System Requirements

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.

If you plan to use Dragonfly's Deep Learning solution, you should also review the requirements in the topic Deep Learning Requirements.

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, 64-bit Windows 8 or 8.1, 64-bit Windows 10, 64-bit Windows 11.
    64-bit Linux operating system, starting from Ubuntu 18.04.
  • As of Dragonfly version 2021.3, an AVX compliant CPU is required (refer to for a list of AVX compatible CPUs).
  • Dedicated GPU graphics card with at least 1 GB of VRAM, such as Nvidia or AMD.
    NOTE Onboard Intel graphic units are not supported as they do not fully comply with the the latest OpenGL standards.
  • Support for OpenGL 4.3 or higher.
  • 8 GB of RAM.
  • 10+ GB of local hard disk storage for download and 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 (graphics processing unit)
  2. RAM (random access memory)
  3. CPU (central processing unit)
  4. Hard disk storage

1. GPU (graphics processing unit)

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 February 2019).

You should note that the last four-digit number in each description, for example "4608", indicates the number of CUDA parallel-processing cores. You should also note that Quadro cards are almost always more expensive than the GeForce cards.

  • Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 48GB 4608 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Quadro GV100 32GB 5120 (Volta)
  • Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 24GB 4608 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Titan RTX 24GB 4608 (Volta)
  • Nvidia Quadro P6000 24GB 3840 (Pascal)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti 11GB 4352 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 16GB 3072 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Quadro GP100 16GB 3584 (Pascal)
  • Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB 2560 (Pascal)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB 2944 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 8GB 2304 (Turing)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB 2304 (Turing)
  • Nvidia Quadro P4000 8GB 1792 (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 (random access 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 10+ GB of space. In addition, 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.