[clug] wokstation for processing MRI data

Nicolas Cherbuin n.cherbuin at anu.edu.au
Wed Aug 2 00:48:09 GMT 2006


I am researching hardware specification for a workstation that will be 
used to process resource intensive MRI data (3D brain imaging) using the 
OSS Freesurfer running under linux. I am wondering if some of us have 
had similar requirements (particularly in image manipulation) and what 
their choices have been.

The guys producing Freesurfer recommend  greater CPU speed and RAM (min 
2gig, 4gigs recommended) with normal specs for HD drives. Given that 
with these specs the processing of one scan can take 18 hours, I am keen 
to get more than the minimum. I have to process potentially hundreds of 
scan but at least in the tens.

I was thinking of getting at least a dual core Athlon 4800? and 8 gig of 
ram and use Fedora  for simplicity (I am not a linux expert). Budget is 
around $3-5000 possibly more if it can be justified.

I am trying to answer the following questions:

1. If I get a 64 bit processor will it make much difference and will I 
still be able to run 32 bit software (freesurfer is supported in 64bits 
architectures). what processor should I choose?
2. What sort of motherboard should I choose and do some support 2 x dual 
core chips?
3. The graphics card needs to support openGL but does not need to be 
especially good. Which card is going to provide least trouble under linux?

Any comments would be appreciated



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