Author Topic: DXO Processing Times and Hardware...my personal experiences...an adventure!  (Read 1214 times)

michaelvadon

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A few years and versions ago I experienced DXO Optics for the first time.  The experience was GREAT.  You can catch my pictures on Flickr and I can say that each one was processed with DXO Optics.  I am the photographer of the current Trump photo on Wikipedia and that was processed with DXO Optics.  Many of those pictures were at a higher ISO than many could stomach, but DXO seemed to process them well.

At the time I got DXO for the first time I had a premium HP I-7 laptop with a GEForce graphics card and 16 gb of ram.  Nothing can stop this thing and it seemed to zoom through Lightroom quite effortlessly.  Than I loaded DXO on it and it took 3+ minutes to process any PRIME noise reduction on it.  The laptop became very hot, the fan howled like I was about to break the thing, etc. 

Not wanting to give up I found a well discounted Acer Predator on Ebay with 4470 processor and 32gb of ram.  This was originally designed as a gaming machine and at that time its specs could not be beat.  Now each photo took a minute and a half.  Not great, but better than the laptop and no scary howling of fans out of the machine. 

At some point DXO redesigned its program to allow for OPENGL.  I was excited and got a discount AMD graphics card.  I think it was an R7 graphics card because in many tests AMD exceled at OPENGL.  The processing times then sank to a minute.  This was acceptable to me and a long way we came from 3+ minute DXO Prime times.

Now today I have a Dell Precision M7710 Mobile WorkStation with Xeon 1545 and 64 gb of ram.  It is a 17 inch laptop.  The processing times are slightly less than the Acer Predator, but that's pretty good because I can fit the M7710 in a big laptop bag and the Acer Predator is a beast and cant be traveled with in the same way.  The Dell also doesn't operate with a  lot of drama as it was designed to be a workstation.  Doesn't heat up and howl like the old HP.  A more civilized machine. 

Currently the most powerful mobile solution on the market is the Origin EON 17 SLX with 6700k processor.  I got the Dell because the Dell is really meant as a laptop and its easier to live with.  It also comes with 3 year on-site warranty repair.  The Origin is a mobile beast designed as a desktop replacement meaning its supposed to live life on a desk or a table, but not like a laptop where you can drop by Starbucks or put on your lap for hours of surfing.  It will only last about an hour or two before that's it. 

Fortunately for most DXO Optics fans now on Ebay are refurbished HP and Dell desktops under $1000 with 6700k processors.  Probably those will process the PRIME photos in about 40 seconds a piece.  Also on Ebay for those with a larger budget is Dell Precision workstations with 14+ cores I saw for $3500.  These are refurb units which carry the same 3 year warranty.

For myself, I needed a mobile solution because I'm on the road extensively.  I would process a few photos on the HP laptop and when I got back home I would hammer it through on the Acer Predator. 

So my suggestions for those who absolutely need a mobile solution like myself and you found Lightroom is not an acceptable alternative I can only suggest two laptops which are the Dell M7710 with Xeon processor and maxed out ram OR the Origin EON 17 with 6700k desktop processor, maxed out ram, etc.  The Origin laptop WILL pound through those files probably 30-40 seconds per PRIME file.  What makes the Origin so great is that it uses both a desktop processor and a desktop gpu in a portable package.  Well, its 11 pounds and the power supply is 4 lbs.  So its more portable than a desktop but less portable than a notebook/laptop, however, it can be carted around in a carry on.  At the end of the day, I found myself going for the M7710 as I could live with it.   

I have discovered when it comes to DXO processing times that first and foremost the processor matters most.  Next comes the graphics card, memory, etc.  An SSD drive does help to solve the bottlenecks that naturally occur with spinner drives. 

As for dual cpu systems like those Xeon systems or dual gpu systems I believe that the software has to be designed for it.  You can send a message or call up DXO to get an exact determination.  Their customer service will know.  So if I was going to get a dual Xeon or one big powerful single Xeon I would go with the single Xeon solution.

I believe the BEST solution for DXO is a single cpu modern Xeon system with a lot of cores.  I looked up the $3500 Dell Precision Xeon system on CPU benchmark and its 14 core Xeon processor was rated at about 16000 whereas the 6700k is at about 11000.  So probably that beast can pound through a PRIME file at less than 30 seconds per.

Now keep in mind my main camera is the Canon 5DSR and its RAW files are 50 megabytes.  These are not easy files for the DXO program.  So when I speak of processing times I am talking about the largest raw files out there for this thing. 

