About Header

Visualization Resources

To support the world-class research being performed on our high performance computing systems, TACC provides advanced visualization resources and consulting services, which are accessible both in-person and remotely. These resources encompass both hardware and software, and include: Stallion, among the highest resolution tiled displays in the world; Longhorn, the largest hardware accelerated, remote, interactive visualization cluster; and the Longhorn Visualization Portal, an internet gateway to the Longhorn cluster and an easy-to-use interface for scientific visualization.


Vislab LayoutThe TACC Visualization Laboratory (Vislab), located in POB 2.404a, is open to all UT faculty, students and staff, as well as UT Systems users. The Vislab includes Dell Precision systems, equipped with Intel multi-core processors and NVIDIA graphics technology; a 12.4 megapixel collaborative multi-touch display; Mellanox FDR InfiniBand networking technologies to connect these systems at higher speeds; commercial audio and video capabilities to enable full HD videoconferencing; and enhanced display capability for Stallion, among the highest-resolution tiled displays in the world, and now at 328 million pixels. In addition, the Vislab has updated stereoscopic visualization displays. The Vislab also serves as a research hub for human-computer interaction, tiled display software development, and visualization consulting.

Make a Vislab Reservation Request


HP/NVIDIA Interactive Visualization and Data Analytics System

Maverick, TACC's latest addition to its suite of advanced computing systems, combines capacities for interactive advanced visualization and large-scale data analytics as well as traditional high performance computing. Recent exponential increases in the size and quantity of digital datasets necessitate new systems such as Maverick, capable of fast data movement and advanced statistical analysis. Maverick debuts the new NVIDIA K40 GPU for remote visualization and GPU computing to the national community.


  • 132 (dual socket) Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 Ivy Bridge processors and run at 2.8GHz nodes
  • 132 Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 Ivy Bridge processors and run at 2.8GHz (dual socket) nodes
  • 132 NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPUs
  • TACC-developed remote vis software: ScoreVIS, DisplayCluster, GLuRay
  • Visualization software stack: Paraview, VisIT, EnSight, Amira


  • 132 1/4TB memory nodes
  • connected to 20PB file system
  • Mellanox FDR InfiniBand interconnect
  • comprehensive software includes: MATLAB, Parallel R, and more

Access Maverick through The Visualization Portal.

For more information about using Maverick, see the Maverick User Guide.


328 Megapixel Tiled-Display System

StallionStallion is a 328 megapixel tiled display system, with over 150 times the resolution of a standard HD display, it is among the highest pixel count displays in the world. The cluster provides users with the ability to display high-resolution visualizations on a large 16x5 tiled display of 30-inch Dell monitors. This configuration allows for an exploration of visualizations at an extremely high level of detail and quality compared to a typical moderate pixel count projector. The cluster allows users access to over 82GB of graphics memory, and 240 processing cores. This configuration enables the processing of datasets of a massive scale, and the interactive visualization of substantial geometries. A 36TB shared file system is available to enable the storage of tera-scale size datasets.

For more information about using Stallion, see the Stallion User Guide

System Name: Stallion
  Head Node Render Nodes
Operating System: CentOS 6.3 CentOS 6.3
Number of Monitors:   80 Dell 3007WFP Widescreen LCD
328 Mpixel (40,960x8000) resolution
Number of Processors: 2 X 8-core Intel Sandy Bridge 2687W @ 3.1 GHz 40 X 6-core Intel Sandy Bridge
2667W @ 2.9 GHz
Total Memory: 128GB of RAM 64GB Per Node (1.28TB Aggregate)
Total Disk: 1TB 1TB Per Node (20TB Aggregate)
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 680 40 NVIDIA GTX 680
Network Filesystem: Dell PowerVault NX3100; 36TB Disk Space  
Network Interface: InfiniBand FDR  


Multi-touch Display

LassoLasso is a multi-touch display with a resolution of 12.4 megapixels (5760x2160). The tiled-display consists of (6) 46" monitors in a 3x2 grid configuration and is driven by a single node using AMD Eyefinity technology. The display's most prominent feature is the PQ Labs 32-point multi-touch infrared perimeter which allows seamless multi-touch across the display surface. Lasso is also augmented with a Microsoft Kinect for touch-less interaction.

System Name: Lasso
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1, CentOS 6.3
Resolution: 12.4 megapixels (5760x2160)
Number of Monitors: (6) 46" monitors
Graphics Card: AMD FirePro V9800 with 4GB texture memory
Multi-Touch Characteristics: 32 simultaneous touch points, 5mm precision, 60Hz update rate, infrared detection with PQ Labs Overlay


Sony 9M Pixel Projection System

BroncoThe flat screen area gives users a 20 ft. x 11 ft., 4096 x 2160 resolution display, which is driven by a Sony SRX-S105 overhead projector and a high-end Dell workstation. This configuration provides users with the added flexibility to run a wide variety of applications, as only one workstation is required to drive the display. The projector gives exceptional brightness and a high resolution, 9M pixel viewing area. In addition, it is configurable to accept inputs from up to four simultaneous video sources, allowing for a hybrid display of multiple systems. As a result, the setting is ideal for ultra-high-resolution visualizations and presentations.

System Name: Bronco - Dell Precision Workstation
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1, CentOS 6.3
Number of Processors: 2 Intel 6-core Sandy Bridge 2667W @ 2.9 GHz
System Memory:
Graphics Card: AMD FirePro V9800 and 4GB texture memory
Total Disk: 1TB local disk
  Bronco - Sony SRX-S105 Projector
Resolution: 4K x 2K resolution = 4096x2160 (8.85 Mpixel)
Screen Size: 20' x 11'


Stereoscopic 3D Visualization Systems

MustangStereoscopic 3D can be used in visualization to render depth as a result of the parallax generated by active and passive stereoscopic technologies. Mustang and Silver are equipped with the latest active stereoscopic technology using Samsung's 240 Hz stereo output modes in conjunction with 55" LED display panel.

