I have a workflow that suits me for outdoor spheres, shot with a "normal" lens. To shorten the time I've built me a computer with 2x Xeons and 128GB RAM, rather expensive and not fast enough ! It takes approximately 19 minutes to render this sphere (90 images).
So what is it doing for this time ? The image below shows that 13 out of 19 minutes is used for "Cutting". What is this ? I think it is about antighost, but aren't shure. Is there anything to do to shorten the "Cutting" time except uncheck antighost ? Render without antighost makes ugly result, so that's not an option.
Have a look here. also about cutting/blending results after changing from 16GB DELL PC to a 1x 2680Xeon with 128GB Ram (with no GPU): viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23834&hilit=speedtest (be patient and read all of them.... more than one know to tweak can be found there ;-) if you can send me a download link I could download a 90 images set and give it a try on my Workstation...
I've browsed through the thread, and noticed your focus on editing. My post is more on rendering and especially on the timeconsuming anti-ghost rendering. I rendered the same speedtest as you and the result is seen below. The only setting changed is simple vs anti-ghost. The total time increases from 4:18min to 12:32min. As the resulting pano from a simple rendering is useless, unless I use a lot of time editing the RMS as close to 1.0 as possible. If that is possible. I consider less time for editing and anti-ghost rendering as a better way.
I will play with the advanced settings later to check out if there is a viable compromise.
btw: I've also got a Asus Z9PE-D16 (and 2x Xeon E5-2660)