Choice of processor

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AlxndrBrg
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Choice of processor

Post by AlxndrBrg »

I recently got a camera upgrade at work, going from a Canon 6D to a 5Dsr, doubling the MP from 26 to 51. Understandably the stacking times in ZereneStacker have also increased, to the point where the computer cannot keep up with an automatic PMax stack while the camera shoots a frame every ~4 seconds. It's clearly my processor that cannot handle it, as it caps out at 100%, while I got more than enough RAM and a quick SSD. I know cropping the picture a helps quite a bit, but there are only set crop sizes in the crappy Canon Utility 3 software, and the smallest, 1:1 still takes too long to do a DMap for me.

My computer specs are:
HP Workstation Z240 Tower
CPU: Intel i7-7700K @4.20GHZ
RAM: 32GB
GPU NVIDIA Quadro P1000 (Zerene Stacker does not use the GPU, correct?)


I have no idea what I should be looking for as an upgrade, any advice? If have understood correctly Zerene cares less about having many cores/parallel processing functions, so "raw" single core power is what I am looking for?

When it comes to the GPU, I'm running four monitors, three of them 4K, and at times it has struggled, is there something better at a reasonable price? Or should I simply be kinder to the GPU and not run all screens while working on big files in Photoshop?

Price is less of a concern than if I would buy it as a private person, it's not worth paying me to sit staring at a screen waiting for the stack to complete.

/Alex

JKT
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by JKT »

If you are looking at single thread raw power, the best at the moment seem to be the new Zen 3 Ryzens: 5600X, 5800X, 5900X & 5950X. Intel seems to be some 10% below. PassMark increase from your current should be something like 45%. How well that translates to reality is anybody's guess.

bralex
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by bralex »

Rik (the developer) has previously addressed this viewtopic.php?p=141699#141699
It's dominated by CPU performance, with components of both per-processor speed and aggregate system speed. The processing essentially alternates between "serial" phases where one processor does all the work, and "parallel" phases where all available processors share the work equally.

My current system has 6 physical processors (cores), which pretend to be 12 through the fantasy of hyperthreading. The test stack in front of me at this moment completes in 69 seconds with Options > Preferences > Multiprocessing set to use 1 processor. When set to use 6 processors, it completes in 22 seconds; and set to use 12 processors it completes in 21 seconds.
I'm looking at an AMD 5900X for my next build - high single thread speed and 12/24 cores. He did note that people often forget the importance of RAM - I'm planning for 32 GB.

rjlittlefield
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by rjlittlefield »

AlxndrBrg wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:05 am
Zerene Stacker does not use the GPU, correct?
Correct. For Zerene Stacker, the graphics card is just a place to put pixels for display.
If have understood correctly Zerene cares less about having many cores/parallel processing functions, so "raw" single core power is what I am looking for?
This issue is complicated. Most of the computational work is done in parallel, using all available cores. But the program still spends a significant amount of wall clock time in "serial sections", where only one core is used. So, having too few cores will not help the parallel sections, while having lots of slow cores will not help the serial sections. At any point in time there must be some "sweet spot" that has the best overall performance, but I do not have good data on where that is right now.

Highest throughput, meaning most images per hour, is achieved by running multiple instances of Zerene Stacker, so as to process multiples stacks at the same time. This allows one stack to use a single core in a serial section while another stack is using all the other cores to work in parallel. Where the work permits, the best use for large memory (beyond about 200 megabytes per each 1 megapixel) is to process multiple stacks at the same time.

There is more discussion of this and other issues, at viewtopic.php?p=141699#p141699 (same link that bralex gave), and continuing on to the second page of that thread.
I know cropping the picture a helps quite a bit, but there are only set crop sizes in the crappy Canon Utility 3 software, and the smallest, 1:1 still takes too long to do a DMap for me.
If cropping and/or resizing are OK, then consider using the settings at Options > Preferences > Preprocessing. Those are not as effective as doing the same reductions to the source images outside Zerene Stacker, but they can still make a large difference.

--Rik

AlxndrBrg
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by AlxndrBrg »

Thank you all very much for taking time to comment!

Ok, so a Ryzen 5000X or higher seems like a good choice, I would need to get a new motherboard as well though. But to upgrade my Intel CPU it seems likely I would have to replace the motherboard anyway, since they use different sockets in their range.

