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Old 09-04-2015, 13:20   #1
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Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Iím interested in photography, thatís one reason why I would like to buy a boat and begin a cruising lifestyle. Iíve read several discussions about using a PC on board, most of them have the conclusion that a laptop is the best on a boat, but I need, compared to a average cruiser, a much more powerful computer. A single image from my camera is 25 Mb and I use HDR and focusing stacking a lot. I would like to bring my desktop on board to the boat I will buy in a few years, but is it "possible"? The continuous current is 6 amps, 15 amps in peakload, add a screen to the power consumption.
Is the power consumption too high on a sailboat (around 30í)? My plan is to use a laptop for everything except working with images and videos, maximum 2 hours/day.
My experience is that 3,5Ē harddrives are sensitive for vibrations, tiltingÖ 2,5Ē, which are used in laptops, are less sensitive. Are 3,5Ē reliable on a sailboat?
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Old 09-04-2015, 13:33   #2
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

There has already been a thread on this on this website. Do a search for 'Using a desktop computer aboard an offshore boat'.
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Old 09-04-2015, 13:55   #3
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrandir View Post
Iím interested in photography, thatís one reason why I would like to buy a boat and begin a cruising lifestyle. Iíve read several discussions about using a PC on board, most of them have the conclusion that a laptop is the best on a boat, but I need, compared to a average cruiser, a much more powerful computer. A single image from my camera is 25 Mb and I use HDR and focusing stacking a lot. I would like to bring my desktop on board to the boat I will buy in a few years, but is it "possible"? The continuous current is 6 amps, 15 amps in peakload, add a screen to the power consumption.
Is the power consumption too high on a sailboat (around 30í)? My plan is to use a laptop for everything except working with images and videos, maximum 2 hours/day.
My experience is that 3,5Ē harddrives are sensitive for vibrations, tiltingÖ 2,5Ē, which are used in laptops, are less sensitive. Are 3,5Ē reliable on a sailboat?
If you build a really powerful desktop, it's going to draw a lot of power. I built a video editing machine - Intel I7 2700 unlocked CPU, overclocked to 5GHz, a medium/high end video card with a lot of processing power. The CPU alone drew 175w at full load, the GPU and shaders, etc consumed another 275w. A watercooling system with a total of 3 fans, plus 2 SATA3 SSDs in RAID 0 for speed were used. The system would not run with a 450w or 650w power supply, it took a 950w power supply to provide the clean power the system required to pass burn in and benchmark testing.

That's in addition to the current draw from 2 24" lCD monitors.

If you're willing to run a generator or install enough solar panels, you can do anything you like. Really powerful desktops do take a lot more power than a standard desktop.

I also have a 17" laptop with an i7 4700MQ CPU and it actually does surprisingly well on what little video and photo editing I've done on it. It's designed to throttle down and consume minimal power when not actually fully loaded. It's a 4 core 8 thread CPU, but cuts way back when not actually running CPU intensive programs.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:17   #4
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Wow! I had no idea processing such small images required so much computing power. I work full time on board with a decent, business class laptop doing satellite (optical, lidar and radar) image processing, FMV, animations, etc on multi GB files. I would think a laptop with an i7, 4+GB of ram and the best graphics card you can get would handle MB files. Is it a software requirement? Are you a game developer? I can't imagine bringing the bulk and power requirements of a high end desktop+monitor on board. Running my laptop all day reduces our batteries enough to require charging by the afternoon. And we have solar and wind.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:20   #5
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

It can be done but you will have to swallow the limitations. As said above, dig into the other thread.

You will have no problems at the dock or anchored.

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Old 09-04-2015, 14:28   #6
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

If you stay at a dock hooked up to shore power or burn the diesel to run the generator all the time, sure.


Also, make sure it's a ruggedly built desktop. Laptops are intended to be bumped and moved around. Desktops...not so much.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:39   #7
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

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Originally Posted by Arrandir View Post
I would like to bring my desktop on board to the boat I will buy in a few years
... Let me stop you right there.

The midrange laptop you buy in a few years will smoke just about any desktops you could buy today. The field still seems to be changing that fast.

So you should be asking that question again, about a week before you actually buy the computer.

