A few days of changing settings and I am doing already better.
Used a 971 photo panorama to test and improve my setup. I choose this set because it is the kind of panorama that took a lot of time (30 minutes per preview, 12 hours of rendering ) before having this GPU, the type I hope to do a lot this year and is therefore the reason why I bought the GPU.
I don't mind much about how long rendering take, I need to sleep 8 hours each day anyway...... Editing time, including preview is much more important for me. It needs to be reduced as much as possible.
I started with a panorama of 971 photos on my c-drive which is a normal HD. I do have a PCIE-SSD but until now I used it for pagefile and temp-directories, which despite my 64 GB RAM both were needed a lot.
Installing the GPU was not without worries. The card is massive and feel like a brick. Fitting it into my computer required me to move a harddisk to another location because the titan card is long, very long. But to my surprise after half an hour of carefull fitting and thinking it clicked into it's place and the computer started and recognised the card.
Not unimportant is to mention that I have my computer connected to a little device that tells me how many watts the system is using. In the past I had only a 450 Watt powersupply and that forced me to run the motherboard in first gear only. Now I have a 850 watt powersupply on board but knowing the Titan can do 350 Watt I was carefull. Do set the card to less then 100 % power if the total usage is getting close to what the powersupply in your computer can deal with. The card will slow itself down when using more watts then you want.
After installing the needed drivers it was time to get the best out of this card.
First thing I looked at was the fan of the titan-card. As the titan-card was installed at the bottom of my computer I wanted to prevent heat from going up and making life difficult for CPU and other parts of the computer. The titan-card blows out it's hot air at the back of the computer through it's own exit.
Using it's own software I gave the fan of the titan-card a curve to follow where at it's minimum temperature of 37 degrees the fan-speed would be 0%, but as soon the temperature would go up the % would quickly go up such that at 40 degrees it would be at 30% and at 50 degrees at 100%.
Using http://www.overclock.net/t/1368182/over ... recision-x
I also set the card to 100% power, a max temp of 80 degrees, 140 mhz GPU clock off sett and 200 MHZ memory offset.
The above delivered me a stable card, where GPU-Z showed that when needed there would be a perfcap to keep things stable and within acceptable limits.
Now let's get a few things clear here, the goal of Autopano (pro or giga) is :
-first of all to deliver high quality panoramas
-secondly to do so in a way that makes it simple to use for the photographer
-thirdly to be able to run on all kind of machine
-fourtly to do so in reasonable time and maybe little time as possible.
The goal is not to make my GPU run at 100%. Still it is a bit hard to wait for the programm while the GPU is only used at 25% and most of time only 0-1%. The question whether it was wise to spend 969 euro on this card comes to mind.
When upgrading a system by replacing a part, one is likely to replace one bottleneck with another. It is like driving a car that can only go 150 KM/H. Replacing the engine with a version with more HP might allow you to go over 200 KM/H if it wasn't for the tires that are only certified for speeds until 170 KM/H. So then you replace the tires and find out that at speeds over 200 KM/H your windscreen wipers will not be able to stay .......But at least we are driving 50 KM/H faster then before.
The first botleneck I hit was easy to solve. With the new GPU installed it seems like APG is not using normal RAM and GPU-RAM so much. At least, not for the first half an hour it seems. Once you start zooming in RAM and GPU-RAM fill up. During that first period sourcefiles are read a lot which makes it more important to be able to load them fast. So moving the 45 GB of sourcefiles from a normal harddisk to a PCIe-SSD caused the reading of them to go from max. 80 MB/sec to 275 MB/sec. Bottleneck solved...or at least reduced, because a bottleneck is only solved when there is another component that is the new bottleneck.
The new bottleneck is now the CPU. It is not running on 100% but it does hit 80 degrees at which the motherboard is instructed to reduce the multiplier from a max of 46 back to as low as 33 to have things cool down a bit. This is all happening while the GPU is not much most of the time, same to disk I/O. So now the CPU and it's cooling is now the bottleneck....time to find some fan to improve the airflow....
The computer start with a multiplier of 38. For the preview option, the rotating circle in the upperleft corner of the editor, that is more then enough because after a few seconds of starting the preview temperature hits 80 and the multiplier is decreased. However, while working in the editor, placing markers, it can be usefull to have a higher multiplier. I found that 46 is still stable for my system. Other systems and motherboards might have different values.
1. APG is not using this GPU to it's full potential and is still using a lot of CPU-power for calculating a preview.*
2. A much cheaper card would have done just as well in this configuration.
3. The 969 euro would problably have been better spend if I had used it to buy a XEON processor instead of the the i7 3960 I have now. But given the fact I decided for the 3960 last year, this card is at least helping this CPU**
*I still have to look into the bios upgrade that will allow for PCIE 3.0 which should double the speed of datatransfer for both the GPU as the PCIE-SSD.
But I believe not the speed of PCIE 2.0 is being used so hesitate to do any upgrade the bios.
**This card might be better at it's place in my other machine which is a i7 920 with 16 GB of memory. If I find the time I test the titan in that machine.
to be continued