Thank you for purchasing through links and ads on this site.
OWC / MacSales.com...
diglloyd Deal Finder...
Buy other stuff at Amazon.com...
Rigorously lab tested and OWC certified.

Optimizing PTGui Pro Panoramas

Last updated 2011-01-05 - Send Feedback
Related: optimization, System Setup, Software, Optimization

As of September 2010, PTGui Pro 8.3.10 is still a 32-bit application, which means that it can directly access at most 2.5GB of memory— far too little for larger panoramas, which demand a lot of memory for computing them (CS5 uses 10GB on the test used for this analysis). As a result, PTGui spends an inordinate amount of time reading to and writing from the drive.

The graph below shows render time to assemble eight 21-megapixel 16-bit TIF files into a panorama.

  • For each test, I rebooted the machine, then immediately ran the test.
  • Test machine was the 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core, with 24GB memory, except that triple SSD and RAM disk test used the 12-core 3.33GHz Mac Pro (to allow more memory). Times were about the same for the 6-core and 12-core Mac Pro using a dual-SSD system.
  • PTGui was set to use all hardware (not virtual) CPU cores and 100% of available memory (which is not much for a 32-bit app, it uses only about 1.75GB for this test).
  • This test generates a 86-megapixel output file (347MB) from nine 21MPCanon 5D Mark II images, a relatively small job as such things go. PTGui needed 27GB of temporary space.

Not just any SSD will do; be sure to get one that is as fast as the OWC Mercury Pro Extreme RE, and suitable for RAID-0 striping e.g., not Apple’s SSD offering. Alternately, 3 or 4 fast hard drives in a RAID-0 stripe are also excellent.

A RAM Disk used for temporary space has a major performance impact, and allows more CPU cores to be used than with a slower drive.

To use a RAM Disk effectively:

  • Boot into the 64-bit kernel (the default with 2010 Mac Pros).
  • Install plenty of RAM; 32GB should be considered a minimum, because PTGui consumes huge amounts of temporary (27GB for this modest-size panorama of 86MP).
  • Get a Mac Pro with 8 memory slots (8-core and 12-core models), which allows 64GB of memory. The 4/6-core models max-out at 32GB.
  • Set the RAM disk as the first scratch drive for PTGui. Use a triple-SSD RAID-0 stripe for overflow.
Performance with different scratch drives

Scratch drive

Put the scratch folder on your fastest drive.

Scratch drive preference for PTGui Pro

Preferences

For 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core, with 24GB memory.

Note that PTGui doesn't use more than about 4 cores effectively.

Settings used for testing on a hexacore Mac Pro
Output settings that were used for testing
Rigorously lab tested and OWC certified.
B&H Deal ZoneDeals by Brand/Category/Savings
Deals expire in 6 hours unless noted. Certain deals may last longer.
$2299 SAVE $500 = 17.0% Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1797 SAVE $200 = 10.0% Nikon D750 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$3297 SAVE $800 = 19.0% Nikon D810 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1799 SAVE $1151 = 39.0% Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE in Lenses: DSLR

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2008-2017 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__