APG 2 GPU configuration advice  

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:30 pm

Hi Alendre,

When writing down the advice please do consider that some of us (me ;-) ) might only be interested in the performance of a card during the new preview and masking options in the editor. Rendering and even detecting does not require one to sit behind computer and are therefor less expensive hours.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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AlexandreJ
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by AlexandreJ » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:59 pm

I totally agree with you Hans. In fact, that's my only concern because GPU is not used for rendering time, only preview / edition.

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by HansKeesom » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:18 pm

And thanks to the great preview and masking in V3.0 one does not have to rerender a panorama that often anymore anyhow which makes rendering speed even less of an issue.

I'll start investigating what my current motherboard can handle and putting aside some serieus euro's ;-)
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:40 pm

Will be interesting to see how APG responses to different GPU cards when they are dual. How well does that scale.
See for example (http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_680_SLI/22.html)

Glad I upgraded my power supply to 850 watts ;-)

Power usage when idle is not unimportant to watch also (http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_680_SLI/25.html)
"AMD's latest HD 7000 Series introduced ZeroCore power which essentially turns off slave cards in CrossFire, so they consume no power until they are woken up for 3D gaming. This has a significant effect, as it saves around 15 W per card while being productive or surfing the web. Unfortunately NVIDIA does not have any similar technology at this time. So in idle, we see an extra 14 W of power consumed compared to a similar AMD setup. Not a huge amount, but it will add up over time. During 3D gaming, the GTX 680 setup is quite conservative with power and should run fine with a 750 W power supply. Previous generations required a 1000 W PSU to provide less performance."

NVIDEA GTX 680 seems like a great card. under 500 euro and option to upgrade to dual (going toward 1000 euro ...)

even quad is possible see http://content.hwigroup.net/images/products_larges/149481/3/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-sli-4-way.jpg
although that wont fit in my computer I am afraid.
Last edited by HansKeesom on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by Michael Ezra » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:57 am

Thanks for the reply. I decided to go with the Nvidia GTX 480 video card for now, looking forward to a future upgrade to a quad SLI with 2 GTX 690 cards, when SLI configuration will have a greater benefit for APG and other imaging applications. GTX 480 provides upto 65% of performance at 20% of the cost of GTX 690, so at $200 it becomes an afordable and a sufficiently powerful card, just a bit a hot one.

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi Michael,

One can't go wrong investing 200 dollar in a GPU-card that has good reviews. If you need one now, you are right to go for it. And if it speeds up the work you do then it quickly pays for itselves.
I hope the rotating wheel that rotates when the preview is calculated finishes quicker because of your new card.

For me the matter is that I spend much to much time nowadays on postprocessing a project compared to the price we (can) ask for them. We don't want to double the price so making our workflow go 2,3 or 4 times as fast. I hope a good GPU will do that. With the new review function it should be possible to render only once, which can be done in background.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:58 am

Hi Alexandre,

What I notice when preview is running is that I get a lot of activity regarding the pagefile. Both the pagefile as the sourcefile are on my SSD and I notice that about half of the trafic when the preview is running concerns the pagefile.

It seems like the preview function is using a lot of memory and in my case uses a lot of pagefile.

Now I have a limited machine, 16 GB memory only which cannot be upgraded anymore size-wise. I also have a limited GPU card, an ATI Radeon 4600 series RV730. It has only 512 MB onboard.

Now my question is, will a GPU with more onboard memory reduce the hunger of the preview function for normal memory? Will more GPU memory be better when having limited normal memory.
Or will the pagefile usage stay the same which might/would in my case mean that having a seperate SSD for the pagefile would be a better investment then a new GPU card.

if you cannot answer this yet as APG 3 is still in beta, please use the above in tests.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by lumelix » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:50 pm

Hi Hans
Please do not forget that the large amount of memory in current graphics cards is used mainly for modern 3D-games.
There must be calculated real time up to 50 images per second, which takes a lot of grafic memory.
In the APG editor window are relatively few images rendered, but the source information, the Gigapanorama itself, is very large.
Much too large as it would find place at all, even in 2 or 4 GB GRAM. Hence the large data transfer from and to the pagefile.

Logically, one needs for Gigapanorama with tens of gigapixel by 24 bits or more mainly fast disk space, so SSD.
Regards
Martin

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Hi Martin,

I suspect that I will be working at one panorama in editor/preview at the same time. My panoramas are often limited in nr of images, mostly 10 brackets of 3 photos, so 30 files. Resulting panoramas are 10000 * 5000 pixels, not really Gigapanoramas.