System Name: Mustang, Silver
Operating System: Windows 7 SP1, CentOS 6.3
Number of Processors: 2 Intel 6-core Sandy Bridge 2667W @ 2.9 GHz
System Memory: 128GB of RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA Quadro 6000 with 6GB texture memory
Total Disk: 1TB local disk
Stereoscopic 3D System: Active shutter glasses
Screen: 55" Samsung D7000 LED display 1080P


Collaboration Room

SaddleThe collaboration room offers the opportunity for small groups to work together on developing and exploring visualizations. The Full HD projector covers a 16' X 9' area with the many possible input combinations. Users may develop their visualizations in the room, and then easily transition them to one of the two larger display systems in the main lab area at a later time. This is an excellent environment for developmental work and collaboration with the TACC visualization staff. User's laptops or a provided Mac Mini can drive the projector. The system also offers 1080p conference capabilities.



Four high-end workstations are available in the lab for use in graphics production, visualization, and video editing. Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems are available on the workstations.

System Name: Horseshoes
Windows 7 SP1; CentOS 6.3
2 Intel 6-core Sandy Bridge 2667W @ 2.9 GHz
128GB of RAM
1TB local disk
NVIDIA Quadro 6000 Graphics Card
Dual 30" LCD Monitors (2560X1600)
Mac OSX 10.8
2 Intel Xeon 2.26 GHz quad-core processors (8 cores total)
16 GB of RAM
1 TB local disk
ATI Radeon 4870 graphics card
Dual 30" LCD Monitors (2560X1600)
Horseshoe 3, 4:
Windows 7 SP1; CentOS 6.3
2 Intel 6-core Sandy Bridge 2667W @ 2.9 GHz
128GB of RAM
1TB local disk
AMD Radeon HD 7970
Dual 30" LCD Monitors (2560X1600)

Remote Visualization Resources

In addition to TACC's local visualization resources, TACC also provides two resources that are used for the remote rendering of data. Both of these systems are equipped with GPUs and can be used as both GPGPU and remote, interactive visualization resources.


256-Node Dell Visualization Cluster

ColtLonghorn is a large visualization cluster designed for remote interactive visualization and data analysis. In addition, Longhorn supports production, compute-intensive calculations on both the CPUs and GPUs via off-hour queues. The large, per-node memory is intended to support serial and parallel visualization and analysis applications that take advantage of large memories, multiple computing cores, and multiple graphics processors. Longhorn is an ideal companion resource for working with large data sets created on Ranger, since Longhorn can directly access Ranger's Lustre parallel file system.

The system consists of 256 dual-socket nodes, each with significant computing and graphics capability. Total system resources include 2048 compute cores (Nehalem quad-core), 512 GPUs (128 NVIDIA Quadro Plex S4s, each containing 4 NVIDIA FX 5800s), 13.5 TB of distributed memory and a 210 TB local Lustre file system. Longhorn configuration details can be found below.

For more information about using the Longhorn, see the Longhorn User Guide

System Name: Longhorn
128 NVIDIA Quadro Plex S4s,
each with:
16GB Graphics Memory (4GB per GPU)
2 independent graphics busses, one per GPU pair
240 Dell R610 Compute Nodes,
each with:
2 Intel Nehalem quad-core processors (8 cores) @ 2.53 GHz
73GB local disk
connected to 2 dedicated NVIDIA FX 5800 GPUs via Quadro Plex graphics bus
16 Dell R710 Compute Nodes,
each with:
2 Intel Nehalem quad-core processors (8 cores) @ 2.53 GHz
73GB local disk
connected to 2 dedicated NVIDIA FX 5800 GPUs via Quadro Plex graphics bus
Mellanox QDR InfiniBand Interconnect
14 Dell PowerVault MD1000 Direct Attached Storage Arrays (210TB global file system, managed by the Lustre Parallel File System)


The Longhorn Visualization Portal (http://portal.longhorn.tacc.utexas.edu) provides a simplified interface to the Longhorn visualization resource. The visualization portal allows you to start parallel jobs on Longhorn and perform interactive visualization through a web browser. In addition, the portal contains a built in visualization engine, EnVision, that makes scientific visualization efficient and simple. The portal can be accessed by any user with a TACC or XSEDE account, given the user has an allocation on a TACC system.

Training and Accessibility

Getting an Account on Visualization Resources:

  • Please visit User Services for general information on getting a TACC or XSEDE account.
  • You are PI eligible if you are a faculty member or someone who is in a position to be responsible for users in their group, such as a Facilities Manager or Lab Manager. If you are a student, it is preferable that you find someone to be your PI in your department, and get them to request an allocation on the visualization resource. They will need to obtain a TACC portal account as well if they do not already have one.
  • Have your PI request that you be added to their current allocation on the visualization resource you would like. If you are a PI, request an allocation on resource via the "Allocations" tab.
  • To get an account on the Vislab machines, you will need to request an allocation on the Stallion System.

Requesting A Tour of the Vislab:

Please contact our Education Outreach Coordinator, Rosalia Gomez, about getting a tour of the visualization laboratory: rosie@tacc.utexas.edu

Training Classes:

To facilitate the use of our visualization resources, TACC staff provide training on the various technologies, programming languages and software packages that will enable researchers to get the best results from their efforts. Please see our training calendar for more information. If you would like to be trained on the use of the systems in the TACC Vislab, please contact vislab-info@tacc.utexas.edu, or submit a ticket via the TACC Portal.