System Requirements

Operating System

ISOLDE is distributed for Linux (CentOS 7 and later), MacOS and Windows 10 operating systems, and has essentially the same requirements as ChimeraX.


The most important factor in getting the best out of ISOLDE is your GPU. ISOLDE (or, to be more precise, the OpenMM library on which ISOLDE depends) relies on GPU acceleration (via OpenCL or CUDA) to deliver sufficient molecular dynamics performance for interactive simulations. As a minimum you will need an OpenCL 1.2 compatible GPU (don’t worry - this describes almost every GPU manufactured in at least the past 5 years), with the manufacturer’s drivers installed.

ISOLDE is designed to provide optimum performance on consumer-level “gaming” hardware. My regular test machine is an Asus ROG Strix GL502VS (not an ad - there are many similar laptops available) equipped with an Nvidia GTX1070 GPU. On this machine, “interactive” speeds (that is, better than about 10 fps) are possible with over 1,000 residues mobile. For non-interactive “settling” of big models, ISOLDE successfully simulates 4v9o: four (!) ribosomes in the asymmetric unit of a 2.9Å crystal - 991,533 atoms including hydrogens. On the other end of the scale, my 13” MacBook Air is a little trooper, achieving usable performance for a few dozen residues at a time (enough to tweak a problematic loop or fix local rotamer/backbone errors).