It would therefore be nice if AGP could place my panoramas into the memory of the GPU while the editor is opened for a panorama. Seems to me it will be working so much faster also then placing it in normal RAM memory. I really look forward scrolling over a picture at 50% zoom checking/fixing every part of the panorama in detail before sending it of for rendering and having the preview update in just a few seconds instead of minutes.

The NVIDIA 690 http://www.gtx690review.net/ is an expensive beast at estimated $999 but if that saves me from buying a new workstation now.

Of course, if that is not the case/possible SSD is the next best thing.
Last edited by HansKeesom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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lumelix
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by lumelix » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:49 am

Hi Hans
Ok, such a panorama with 50'000'000 Pixels need 150 MB in 24bit color as a uncompressed TIF or RAW.
So this should have enough place in your old graphic card with "only" 500 MB VRAM.
The APG editor must handle each single image, so the amount of RAM is higher.
Eg when you have 30 images with 12 MPixel each, you must handle 360 MPixel or 1080 MB.
Your VRAM should have more than this, better 2 GB, to handle this only in VRAM.

But: APG is designed to create much bigger panos, so it will use pagefile at all in every case, even the files aren't as big as the VRAM?

Q: Why do you shoot 10 brackets ?
I do a lot of HDR work but never need more than 5 brackets, each 2EV step. I try out 9 brackets,
but the results are exactly the same. Only more time to shoot and more problems with ghosts.
I suggest you to try your panos with only 5 brackets with 2EV steps.
You get a dynamic range extend of 8EV plus the dynamic range of your camera, eg. 10 - 12 EV.
The 20 EV resulting range is comparable with the range of the human eye.
This will speed up your workflow more than a new graphic card ;)
Regards
Martin

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:58 am

Hi Martin,

My bracket is only 3 photos, at 0,-2,+2.

I would hope APG to be so intelligent to try to use the GPU RAM when possible. When not, it will have to swap off course.
Last edited by HansKeesom on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by HansKeesom » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:44 pm

I used GPU-Z to see what goes on inside the GPU. The memory used dynamic, around 1200MB, sounds like virtual memory as it is much larger then the actual 512 MB on board. THE GPU % is around 50% while the preview is being created. Note that this shot was taken while the editor was zoomed into 50%. The second picture is when zoomed back to 10%. At that zoomrate less GPU memory is used.

What I think i see is that the moment the memory used dynamic goes up I also see the pagefile becaming active.

Seems like a GPU with 2 GB would be great, more then enough and it would allow the GPU to go full speed, instead of half speed.
At the same time, a 1GB GPU would already solve the shortage of real memory from 700 to 200 MB when zoomed into 50% and logically reduce the gap between 50% and 100 % GPU performance likewise.




Last edited by HansKeesom on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by lumelix » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:03 pm

In theory.
But if APG is actually do this ?
Regards
Martin

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by HansKeesom » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:50 pm

APG is a black box of course. I can just keep an eye on it for a while and see if I continue to show this pattern.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by AlexandreJ » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:46 pm

Behind the black box, we are working this way:
- An in RAM image cache: it stores real images in main memory to prevent to load them again from disk. Each image can be stored in several size ( initial width / 2, /4, /8, etc ). This cache memory is limited in size and we keep in memory only the images that you are currently using or zooming in, etc. The most currently used. It is a priority heap on image usage.
- There's a second cache, the texture cache. This one is on GPU. Again, it is a priority heap : do I have the texture I need or not ? If yes, draw, if not, try to find it in cache memory, if not, on disk. So at each zoom in the editor such decision is done for all images at all zoom factors.

If you have a low GPU ram, a lot of upload from main memory to gpu memory will happen. This is probably what you see in the GPU-Z.
You can find that this way. Zoom to a certain level, with space bar, pan a little in circle. Normally nothing should happen, because everything is in ram. Then zoom out fast and you'll see everything raising.

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:15 pm

Hi Alexandre,

Thanks for the explanation. The conclusion seems justiied that having more memory on the GPU will prevent uploads from main memory and as these uploads problably take time, having more memory on GPU at itself will already speed up the previewing.

For me, that feels like that having 3, 4 or more GB of memory on the GPU should get a higher priority then having a superfast GPU.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by AlexandreJ » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:58 pm

HansKeesom wrote:For me, that feels like that having 3, 4 or more GB of memory on the GPU should get a higher priority then having a superfast GPU.

I agree.

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by mediavets » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:58 pm

HansKeesom wrote:For me, that feels like that having 3, 4 or more GB of memory on the GPU should get a higher priority then having a superfast GPU.

