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Pix4D 4.5.6: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Performance

Written on November 5, 2020 by William George
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TL;DR: AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Processors for Pix4Dmapper

AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X is undeniably the fastest CPU for Pix4D - and the 5900X is a strong contender as well. Even the lower Ryzen 7 and 5 variants offer better performance for the price than older Ryzens or Intel's Core series equivalents.

The only reason to go for a different model would be to access higher amounts of RAM (more than the 128GB limit of the Ryzen 5000 Series) for working with larger image sets, in which case AMD's Threadripper processors are not much slower and support up to 256GB of system memory.

Introduction

AMD's latest mainstream processor family, the Ryzen 5000 Series, has launched with direct upgrades to several (but not all) of their most popular Ryzen 3rd Gen chips. These new models cover from 6 to 16 cores, and utilize the updated Zen 3 microarchitecture which brings substantial improvements to instructions per clock (IPC). Even though core counts and cache sizes are not increasing, the overall performance of these new CPUs is dramatically faster than both previous generations and competing processor designs.

Pix4D AMD Ryzen 5000 Series

For this article, we are looking at how the new AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors compare to a host of other currently-available models: AMD's previous Ryzen 3000 Series, their high-end desktop (HEDT) Threadrippers, and both Intel's mainstream Core and HEDT Core X lines. The focus is on photogrammetry processing in Pix4D, 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 ($799)
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X ($549)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT ($499)
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X ($449)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT ($399)
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X ($299)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT ($249)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA *
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
Intel 9th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10900K ($488)
Intel Core i7 10700K ($374)
Intel Core i5 10600K ($262)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z490 Vision D
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3990X ($3,990)
AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI
RAM 4x DDR4-3200 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-10000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)

*Pre-launch BIOS only has AGESA 1.0.8, but AMD says AGESA 1.1.0 should come soon - which may further improve performance

Test Methodology

For benchmarking photogrammetry applications we now have four image sets that we own the rights to, covering both smaller and larger size Model and Map projects. All of these image sets are available in our public Pix4D benchmarks, split up to allow quick or extended testing, which you can download and run if you want to compare your system's performance to what we measured for this article.

  • 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

Benchmark Results

There are a lot of processors in this round-up, so we are color-coding the results to make them easier to sift through:

  • Light red with glow = New AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors
  • Light red (without glow) = Older AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen models
  • Dark red = AMD HEDT Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs
  • Light blue = Intel mainstream Core 10th Gen processors
  • Dark blue = Intel HEDT Core X 10000 Series CPUs

Results are listed from fastest to slowest (top to bottom), and split up by image set.

Analysis

The big increase in per-core performance that AMD claimed these processors would have is on full display in Pix4D. At the top end, the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X is 10-15% faster than the 3950X it is replacing, which was already one of the fastest processors for Pix4D - just behind the Threadripper series. That boost in speed pushes the 5950X to the top performance spot across the board, in all four of our image sets. The 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X is not far behind, either, rivaling the Threadrippers which have twice as many cores (or more).

Beating the Threadrippers means that these chips also outstrip anything Intel has to offer right now. At a similar price point, the 5900X is faster than the Core i9 10900K - while the 5800X beats the i7 10700K and the 5600X bests the i5 10600K. Since those last two pairs of CPUs are evenly matched on core count (at 8 and 6 cores, respectively) this is a clear demonstration of AMD having taken the single-threaded performance crown away from Intel. Combining that speed advantage with higher core count options gives AMD a solid lead.

Are AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series Processors Good for Pix4D?

Yes: without qualification, AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X is the fastest CPU for Pix4D - and the 5900X is a strong contender as well. The only reason to go for a different model would be to access higher amounts of RAM (more than the 128GB limit of the Ryzen 5000 Series) for working with larger image sets, in which case AMD's Threadripper processors are not much slower and support up to 256GB.

Looking for a Photogrammetry Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

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Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

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Tags: Intel X-series, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, photogrammetry, Pix4D, AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, Intel 10th Gen, CPU