Dragonfly System Requirements

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Is your system ready for Dragonfly?
Below you will find the minimum system requirements that must be met to work with Dragonfly and some further recommendations to fully experience all the benefits of Dragonfly.


Minimum Requirements

Dragonfly can run on a workstation with the following minimum specifications. However, you should note that performance and productivity will likely be limited and that such a system may not be able to handle larger sized research datasets.

  • 64-bit Windows 7 operating system or later.
    64-bit Linux operating system (beta release tested on Ubuntu 16.04).
  • Dedicated GPU graphics card with at least 1 GB of VRAM.
  • Support for OpenGL 4.3 or higher.
  • 8 GB of RAM.
  • 2 GB of local hard disk storage for installation.
Some remote connections and virtual machines, most notably Windows Remote Desktop and VMWare, are not supported by Dragonfly.

System Recommendations

Dragonfly needs a high-performance workstation in order to handle the image processing and visualization demands of large data. If you want maximal performance, then you should exceed these specifications and purchase whatever your budget permits.

  • Dedicated GPU graphics card with at least 6 GB of VRAM.
  • 32 GB of RAM (plan on having 4x as much RAM as the largest scans you need to process).
  • 2.4 GHz or faster Intel 4-core Xeon or i7 CPU (or AMD equivalent).
  • 2 TB of local hard disk storage.

Your hardware choices should be prioritized as follows:

  1. GPU
  2. RAM
  3. CPU
  4. Hard disk storage

1. GPU (video graphics card)

You should choose a workstation-class (Nvidia Quadro or ATI FirePro) or a gamer-class (Nvidia GeForce or ATI Radeon) graphics card. Dragonfly performance will improve with more video RAM (VRAM) and more GPU processing capability (GPU cores).

Below are the highest-performance graphics cards to consider, ranked from highest to lower performance (last updated April 2018). Note that the Quadro cards are almost always more expensive than the GeForce cards.

  • Nvidia Quadro GV100 32 GB [Volta]
  • Nvidia GeForce Titan V 12 GB [Volta]
  • Nvidia Quadro P6000 24 GB [Pascal]
  • Nvidia Quadro GP100 16 GB [Pascal]
  • Nvidia GeForce Titan XP 12 GB [Pascal]
  • Nvidia Quadro M6000 24 GB [Maxwell]
  • Nvidia Quadro M6000 12 GB [Maxwell]
  • Nvidia GeForce Titan Z 12 GB [Maxwell]
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB [Pascal]
When building a system yourself, you must confirm that your system is compatible with your preferred graphics card. The constraints are the interface of the motherboard (e.g. PCIe 3.0) and the power capacity of the power-supply unit (e.g. 800 W).

2. RAM (system memory)

Some image processing tasks are very demanding of memory. We suggest you equip your workstation for 4x the size of the largest scan that you wish to work with. (e.g. If you will work with 25 GB scans, then you should arrange for 100+ GB of RAM).

Note that when building a system, you may wish to have a future upgrade path. Many budget systems will not permit you to upgrade beyond 32 GB of RAM. Always pay attention to the maximum supported memory for any system you purchase.


3. CPU (central processing unit)

Dragonfly performance will benefit from faster clock speed CPUs and from more cores. If you are doing mostly visualization and minimal image processing, then CPU is less important. If you expect to do extensive image processing, then you should invest in faster clockspeed and more cores.


4. Hard-disk storage

Dragonfly installations typically require less than 1 GB of space, so it has no meaningful requirements for hard-disk storage. However, users will need space to store data they are working on, as well as intermediate and final results. Because users are typically working on large data, we encourage you to get at least 2 TB of local storage.