System Requirements

Insight runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems.

Note: If you are using the Kingdom Reader, please see Insight and Kingdom Overview for additional requirements to read Kingdom projects.

What are the recommended hardware specifications for Insight?

What are the minimum system requirements for Insight?

From modest laptops to 64-core workstations, Insight is designed to take full advantage of the hardware it is running on.

These specifications will provide a smooth experience for modest projects. Keep in mind that some complex tasks will require more resources to achieve desired performance.

Operating System:

  • Windows (64-bit Vista, 7, 8, 10, 11)
  • macOS Monterey (version 12)
  • Modern Linux variants

Memory and CPU:

  • For basic visualisation and interpretation
    • Minimum memory: 4GB RAM
    • CPU: 2+ GHz, dual-core
  • For smooth visualisation, interpretation and attributes
    • Minimum Memory: 8-16GB RAM
    • CPU: 2+ GHz, quad-core
  • For regional-scale horizon interpretation and image gather processing
    • Minimum Memory: 16GB RAM (recommended 64GB)
    • CPU: Recent 2+ GHz, quad-core (or better)

Note: You can run Insight on machines with lower specifications if you lower your expectations!

The recommended hardware for Insight varies according to the size of your project. Insight scales to make the best use of the available hardware.

Workstation Recommendations

If purchasing a new workstation, you will get great results with:

  • 64GB of RAM
  • Intel I7 CPU (4+ core)
  • GPU (e.g. NVIDIA GTX, AMD Radeon RX)
  • 512GB SSD Internal hard disk
  • Additional hard disk storage for larger projects

Our processing teams use high-power workstations to work with gathers efficiently.

  • CPU: Two * Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2660 v2  (20 physical cores, for a total of 40 logical cores)
  • GPU: nVidia GTX 1060 (or nVidia GTX 1070)
  • RAM: 256GB
  • HD: 1 TB SSD, 3 x 4 TB 7200 RPM SATA

Note: We have recommended Intel CPU’s, but we expect similarly capable AMD processors to work just as well.

Laptop/Notebook Recommendations

If purchasing a new laptop or /notebook, you will get great results with:

  • 16GB of RAM (and consider 32GB)
  • Intel I7 CPU (4-core or more);
  • Mobile GPU (e.g. NVIDIA GTX, AMD Radeon RX, Intel Iris Plus)
  • 512GB SSD Internal hard disk
  • Additional hard disk storage for larger projects
    • Internal or external via Thunderbolt or USB3+

How does Insight use:


More cores are good value for money, as nearly all operations in Insight are multi-threaded. Insight is very good at dividing up tasks into smaller pieces for efficiency and makes good use of multiple cores. In cases where the task cannot be broken up, faster clock speeds will have a bigger impact.  

  • More cores will help Insight more than a higher clock speed.

Disk drives

Solid state disks (SSDs) are extremely fast, but they are still relatively expensive.  

Reading seismic data from DUG's .dugio format is very efficient, but Insight can only show data as quickly as it can read from the disk. Faster disks do help, but SSDs are not required for good performance.

A 1TB SSD is large enough to support many installed programs. The Insight application does not require a large amount of installed space -- typically much less than 500MB. 1TB is large enough to store a project, or several projects if you keep the seismic data separate from the main project area.

There are some situations where you can increase performance by reading or writing data from an SSD. Reserving some space on an SSD can be extremely useful as a temporary output destination, or for storing a temporary copy of seismic when data loading.

  • SSDs are wonderfully fast
  • Include a large traditional disk (2+TB) for storing seismic data


Insight carefully manages its use of memory to get the best results. Generally, it caches data that is displayed or recently accessed. When work is done on-the-fly, the results are kept in memory for reuse (as much as possible).  This one of the secrets to Insight's speed when working with huge regional 2D and 3D projects.

While you can run a regional project in 16GB, investing in more memory is usually worthwhile. If you're designing a workstation, consider getting at least 64GB.  

  • Consider at least 64GB (for workstations), 32GB (for laptops)

3D Graphics / GPU

Insight has very light requirements for 3D acceleration (3D GPU and graphics cards). The 3D view requires OpenGL 2.1 and is 100% compatible with the most recent GPUs. Insight does not use GPU acceleration for general computation and processing.

With updated drivers, almost all professional and consumer-grade AMD and NVIDIA chipsets work equally well. Some older on-board Intel GPUs (prior to 2013) may not be fast enough to provide a good experience.

  • Any recent (2015 or later) consumer or professional GPU

Note: 3D Volume Visualisation, a specific feature in the Explorationist module, uses the GPU more heavily than other 3D features. It works best with newer GPUs.

For more information, see Video Card Requirements.

Note: Some remote desktop, virtual machine, or cloud-based environment service providers like Citrix and VNC provide proper support for 3D graphics, while some do not. It is also important to properly configure the virtualised environment. 

We will certainly do our best to help, but issues related to virtualised environments will likely have to be referred to the relevant service providers. If you require further assistance, kindly contact support


Many people work with two 24" or 27" monitors side-by-side. Some have moved to a single ultra-high-resolution 30" or bigger display.  

There are benefits to both; it's a matter of personal preference.

Internet connection

Depending on the type of licence, an active internet connection may be required.

  • A floating licence requires direct internet access to activate and use Insight.
  • A node-locked licence can be activated via email and does not require an active connection.

For more information on licensing, see Licensing Overview.