Thank you all for the replies.
Sorry that my reply took a while. I will make it up to you now
PS: first posting
welcome on forum! Actually you're not the first one posting in first post talking & asking about gigapixels. So I dont knwo how many gigas you did made, so sorry if you're an old stager
but most importand much more than having 64GB Ram Servers available is practise practise and much more practise. each single project will give you new sticks & bumpers you've to sturggle with. so getting familar with workflows is wise to do it with 18mm sphericals ....
I looked for an introduction post but I could not find one... (maybe an idea to create a post for first-time posters?)
To introduce myself: I make panoramic photos for fun, to keep me busy both outdoors and indoors. Up to now I made some 30'ish panoramas 360 as well as gigapanos. Some of them are waiting to be processed. Some are finished (and printed in a private photo book), and some of them are published at gigapan.com
At this moment I use a Canon 7d with a Tokina 12-24, Canon 17-40 mm, 50 mm (plasticfantastic) and 100 mm (macro). This is installed on a NodalNinja 3 mkII.
I have a 70-200 and 300 mm Canon but the NN head is too weak to hold such a combination.
I am far from being a perfect panorama maker. But with each next project I try to avoid mistakes I previously made.
The lesson I have learned is that you have to take the time. Think things over before you start and watch, watch, watch.
Luckily, I remember most of my mistakes when taking the photos, so that is a good thing.
I am, however, tend to start with the most complex hard-to-do projects instead of the simple things. But that is a pitfall I have to deal with all my life
(I remember the Pascal programming lessons at school, the simple count up and count down was way too simple. It had to do at least back and forth simultaniously...)
With that in mind I can imagine George's question. Do you need 64 GB or do you first need more experience?
Well. The latter, actually. But... the origin of the question is that A) my latest project was a simple but big file that did not liked my current computer very much, and B) the successor must stay in operation for the next five or six years.
As I do not know what kind of projects I will be doing in that period (payed or unpayed), I want to make sure I will make the correct choice now. Interim updates (beside adding HHD's) never worked for me. And trying to save money now mostly will end in spending more money later on.
At this moment I have a nice budget to do it right, but that will change in the future. (I am not pessimistic though.)
I posted some days ago a setup of an new Computer 2011 socket, Xeon based.http://www.kolor.com/forum/p109335-2012-12-27-13-19-21#p109335
the "addon" option of SSD I mentioned is more than that. so maybe rather reduce the 6discRAID5 to a RAID1 with 2 discs but do not miss the SSDs.
the setup is fit for next two years. a second Xeon can be added to add more 6cores/12threads and RAM can be upgraded up to 256GB with this setup and if you replace them to bigger ones than even up to 512GB.
That would be a nice "I want that" configuration.
But unfortunately, way beyond my budget (about 3 times).
The 64 GB RAM route will cost me 250 EUR more than the same configuration with 32 GB, due to the extra costs of the 2011 motherboard and the extra memory. When put the i7-3930k on my list instead of the i7-3820 it costs me an extra 250 EUR (but I get more power in return).
If the 32 GB is enough, then I can spend the extra money on SSDs to (partially) compensate the lack of memory, faster swap than using plattered HDDs.
I spoke to an old collegue. He has a new workstation with 64 GB RAM and he is going to test my file in comination with Photoshop, in various situations.
About memory and PS: no idea if there are limits (does the 300.000 x 300.000 pixel limit still exist in PS?)
autopano & memory calculation for RAM: http://www.kolor.com/forum/p87033-2011-08-11-11-53-58#p87033
So if you wanna do gigapixels on a regular job basis you need to save time and to make better use of the resources, I would use 64GB with trend to more.
The 300k limit is still there. And with an 4:1 ratio I do not think I will ever reacht that limit.
I read and did the calculations in that post. But this only applies on APx. It does not tell enything about opening and using a stiched psb in Photoshop.
To the OP, i have 48GB and the ability to overclock a dual XEON X5650 @ 2.66Ghz to 4.3Ghz or I can stick in another 48GB for a total 96GB and I can only squeeze 3.1Ghz with the type of ram I am using now with 96GB. Now I do occasionally work on 10-20GB file sizes, and this is heavy lifting. As you noted in your current config, that you could do things to the file in Photoshop, but when it came to saving it, things would have stood still or at least appeared to have done so. Why! Slow storage!!! ;-) You need to have a storage array fast enough to off load the data to disk/SSD, in this case you will need a nice fast array. With my current setup, which is a bit slow at the moment I can average 1GB/sec and peak at 4GB/sec thats with 2x 6 SSD's in RAID-0 which makes it RAID-00 of 12 disks (across two controllers), plus i have another 8 SSD RAID-0 for my OS/apps on a 3rd controller.
My current wish list (in combination with the i7-3770(k)) includes a two-disk SSD raid 0 for scratch and temp purposes. More than a two-disk configuration is not 'possible' now for me.
About the overclocking. This seems to be a magic word in computerland these days. But how reliable is this? If you overclock, do you use it temporarily or at on a daily basis? What do you gain when, for example you overclock from 3.5 to 4.2 GHz? And in the long run, how much does it affect the health of the system? As said before, the new computer must last five or six years (or more).
You can use Hans's calculator and try and work out how much you need, but most single CPU's boards are limited to 64GB of RAM
Although I can affort to put more than 64 GB on the motherboard, prices for the sticks is more than I am willing to spend.
Just throwing in my two cents : instead of buying a machine it might be an idea to hire on in the cloud.
That cloud discussion, well for me it is not an option. I do not like cloud computing (altough I have a Dropbox account) for various reasons. I like to have full control on my work.
And beside that: the time that it will take to upload, process and download is more than when I do it on my local computer.
East, west, home's best. So to say.