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02-16-2011, 09:10 AM   #1
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DxO Optics hardware preferencies/requirements (public benchmark test?)

Hi, gents.

I've been running ist DS for a year and a half and it's DxO that I'm stuck with on darkrooming my .pef's (honestly, .tiff's since DxO doesn't know ist DS and I have to 1st go with PDCU, but nevertheless) - and now I'm waiting for my new K-5 to pick it up. I've already tried converting K5's pef's in DxO on my machines and it appears that I'll have to also invest in new workstation just for photo post-processing. But prior to go shopping I need to know what solutions/platforms work better for this software: Intel vs AMD, Win vs Mac, x32 vs x64, more cores vs greater CPU frequency, RAM requirements and such.

If we happen to have a DxO engineer here on our forum then he is welcome to post here the specs recommended, but otherwise I'll come up shortly with a test description that I'd like local DxO fellows to run and report on. It'll be a link to .pef from K10d (that is supported by any DxO version of nowadays - i.e. if we go with pef from K5 then folks who haven't upgraded their DxO copies could not participate in this test) and a scenario description (smth like download that file onto your workstation, copy it into 20 copies, load into your DxO, apply *this* customization settings to the 1st and spread it over others thru 'copy correction settings') - finally you should come up with the time it takes to process this bunch and your system description.

What I'd like to avoid here are the posts saying 'I've running DxO on my AAA model ### and it runs fine' - I don't buy it (nor any engineer would), sorry. I need to measure that 'fine'. TIA.

If this post isn't deleted in two hours and there'll be no DxO insider reply here then I'll come up with a link and detailed scenario description. Stay tuned

Zig


Last edited by Siegfried; 02-16-2011 at 11:53 AM.
02-16-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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Benchmark description

Ok,
the post wasn't deleted (though nobody came up so far) so let move on with benchmark description.

1. First you're to download .pef file to work on. Although any K10d pef should work - but I'd like this benchmark to be as scientific (in its finest sense) as possible so please spend 10869836 bytes of your traffic for this:
http://zteziggy.gotdns.org:8080/IMGP9524.PEF

Just in case the same copy was also uploaded to this location:
Onlinedisk - ваше хранилище файлов.
but this service reports that this file is valid till Apr 17, '11 - and it appears to have mostly Russian (cyrillic) interface. Sorry.

2. Make 20 (twenty) copies of this file. Yep, this is a bit tiresome but we need a bunch of files. In my case I came up with test1, test2, ..., test20 names so finally we've got 21 (twenty one) files to work with.

3. Start a new project with your DxO Optics and load all those 21 files.

4. Open the 1st one and apply the following corrections:
4.1 White balance according to the snow bank by the white Ford
4.2 Horizon according to the left edge of the white building
4.3 Perform 'Punclishion' correction in the Geometry section (+20)
4.4 Go to Lights section and do the following corrections:
-0.30 EV exposure compensation
Auto-slight DxO lighting with +70 intensity
Black-point 0
White-point 255
Gamma 1.10 (shadow radius 5)
Contrast: +10 global and +35 local
Adjust the tone curve with 2 points (it isn't to be precisely as mine but there must be two points in your custom curve that do not lie on the default diagonal curve)
4.5 Go to Details section and among the default adjustments add 'purple fingering'

Please note that we're running a benchmark - we're not giving a birth to any sort of photo masterpiece.

Ouch, I hit attachment limit, see you soon in the next post.

Zig
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02-16-2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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5. We're done with the corrections, now we should apply the same settings to other 20 images in the project. The easiest was is to copy and past correction parameters. Do the right click on the 1st (corrected) file and go with 'copy correction settings', then select all other files and with the right click on the selection go with 'paste correction settings'. Check some files of the selection if the correction settings were applied.

6. Move on to 'Process'
6.1 In the output tab check that the JPG quality is set to 100.
6.2 Check that you're processing the whole bunch of 21 images

7. Go with Start Processing button and when you're done don't forget to record the time it took it to pulverize this project and post your results here with the h/w description of your workstation (whenever it's a laptop, PC, Mac or a rack-mount server).

Zig
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02-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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to get the h/w details on your system (if it's Win-based one) you can just run 'dxdiag' command from your Start -> Run menu.

Samsung R530 laptop
Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, 4Gb RAM, Intel Core2Duo T6600 (2.2 GHz)
250Gb Western Digital SATA hard drive, 5400 RPM
8 minutes 3 seconds

5 yrs old workstation
Windows 2003 x32, 1Gb RAM, Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2200 (2.2 GHz)
73Gb Maxtor SATA , 7200 RPM (system drive), 500Gb Western Digital PATA, 7200 RPM (data drive)
10 minutes 24 seconds

The goal if this benchmark thread is not to find out the winner with the fastest machine but to discover the platform details that DxO is optimized for and runs better with. So the more results posted the more winners we've got.

