PathPilot PC Hardware

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24 Jan 2016 08:42 #69026 by jut
PathPilot PC Hardware was created by jut
What PC hardware does the Tormach PathPilot have? I'm wondering what motherboard, cpu, ram, video card, hdd...etc they chose. It's probably a good reference design for those looking to build a new linuxcnc machine.

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24 Jan 2016 09:00 #69028 by geoffs
Replied by geoffs on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
There's a thread on this subject over at cnczone.com (unless the recent spam attacks have taken them off the air...)

4 motherboards listed as compatible are:

• Intel DG41AN
• Intel DH61DL
• Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2PV
• Gigabyte GA-H81M-HD3
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24 Apr 2016 01:22 #73783 by tomdchi
Replied by tomdchi on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
The Intel DH61DL only has one PCIe slot (and no other PCI type slots). I can't find a source now, but I thought I had read a comment on hardware for PathPilot that it doesn't like integrated graphics. The PCIe slot would be used by the Mesa card (the 6i25 in this case if I understand correctly), meaning there's nowhere for a PCI-type graphics card. Am I mis-remembering that integrated graphics hardware can be problematic for PathPilot (or standard LinuxCNC)?

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24 Apr 2016 11:05 #73793 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic PathPilot PC Hardware

Am I mis-remembering that integrated graphics hardware can be problematic for PathPilot (or standard LinuxCNC)?


You are probably correctly remembering reading some outdated information. Modern chipsets with integrated graphics seem to be fine.
Also, latency seems to be lower in general too. Don't get hung-up an getting latency down below 1000nS as some people have managed. 25000nS is good, 50000nS may be OK for many machines and 200000nS is no problem with Mesa FPGA cards doing the time-critical stuff.
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24 Apr 2016 14:36 #73801 by tomdchi
Replied by tomdchi on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
Andy - thanks! Let me throw out some system hardware "issues" that I've come across and please let me know if my understanding is incorrect:

I was going to ask about 32 bit vs 64 bit (again, stumbled across outdated info somewhere that I can't find now about PathPilot needing 32 bit hardware (I need to take better notes)). But it dawned on me that Tormach only introduced PathPilot a year or two ago, and as far as I know, there is essentially no source in that time-frame for 32 bit "Pentium" branded processors, thus, PathPilot must run fine on 64 bit architecture. (Or put another way, any processor that works on the listed motherboards and is faster than 2.7ghz should work fine with PathPilot currently.)

The other thing I came across was SSD vs. spinning disk storage. If I understand correctly, PathPilot doesn't care, but rather there may be an issue with the version of Ubuntu that is part of that install. Luckily for me, I have old spinning disks laying around, and the system won't meaningfully benefit from SSD speed, so I'll just stick with re-using an old disk. If I understand correctly, PathPilot expects the system's drive to be minimum 320gb, and if you want to use a SSD, it may need to be "prepped" somehow but can be made to work.

I'm new to all this, so please correct or clarify anything that's not quite right - thanks!

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24 Apr 2016 15:14 - 24 Apr 2016 15:16 #73802 by cncbasher
Replied by cncbasher on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
Pathpilot works fine with any size drive and with ssd's , and really does not care , the mimimun i have used is 40gig hard drives , same with 32 or 64 bit , any PC Capable of runnning Linuxcnc 2.6 or later will run Pathpilot , SSD'S work fine too .

the main problem with using SSD'S is you don't want to be reading and writing to the drive all the time , so some preparation is needed to use them , their are many articles on the net over setting up ssd's .
a lot of previous problems have been overcome in the last 18 months or so , and as Andy says much of this goes for latency too , i never took notice of latency , unless it was extremly high , which tended to be branded pc's at the time .
and with using Mesa cards , much of that goes out the window , with using hardware stepgens etc
Last edit: 24 Apr 2016 15:16 by cncbasher.
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24 Apr 2016 18:07 #73811 by smgvbest
Replied by smgvbest on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
I would add to the whole pathpilot video question
A looking at the Pathpilot PC shows it using integrated graphics. now it may not be Intel but it is integrated
you can see this in the pathpilot upgrade doc.
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24 Apr 2016 18:43 #73814 by tomdchi
Replied by tomdchi on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
Ah! I found the following: TD10342_PathPilot_Upgrade_Kit_0415A.pdf

on Tormach's website. According to that, #1 in your clipped image is the motherboard's parallel port, which is not used with PathPilot, and #2 is the Mesa card's port.

But as you point out: they're clearly using the integrated graphics off the motherboard! Thanks!

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25 Apr 2016 23:15 #73877 by cncnoob1979
Replied by cncnoob1979 on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
This combo I am currently running PP on. This set-up has turned out wonderful for me and latency around 5-7.
I listed the components in my thread below. Hope you have fun getting everything going!

forum.linuxcnc.org/forum/30-cnc-machines...ofit?start=210#72061
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25 Apr 2016 23:42 #73880 by tomdchi
Replied by tomdchi on topic PathPilot PC Hardware
cncnoob1979 - thanks! It's good to see I'm on the right track. I see you used a 7i77 BOB - I"m planning on a 7i76, which obviously has some differences, but I may bug you with some questions when I get to that. Cheers!

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