a job is cutting.

Laptops/notebooks often have hardware power saving features that can interrupt a CNC job in progress. You can use one, but be sure and turn off all screen saver/power saver options. You may need to go into hardware settings to make sure it doesn't power down the USB ports.

I scanned ShopbotTools.com for PC recommendations, and didn't find anything. Email their support or give them a call and I'll bet you get an answer quick.
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby tmerrill » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:43 pm

I scanned ShopbotTools.com for PC recommendations, and didn't find anything.

If you read Adrian's post above you will see where he has provided the necessary link.

Tim
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby dhellew2 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:21 pm

The best advice I can give about a computer to run software is.. buy the fastest machine you can afford. Future newer software will be more powerful and more processor demanding.

Businesses typically have a 2 to 3 year replacement cycle because the computer is cheaper than wages.

Even though my wife and I don't play games, we buy gaming computers because they are as fast as they get and you can get some pretty good ones for under $1500.

Look for factory refurbished (often open box) with factory warranty and save as much as 70%.

The fastest thing out there right now is a 4th generation I7 quad core and the more ram the better.

Dale
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby Tomv324 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:59 pm

Thank you all for your input. I still have about 3 weeks before my shopbot arrives so I have plenty of time to decide on one. I did find out about the minimum requirements on the shopbot web site. I will go a step above the basic for now and think I will be fine.
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:17 am

The college I teach at used to post the standards for the PC each student is required to have in their studio classes. At some point the spec sheet was forgotten about (or whomever was responsible moved on or retired) and so although you can still find the link for it the specs are severely out of date. Be sure the specs ShopBot is showing have been updated within the last year.
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby martin54 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:02 am

You should be able to pick up a machine cheap as chips if your just looking for something to control the cnc, all it really needs to have is the control software for the cnc so you can strip everything else off it as it won't be needed.

A computer to use for any design work is a different matter & will depend to some extent what sort of work you are doing.
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Re: computer requirements?

Postby gdb » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:11 am

Hi, I run 2 CNC Routers and 1 CNC Mill almost every day.
I am using Dell Optiplex with P4 2.6 and 2 gigs ram.
Ebay around $50.00.
Windows XP and SP2
Never put them on Internet.
No problems :D :D :D
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