Now only to figure out which motherboard my SSD with a PCI Express 3.0 x4 port will play nice with. The RAM, GPU, SATA drives and PSU should all work with all motherboards, correct?

/A

JKT
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by JKT »

GPU, PSU and SATA should, but RAM... At least 3### Ryzens were somewhat finicky with memory even though they were supposed to work. And get quality processor fan instead of one that comes with the processor. Otherwise ear plugs will be in order. :D

nielsgeode
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by nielsgeode »

For what it's worth: I have tested Zerene Stacker's speed for a PMax stack with the same set of 200 images 24MP each on different Ryzen CPUs:

Ryzen 2700x: 6min16s
Ryzen 3900x: 5min42s
Ryzen 3950x: 4min54s

I'm not sure, but I would expect that the contents of the images does not affect rendering time. So rendering 200 images on your CPU(s) and taking into account the resolution differences should give relative CPU speeds. I don't mind sharing the images I used, so feel free to ask for them.

AlxndrBrg
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by AlxndrBrg »

nielsgeode wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:03 pm
For what it's worth: I have tested Zerene Stacker's speed for a PMax stack with the same set of 200 images 24MP each on different Ryzen CPUs:

Ryzen 2700x: 6min16s
Ryzen 3900x: 5min42s
Ryzen 3950x: 4min54s

I'm not sure, but I would expect that the contents of the images does not affect rendering time. So rendering 200 images on your CPU(s) and taking into account the resolution differences should give relative CPU speeds. I don't mind sharing the images I used, so feel free to ask for them.
I'd be interested in seeing how my rig measures up against those numbers - if I could get your files it be great! I sent you a PM

pierre
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by pierre »

Dears,

Regarding the stacking process speed, I read Helicon Focus was making a good use of the graphic card's cuda processors, in the last program version 7.64 thus was eager to test it.

Equiped with quite recent midle range home made unit: a Rizen 9 3900x on a X570 phantom4 mboard / PCIe4 Rocket M2 SSD /16Go DDR4 and a small GTX1030 fanless graphic card, the test subject was a perroudite (micromineral , Mag 50x) pictured with a stack of raws converted in TIFF format via Rawtherappee witch resulting of of 385 tiff frames of 112Mo ea (24Mpix).

The parameters used for both programs : method C (HF pyramid) or PMAX (ZS), auto-contrast/luninosity, auto align, and Lancroft8 (16x16) rendering (the slower), Max cores to use, memory autoselect.

the results:

Under HF, it was compiled in 2,36 minutes (156,4seconds) with processor's load average 22% without heat troubles.
Under ZS, alas without a bunch of cuda's help, the stack was compiled in 12 minutes, and generate an average processor load of 70%.

Regarding this, the use of the graphic card's processor is clear.

In fine, the Rizen 9 3900x is a nice choice, at least, for me :)


I hope this will helps.
Regards

Pierre

JKT
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by JKT »

Did you by any chance run the Helicon's internal specmark? If you did, I'd like to hear just how much faster that machine is than mine. :D (11.63s)

pierre
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by pierre »

Dear JKT,

rate is 132.87, a bit faster than AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X , 12 cores.
Performance: 15.82 seconds (132.87 MPixels/s)
Transfer speed 2604.85 MB:stackg 100 in-memory images by method B.
Images 5616x3744, 16 b/ch, 3 channels
Regards

Pierre

JKT
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by JKT »

Pierre,

Odd that my time was shorter at 11.63s. It shouldn't have been with 3700X. Nvidia Quadro P620 isn't that fast either. The used disk is Seagate FireCuda 520 1TB, so that is pretty fast. I'll look at the other numbers in the evening. Thermal throttling on CPU or disk?

Edit:
11.56 s (181.88 Mpixel/s)
6815.22 MB/s

Tried it without GPU as well, but for some reason that throws an Exception.

pierre
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by pierre »

JKT,

Thanks for your feedback.
No thermal Thermal throttling at first glance.

It seems I have to check in details.

How much RAM do you have?
Regards

Pierre

JKT
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by JKT »

32 GB of RAM.

Note the difference in transfer speed. Is this about SSD performance? If your Sabrent is Rocket Q4, it shouldn't be.

leanderborg220
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Re: Choice of processor

Post by leanderborg220 »

I`m upgrading my current pc to a ryzen 3700x with 32gb ram for a budget friendly option and keep the rest of the cache for optics :wink:

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