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Agisoft Metashape 1.6.4 - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Performance

Written on October 29, 2020 by William George
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Performance in Metashape

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 all perform well in Metashape! The RTX 3080 effectively matches or beats anything from the previous RTX 20 Series, including the Titan RTX, and the 3090 is another 1-2% faster in total processing times. The RTX 3070 is only a little slower, and a solid option for those wanting to save some money. For most users, though, the RTX 3080 will offer the best combination of speed and price.

Excerpt from "Labs Open Office Hour: Labs Lads Discuss the New RTX 3070" live stream on 10/30/2020

Introduction

NVIDIA has launched their new GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards in a set of rolling releases during the fall of 2020, and has touted major advancements in performance and efficiency with this "Ampere" architecture. While gaming is almost always the media's focus during these kinds of launches, professional applications like Agisoft Metashape should see some improvements as well. Now that all three of the initial cards - the GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 - are available, we can test them against each other and a wide range of previous-gen models to see how they perform.

Agisoft Metashape Photogrammetry Performance Review for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB, 3080 10GB & 3090 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIA's page for the new RTX 30 Series. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM CUDA Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 2070 Super 8GB 2,560 1.77 GHz 215W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 2080 Super 8GB 3,072 1.65 GHz 250W $699
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
RTX 2080 Ti 11GB 4,352 1.55 GHz 250W $1,199
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499
Titan RTX 24GB 4,608 1.77 GHz 280W $2,499

While specs don't always line up with real-world performance, it is a great sign that NVIDIA has roughly doubled the number of CUDA cores compared to the GeForce RTX 20 Series cards at similar price points. At the top-end of the new line, NVIDIA appears to have also combined the roles of the previous-gen RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX into the new RTX 3090. It has as much VRAM as the Titan did, but for $1,000 less - putting it in the same ballpark as the 2080 Ti, but with more than double the memory and CUDA cores.

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the system we used for our Metashape testing:

To test each video card, we used our in-house Metashape benchmark - both the standard and extended versions. Each was run twice per GPU, and the best results were included in the charts below. Here is some basic info about the image sets in these projects:

  • Rock Model - 36 photos at 20 megapixels each
  • School Map - 51 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • School Model - 439 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • Park Map - 792 photos at 18 megapixels each

We make these benchmarks publicly available under the Creative Commons BY-ND license, so if you use Metashape Professional (or get the 30-day trial) you can download them from our website and compare your system's performance with the results shown here.

Benchmark Results

Here are charts showing the performance of the new GeForce RTX 30 Series (in dark green) compared to the other cards we tested:

Performance Analysis

The overall spread in our smaller Metashape image sets isn't huge, with no more than 10% variance there between all the cards we tested, but if you are working with larger projects (hundreds or thousands of images) then the differences between GPUs become more pronounced. In our extended benchmark tests the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 did very well, with almost identical performance to the much more expensive Titan RTX! The RTX 3090 was a hair faster even than that, but only saved 1-2% in overall processing times. The more affordable RTX 3070 is a little slower, but still faster than most 20 Series cards.

Looking exclusively at total project times tells just part of the story, though. If we dig into the details a bit, it becomes apparent that only certain steps within Metashape utilize the GPU - and thus benefit from faster video cards. Specifically, the Align Images, Build Depth Maps, and Built Texture phases are where the performance gains from one card to another come from. Here are charts from our School Model and Park Map tests showing the gains in those individual processing steps:

Graphs of the individual steps in our School Model project which utilize the GPU

Graphs of the individual steps in our Park Map project which utilize the GPU

In these breakdowns we can see that the new RTX 30 Series cards gain the most ground in the Align Images step, where they are clearly in the lead. In Build Depth Maps and Build Texture the older Titan RTX and RTX 2080 Ti maintain strong performance, and an argument could be made that for Depth Maps exclusively the Titan RTX is still the fastest option... but is that worth the added $1000? I don't think so.

There is also an odd outlier on the School Map - Build Texture chart. Somehow the RTX 3070 came in substantially faster than the other, more expensive 30 Series cards. This test was run twice to verify the result, but it is worth mentioning that a new driver revision came out with the launch of the 3070 and it is required for that card to work. The other results were gathered in the weeks prior to that, and so used an earlier driver... so it is possible that changes in the driver are responsible for this. I am going to try the RTX 3080 and 3090 on the new driver as well, and if that changes their performance I will update this article.

Are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Good for Agisoft Metashape?

Yes, all three of these RTX 30 Series cards perform well in Metashape! The RTX 3080 effectively matches or beats anything from the previous RTX 20 Series, including the Titan RTX, and the 3090 is another 1-2% faster in total processing times. For most users, that means the RTX 3080 with nearly as fast of speeds but an $800 lower price tag will be the better choice. The more affordable RTX 3070 isn't much behind its bigger siblings either, making it a great option for those needing to drop a couple hundred dollars from the overall system price.

As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for photogrammetry in Agisoft Metashape. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a wide range of programs perform with various GPUs, CPUs, and other hardware.

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Tags: Hardware Acceleration, NVIDIA, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, GPU Acceleration, GPU, Video Card, GTX 1080 Ti, Metashape, Agisoft, photogrammetry, RTX 3090, RTX 3070