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Pix4D 4.6.4: CPU Performance Roundup

Written on December 6, 2021 by William George
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TL;DR: Best Processor for Pix4D

Intel's Core i9 12900K is the fastest CPU we've tested yet for processing models and small maps in Pix4D. For larger maps, anything above ~500 photos, AMD's Threadripper Pro 3975WX is even faster - and supports a lot more system memory as well.

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 performance in Pix4D 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?

Pix4D 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 Pix4Dmapper, 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

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 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 Pix4D 4.6.4

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

Chart of detailed Pix4D CPU performance

Analysis

Intel's new Core i9 12900K is a smash hit in Pix4D, thanks to its combination of high per-core performance and an increased number of cores (compared to past, mainstream Intel models). It took top billing in three of our four tests, but the large Park Map shows that when dealing with bigger projects an even higher core count CPU will pull ahead. AMD's Threadripper Pro 3975WX was the fastest in that test, and since it also supports a lot more system memory that platform is better suited to really large mapping jobs.

AMD's Ryzen 5000 Series did well too, across the board, but wasn't quite fast enough to beat Intel's latest offering. As for Intel's own alternatives, the older 11th Gen Core was okay with models but struggled with maps - and the Core X and Xeon W models were generally among the slowest CPUs we tested in this review.

What is the best CPU for Pix4D?

Intel's Core i9 12900K is the fastest CPU we've tested yet for processing models and small maps in Pix4D. For larger maps, anything above roughly 500 photos, AMD's Threadripper Pro 3975WX is even faster - and supports a lot more system memory as well.

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Tags: Intel X-series, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, photogrammetry, Pix4D, CPU, Intel 12th Gen, AMD Ryzen 5000 Series, Xeon W, AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000 Series, Intel 11th Gen
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