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    My school is currently in the process of installing an AR sandbox with a group of high school students, the sandbox is up and running but it’s not functioning properly. The topography lines are a little slow to update and the water is very sluggish. we also only have one color appearing, unless an object is raised fairly high over the top of the sandbox. The computer the students set up contains an intel core duo processor and an ASUS 210 silent 1GB Graphics card all inside a compact case. We would like to have full functionality while spending as little as possible. What would be recommended?


    I do not think that you will be able to get good results with the water simulation using this hardware. The GeForce 210 graphics card is is capable of 35.2 GFLOPS, about 99x less powerful than the recommended GTX 970, which is capable of 3,494 GFLOPS: http://gpuboss.com/gpus/GeForce-GTX-970-vs-GeForce-210.

    In terms of spending as little as possible, I think your best option would be to disable the water simulation. You may be able to get the standard topographic height map functionality working with this setup, but the water simulation is really going to slow things down.

    If you must have the water simulation, then you will to need to use the recommended hardware: an Intel i5 or i7 processor with base clock speed of at least 3.0 Ghz, and an Nvidia GTX 970 or 1070 GPU. A PC with these specs will cost in the neighborhood of $1000, though you may be able to save money by building it yourself. We were able to put together our own build with an i5 and GTX 1070 for about $800. It was mentioned in another post on this forum that a GTX 770 may perform reasonably well, and you could save money by buying one used.

    Your coloring problem may be related to your attempt to use the water simulation on inadequate hardware. If the only color you are seeing is white, then make sure you are specifying the -uhm switch in the terminal command used to start the sARndbox program. It is also possible that the base height of the sandbox was set wrong. To fix this, you could redo the projector calibration, or open up the BoxLayout.txt and play around with the last number on the first line of the file until you see good results.

    Oliver Kreylos

    Thanks for the good reply; one minor update: An Nvidia GeForce 1060 works reasonably well, and you can buy a pre-built “VR ready” PC with a Core i5 CPU and a 1060 for around $800 on Amazon or Newegg.

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