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Best Workstation PC for Metashape (Summer 2020)

Written on July 10, 2020 by William George


Here at Puget Systems, specifically in the Labs department, most of the content that we write falls into one of two categories: either long, fairly in-depth articles looking at the performance of various PC components in a given application or recommended system pages, with multiple configuration options aimed at different budgets and lots of supporting data drawn from the aforementioned articles. For some readers all of that is information overload, though, and they just want a quick question answered: what is the best computer for my needs? We’re going to try answering that question more directly in a new series of short articles, like this one.

Today we are looking at Agisoft Metashape, a photogrammetry application for creating 3D models and maps of real-world object and places from sequences of digital photos. It uses a combination of the CPU and GPU (video cards) for processing, with different steps using them in different ways, and working with large image sets also requires a lot of RAM (memory) and drive capacity / speed as well.

Screenshot of Metashape

Screenshot of Metashape

Good PC Configuration for Metashape

We'll start off with a good, solid workstation design for Metashape - without too high of a price tag. This application performs best with a CPU that has a high clock speed without too much regard for core count. In fact, we've found that on high core count processors performance can actually get worse in Metashape, especially if Hyperthreading or SMT are enabled. Because of that, this design opts for Intel's Core i7 10700K which can run at over 5GHz at peak turbo speeds. To go with that, we've got 64GB of memory which will usually be sufficient for projects up to 1,000 images or more. Metashape also makes use of the video card, so we'll start with a mid-range NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER. Lastly, we definitely want fast SSDs for both the OS/application drive and for storing projects.

CPU Intel Core i7 10700K 8-core
Video Cards NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
Drives 500GB & 1TB NVMe SSDs

Better PC Configuration for Metashape

Upgrading from there we can opt for Intel's even-faster Core i9 10900K, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti video card, double the system memory, and additional SSD capacity. This will allow for working with larger image sets and should also improve performance by ~20%.

CPU Intel Core i9 10900K 10-core
Video Cards NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Drives 500GB & 2TB NVMe SSDs

Best PC Configuration for Metashape

The system above is just about as good as it gets for running a single instance of Metashape. Yes, technically a Titan RTX video card or even dual Titans / 2080 Ti cards could get you another few percent - but for a hefty increase in price.

Instead, if you want to increase overall performance, there is another way to go: running multiple copies (instances) of Metashape at the same time. This isn't something where we can say exactly what hardware is going to be the best, though, because it will depend on whether you want to run two or three instances... and if your workflow will even allow you to do this at all. If you don't usually have more than one active project at a time, this probably won't help - and even if you do, things like drive capacity and system memory will be shared, so there is a lot to consider. As such, we aren't listing a third system configuration; instead, we are inviting you to fill out the form below and get in touch with our consulting team so they can help tailor the right workstation for your specific situation.

Additional Resources

If you want to know more about Metashape performance, we have published several articles over the years looking at how various CPUs and video cards compare when processing different image sets. We also have public benchmarks that you can download and run on your own system to see how it stacks up with the latest hardware. And if you aren’t sure what you need, or if your workflow includes multiple applications, please feel free to call or email our consultants to get a more personalized configuration.

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Tags: Workstation, PC Workstation, PC, photogrammetry, Metashape, Agisoft, PhotoScan