[clug] workstation for processing MRI data

Nicolas Cherbuin n.cherbuin at anu.edu.au
Fri Aug 4 05:08:06 GMT 2006

Thanks to those who have responded to my query. It does not look as if I 
will gain much with a 64 bit machine and a cluster is way above my head.
I am still wondering if somebody would have a specific 
motherboard/processor combination to recommend that could accommodate 8 
gigs of RAM and is particularly good.
Also, is it feasible/worthwhile to get a 64 bit machine and run it 
initially with a 32 bit OS (linux) as a way of future proofing? Drew 
gave a link for distributions that are planning a mix of 32 and 64 bit 
applications but given my knowledge of linux and time restrictions I 
cannot deal with something too new and potentially unstable.



    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

    Any comments would be appreciated

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