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Pix4D 4.5.6 vs 4.4.12 Performance Comparison

Written on April 10, 2020 by William George
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Introduction

A new version of Pix4D was released last month, and after testing, we are happy to report that it brings with it a nice performance boost! We have compiled results from six CPUs to show how much of an improvement you can expect when upgrading to Pix4Dmapper 4.5.6.

Pix4D logo

For this article, we are primarily interested in how long processing takes with the new 4.5.6 release of Pix4Dmapper compared to the last major version, which was 4.4.12. One thing worth noting is that our existing project files needed to be updated before they could be used in the latest version of the software, but to be safe we decided to create new projects using the same images and templates as before. Our public benchmark has been updated with those new files as well, and more info about that is available in the Benchmark Details.

If you would prefer to skip over our test setup and benchmark sections, feel free to jump straight to the Conclusion.

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Test Hardware

Here are the specifications of the different platforms we used for our testing:

AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3990X ($3,990)
AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Pro WiFi
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 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)
AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel 9th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9900K ($499)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
Shared Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1909)
Pix4Dmapper 4.4.12 & 4.5.6
Puget Systems Pix4D Benchmark

A quick note about memory specifications: the latest CPUs from AMD and Intel support varying speeds of RAM depending on how many modules are installed. In past articles, we've sometimes tested at multiple speeds, but to help keep things more uniform going forward we are standardizing on the speed that each processor/platform supports when all memory slots are used (even if we aren't filling them completely for our testing). Along with using the same total RAM capacity, that should help to keep results fair and consistent.

Benchmark Details

For benchmarking photogrammetry applications we 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

Since the new version of Pix4D is no longer compatible with the older project files, we re-created new projects using the same images and template settings as before. That means the version of the benchmark available now will no longer work with Pix4D 4.4.12 or older.

Benchmark Results

The results are split up into different charts for each image set, and within those, there are two results for each processor. The first, in blue, is the result from Pix4D version 4.4.12 - while the second, in green, is from the new 4.5.6 release. The order has also been sorted based on CPU performance in each image set, from fastest at the top to slowest at the bottom, using the times from the new version.

For those who want to dig deeper into how the new version impacted each step of processing, here is a full results table:

Pix4D 4.5.6 vs 4.4.12 Performance Comparison Table

Click image to expand for better readability

Analysis

The new version of Pix4D is faster in every respect, but the performance increase varies greatly between our four image sets. The School Map project only shaved off 1-5%, while School Model times dropped by 30-50%. A few things appear to be consistent, though:

  • 3D Models saw a bigger gain than 3D Maps, so the changes in this release seem to have less of an impact on Step 3 processing
  • Larger image sets also saw a more sizable gain than smaller ones
  • Nothing changed in terms of which processors are fastest, leaving AMD in the lead for both maximum performance and value

How much faster is Pix4D version 4.5.6?

The performance improvement in the latest version of Pix4Dmapper depends on your image set and the hardware in your system, but based on the testing we did it looks like you can expect anywhere from around 5 to 50% reductions in processing time. Those two ends are extreme outliers, though, and on average the improvement looks to be about 20%. Either way, those are great results!

Looking for a Photogrammetry Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor-made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide the most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

Configure a System!

Tags: Intel 9th Gen, Intel X-series, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, Threadripper, CPU, photogrammetry, Intel X-10000, Pix4D, Version, Core, Ryzen