For the very busy wedding photographer you might just throw up your hands and stick with Lightroom as DXO has never been that quick.  For those who cant do without fortunately technology has caught up and we are now seeing very tolerable processing times of under 1 minute with the best laptops and under 40 seconds for high end desktops.   

michaelvadon

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Thought I might add this to the thread.

Consumer computer vs. Workstation computer

Consumer computers are meant for gamers and casual users.  Workstation computers are made for people who work.  The kind of person who uses a workstation is someone who chugs through complex programs for hours at a time. 

Consumer gaming computers tend to have large fans and everything is pushed to the limit.  Workstation computers are not quite as daring because they are intended to be reliable.  Also the workstation computer cant be a distraction when running so its fans tend to be less obtrusive.  Gaming computers tend to sound like a jet plane with full fans going. 

If you are a super serious high volume professional at the top of their game...maybe even editing 4k video too as well as batches of RAW photos...a multicore Xeon workstation might be the only thing to consider.  However, someone less could certainly get away with the sub-1k 6700k refurb units on Ebay. 

I can say with certainty the choices are much better in modern times than they were years ago.

jch2103

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Thanks; very informative. You've highlighted the processing times for PRIME processing, which is appropriate for looking at processing bottlenecks. I'm curious how HQ processing times compare, as this may be a more 'normal' choice for some/many users for most of their images.

wyliec2

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In my experience HIGH versus PRIME NR is 8x - 10x longer processing time for PRIME and it will use 100% of CPU cores/threads.

There is a question of what the high volume enthusiast/professional spends most of their time doing - editing images where real-time screen display is most important or waiting for batch exports to run (which may be a start and forget process).

I believe the real-time display/refresh is dependent upon display resolution (1080, 1440, 4k) and RAW image file size (12 Mb, 18 Mb, 24 Mb, 40 Mb).  This operates more like gaming with GPU and processor speed - I'm not sure that more than 4 cores makes much difference in editing.

http://forum.dxo.com/index.php/topic,12232.0.html
Win 10/64, I7-5960x 4.3 GHz,  32Gb 2666 RAM, Sapphire R9-390 GPU, Dell 25" 2560x1440 monitor 117DPI, m.2 OS

FastEdward

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The use of powerful high-level languages like C++, Pascal, etc. etc. has given us countless programs with incredible features, BUT none of these languages can come anywhere close to the speed of the language used in the dinosaur days: assembly language. Too bad.... if the most processor-intensive parts of data hog programs could be coded in assembly we would be getting processing times measured in seconds instead of minutes.

Athomsfere

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The use of powerful high-level languages like C++, Pascal, etc. etc. has given us countless programs with incredible features, BUT none of these languages can come anywhere close to the speed of the language used in the dinosaur days: assembly language. Too bad.... if the most processor-intensive parts of data hog programs could be coded in assembly we would be getting processing times measured in seconds instead of minutes.

This is an oversimplification and not entirely accurate.

Assembly also has some major problems, mostly portability.

In the real world, C, C++ is going to compile to assembly and be just as fast most of the time. The reduction of complexity means the right algorithm is often going to be used more often assuming equally good programmers. (heck the C/ C++ will often perform better just because the compiler is better at writing/ optimizing assembly than a lot of programmers!)

of course there are  a lot of edge cases and exceptions and "perfect world" things. Increased development time, decreased portability, optimizing for X instruction that B processor couldn't use... Often it isn't worth saving X time when even some JIT languages can beat older high level languages and assembly in some situations some of the time...

cyberjfb

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Hello,
to speed up DXO i made several tests.

CPU:  INTEL I7 4790 (4C / 8T)
GPU:  NVIDIA GTX 1060
MEMORY: 32 GB @1600

Processing pictures with the perfect prime filter is really funny.
I process  9 RAW with each 16GB in 4:24 min (GPU and CL off)
The GPU is really not running the CPU cores a fully used.

I process  the same 9 RAW in 4:25 min (GPU and CL on)
The GPU runs @basic speed for around the half of he time, the CPU cores are fully used like before.

So the benefit is ZERO time but some additional power consumption caused by using the GPU for what?

I tested this with 4 files today for 20 times, DXO uses the CPU fulltime, and if GPU and CL marked on there is a additional GPU usage for he half time oft he process without giving back any benefit.


Best regards
Volker

 

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