Do they exist?
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by HansKeesom » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:49 pm

Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by gkaefer » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:09 pm


hm why not taking the Quadro FX 3800 with 1 GB RAM and "only" 192 instead of 240 CUDA cores
but the price is only 400$ so buy 2 of them and you can smile too (50% RAM performance for 25% or the price but with 160% CUDA performance)

I know Alexandre did state some time ago not to supoort propriate CUDA... but on other side... autopano also can stitch more than one fileformat so why not implementing CUDA power and equivalent technic from the second vendor (I do not remember...)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_fx_3800_us.html

Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by HansKeesom » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:31 am

gkaefer wrote:

hm why not taking the Quadro FX 3800 with 1 GB RAM and "only" 192 instead of 240 CUDA cores
but the price is only 400$ so buy 2 of them and you can smile too (50% RAM performance for 25% or the price but with 160% CUDA performance)

I know Alexandre did state some time ago not to supoort propriate CUDA... but on other side... autopano also can stitch more than one fileformat so why not implementing CUDA power and equivalent technic from the second vendor (I do not remember...)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_fx_3800_us.html

Georg

I am not sure whether combining cards will make the RAM add together into 2 GB which can be used as such by Autopano. We will have to wait for tests.
In general if the 2,3 or 4GB can be on one card I have a preference for that, but of course, price matters too.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by gkaefer » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:51 am

HansKeesom wrote:
gkaefer wrote:

hm why not taking the Quadro FX 3800 with 1 GB RAM and "only" 192 instead of 240 CUDA cores
but the price is only 400$ so buy 2 of them and you can smile too (50% RAM performance for 25% or the price but with 160% CUDA performance)

I know Alexandre did state some time ago not to supoort propriate CUDA... but on other side... autopano also can stitch more than one fileformat so why not implementing CUDA power and equivalent technic from the second vendor (I do not remember...)

http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_quadro_fx_3800_us.html

Georg

I am not sure whether combining cards will make the RAM add together into 2 GB which can be used as such by Autopano. We will have to wait for tests.
In general if the 2,3 or 4GB can be on one card I have a preference for that, but of course, price matters too.

on another thread Henrik pointed me to a GeForce card, much cheaper than the Quadro, also having 4 GB GRAM and having >3000 CUDA cores:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/p101541-today-02-02-29#p101541
Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:06 am

The same question here applies, will the 2*2GB function like 4 GB to APG.

I must say the 690 is a nice card, havng two GPU's on one card.

In a wider context, I would like to know whether kolor is planning on anything like an advice sometime soon.
Or is there information now which we can safely use now to buy a GPU that will help us with APG-editor speed?
Last edited by HansKeesom on Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
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HansKeesom
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by HansKeesom » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:09 am

lumelix wrote:Hi Hans
Please do not forget that the large amount of memory in current graphics cards is used mainly for modern 3D-games.
There must be calculated real time up to 50 images per second, which takes a lot of grafic memory.
In the APG editor window are relatively few images rendered, but the source information, the Gigapanorama itself, is very large.
Much too large as it would find place at all, even in 2 or 4 GB GRAM. Hence the large data transfer from and to the pagefile.

Logically, one needs for Gigapanorama with tens of gigapixel by 24 bits or more mainly fast disk space, so SSD.

Hi Martin,

I am aware that GPU memory will not always be able to hold everything. But the bigger it is the less transfer right?
And as I work mostly on panos with less then 16 images I think I might have more then enough with 4 GB.
More RAM-memory will also help but for most of my work the 16 GB I have and is the limit of my MB, will do fine even while editing.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by lumelix » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:15 pm

Hi Hans
Yes, for panos with 16 images, even at 21 MPixel or more, your 16 GB RAM and a graphic card like the 690 should be enough - in theory ;)
When APG is using all this RAM and VGA RAM then you should see the file load only at the beginning of your work, and at the end, when you are saving
the finished pano. While you are working on the pano, there shouldn't be more file transfers.

But I'm pretty sure that APG isn't working like this. Because APG is developed to deal with much more than 16 images.
It is not common to programming an application in various ways. It is difficult enough to find a way for one optimal workflow.
So normaly the developer is focused on the most complex and demanding cases.

You can test this by using only a view images for a pano, so that all the image data (uncompressed 24 or 48 bit data) should
stay in the RAM. While editing, if you can see permanent file transfers, APG is working with temp files on your disks.
In this case, an SSD drive is a good thing, because it is very fast for small and frequent file transfers.
Regards
Martin

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