This Guide contains detailed information on installing, configuring and using cryoSPARC v0.2.47 to 0.6.5. For detailed documentation, installation instructions and a tutorial for cryoSPARC v2.0+, please visit our new documentation page at We highly recommend upgrading to v2.0 to take advantage of the full pipeline for processing single particle cryo-EM data, as well as powerful new workflow features.

Minimum system requirements

Computer hardware

cryoSPARC requires, at minimum, a desktop workstation or rackmount server with:

  • Quad-core or better Intel CPU
  • 32GB+ CPU RAM
  • NVIDIA GPU with Compute Capability 3.5+ and 8 GB+ GPU RAM
  • 256GB+ SSD drive
  • Linux OS (we recommend Ubuntu 16.04)
  • NVIDIA Drivers and CUDA 6.5+. NOTE: CUDA 8 is required for newer GTX and TITAN GPUs.

For more information on system requirements, please visit this page.



cryoSPARC uses the following file formats:

  • One or more raw cryo-EM particle stacks in .mrc or .mrcs format
  • One or more meta-data files in .star, .par, .txt or .emx formats, including contrast transfer function (CTF) values for each particle (defocus, astigmatism, phase shift)
  • Imaging parameters for the dataset, including accelerating voltage, amplitude contrast, spherical aberration, pixel size