New Workstation

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smacl
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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:59 am

Even for a small organisation, I'd question return on investment on very high end rigs and think it makes more sense to have multiple relatively high spec rigs running different tasks at the same time. The difference between a $5k rig and $15k rig is very likely to provide $10k worth of benefit, the difference between $15k rig and a $40k rig is less likely to bring $25k of benefit. An additional workstation or two, accessed over a fast network via remote desktop can help remove processing bottlenecks though where you have compute intensive tasks and a few jobs in the pipeline. The trick is designing and analysing your workflow so that you're not systematically wasting anyone's time waiting on a slow process to finish.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by jedfrechette » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:30 am

smacl wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:59 am
Even for a small organisation, I'd question return on investment on very high end rigs and think it makes more sense to have multiple relatively high spec rigs running different tasks at the same time. The difference between a $5k rig and $15k rig is very likely to provide $10k worth of benefit, the difference between $15k rig and a $40k rig is less likely to bring $25k of benefit.
Agreed, although I'd probably put the limit even lower than $15k.

On a technical note, what's the advantage of using a NVME for the OS? My machines never reboot so I don't care about that and applications launch fast enough off a SSD (or even a network share) so saving the NVME's for data seems more efficient in an IO constrained environment.
Jed

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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:38 am

jedfrechette wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:30 am
Agreed, although I'd probably put the limit even lower than $15k.
Definitely, my current build came in at about €2.5k and gives me pretty much all I need. If I was doing big registrations or photogrammetry jobs a €5k build with 128gb RAM, a couple of big NVME drives and a decent GPU will get through most work pretty quickly, particularly if you're not sitting doinmg nothing waiting for it.
On a technical note, what's the advantage of using a NVME for the OS? My machines never reboot so I don't care about that and applications launch fast enough off a SSD (or even a network share) so saving the NVME's for data seems more efficient in an IO constrained environment.
Probably negligible in that case but it comes down to the software, where a batch processing workflow might be firing up a lot of executables very regularly. Checking your PATH and getting rid of unnecessary entries can provide a bigger return, as can getting rid of unneeded software and updater services and making sure all your regularly used apps and folders are white listed in your security software.

If I want things to go faster, first thing I do is look for the actual bottlenecks in the system which are more to do with the software in use, the typical data being processed and the workflows than the actual hardware. No point adding memory that doesn't get used, an expensive GPU for a setup that is largely CPU bound, or a better CPU for a system that's IO bound. My experience is that you can make very big savings on computer costs by optimizing the build to fit the work being done rather than just getting a PC that is well specced across the board.

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Re: New Workstation

Post by BrettH » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:22 pm

smacl wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:38 am
jedfrechette wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:30 am
Agreed, although I'd probably put the limit even lower than $15k.
Definitely, my current build came in at about €2.5k and gives me pretty much all I need. If I was doing big registrations or photogrammetry jobs a €5k build with 128gb RAM, a couple of big NVME drives and a decent GPU will get through most work pretty quickly, particularly if you're not sitting doinmg nothing waiting for it.
On a technical note, what's the advantage of using a NVME for the OS? My machines never reboot so I don't care about that and applications launch fast enough off a SSD (or even a network share) so saving the NVME's for data seems more efficient in an IO constrained environment.
Probably negligible in that case but it comes down to the software, where a batch processing workflow might be firing up a lot of executables very regularly. Checking your PATH and getting rid of unnecessary entries can provide a bigger return, as can getting rid of unneeded software and updater services and making sure all your regularly used apps and folders are white listed in your security software.

If I want things to go faster, first thing I do is look for the actual bottlenecks in the system which are more to do with the software in use, the typical data being processed and the workflows than the actual hardware. No point adding memory that doesn't get used, an expensive GPU for a setup that is largely CPU bound, or a better CPU for a system that's IO bound. My experience is that you can make very big savings on computer costs by optimizing the build to fit the work being done rather than just getting a PC that is well specced across the board.

Some great information thanks
what would you recommend for processing with cyclone (often very large projects) i see a lot mentioned about the i9 and then others xeon processors
I was looking at the following:
Xeon w-2145
Nvidia P5000 graphics
2 2TB Nvme
128gb Ram
As cyclone only really utilises 1 core i don't think the threadrippers will be any better for me

Cheers

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Re: New Workstation

Post by smacl » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:49 pm

BrettH wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:22 pm
Some great information thanks
what would you recommend for processing with cyclone (often very large projects) i see a lot mentioned about the i9 and then others xeon processors
I was looking at the following:
Xeon w-2145
Nvidia P5000 graphics
2 2TB Nvme
128gb Ram
As cyclone only really utilises 1 core i don't think the threadrippers will be any better for me

Cheers
For Cyclone specifics, you're probably better asking someone else. Maybe Paul Burrows? I hadn't realised Cyclone was primarily single core for most activities but I'd expect this to change on newer releases, particularly as it is now combined with 3DR. I'd expect most modern point cloud processing to be heavily multi-threaded on time consuming operations but single threaded on operations where speed wasn't an issue. For programs that have been around a bit longer porting code to multi-threaded or GPU compute can be time consuming and often happens on an ad-hoc basis but where processing time is an issue it is something that will happen. If you think about it, most modern CPUs you'll see in a workstation have 16 or more concurrent threads, so single threaded code is only using 6.25% of available processing power.

Best starting point is to fire up task manager the next time your PC is straining under load and have a look to see which resources (CPU/GPU/Memory/Disk/Network) are topping out at 100%. If none of them are, and the CPU is running at 100/(available cores) single threading is the issue and your i9 at high clock rate is a good bet.

There's also a lot of discussion on whether you're better served by the likes of 2080ti or Quadro P5000, where the former is half the price. See the following; https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/N ... 7vsm197331

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