Alec, great post! I totally agreed.
I use DxO PL2 Elite, DxO FP 5 Elite, and DxO VP 3, and they develop images remarkably. However, my user experience has been very frustrating. I just bought a new MacBook Pro with max specs last month including the new Vega 20 GPU. Also I am now using a brand new Blackmagic eGPU Pro that I got yesterday from Apple (yes “Prefer eGPU” is on for all three apps and everything is fully updated). I performed a Geekbench on this new set up (Open CL on GPUs):
Single-Core CPU 5639
Intel UHD Graphics 23058
Vega 20 80453
eGPU Pro 156685
Blackmagic Disk speed test >2700MB/s read and >2600MB/s write!
In short, a mobile Mac photography powerhouse it would seem.
The folder in question contains a lone 9 year old Canon 5Dm2 image that I am testing on this fresh and updated configuration. Alas it is slow, slow, slow! The sliders are as sticky as LR or Aperture were on day one with 12+ year older hardware on first their releases. Even an export of a single image (of course using Prime NR and the full gamut of adjustments) took 33 seconds. What is really fascinating is that my top spec 2015 5k iMac is much faster with slider adjustments and 34s on the export (of course same image in a folder by itself for comparison’s sake). Both setup’s have 32GB of RAM, but I shut down all other programs for this test making far excess free RAM available. The iMac’s benchmarks are:
Single-Core CPU 4958
Radeon R9 M295X 4GB 85413
Black Magic Disk speed test ~640MB/s read and ~610MB/s write
From practically any point of view the new setup should mop up on the old one— but in fact the old one performs better while developing and requires about the same time to export. My speculation at this point is that DxO uses the Intel GPU on the MBP despite the two other far better GPU’s being available. Anybody have any idea what is going on?
Great photography software unfortunately just does not exist these days. I loved the UI, library organizing tools, places, faces, print, share, plug-ins, and —most of all—the fluid speed and rock solid nature of Aperture, but sadly Apple killed it. Also Aperture never did deliver the goods image-wise like DxO (nobody else has either). Unfortunately, DxO has always been clunky and awkward to use (e.g. does not even support multiple monitors) and lacks even a basic library management feature set much less facial detection, mapping, 3rd party tie-ins, etc. It is a great shame that Steve Jobs died so young; it’s tough for me to believe that he would have allowed Apple’s Pro Line to be ruined. I would gladly pay more for software that would fulfill on all fronts and really take advantage of the latest hardware!