New Workstation

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smacl
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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Fri May 10, 2019 8:56 am

Origin.KR wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:55 am
I recently stumbled upon this company and realized what a value this could be for someone looking to get the best performance out of a work station.
Have been looking around at pre-built versus self build myself recently and have decided to go ahead with self build once again with this Threadripper build. Starting off on 64gb and modest enough 2060 GPU so plenty of room for expansion there. Given what AMD are doing in terms of drop-in upgrades for the next gen Ryzen processors, I'm quite hopeful the same will be true of next gen Threadrippers. I quite enjoy putting PCs together so am biased, but self build seems to be where the best value is to be had in this part of the world.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by Wags » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:49 am

my computer info
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Re: New Workstation

Post by Oatfedgoat » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:04 am

Whilst it isn't a work PC, last summer my son and I built him a gaming PC.

It's been quite a few years since I was up to date with components and spec but by far the best value investment to improve performance was using an M2 nvme drive instead of an old fashioned SSD.
Windows now loads in about 5 seconds after power on and copy speeds are around 3gb/second.

Granted these arent yet bargain basement prices but a 1tb Samsung 970 pro is around £275, with the 970 Evo Plus at £200. A 2tb 970 Evo plus is around £450 if you need more space.
As most modern motherboards have slots for 2 of these bad boys it's possible to add them on a medium budget.

Plus for those with cable management OCD ( I see a few here in this thread) it means you don't need a sata power or data cable as the drives just slot straight into the mobo.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:09 am

Oatfedgoat wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:04 am
Granted these arent yet bargain basement prices but a 1tb Samsung 970 pro is around £275, with the 970 Evo Plus at £200. A 2tb 970 Evo plus is around £450 if you need more space.
As most modern motherboards have slots for 2 of these bad boys it's possible to add them on a medium budget.
For bargain basement, Crucial 1TB NVMe comes at about third of the price with the 970 72% faster, see https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/S ... 8vsm607339

As with all these things, you really need to carry out your own analysis to see where the bottlenecks lie, which is always going to be software dependent. On SCC, we have minimal disk access between loading and saving the model, and if you look at translations between import/export formats such as E57, they tend to be bottlenecked primarily by single core performance rather than disk speed once you're not on a slow HDD or network drive.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by remiscs » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:13 pm

NVME drives are nice to the point that even on budget builds I still use them. The Crucial P1 NVME does really well especially for it's price but I would probably caution using it for scans due to endurance. Another thing, once cache fills up it basically is at normal SSD speeds unlike something like the 970 pro. I hope to test them in RAID 0 on the newer high point NVME RAID cards for fun though. At $100 each why not.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by Skeer » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:31 am

I wanted to chime in here on this particular topic rather than starting my own. I recently became the IT guy for a civil engineering firm and we use RiProcess, RiWorld, RiScan and some Leica applications. The LiDAR guys who are the Ri-users have some seriously beefy machines: 32 core Threadrippers, RTX 2080's, NVME arrays, 64 gigs of ram. And still, some of the RiProcess functions can take days.
Now granted I did not sprout my IT seed in this type of environment but I have been around for almost 20 years. I've never seen processing that takes so long on such great hardware.
Also I have not yet had the chance to inspect resource utilization but an engineer whose been building these workstations suggests that during the hugely intensive process, overall util is low: CPU, Disk, GPU, etc. Which, if true, to me points to a software limitation.
Also true, we are running all 64-bit with the exception of RiProcess. Even though we have a 64-bit version according to the guys who run it it did not play well with at least one of the other applications. Again, I have not seen it myself but I trust him.
Also it seems that Reigl is a hardware first, software second kind of company. Which there are many out there like that. But I am insanely curious what platforms you other folks who might be in similar environments are running and what your performance is like.

