As we all know taking as many good pictures as possible is the best way to ensure things go well, and ultimately will save lots of time back in the office.
However time is allways against us. As fast as Capturing Reality is, waiting is inevitably part of the game. And it can be a long time, days+ to only find out your photo shoot was not good enough.
hardware requirements are listed here https://support.capturingreality.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001524071-OS-and-hardware-requirements however it is very vague. From experience, with rendering & video encoding etc, a badly configured system which looks great on paper can perform 1/2 as fast as a similarly priced system with carefully selected components and optimised appropriately. Throwing more money at the problem is not always the answer. And at times can slow things down.
Various stages of the calculations, stress different parts of the system. However to what amount I am struggling to figure out. how can I/we optimise a system that will perform the best with the software.
I have recently got rid of my dual Xeon v3 28 core workstation, which for rendering was awesome, however in reality capture it was painfully slow. A much higher clocked, new architecture consumer skylake system is not hugely different in reality capture yes a little slower, yet 4x+ slower for rendering (cinebench). cost 5x+ less and has 4 vs 28 cores.
Below are the areas which I know can make a difference. Unfortunately as with many things we cant have our cake and eat it. Cost has a big influence and also technological system restrictions mean you can have 32gb of very fast ram, or 128gb+ of slow ram. You can have a 5.2ghz 6core cpu or a 3.6ghz 16core cpu.
- Cpu speed Mhz (IPC) - More is better always.
- Core count (threads) more is better - to a extent, and not at the cost of IPC. From my experience a dual cpu system worked awesomely with some applications, however the system architecture did not agree with other applications such as capturing reality and underperformed. I have a feeling that in the same manner as GPU's you get increasingly mitigating returns with reality capture when increasing core count, even if the cpus are maxed 100%.
-CPU - Instructions support (AVX etc) does reality capture take advantage ? or will it soon and to what extent ? I see you are looking for a avx coder. Has avx been enabled when the software is compiled or tested ?
I personally am wishing to build a new system, AMD offer good value CPU's at last with Threadripper and EPYC, however do not support AVX well at all. It would be a disaster to invest in the wrong architecture. I am aware that amd hardware does not perform ideally with other software due to lack of AVX. Is this/will this be true with capturing reality ?
-GPU count - 3 is max and as with most things, you get diminishing returns.
-GPU speed/cuda performance - 1080ti/titan/quadro etc are the goto cards with ti's being best bang for buck. The new Tesla V100's are compute monsters with a cost to match. Soon* we should have the consumer volta titans and gaming cards available.
-GPU memory, is 12gb enough ? Reality capture complains I do not have enough video memory frequently - maybe this is a bug, as my monitoring software says only around 1gb of memory is used.
-RAM amount - Reality capture is fantastic that in theory it doesn't require massive amounts like competitors, however it does have it's limits. - what impact does maxing the ram, and requiring swap file usage on performance have ?
I have encountered out of memory in reality capture many times, is throwing more ram at the system the best solution?
-RAM Speed, 2666mhz or 4400mhz ?
-RAM Latency - ties into the above, some apps love faster speed or tighter timings. ? from my experience, optimising cache and memory performance for cpu/ram can double the speed of certain applications. has this been tested ? - there sure is a lot of data being passed about.
-HDD for cache/virtual memory. latency vs speed. I expect this is less important, however every bit will count to a extent. I assume when ram limitations are hit this becomes more valuable.
From all the above it's easy to choose the best, but you can't you'l have to sacrifice one area to get the max performance in another.
So the solution
Benchmark datasets - I searched the forum and found others have mentioned the availability of a benchmark and even stated they will be creating one, however this was a year+ ago and nothing came of it.
Unless a integrated benchmarking tool is to appear in the software very soon (would be best) I propose to do the following.
Have 2 different datasets available to run to reflect varying workloads. (I can make some, - we could utilise data provided capturing reality, or maybe someone can suggest something suitable)
a) light dataset - will be fast
b) Heavy dataset - will take longer, however may give more accurate results.
Users will then shift start the application, and hit start. Theoretically everyone should be on the same level.
Users will be required to upload the contents of the logs created to either the forum thread, or ideally a google form I create.
The easy part - RealityCapture.log this is basically a duplicate of the console window and logs the timestamps for the various stages that complete. it should be located here: c:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Temp\
It pumps out the following as a example.
RealityCapture 188.8.131.5208 Demo RC (c) Capturing Reality s.r.o.
Using 8 CPU cores
Added 83 images
Feature detection completed in 11 seconds
Finalizing 1 component
Reconstruction completed in 31.237 seconds
Processing part 1 / 5. Estimated 1225441 vertices
Processing part 3 / 5. Estimated 38117 vertices
Processing part 4 / 5. Estimated 926526 vertices
Processing part 5 / 5. Estimated 538277 vertices
Reconstruction in Normal Detail completed in 232.061 seconds
Coloring completed in 30.105 seconds
Coloring completed in 0.116 seconds
Coloring completed in 30.363 seconds
Creating Virtual Reality completed in 294.092 seconds
The trickier part- system analysis. There is a nice little freeware tool called hardwareinfo, that does not require installation. and can spit out a nice little text report as below, It contains no sensitive info. These two logs combined I believe will contain all the required information needed for us to compile a nice comparative dataset. When I say we I mean me, I'll have to parse the data onto a google spreadsheet which will do the calculations and we can all see the results.
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake-S, R0)
4000 MHz (40.00x100.0) @ 4498 MHz (45.00x100.0)
Motherboard: ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO
Chipset: Intel Z170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Memory: 32768 MBytes @ 1599 MHz, 16-18-18-36
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, 11264 MB GDDR5X SDRAM
Drive: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB, 488.4 GB, Serial ATA 6Gb/s @ 6Gb/s
Sound: Intel Skylake PCH-H - High Definition Audio Controller
Sound: NVIDIA GP102 - High Definition Audio Controller
Network: Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (x64) Build 15063.674 (RS2)
I'll need your help :)
A) input from my wall of text above.
B) Suggestions on the proposed benchmark & setup.
C) To run the benchmark and post the results.
If you've read through all that and think - "yeah, I'd spend 15 min running the test files and report back". Please say
If you've read part of it and fell asleep thinking , "aint nobody got time for that" - Please say :D.
What we get out of out all this?
Eventually when/if enough people with varying hardware post the results. We can determine what areas to spend our precious money on to improve the areas of capturing reality that we are bottlenecked in. Which components and configurations - help with say reconstruction or texturing the most, and what hardware is just ineffective.
What say you ? Do you think this is a worthwhile task and should I proceed ?
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