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RealityCapture, like other photogrammetry applications, is built to take a batch of photographs and turn them into digital, 3D models. The many steps involved in that process can take a lot of time, and utilize both the CPU and GPU at different points. We recently put together a benchmark tool for RealityCapture, and in our first article focusing on this software we are going to take a look at how Intel's Core i7 and i9 processors stack up against AMD's Threadripper chips.
Here is a list of the hardware we tested RealityCapture on. The video card and RAM capacity were kept the same across all platforms, to avoid either of those throwing off the comparison. All results included here are from after the recent Windows 10 security patch addressing MDS vulnerabilities in some Intel processors, but we did see a small increase in Core i7 9700K and i9 9900K performance when we moved to the newer Z390 motherboard – which helped offset some of the performance those chips lost because of the update.
|Intel Core i7 9700K
Intel Core i9 9900K
Intel Core i9 9900X
Intel Core i9 9940X
Intel Core i9 9980XE
AMD Threadripper 2920X
AMD Threadripper 2950X
AMD Threadripper 2970WX
AMD Threadripper 2990WX
Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
|Gigabyte Z390 Designare
Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
Gigabyte X399 AORUS Xtreme
|4x DDR4-2666 32GB (128GB total)
8x DDR4-2666 16GB (128GB total)
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
|Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
|Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1809)
For testing photogrammetry applications, we have four image sets that we own the rights to – covering both smaller and larger size model and map projects. The smaller image sets are included in our public RealityCapture benchmark, which you can download and run if you want to compare your system's performance to what we measured in our testing.
- Rock Model – 45 photos at 20 megapixels each
- School Map – 51 photos at 18 megapixels each
- School Model – 278 photos at 18 megapixels each
- Park Map – 758 photos at 18 megapixels each
Each image set was processed 2-3 times on each CPU, and the fastest overall result was used for the comparisons below.
Here are charts for each of the four image sets, showing the total time (in seconds) they took to process on each CPU. The processors are listed in the same order on all charts, regardless of performance, to make it easy to see how they stack up. Intel's chips are shown in blue, with AMD's in red, and the fastest result on each project is highlighted (bold) to ensure it stands out from the crowd.
For those who want to dig further into the differences in how each CPU performs, here is a table showing the times for each step within RealityCapture on each of the image sets:
Interestingly, and unlike other photogrammetry software we have tested, Reality Capture always ran the fastest on a single processor: Intel's Core i9 9900K. Its sibling, the i7 9700K, was close in most cases – just a hair behind on the smaller projects, with the gap widening a bit on the larger ones. Presumably that is due to its slightly lower clock speed, and perhaps its lack of Hyperthreading also contributes to the increased difference with bigger image sets.
All of the higher core count processors did poorly, though, with Intel's Core X and AMD's Threadripper segmented based on processor family more than anything else. Overall, it looks like top clock speed is what matters for RealityCapture rather than the number of cores.
With incredibly steady performance results across all of our benchmark tests, it is easy to make a single processor recommendation: Intel's Core i9 9900K is the chip to get for RealityCapture, hands-down. It was the fastest at processing all four of our datasets.
If you are on a budget and need to save some money, especially if you work mostly with small image sets, the i7 9700K isn't far behind.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we take a look at GPU performance, and whether multiple video cards help in RealityCapture. Additionally, once we have all of that data, we will be adding recommended systems for RealityCapture to our website.
Looking for a
Puget Systems offers a range workstations tailored for Pix4D, Metashape, and RealityCapture. Even in the most demanding situations, our workstations and designed to minimize downtime and allow you to work as efficiently as possible.