The PC for your Vicon System

By 26 May 2022May 28th, 20222 Comments

The central hub of your system

With the growing complexity of life science research, robotics and engineering, and entertainment, motion capture systems have a lot of data to bring together into the Vicon ecosystem. This is especially true when combining multiple devices such as optical and video cameras, force platforms, inertial sensors, or facial motion capture. This also means that more powerful and versatile computers are needed to connect, capture, and process the data into the outputs your project needs. If you’ve acquired a system from us recently or contacted us for support with your current system, it probably involved a lot of chat about network cards, graphics cards, and firewalls. We’ve expanded our support pages to include as much information as we can about setting up your PC for the first time, as well as troubleshooting issues you might come across while using your system. Briefly, we’ll cover some of the important things you need to know about finding a PC for your Vicon motion capture system.

Do I need a super-powered capture PC?

This is a tricky one to provide a definitive answer because it really depends on the size (# of cameras) and complexity (analog/digital devices, video cameras etc.) of the system. Vicon has a list of recommended PC specifications on its website for different types of systems and software. Logemas can also help with recommendations for your capture PC. The main things to look for in your capture PC are:

  1. A dedicated NVIDIA graphics card (e.g. GeForce RTX 3060)
  2. An Intel network card (e.g. Intel X550)

Without a dedicated graphics card, your PC will probably not be able to run the software to capture data. The integrated graphics on the motherboard can sometimes handle basic processing such as labeling but not data capture. The network card allows the switch for the camera system to connect to the PC. The standard ethernet port on your motherboard won’t be suitable for the data coming from the Vicon system. For large systems that may include video cameras, you might need more powerful GPUs or multiple network cards to accommodate several connections to the PC.

What else do I need to know?

When planning out your project it’s worth considering that a PC powerful enough for advanced systems can cost a significant amount and require some technical setup.  For systems that require powerful GPUs (e.g. GeForce RTX 3070 or better) and multiple network cards for combined optical and markerless motion capture; the cost is similar to advanced gaming or visual effects PCs ($10k+). Some of the setup Logemas can do (e.g. configure your network card ports) but some other system settings like firewalls need to be arranged with local IT support. If you’re planning on purchasing a new system or upgrading your current system it’s worth having a chat with us about your capture PC requirements.

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