Pix4D is a suite of photogrammetry software commonly used by geospatial professionals, such as surveyors and civil engineers. To elaborate, it uses images from drones to generate point clouds. Like any other professional program, Pix4D does not need the most powerful components in order to operate. However, a more powerful workstation for Pix4D will give you a much better experience. This means you could get more work done in less time.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the components you need to build the best workstation PC for Pix4D.
Why choose us?
Parts like CPU cooler, Power Supply Unit, and chassis are often glossed over when putting together a system like this. Surprisingly, these parts have a massive effect on the lifespan and performance optimisation of the CPU, GPU and RAM. We only use parts that guarantee excellent cooling, airflow, and power delivery.
We’ve also got a lot of experience in putting these systems together, and our cable management is flawless. This not only means dust will be a lot less of an issue, but it will be much easier to work with when you eventually need an upgrade. This will only happen several years down the line, of course. Not to mention our cases just look fantastic.
Each Modena Computers Workstation is tailored to the personal needs of the user, but the features below would make for a great workstation for Pix4D.
3D Modeling & Design
CPU – Frequency
A Workstation for Pix4D will use the CPU differently for each step in its operation. The initial processing step benefits greatly from high CPU frequencies. In smaller projects, this step can take up quite a large portion of the total processing time, but less so in larger projects. This means that additional cores become more important as your projects become larger – this is quite convenient, as it costs more to get CPUs with more cores than with higher clock speeds.
The third and final step of the process involves DSM, Ortho, and Index work, and is only used when working with maps. You should note that this step does benefit from multiple cores, but only up to a certain point.
CPU – Core Count
While the first and last steps of Pix4D rely mainly on CPU frequency, the intermediate step involves the point cloud and mesh work, and this process makes use of all the available cores of the CPU. Clock speed still does make a difference, but cores are definitely the main factor for performance in this step.
There are some situations where there is no step 3 – if you are not working with maps. In cases like this, multicore CPUs can be used in a workstation for Pix4D with less concern about clock speed.
As we move into the 2020s, it’s much easier to select a CPU. Modern processors are very well balanced between speed and core count. This is especially true of AMD’s Ryzen 9 CPUs, which are our first recommendation for programs like this.
The bulk of the work in this program is performed by the CPU, but certain graphics cards can speed things up. Keep in mind that this is only possible with CUDA-enabled cards, which means that NVIDIA cards are the only option for this boost.
We’d recommend an RTX3070 in your workstation for Pix4D. This is because the performance is very similar to the RTX3080 and 3090, while the cost is much lower.
The amount of RAM you’ll need in your system depends on the a few factors. These include the number of images to be processed, the resolution of these images, and the quality settings of Pix4D.
32GB would be a great place to start, although your personal workflow might require more or less. Additionally, you should consider the other programs you plan to use on your workstation. This is because they might require more RAM, and you might want to run a few of them at the same time.
Storage technology has come a long way over the past decade. For example, Solid State Drives are known to be much faster than mechanical hard drives. In the past, they were also seen as pretty expensive, but this has become a non-issue.
It was pretty common to install the OS on a 120GB SSD, and everything else on a 1TB HDD, so that you could at least start up your PC super quickly.
Recently it’s become more viable to just use a larger SSD, from around 500GB to 1TB, and this is exactly our approach with our PCs. Having everything stored on SSDs means you’ll be able to save and load programs, and also transfer data, at incredible speeds. The SSDs we use are M.2 form factor and use the NVMe protocol, which means they take up no additional space in your case, and are even faster than standard 2.5” SATA drives.
These drives save a lot of time, and that means the PC will pay itself off a lot faster. You also still have the option of adding in some HDDs if you need to.
As we said before, each Modena Computers Vulcan Workstation is custom built to the workflow and budget requirements of its user. It’s important to consider other programs you may want to use with this workstation.
During our consultation process, you can let us know exactly which programs you want to use with your machine, and we’ll be happy to help you understand what you need.
Keep in mind that opting for higher performance right out of the gate offers much greater value than getting exactly what you need right now. A higher performance PC won’t need downtime to upgrade any time soon, and will also allow you to complete more work in less time. It could pay itself off a lot sooner than a more affordable option.
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