Zig

02-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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Is DxO Optics Pro v6 supporting multi-core systems, and are there any limits?

"During the processing step, DxO Optics Pro starts one process per image, and therefore can utilize more memory of a 64-bit system, if available. DxO OPtics Pro allows you to process as many images in parallel as can be support by the system configuration. That means that a 8-core system such as the i7 CPU can process 8 images at the same time. Note that it is highly recommended to have at least 1GB of system RAM installed for each core available on your computer in order to get maximum processing capability from your system.

For 32-bits system it is not recommended to process more than 2 images at the same time."

and

What are the minimum requirements for GPU acceleration support?
02-16-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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rhodopsin,
thanks for your very valuable input, but none of those links (that I've studied prior to getting into this public benchmark) advise whether DxO is better optimized for Intel or AMD cores. Or if there's any significant performance jump cause of bigger L3 cache. Or what's the performance gain from hyper-threading. And on, and on.

Once again: my machines that I currently own are sluggish when processing K-5 pef's in DxO and I need (and 75% ready) to go building a new one specially designed for K5 darkrooming. But before breaking my piggy bank I must find out the optimum environment - in both h/w and s/w terms - where DxO runs at its best. Official DxO faq pages are pretty unclear on this.

There're many options and variants to go with: new i5 vs new i7, new i5 vs old i5 vs old i7, 6-cored phenom vs 4-cored (+HT) intel. And my piggy bank isn't that big to go with the best (read: the most expensive) options that market offers.

If you do have your own copy of DxO Optics then you're very welcome to spend some of your traffic to download that pef and then about 2 minutes to mess with the file copies (the most boresome part, sorry) and then about 5-10 minutes to do those corrections and then finally those XX:YY minutes to have it finally processed. Getting back to pentaxforums and posting your XX:YY results will take about another minute of two. Having gone thru all that stuff you'll help a lot to answer those questions - at least other fellas pentaxians will see that there's somebody else rather then me messing with this stuff and will probably jump in and we will get the statistics to tell us what DxO is best optimized for. If we've got 20-30+ results then we win.

Thanks,
Zig
02-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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Professional-server-grade hardware

Here's the result from ~4yrs old production server: 3:35
In the 'preferencies' settings I set it to process 4 images at time (1 image per core available). Default setting is 2.

It's US BRAND #1 PE1950 running under Windows Server 2003 x32, two Xeons 5140 at 2.33 GHz, 4Gb RAM, RAID1 with two 15000 RPM 73Gb SAS hard drives.

This makes me think that CPU cache (but which one: L2 or L3) plays an important role in DxO performance.

Zig

Last edited by Siegfried; 02-16-2011 at 09:45 PM.
02-16-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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Ok, let's check how it goes with 8 cores (real cores, no hyper-threading).

Dual X5355 (i.e. two quad-cored xeons) at 2.66 GHz, 8 Gb RAM, otherwise the same as server above (2003 x32, RAID1 with 256Mb cache memory on two 15K RPM SAS hard drives, etc).

2:08 for both 8 threads and 4 threads. I don't buy it, probably the 2nd run (when I switched it to 4 threads) was affected with RAID controller cache memory and some HDD cache from OS. Let's check it with 10x magnification (I made another test album with 221 files, 2.2Gb total that definitely can't be stored either in RAID controller cache nor 2003 x32 Windows) and they come with 18:34 for 8 threads vs 20:50 for 4 threads.

Here DxO saying that for 32-bits system it is not recommended to process more than 2 images at the same time makes absolutely no sense to me.

Ok, I'll try to find some free real (i.e.: not virtual) x64 server tomorrow.

Zig

02-17-2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, the only free real x64 server that I've got an access to fails to run DxO for some unknown reason.

Anybody out there joining in? 189 views and nobody yet downloaded that pef...

Zig
02-19-2011, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Here you go:

HP dv8 Notebook:
Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, 4Gb RAM
i7 CPU 1.6GHZ
2x 500GB drives 7200 rpm SATA

5 minutes 43 seconds

ps to create copies easily: Ctrl + c followed by 20x Ctrl +v
02-22-2011, 03:38 PM   #11
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Bart,
thanks for that tip (I'm stuck with file-management s/w - I forget that sometimes built-in tools can be more handy) and thanks a lot for jumping in!

So far it appears that CPU-RAM curcuits and L2/L3 cache play major role in DxO performance. It'll be nice to see benchmarks for other systems, especially for AMD-based ones: for both 4-core (to compare with intel) and 6-core (to check their top-line models) ones.

Zig
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