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Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« on: July 27, 2006, 08:19:18 PM »
I'm just about ready to order an Ascension controller and Mach3 to run my Shopbot PR router.  I expect to get improved cut quality, better reliability, and great new Windows based Mach 3 interface.  Maybe I'll get a toaster too.   

I'd like to know two things;

1) What sort of computer is best suited to running Mach 3.  I run mostly simple 2d cabinet files that are short and easy.  But sometimes I run quite large 3d files for signs.  What sort of processor?  How much Memory?  Is MORE memory better?  Any preferred chipset, or sets to avoid? Any graphic card advice?   Since I'm gonna need to buy a new machine for this, I want to give the program what it needs. 

2) I'd like to run this machine on a wireless network so I can transfer files to it, and possibly access a camera connected to it so I can monitor the machine from my office.   Any caveats about running a network, or wireless network, while running files? 

Thanks for answering this question for the thousandth time! 

Wayne from White Salmon

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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2006, 09:09:18 PM »
Wayne, the minimum recomendation for mach3 is a 1g htz processor. 512 ram. I use an Pentium processor and have had problems with AMD processors, although many will say AMD is fine.
It is best to run the computer with as little background services running as possible.
There has been interferance issues with wireles and networking cards, but not always.
Mach does have within it a video display so that you can view the work via a web cam.

I think the best thing to remember is, to do CNC work you pretty much need to dedicate the computer to do that. Its no good having a multi tasking computer to control a dangerous machine like a CNC Router. Again, many will tell of all the things they can do with thire computers while using Mach, but I say keep it real simple.

One soulution is to set up the computer with a dual boot windows. One boot for CNC work and minimum services running, and the other boot for normal PC work.

I hope this helps.
Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2006, 11:52:51 PM »
Thanks fort the quick reply.  I can make the machine a dedicated CNC machine OK.  I was hoping to be able to transfer files to it via network, and to access the camera feature via the network.  Is that not adviseable? 

I understand the minimum requirements- pretty modest really.  But do you think its worth it to use a dual core processor instead of just a Pentium 4?   Would Mach 3 benefit from 1 gb of memory?   

Prices are coming down bigtime on Pentium 4 single core chips, so I think that's what I'll do.  Thanks again for the quick reply.
Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 08:14:29 AM »
Off the record I will tell you that I have done exactly what you would like to do :) I say set it up and see what happens...

I would get the best PC that I can get for the money... Don't go to nuts  ;D
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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2006, 10:05:28 AM »
I just read a bit about new Duo Core Two processors coming out in a month or so that will have much greater number crunching capacity- reportedly DOUBLE the capacity of even the latest DuoCore processors.  Does Mach 3 benefit from this?  Its not clear to me what happens in the controller box, and what happens in the Mach3 software.  It may be the case that there is little benefit in getting more processor speed than the control box is capable of. 

I'm not ready to spend that sort of money for first tier technology, but I'd like to know if Mach benefits from better number crunching.  That will help me decide between a Celeron or a full on Pentium processor.  Also, does WinXP home or Pro versions make any difference, particularly in terms of setting up the optimal environment.?

I will try to run a network while I'm testing, and see what sort of hiccups I get.   

Offline ger21

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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2006, 11:31:32 AM »


I understand the minimum requirements- pretty modest really.  But do you think its worth it to use a dual core processor instead of just a Pentium 4?   Would Mach 3 benefit from 1 gb of memory?   


I wouldn't run XP on anything with less than 1Gig of Ram. Especially when it's only $75-$100 per Gig. Xp will use 150Mb by itself.
Gerry

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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2006, 11:46:09 AM »
You will not need that mush computer! :) Mach 3 runs great on a 2GHz or so..

Hope that helps
Brian
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Offline nicad

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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2006, 04:48:23 AM »
All of those fancy-pants new chips take new motherboards, many of which do not have a parallel ports anymore. They also do not have any ISA and hardly any PCI slots either (for a parallel port card). No matter how snazy of a computer you are running, it still has to run through an outdated parallel port interface. :-/

If you are looking for the max speed and no funky pulsing/port problems, get a mediocre computer and go with a G100 controller with the money you save. That will run your mill as fast and smooth as it physically can. :)

Offline GaryB

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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2006, 09:49:29 AM »
Wayne, when I put the Ascension and Mach3 on I purchased a new 2.8g e-machine, incresed the memory to 1g and cleaned out windows xp to the bare essentials.
Its a dedicated computer at the CNC but all files are run from the server over a wired network. This set up has run from day one with no problems, now I have heard of some problems with the wireless networks due to other equipment in the shop such as dust collectors etc so I would recommend going wired if possible.
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Re: Mach 3 computer requirements, network compatibility
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 07:54:39 PM »
I have y Mach3 Computer (the cheapest Fry's 1GZ that wsa on sale) on a wireless USB dongle- Works fine- dust collector and all.  maybe I just jinxed myself?

Sid