From: Erik Nordgren (
Date: Tue May 06 2014 - 11:08:40 CDT

Hi folks,

I have what must be a very common question, although I tried searching the
list archives and somehow didn't come up with anything very recent &
relevant, so figured I'd post.

Basically, I'm just wondering if folks who are accustomed to purchasing new
hardware regularly could comment with thoughts on the "optimum" choice (in
terms of power vs. cost) of a GPU to put in a desktop workstation today,
for smooth visualization of VMD structures with, say, 100-200 K atoms. (I
assume that the "sweet spot" for choosing a GPU is a moving target, with
the ever-improving capabilities of cards, which is why posts on this
subject from over a year ago are probably not very relevant anymore.) I
should add that I'm not in the market for an entire brand-new workstation,
but rather considering just upgrading the GPU in the linux box I already
have (a Dell Precision T3500, few years old already), which at the moment
has an NVIDA Quadro NVS 295.

As a related question, is it true that the only GPU manufacturer worth
seriously considering for VMD is NVIDIA (due to the CUDA optimizations)?

Many thanks in advance for any & all suggestions!


C. Erik Nordgren, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania