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Computer Requirements


The main constraint is having sufficiently fast disk write speed to handle the camera data. Worst-case is 100 fps with full frame, or 800 MB/s (only one camera is used at a time). Usually this is solved by using SSDs in RAID0 configuration (e.g. 4 SSDs in RAID0 can achieve >1 GB/s). If you aren't using full frame or a particularly fast imaging speed this requirement is relaxed and a more conventional hard drive may be sufficient, especially if acquisition occurs in bursts and there is ample RAM to store images until they can be written to disk.

Data Analysis

Having lots of RAM speeds the analysis; ideally the entire dataset can be held in active memory. Ideally get a computer with CUDA-capable graphics card because some of the data analysis software can take advantage of it to speed the computation (OpenCL is a competing framework for GPU computation). This is a nascent area and depends on software support; many software developments data analysis are forthcoming so it's hard to say exactly what will be the best hardware in the long run.

Specific suggestions

ASI has successfully used Dell Precision T3600 with 8-core Xeon CPU, 4x SSDs in RAID0, 64 GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro K4200, and enough PCIe slots (2 camera framegrabber cards, graphics card, and RAID controller).