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Author Topic: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?  (Read 7585 times)

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Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« on: February 24, 2012, 11:47:55 AM »
I'm looking at upgrading my computer that runs Mach 3.  Its too old, runs off the old ddr, and barely meets the min. specs. and I can't go past 50 in/min as my feedrate or it will mess up.  I have a $2000 Desktop that I'm using for CAD/CAM but won't put it near the wood shop so I want another computer to run Mach 3.  I currently have a Laptop that just meets the min. specs.(80GB, 2.3 Ghz 1Mb, 528 RAM) for Mach 3 but I've heard not to use laptops. I also purchased a SmoothStepper to switch from Parallel Ports to USB and I know they take a lot of the load of the computer so I'm not sure if that would make a laptop a option.  Then of Course I could just go ahead and buy another, newer Desktop to run Mach 3.  Tell me what you guys think or what you would do if you were in my situation?  Thanks.

Mike
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 12:01:06 PM »
Who cares how old the computer is, or what kind of DRAM it uses, as long as it runs Mach3?  Put the SmoothStepper on your existing PC, and you'll have all the speed  you need.  I ran Mach3 for several years on a 500MHz PC with a SmoothStebper, and had no problem getting up to 350 IPM.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 12:14:04 PM »
Who cares how old the computer is, or what kind of DRAM it uses, as long as it runs Mach3?  Put the SmoothStepper on your existing PC, and you'll have all the speed  you need.  I ran Mach3 for several years on a 500MHz PC with a SmoothStebper, and had no problem getting up to 350 IPM.

Regards,
Ray L.
Honestly, that computer does not meet the min. specs for mach 3.  It doesn't even have half the RAM(which I know isn't hard to upgrade) of what it suggests and I've had nothing but problems with it including messing up multiple carvings(even below 50 in/min).  I was told to scrap the thing by multiple people including my computer guy and a reliable source on here.  I was also told Parts for these old computers can get expensive so I'm better off just upgrading now.  Its the slowest computer I've ever used. Believe me, I'm done with it.  Thanks for the input though.

Mike
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 12:52:10 PM »
Now you have me thinking... That PC runs at 2500 MHz but its cache is only 125kb.  The computer CONSTANTLY freezes which is another reason I'm scared to use it.  But... If i just upgrade the RAM, back up my files and programs that I want and restore its operating systems back to factory, I think I might be confident enough to use it.  What do you think?

Offline Hood

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Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 01:47:01 PM »
Cache doesnt matter as that is the cache on the CPU, what you are looking for is RAM, if you go to control panel then click on system you will see how much RAM you have. 256Meg should be OK with XP and a SS but 512 would be better. BTW a 2.5Gig CPU is not borderline ;)
Hood
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 02:14:40 PM »
Cache doesnt matter as that is the cache on the CPU, what you are looking for is RAM, if you go to control panel then click on system you will see how much RAM you have. 256Meg should be OK with XP and a SS but 512 would be better. BTW a 2.5Gig CPU is not borderline ;)
Hood
Ya, I know, but as far as RAM went is was borderline for min. specs and I knew RAM played a big part, idk why I mentioned Cache.  I think I'm just going to upgrade my RAM and factory restore the computer, hopefully that will fix the freezing issue.  Thanks for the input Hood.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 02:17:37 PM by mp2008 »

Offline Hood

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Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 02:18:19 PM »
Most of my machines are running on Via Pico mobos, they are tiny embedded CPU motherboards (100mm x 72mm) and have 1Gig CPUs and I have 1Gig RAM on them and they run very nicely with the SmoothSteppers.
If you have a XP disk I would do a clean install rather than resetting to factory as what that may have along with a basic install I dont know.

Hood
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 03:36:02 PM »
Most of my machines are running on Via Pico mobos, they are tiny embedded CPU motherboards (100mm x 72mm) and have 1Gig CPUs and I have 1Gig RAM on them and they run very nicely with the SmoothSteppers.
If you have a XP disk I would do a clean install rather than resetting to factory as what that may have along with a basic install I dont know.

Hood
I thought I didn't have a installation disk but I found it.  I'll do a clean install.  I found 512 MB RAM for that computer for $30 so I'll just add that to the RAM that's in there. Thanks for the help.

Mike
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 03:47:56 PM »
I guess I have a OEM version of windows XP and I'm not sure if I can do a clean install or just a windows xp repair install. I'm not to sure what my options are, can you help me out?

Mike
Re: Laptop or Desktop for running Mach 3 with SmoothStepper?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 04:03:58 PM »
Well it looks like I don't have the install disks. I have Windows xp SP1 and SP2 but not SP3(which is on the computer).