PC system and hardware requirements

The performance of your PC depends on its software.

The only obligatory requirement for the hardware is the possibility of connecting at least six monitors. You can do it by using one video card with four outputs (if your motherboard has 2-3 outputs and your CPU has integrated video) or two-three video cards with two video outputs (For motherboards with at least three PCIx16b slots). It is essential that you use the power supply board with sufficient capacity (which should 1,5 times exceed the total capacity of your hardware). A separate video card should be used for the working station with several monitors.

An approximate PC configuration for 6 working stations:

  • Processor Intel Core i5 7500 3.40GHz Intel® HD Graphics 630 graphics which supports the connection of 3 monitors (performance is at the level of GeForce GT 730/740)
  • Motherboard MSI B250M Pro-VDH with one PCI-Ex16 and three DVI / VGA / HDMI video outputs — in the BIOS settings you need to enable the use of integrated video along with discrete.
  • Video card GIGABYTE GeForce GT 730 1066MHz PCI-E 2.0 1024MB 5000MHz 64 bit which allows connecting three monitors
  • RAM - at least 16 GB and the possibility of increasing the amount of memory, if necessary.
  • As a system disk for systems with a large number of workstations - it is recommended to use SSD drive instead of HDD
  • Power supply board - at least 800 W

This is an approximate configuration for assembling the desktop tower with the possibility of connecting six monitors.


When choosing a PC configuration, be sure to consider the system requirements of the programs you plan to use.

Presently Aster operates with all video cards based on ATI/Nvidia/Intel chipsets. Monitors may be connected also via external USB video adapters on chipsets from FrescoLogic (Win7/8/10) and DispalyLink (Win10 only!), and as a wireless monitor (WiDi) (Miracast/WiDi). Others external USB video adapters as well as software emulations of displays (alike AirDisplay or IDisplay) was not tested.

Features of using display-only devices :

  • Do not assign the monitor only device to the first work place because when the computer starts the devices may not be ready and can cause issue with starting workplaces ;
  • Workplaces should be started only after the operating system is fully loaded and then monitors are ready, otherwise the automatic starting of the workplaces may not work when the PC is turned on;
  • You can start the seats manually with the “Start work places” button.

1 A PC-architecture computer, a notebook

It is recommended to use a notebook either with the discrete video adapter or the integrated video adapter.

Otherwise, if the notebook uses both video adapter types you will not be able to employ the discrete video card for ASTER needs.

2 ОС Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (except Win7 Starter, as it cannot be connected to several monitors)

There exists the formal support of server systems starting from 2008 R2 however ASTER has not been tested with them, and the correct performance of all server functions is not guaranteed. The user undertakes a commitment to perform preliminary testing of the required server functionality with ASTER.

* There are versions for Windows XP(x32), however their support is limited and no upgrading is underway.

3. The availability for every user of additional:

- entry units (keyboard/mouse);

- monitors or TV sets;

- required number of video inputs to connect all monitors.

4. Requirements to video cards: (refers only to ASTER V7)

- only GeForce, Radeon and integrated Intel series are supported;

- the video card must have an all-in-one WDDM-video driver;

- for multiple sets, it is desirable to use not the top display card models which take up one slot, but not overclocked ones, with a smaller video memory;

- provide good ventilation and sufficient video card power supply;

- not to use SLI/CrossFire modes.

- not install or at least not use the video driver applications with the ASTER power-on such as 3D Vision, HydraVision etc., to do it, during the driver installation you have to select a user-operation mode which allows for choosing the required components;

With Windows XP, the user has to test the required equipment with ASTER in advance and all by himself.

Requirements to input devices:

- not install any additional drivers/utilities for keyboard and mouse.

- if more than one wireless set is used the mutual interaction is possible so it is advisable to check their operation on buying.

The input devices such as joystick, touch input control, Xbox controller etc. can be used only in the first workplace.

The computer generated signature on eToken/ruToken also can be employed in the first workplace only.

The computer generated signature on an ordinary USB stick or floppy will be available for use in all workplaces.

5. The HDD volume should be sufficient for OS installation and requirements of all users.

In the case of the number of places more than one and depending on the tasks performed, the load on disk may be great particularly with the insufficient random access memory, so it would be better to choose a higher speed disk.

6. The RAM amount should meet the requirements of tasks to be run on PC.

In total, a number of RAM is a composite of:

- Memory necessary for OS run (Win XP – 64Mb; Win 7 and Win 8/10 – 1Gb/2Gb for x32 and x64 accordingly)

- 500 Mb on average for each workplace.

