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Metashape Pro 1.7.2: CPU Performance Roundup

Written on December 6, 2021 by William George
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TL;DR: Best Processor for Agisoft Metashape

Intel's Core i9 12900K is the fastest CPU we've seen yet for processing both models and maps in Agisoft Metashape Pro. No other processor we tested could beat it in any of our four benchmark image sets, though AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series isn't too far behind.

Introduction

Intel's 12th Gen Core desktop processors launched toward the end of 2021, as did Windows 11, making this a great time to do a roundup looking at CPU performance in Agisoft Metashape across a wide range of different processor lines. How does Intel's new Core i9 12900K stack up against AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series, Threadripper, and Threadripper Pro chips - as well as Intel's own 11th Gen Core, Xeon W, and Core X Series?

Agisoft Metashape CPU Performance Roundup Title Image

For this article, we are looking at samples from multiple Intel and AMD processor families - both current and some older models that have performed well in the past. The focus is on photogrammetry processing in Metashape Pro, for which we have developed internal benchmarks here in our lab. More info about those tools and how we use them are available in the Test Methodology section.

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Test Setup

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

AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (16 cores - $799)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12 cores - $549)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (8 cores - $449)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
Intel Core Test Platforms
CPU Intel Core i9 12900K (8+8 cores - $589)
Intel Core i9 11900K (8 cores - $513)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z690 UD AX DDR4
Gigabyte Z490 Vision D
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3970X (32 cores - $1,999)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
Intel Core X Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE (18 cores - $979)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper Pro Test Platform
CPU AMD TR Pro 3975WX (32 cores - $2,749)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Asus Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI
RAM 8x DDR4-3200 16GB Reg ECC (128GB total)
Intel Xeon W Test Platform
CPU Intel Xeon W-3365 (32 cores - $3,699)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Supermicro X12SPA-TF
RAM 8x DDR4-3200 16GB Reg ECC (128GB total)

Test Methodology

To test each processor, we used our in-house Metashape benchmark - both the standard and extended versions. Each was run twice per CPU, 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. We used version 1.7.2, which is no longer the latest version - but is the most recent we have verified to work correctly with our benchmark.

Benchmark Results

There are a lot of processors in this round-up, so to help a little we have colored Intel models in blue and AMD in green. Results are listed from fastest at the top to slowest at the bottom and split up by image set.

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Benchmark charts showing CPU performance in Metashape 1.7.2

We have also compiled all of our results into a chart, for those interested in more fine-grain details:

Chart of detailed Metashape Pro CPU performance

Analysis

Intel's new Core i9 12900K gave top performance in all four of our Metashape benchmark image sets - completely unseating the former champion, AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series. It is worth noting that this doesn't take into account the option of disabling Hyperthreading or SMT, which we have found to improve performance in Metashape on some CPUs, but from the numbers it looks like the 12900K would keep its lead even if processor settings like that were tweaked in the BIOS.

Both Intel and AMD's higher core count chips came in a lot slower, which has always been an oddity of Metashape in our tests. It really seems like there is a sweet spot around the 8-16 thread range where this application performs the best, and then having the highest per-thread speeds becomes the biggest factor after that. The only downside with the lower core count CPUs that give optimal performance in Metashape is that they tend to be limited to 128GB of system memory, which could be a bottleneck with extremely large projects.

What is the best CPU for Metashape?

Intel's Core i9 12900K is the fastest CPU we've seen yet for processing both models and maps in Agisoft Metashape Pro. No other processor we tested could beat it in any of our four benchmark image sets, though AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series isn't too far behind.

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Tags: Intel X-series, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, photogrammetry, CPU, Intel 12th Gen, AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, Xeon W, AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000 Series, Intel 11th Gen, Metashape, Agisoft
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