Graphic cards matter A LOT

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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tokumeino Senior Member • Posts: 1,867
Graphic cards matter A LOT
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Background : I'm a former LR user and I have switched almost 2 years ago when the full cloud orientation of Adobe became obvious, and due to the fact that when lens profiles are built-in the RAW files, LR is unable to disable it, thus hiding large parts of the sensor and ruining my beloved gear. I choosed C1P but the poor DAM became more and more irritating, plus with smaller sensors, C1P is not good at reducing noise at low ISO without introducing artifacts. So I spent the last 2 months trying many softwares (hours and hours trying hard, doing my best, reading so many tutorials ) After thinking I could settle with DXO, I became aware of severe artefacts issues with Prime. At the very end, I think that Darkable is (by far) the most powerful software among those I tried (LR, COP and DXO), whatever the price, just considering the convenience and output quality. It only does require a bit work to get familiar with, to get rid of sometimes terrible defaults (like defaults NR for instance) and built custom profiles.

Long story .... I'm a windows user and I could only test Darktable since late december, when the Windows version was released. During the vacations, I used to work hard to learn DT and I'm now that I've learned, I'm so impressed that I couldn't step back to LR, COP or DXO. Imaging processing was actually the only reason why - many years ago - I used to switch from Linux to Windows.

... short. Now that my core imaging software runs natively on Linux, I switched back to Linux. Problem : my graphic card, and AMD Radeon R9 280 has no OpenGL supported by Linux so I had to change it for a NVidia GeForce. I didn't want to spend too much money on a GC so I used to hesitate between a 1050 and 1050Ti, until I've found this test https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Darktable-27-Results concluding that a 1060 should be 3 or 4 times faster as far as OpenCL is concerned.

So I bought a NVidia GeForce 1060 and before erasing Windows, I had a quick test to compare my supposely not so dumb AMD Radeon R9 280 with my not so high end new NVidia GeForce 1060. Honestly, I could imagine that gC matter, but not that much. I was completely shocked by how large the difference is between both cards :

  • In DT I can now draw the sliders and get almost fluid preview changes (I'm in UHD/4K so it's much more demending than in FullHD where you don't need so much power). It's much more than 5x faster IMO.
  • The most shocking was DXO : it was quite irritating to use before and with a 200 euros graphic card, everything suddenly turned in something completly fluid. Impressive how DXO takes advantage of GPU's.

So if you buy a new PC, save money on the processor : the GPU matters more than I oculd imagine. Small conclusion for a long post, but I wanted to share so people don't get mislead and get the actual importance of the GC.

I now cannot try anymore because I'm full Linux, where everything is so fast, clean and reactive when compared to Windows

 tokumeino's gear list:tokumeino's gear list
Canon G7 X II Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
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