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[SCIRUN-USERS] Choice of workstation for image visualisation

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  • From: Ramón Casero Cañas <>
  • To: "" <>
  • Cc: Mailing list SCIRun <>
  • Subject: [SCIRUN-USERS] Choice of workstation for image visualisation
  • Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 12:42:18 +0100

Dear SCI community,

Something I've noticed when using Seg3D (both the old and new releases) is that 3D-rendering of a segmentation's isosurface from a 574 x 532 x 1024 voxel (~ 1.2GB) volume is fine, but when trying to rotate, translate or zoom the 3D visualization, there is considerable lag (I usually have to hide the rendering, rotate the axes, then display the rendering again).

We may start working with volumes that are twice or four times larger, so it'd be great to figure out where the bottleneck is.

My guess is that our workstation is simply not beef enough for the data size we are processing. We are going to purchase a new workstation for a new research project, and I'd be grateful for advice from the community.

Currently we have a 64-bit workstation running linux on:

HP wx6600 workstation

Intel(R) Xeon(R) @ 2.66GHz (4 cores)

nVidia Quadro FX 570

16 GB of RAM

I've read that the nVidia Quadro FX 570 is not so great for demanding workstation work [1].

Do you have any advice about the minimum we need in a graphics card to being able to work reasonably well?

My understanding is that Seg3D2 and most visualization software use OpenGL. Any cards in particular we should avoid?

Memory doesn't seem to be the problem for visualisation, as there are e.g. 7 GB free while rotating. Typically, only one of the cores seems to get involved, shooting up to 100% load, so I suspect that adding more cores or making them slightly faster wouldn't help much either.


Best regards,


Dr. Ramón Casero Cañas

Computational Biology
Department of Computer Science
University of Oxford
Wolfson Building, Parks Rd
Oxford OX1 3QD

tlf     +44 (0) 1865 610737

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