Any questions I can answer to help further that discussion along, please feel free.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by James Hall » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:13 am

Skeer wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:31 am
I wanted to chime in here on this particular topic rather than starting my own. I recently became the IT guy for a civil engineering firm and we use RiProcess, RiWorld, RiScan and some Leica applications. The LiDAR guys who are the Ri-users have some seriously beefy machines: 32 core Threadrippers, RTX 2080's, NVME arrays, 64 gigs of ram. And still, some of the RiProcess functions can take days.
Now granted I did not sprout my IT seed in this type of environment but I have been around for almost 20 years. I've never seen processing that takes so long on such great hardware.
Also I have not yet had the chance to inspect resource utilization but an engineer whose been building these workstations suggests that during the hugely intensive process, overall util is low: CPU, Disk, GPU, etc. Which, if true, to me points to a software limitation.
Also true, we are running all 64-bit with the exception of RiProcess. Even though we have a 64-bit version according to the guys who run it it did not play well with at least one of the other applications. Again, I have not seen it myself but I trust him.
Also it seems that Reigl is a hardware first, software second kind of company. Which there are many out there like that. But I am insanely curious what platforms you other folks who might be in similar environments are running and what your performance is like.

Any questions I can answer to help further that discussion along, please feel free.
An aspect that may help with IDing your bottle necks is that much of the software used is poorly hyper threaded. (uses only one processor on multi processor systems) 12 moderately fast possessors would not be as effective 4 really fast possessors, with IO, GPU being the same.
Configuration of scratch file space / temp files and page files is also a concern. If you can manage to get you read and write cycles separated on to different IO controllers you can prevent read and write cycle slowing down possesses by not accessing a drive at the same time. I have run a m.2 raid 0 with an automatic daily backup for my C drive.
Playing with these configurations can affect stability. So testing and benchmarking is essential.

James,

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Re: New Workstation

Post by jedfrechette » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:58 pm

Skeer wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:31 am
Also it seems that Reigl is a hardware first, software second kind of company. Which there are many out there like that.
I'd argue that pretty much describes all of them. I think part of the reason people build monster workstations is that throwing hardware at the problem is about the only way they can eek out a few more percentage points of efficiency. Even though those gains are hugely expensive and the hardware capacity is largely "wasted" by our software. I look at adjacent industries that are compute intensive and by-in-large the machines on people's desks do more with less than ours.

Photogrammetry, is the one part or our industry that I can think of which effectively takes advantage of as many compute resources as you can put together.
Jed

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Re: New Workstation

Post by Skeer » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:10 pm

I want to agree Jed, however eeking out a few more points in efficiency can possibly mean another project gets completed quarterly.. or annually which means more profit. Is it worth the upfront cost? Meh.. I do't know, maybe.
But if what you say is correct (outside of photogrammetry) then it'd definitely be a software limitation on the processing rate wouldn't you say?

I hear that Reigl and Leica have the best hardware in the industry, not trying to start a flame war but that's what I've been told. If true then it'd behoove them to spend some sizable R&D on the software side of things.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:37 pm

Skeer wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:10 pm
I hear that Reigl and Leica have the best hardware in the industry, not trying to start a flame war but that's what I've been told. If true then it'd behoove them to spend some sizable R&D on the software side of things.
I'd be interested to know the spend, but from what I've heard in the past, the money spent on software R&D already exceeds hardware. The other widely used technique is to simply buy out smaller software houses that have already done much of the leg work who often seem to be far more cost efficient when it comes to innovation.

Cynically, it is also worth remembering that once you're faster than your competition further speed increases means fewer licenses required to achieve the same result, which is good for the user but no real benefit for the vendor. As a software developer with a given amount of resources, you're going to be more likely to devote those resources to develop solutions that lead to more sales.

As a small software developer, you also have the issue of dealing with the manufacturers opting for closed data formats with very time consuming import/export processes required to move to open formats, so even if you can offer dramatically faster processing, the end user value is seriously eroded through data transfer overhead.

Lastly, as scanners get faster I wonder whether more data is always better.

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