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Pix4D 4.5.6 - 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 Pix4D

There isn't much of a difference between the cards we tested for this review, with all of them performing within 5% or less of each other. That indicates that either Pix4D is CPU bound at this point or else the video card's utilization in this application is somewhat limited.

The RTX 3080 and 3090 offer fine performance in Pix4D, but the much cheaper GeForce RTX 3070 is just as fast in this application - so it is going to be the best choice for most users. If you already have a high-end GeForce 10 or 20 Series card, however, there is no reason to upgrade.

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 Pix4D 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.

Pix4D 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 Pix4D testing:

To test each video card, we used our in-house Pix4D 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 - 82 photos at 20 megapixels each
  • School Map - 51 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • School Model - 278 photos at 18 megapixels each
  • Park Map - 810 photos at 18 megapixels each

We make these benchmarks publicly available under the Creative Commons BY-ND license, so if you have a copy of Pix4D 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

There isn't much of a difference between the cards we tested for this review, with all of them performing within 5% or less of each other. That indicates to me that either Pix4D is mostly CPU bound or else the video card's utilization in this application is somewhat limited. In the past we have looked into the individual processing steps within Pix4D, and we saw that only Step 1's time is substantially impacted by which GPU is installed. Since Step 1 is also the shortest part of the overall Pix4D workflow, the selection of video card ends up having minimal impact on the overall processing time.

Are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 3080 & 3090 Good for Pix4D?

The RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 are all solid video cards for Pix4D, but if you already have a high-end GeForce 10 or 20 Series card then there is no reason to upgrade. There is also no need to spend more on the RTX 3090 or 3080 over the more affordable RTX 3070 if you are buying a new workstation - unless you use other applications which depend more heavily on the GPU.

As always, please keep in mind that these results are strictly for photogrammetry in Pix4D. 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, Pix4D, photogrammetry, GTX 1080 Ti, RTX 3090, RTX 3070