I haven’t been happy with the computer I’m currently running my Pro Avid CNC (5’x12’) on and plan to replace it.
Can anyone suggest some minimum requirements or any other things I should consider as I configure a new computer?
Intel i7 processor
32GB DDR5 memory
Graphics card that will be great for 3D CAD work
Thanks in advance!
This is what we recommend for a computer:
We don’t recommend using the control computer for anything else other than running the machine.
Thank you Eric for the info.
While it’s not recommended to use the control computer for anything else, can anyone else comment if they have have had any issues or success using the control computer for other tasks if it is significantly better than the minimum recommended spec’s?
In my experience it is a bad idea to run extra stuff on a PC that is controlling the machine even if it is over-spec’d. Mach4 is especially sensitive to timing interuptions and running extra software on the machine is a really good way to have problems. I have seen it happen many times on my own hardware and on others.
EDIT: Also, in order to run Mach4 properly, the system setup utility makes a bunch of changes to the OS that make it unfit for general use. You can go back and forth with the utility but it is generally a bad idea.
Very helpful advice! Thank you
I personally had this same thought using a powerful computer connected to a running machine. I opened up a simple web browser and it stalled the machine and broke a bit.
The computer does a lot of the heavy lifting for the machine motion, and regardless of power the real time motion can be interrupted by running anything else other than the machine control stuff.
This is why we designed and made the “SCU” or “System Configuration Utility” to set up a control computer to do only the things it needs and nothing else.
I/we highly recommend not doing anything else on the control computer regardless of the power of said computer.
I run two computers in my shop for this very reason. A mac for design and a mediocre (but properly spec’d) Lenovo laptop for the control computer.
I agree with the others re: don’t use the PC for anything other than Mach4. To try it will cost you more in the long run.
I use a mini pc, bolted to the back of the monitor. It cost about 200GBP ($250?), seems quite happy to work like that and doesn’t take up any precious workshop space.
This is the mini PC I use. It’s $270. The VESA bracket it comes with could be better, but it works.
MeLE Fanless Mini PC QuieterHD3 N5105 Windows 11 Pro, 16GB RAM 512GB ROM Mini Computer