2014 NGS Field Guide – Table 3b – Computational costs

Table 3b. Computational resources needed and size of data files for commercially available next generation DNA sequencing platforms in 2014. All costs are list price in thousands of US dollars.


Computational Resources a

Data File Sizes (GB) b

Illumina MiSeq



Illumina NextSeq 500



Illumina HiSeq 2500

$222 cluster c


Illumina HiSeq X (projected)

≥$222 cluster c

[Really big]

Illumina HiSeq X Ten (projected)



Ion Torrent – 314 chip

$16.5 (desktop) d

1 sff, 0.2 fastq

Ion Torrent – 316 chip  

$16.5 (desktop) d

5 sff, 1 fastq

Ion Torrent – 318 chip  

$16.5 (desktop) d

10 sff, 2.5 fastq

Ion Torrent – Proton I

($75) cluster e

120 sff, 30 fastq

Ion Torrent – Proton II

($75) cluster e


Ion Torrent – Proton III*

($75) cluster e

[very big]

PacBio RS

$65 cluster

2 (basecalls, QV, kinetics)

454 GS Jr. Titanium

$5 (desktop)

<3 images, <1 sff

454 FLX+

$5 (desktop)

40 images, 8 sff

SOLiD – 5500xl

$35 cluster d

148 f*

Oxford Nanopore MinION (projected)



Oxford Nanopore GridION (projected)



a Desktops assume higher-end models with multiple processors, ≥8 GB RAM, ≥1 TB HD, etc. (up to $5k)

b Data file size (ballpark average) transferred from instrument server to offline cluster; Ion Torrent PGM chips = 500 cycles

c Illumina Compute – Tier 1 system: 3 cluster nodes with 8 cores and 48 GB RAM per node (i.e., 24 cores and 144 GB RAM) and ~24 TB usable data storage; commodity equivalent systems are available for much less, but will require technical support (see text).

d Compute cluster available from Life Technologies

e Compute cluster included with Proton system

f New compressed binary data format saves base and quality-value data in a 1byte:1base ratio [big/small] = general indication of size