Whole Exome analysis on a 1500 € standard PC, is that possible?
We are regularly asked what kind of computer is needed to analyze Whole Exome data. We have tested it for you!
Analysing NGS data usually is the domain of power compute servers or High-Performance Clusters, as it typically has massive volume and requires a lot of data crunching. However, the power of available CPUs is increasing, and now there are faster processors with more cores available on the market at competitive prices. This applies not only to the sector of the server “workhorses” but also to the sector of “standard” Desktop PCs. This sector is characterized by commodity hardware that is produced in high volumes and can be bought at affordable prices. While this kind of PC used to have just a single core, it is today possible to buy Desktop CPUs with as many as 16 cores.
Given the price premium that is necessary to enter the high-performance server sector, the question arises: why not use commodity hardware for NGS data analysis? So we started an experiment: how feasible is it to do a resource-intensive whole-exome sequencing (WES) analysis on a modern Desktop PC.