First, I should say that my old Skimmer computer, running an E2200 dual-core Pentium, was distinctly unhappy in contests at 96 KHz coverage of 6 bands, and was absolutely knocked flat at 192 KHz.
I couldn't spend a lot of money, but wanted to do better. Here's what I came up with:
- An AMD FX-8350 8-core processor. This processor has a Passmark score of over 9141, compared to the E2200's 1160. The AMD is far more cost-effective than Intels of comparable performance, and it even comes with its own cooler
- An ASUS M5A78L-MLX Plus motherboard. This is quite an old design, but is the only one I could find that still has onboard video and audio and takes decently fast memory. And it is really cheap. I've always liked Asus, not least for their comprehensive user manuals.
- 8 GB of DDR3 1666 MHz memory. I have never seen more than about 3 GB of memory in use by Skimmer, but memory is cheap these days, so why not.
How does it work? This weekend, with over 1000 decoders and over 1100 QSOs per 30 minutes, and 192 KHz bandwidth on 7 bands, Skimmer Server was consuming 8-11 percent of the CPU. I think this bodes very well.
73, Pete N4ZR