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Author Topic: Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications  (Read 4175 times)

GeoME

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Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications
« on: August 17, 2017, 03:53:40 PM »
Hello,
I am a geologist and am new to using PhotoScan Pro.  We are having trouble getting the program to run, even with a small number of photos (30 or less, all 2MB size or less).  We could align the photos, but building the point cloud would cause our computer to crash.  Long story short, we were given the impression by some colleagues that an ordinary laptop could run the program at this basic level since they were running it in school computing labs.  WRONG!

So we are buying a new computer specifically to run PhotoScan Pro.  We are not looking to building 3D models of people or large areas in extreme detail - our goal is to monitor landscape change over time in relatively small areas such as coastal bluff sections that are maybe 1/2 mile long.  My guess is that it would take 100-200 photos for each model, but maybe less.  We have priced out the following computer:
    
HP Z240 Tower Workstation   
HP Z240 TWR 400W 92 percent efficient Chassis   
Win 10 Pro 64 US   
Operating System Load to SATA   
Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz (up to 4.0GHz) 8M 4C TWR CPU   
32GB DDR4-2400 nECC (2x16GB) Unbuffered RAM   
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB DP;HDMI;DL-DVI 1st No cable included Graphics   
2TB 7200 RPM SATA 1st Hard Drive   


Will this be enough to do what we need to do? This is already at the top of our budget and I am worried that this will not be enough RAM.  Should we get more than one graphics card?
I am totally out of my element here, so ANY advice would be so helpful and GREATLY APPRECIATED!  I have one shot to get this right...  Thank you!!

mwittnebel

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Re: Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 05:58:48 PM »
Only RAM is the limitation of how much you could calculate.
http://www.agisoft.com/pdf/tips_and_tricks/PhotoScan_Memory_Requirements.pdf

The CPU and GPU could only speed up the processing time.

The system should be good enough for your job. Please also have a look to a good airflow in your computer. Depending of your model the computer maybe takes more then a day to calculate a model ....

I hope the is helpful for you.

SAV

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Re: Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2017, 06:10:54 PM »
Hi GeoME,

Welcome to the PhotoScan community.  :D

Your chosen hardware looks fine for the purpose you outlined in your post.

You can always add 16 or 32 GB of RAM at a later stage if necessary. But I don't think you will need it.

Regarding a second GPU. It will definitely speed up processing, especially the computation of the dense point cloud. However, if necessary you can always add another graphics card at a later stage. But again, I don't think it will be necessary in your case.

However, I would highly recommend to add a SSD drive (256 GB) in order to run the operating system and software from it. It will make a big difference in general performance. Data itself can be stored on a slower, second traditional HDD drive (2TB or more).

Here are 2 great pre-built systems that would match your needs:
- Dell Alienware Aurora
- Dell Alienware Area 51

Note that powerful gaming PCs are generally well suited to run Agisoft PhotoScan Pro.

Also have a look at this thread/post for some more details on hardware:
http://www.agisoft.com/forum/index.php?topic=7552.0

All the best.

Regards
SAV

« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 01:18:33 PM by SAV »

GeoME

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Re: Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 03:29:37 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations - I appreciate it!  I will see if we can afford the secondary SSD.  We have to spend our grant money now, so I will try to max out what we can get in terms of RAM and GPU's now...  I did mention the gaming computers to our IT department, and I will again.  They look cheaper than what they quoted me for a custom build, but I guess we have a contract and can't buy Dells for whatever reason??  Oh, bureaucracy... 
Thanks again!

SAV

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Re: Hardware Recommendations for Geology Applications
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 05:41:32 PM »
Hi GeoME,

I can feel your pain. I have been in a similar situation; it was almost impossible to get a 'non-standard' machine. In my case I had to choose gear from Dell only.

As you mentioned correctly, you get better hardware for less money when choosing a good gaming PC.

If you have to stick with HP, try to get one of their OMEN X series gaming computers. They look quite capable/powerful.

Regards
SAV