It should be sufficient for account loading and required applications’ start-up.

Accordingly, an approximate minimum amount of RAM for Win 7/8/10 per 6 users will as follows:

1 Gb (for OS) +500*6 = 4 Gb

Nevertheless, for 6- workplace configuration it would be better to use 6-8 Gb and more.

RAM is an easily scalable PC resource since at any moment a couple of RAM-cards may be added, and if the mother card lacks additional slots, the oversize modules can be used instead. However the best of all would be to follow the rule “the more RAM the better”, naturally within reasonable limits. However for x32 OS versions more than 4 Gb cannot be used anyway, and due to redundancy of the part of address space for video RAM, the amount of accessible memory in OS can decrease to 3 Gb and less. So launching more than two ASTER workplaces on x32 systems may result in deficiency in RAM for resource-intensive application execution.

7. Processor throughput.

There is no univocal correspondence between the number of active workplaces and processor throughput because it depends on the number of simultaneously working users, a total number of launched applications and a degree of their need in processor resources. Non-demanding (“light”) applications are standard desktop applications – Microsoft Word, Excel, browsers, e-mail clients, and alike, i.e. those which load CPU as small as possible. Among more or less demanding applications there is 1С:Enterprise with small databases (up to 2 Gb). “Heavy” applications are, for example, processing applications/photo rendering/video, games and similar software.

Therefore, having made a rough estimate of tasks to be run on PC, one can specify an approximate processor throughput. Generally, in CPU selection it would be better to follow the rule “one place one kernel”, in which case a CPU frequency is of little consequence.

8. A possible distance between workplaces is completely dependent on:

- type and quality of leads to connect additional workplaces;

- electromagnetic environment in cable runs and locations of remote devices;

- quality of power supply and specific features of devices themselves.

The lengths of different cable types without regard to impact of negative factors are given below, active cable lengths are given within brackets.

Depending on manufacturer and quality, the possible cable lengths may differ from those presented below.

USB 5 (25*) m - five 5-m segments.

PS/2 10 m

HDMI 5 (40) m

DVI 1280 x 1024 - 15 m

DVI 1920 x 1200 - 10 m

DVI active - 61 m

VGA 640 x 480 - 50 m

VGA 800 x 600 - 30 m

VGA 1024 x 768 - 15 m

VGA 1366 x 768 - 12 m

VGA 1600 x 1200 - 5 m

On this basis, a distance up to 10m seems to be the best between workplaces and the system unit without using additional equipment to make the distance longer.

Before purchasing the cables it is advisable to clarify the specification with the seller or, better still to check on spot.

There is a lot of devices which allow for increasing this distance many times. They are different KVM extension systems as well as VGA/USB twisted pair extenders, but these solutions have not been tested in practice, and we do not guarantee the flawless operation of devices connected using extension systems.

Conclusion:

Intrinsically, the Aster program practically does not increase loading upon system so an optimal computer configuration:

  • for 2 users in most instances does not differ from an optimal single user (for given tasks) computer configuration. Except perhaps you may add 2-4 GB RAM – there is never too much memory.
  • for 3-6 users it is a good idea to have CPU with a performance level 1-2 times higher, to increase RAM space in proportion to the number of users, install SSD and a PSU with power reserve. An optimal RAM space for a single user is about 2 GB for an office PC and 4 GB and higher for a multimedia/game-playing machine.

For a greater number of workplaces you need anyway the preliminary system testing and adjustment. Free downloading the 30-day version of Aster you may here: https://www.ibik.ru/downloads-free-trial, a tryout version has no functionality restrictions and is limited just by a free to use time.

The software which is incompatible with ASTER can be conveniently divided into two groups:

1. The software which has to be obligatorily uninstalled before installing /starting ASTER. This group includes the whole list of ASTER analogues: BeTwin, SoftXpand, WM Program and other similar software.

2. Potentially/nominally incompatible software which has to be uninstalled in the first place, in case there are some troubles with PC operation – these are basically the utilities which are installed with the video driver automatically. The video driver should be installed in the selective mode only the video/audio driver. This is an incomplete list of utilities:

  • NVIDIA 3DVision
  • NVIDIA GeForce Experience
  • VulkanRT
  • AMD Gaming Evolved

This group also includes the software for the fine tuning of video card, benchmarks and other software working with the video driver at the low level:

  • MSI Afterburner
  • RivaTuner