Computer

 

 

 


 

System Requirements

This software is designed for Windows on the x86 hardware only, Windows on the Raspberry Pi is not supported. Although the software runs on older Core 2 Duo systems with 32-bit Windows 7, the recommended minimum system configuration is:

  • Windows 7 64-bit,
  • Intel I3,
  • 4GB RAM.

Recommendation

If you are buying a new computer then the recommended configuration is:

  • Windows: You must use Windows 7 or newer; Windows 10 is excellent - despite some initial roll-out issues it is a tour de force and is the recommended operating system. 64-bit is preferable.
  • CPU: The i5 has more than enough performance for the present demands of this software and should be powerful enough for any new features which will be developed in V3.
  • RAM: 8GB.
  • Disk: SSD.
  • GPU: The HD graphics or even better a dedicated graphics card ensures a good, 'fluid' experience. The software uses DirectX which makes full use of any graphics processing on your computer. If you are considering a graphics card NVIDIA is recommended as this card can be optionally be used for DSP processing.
  • Monitor: Use a HD monitor (1920 x 1080) or if finances allow a 4k monitor - if you buy a 4k make sure your graphics card will run a 4k monitor at a 60Hz refersh rate.

To ensure support for SDR solutions coming to market over the next few years at least a third-generation CPU such as i5-3570 or i7-3770 should be used as these new SDR receivers will offer bandwidths of 20MHz or more which in turn require significant processing power and internal bandwidth.

Newer computers generally use less power; have better processing and often a lower footprint.

Mini Atom 2GB+32GB

Surpisingly the software runs with acceptable performance on the now quite common Quad-core Atom (e.g. Z3735F), 2GB RAM, 32GB disk systems with 32-bit Windows 10. For development the Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Windows® Mini Desktop PC (no longer available) is used.

Performance is not staggering, but supports bandwidths of up to 1 MHz (sometimes more), the graphics quality and responsiveness is good.

Don't expect to run the console and other demanding programs at the same time.

32-Bit vs 64-Bit

The major problem with 32-bit versions of Windows is the reduced memory space for the SDR Console process.

The current memory used is shown in the bottom right of the display, with 32-bits the maximum is about 1.7 GB before the program has problems and has to stop.

Even if you only have 4GB of RAM 64-bit Windows should be installed to make most use of your memory.

Reducing Memory

You can reduce the memory used to an absolute minimum by disabling the data cache. From the Tools pane in the ribbon pane select Options, from the Program Options select CPU, Memory. In this window uncheck Data Cache, Enable.

NVIDIA CUDA

If you have a NVIDIA graphics card then this software will use the graphics card's processor for the CPU-intensive FFT processing (convert the SDR radio data to the waterfall and spectrum display). This

  1. offloads the processing from your CPU (Intel or AMD), and
  2. is advantageous when running radios with a bandwidth of ~ 2 MHz or higher together with enhanced resolution. Radios with higher bandwidths are Airspy, SDRplay, Ettus B200, LimeSDR etc.

It is not essential that you have a NVIDIA graphics card, but if you are going to buy a graphics card then buy NVIDIA with compute capability 3.0 or higher, for a list of NVIDIA GPUs: https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus . A good value for money card is the GTX 950, if you want a good budget card then look at the GT 730.

Note:

  • CUDA is enabled in the NVIDIA graphics card, there's nothing for you to configure,
  • The FFT processing uses the CUDA cores by default - if the graphics card has any that is!

 

 

 

Not Supported

The following are not supported:

  • Wine
  • Mono
  • Parallels

Only systems running Windows as the native operating system are supported. If the software runs with any of the above then you're lucky!