I am Building a new rig for a family member, His primary use will be processing ccd astronomy images. This is one of the programs he will use allot http://www.ccdware.com/products/ccdstack/
As I understand it this program is a Major resource hog, basically you overlay something like 30/40 pictures, mess with alignments, colors etc and turn it into a 1 gig picture, Kinda like what you see from Hubble telescope.
I have built lots of gaming rigs but this is a new one for me, I wanna make sure I get the proper hardware to run this beast of a program, This is what Im thinking,
Asus P6T Deluxe mobo
6 gigs drr3 tri channel mem, (Or should I run with 12 gigs?)
OS hard drive, WD 650gig black edition
2nd HD for picture storage, WD 1 tb
samsung 223 dvd bruner
corasir 650 watt power supply
Video card ??? thats a big question, Do programs like this require lots of gpu? just a guess evga gtx285 or one of the newer cheaper ati cards?
He will run xp 64 bit, because allot of his computer driven astronomy hardware doesnt have drivers for vista or win , Its quirky
Everything looks good. I would start with 6 GB of ram for now. That's quite a bit of memory, and you can always drop in additional sticks later.
For hard disks: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, the new Seagate Barracuda (7200.12 I think it is), WD Caviar Black 2 TB, or the WD RE4 2TB are all good choices. All of these hard disks sport 500 GB platters, so they will run very fast.
One thing that really really might help you is an SSD. SSDs are great when you have a lot of images to pull up with their super-fast seek times and quick read/write speeds. Trouble is, they are quite expensive. Don't expect miracles, but it would certainly be a noticeable performance enhancement (if you think it's worth the money).
Most image editting software can use GPU acceleration for certain functions, but you don't need anything extreme. An HD 5770 (or a GTX 260), for example, would pack more than enough oomph. You also go with a silent solution too like a fanless HD 4670 a 9800 GT, and that would still be fine. Image editting performance is more predicated upon your CPU, RAM, and HDD performance rather than on the GPU.
astronomy images are HUGE, some images are around 1GB. So lots of space is good. and because you're overlaying multiple numbers of these images, lots of ram would be good (12gb is good). for gpu, something small is enough (9800 gt).