Q - How do you know when a computer is outdated?
A - You brought it home and turned it on.
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Old 09-04-2015, 14:44   #8
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

"to the boat I will buy in a few years,"
Which means that your current computer will be TOTALLY OBSOLETE BY THEN. So forget about it, if you are still using that computer you will have bigger worries.
Meanwhile, about every two years the price of computers gets cut in half while the performance doubles, effectively making them 4x more powerful.


You can easily buy an 8-core laptop, although it isn't available for $200 from the bigbox stores yet. When and if you start to think about replacing hardware, reconsider the question in view of whatever that current hardware is. If that's a $2000 laptop today? It will be a $600 laptop in four years, and that ought to be easily affordable if this is "business" of any kind.
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Old 09-04-2015, 15:47   #9
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrandir View Post
Iím interested in photography, thatís one reason why I would like to buy a boat and begin a cruising lifestyle. Iíve read several discussions about using a PC on board, most of them have the conclusion that a laptop is the best on a boat, but I need, compared to a average cruiser, a much more powerful computer. A single image from my camera is 25 Mb and I use HDR and focusing stacking a lot. I would like to bring my desktop on board to the boat I will buy in a few years, but is it "possible"? The continuous current is 6 amps, 15 amps in peakload, add a screen to the power consumption.
Is the power consumption too high on a sailboat (around 30í)? My plan is to use a laptop for everything except working with images and videos, maximum 2 hours/day.
My experience is that 3,5Ē harddrives are sensitive for vibrations, tiltingÖ 2,5Ē, which are used in laptops, are less sensitive. Are 3,5Ē reliable on a sailboat?
I'm betting that by the time you buy a boat and get ready to sail extensively, computers will have changed quite a bit and you will no longer be using the one you are using now.

Even today, you can buy a really powerful laptop computer. I wouldn't worry about it until the time comes.
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Old 09-04-2015, 16:03   #10
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Many of the pros like Apple laptops because they do really well at image processing.
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Old 09-04-2015, 16:05   #11
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

I'm pretty sure a decent gaming laptop will handle your image editing needs without much of a problem. Get one with big enough SSD and it will use less power as well, and you can just plug in an external HD for bulk storage.

Desktops are not optimized for energy savings at all, except for business class stuff for cubicles, and that obviously is not well suited to your needs. You need power on an energy budget since you're in an environment where power has a price and limit. Go laptop.
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Old 09-04-2015, 16:37   #12
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Laptops are much more robust than a desktop on a boat. Most laptops will also use much less power than a desktop.

Any mid range laptop will handle run of the mill video editing. You'll probably want an ssd for any write intensive work like video editing.

For any high performance compute needs and very large files i'd use amazon web services to run elastic transcoder rather than use a local machine.

The next gen laptops will mostly use usb c for power. This means we can bin the AC power supplies and power through usb.

We run a nas on board. These use very little power and give us raid redundancy. We're replacing the 2.5" hdds with ssd this year. Expect hdd failure rates of drives to increase dramatically on board.

We also run a dedicated low power linux router and firewall. The consumer grade modem routers are a security nightmare.

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Old 09-04-2015, 17:30   #13
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
... Let me stop you right there.

The midrange laptop you buy in a few years will smoke just about any desktops you could buy today. The field still seems to be changing that fast.

So you should be asking that question again, about a week before you actually buy the computer.

Q - How do you know when a computer is outdated?
A - You brought it home and turned it on.
Ain't that the truth!
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Old 09-04-2015, 18:32   #14
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

I too would just invest in a powerful laptop (or a mini PC) with an SSD.

Laptops do seem to take shaking up better than most house grade desktops. I have seen mil spec onboard computers, very resilient, very expensive.

Also, when power runs out, the laptop gives you the option to save your work. On a desktop, you need an extra UPS.

I have a friend who post-produces video on a boat. He uses a laptop too.

Well. Whatever. I guess.

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Old 09-04-2015, 18:44   #15
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Re: Desktop, too high power cunsumption?

Google HP ZBook.

These are high powered notebook equivalents of the Z series workstation (which I have - highly recommended!). Should have plenty of power for photos and will even blitz it for video if spec'd high enough.

If it's just photos, A decent i7 4 core consumer grade will do the job.
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