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Develop module Graphics Card for LR8.4 - is it worth it?

reach

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Hi,
I've seen several threads about LR8.4 now doing more in GPU and which graphics cards support "full" or only "basic" acceleration, etc...
What I'm missing is a statement, if it's worth it? (I mean the "full" acceleration)
Sure one might say this depends on the usecase, but does it really? Letting the GPU do GPU-optimized tasks will speed up things dramatically. Factor 10 or higher. This has obviously not been the case in versions <8.4 except for tasks like "Enhance Details". But how is it now?
I haven't found any super enthusiastic feedback talking about anything which comes even close to a factor 10 performance increase, so I'd be really interested in your feedback.


Thx,
reach
 
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I would not go out and buy a new Video card just to take advantage of the added functionality in 8.4. I would make sure the video driver is the latest and if shopping for a new computer, I would certainly shop for one with the GPU specs that might be more than adequate for 8.4 with an eye toward future LR improvements.
If you are working with a dual monitor especially a 4K or 5K, then the GPU used is relevant to rendering images. This was important before 8.4


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reach

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I would not go out and buy a new Video card just to take advantage of the added functionality in 8.4. I would make sure the video driver is the latest and if shopping for a new computer, I would certainly shop for one with the GPU specs that might be more than adequate for 8.4 with an eye toward future LR improvements.
If you are working with a dual monitor especially a 4K or 5K, then the GPU used is relevant to rendering images. This was important before 8.4


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks clee01! Unfortunately, while this is of course quite a clear message, it's not really an answer to my question.
IF a good GPU brings the expected benefit, why not buy it now? If it doesn't, why buy later?
Question remains: is it worth it, or not?
 

GrahamP

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I agree. I have a high end NVidia graphics card with 6GB vram, but I still find Lightroom performs better with GPU acceleration turned off. Do not assume that spending money on a more powerful graphics card will solve Lightroom’s speed issues.
 
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Thanks clee01! Unfortunately, while this is of course quite a clear message, it's not really an answer to my question.
IF a good GPU brings the expected benefit, why not buy it now? If it doesn't, why buy later?
Question remains: is it worth it, or not?
Whether it is worth it is relative. Are you going to be buying a new computer in the next year or two? Are you in the future going to be using mobile more and classic less?
Do you have or plan to get a 4K/5K monitor? Are you happy with the performance of 8.4 now?

If you are in the Mac world as many (most?) LR users are, you don’t simply add a new video card and probably don’t need too unless you have a very old Mac.
My Mac desktop meets the GPU requirements. My 2012 MBP does not. Instead of getting a new MBP which can use the GPU, I replaced it with an iPadPro which does not need a super GPU.


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I agree. I have a high end NVidia graphics card with 6GB vram, but I still find Lightroom performs better with GPU acceleration turned off. Do not assume that spending money on a more powerful graphics card will solve Lightroom’s speed issues.
Which model?
 

Conrad Chavez

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Thanks clee01! Unfortunately, while this is of course quite a clear message, it's not really an answer to my question.
IF a good GPU brings the expected benefit, why not buy it now? If it doesn't, why buy later?
Question remains: is it worth it, or not?
I think part of the answer is that GPU support is a work in progress, and the benefit is not uniform across the application. Therefore, there is not a uniform answer for everybody. Also, because GPU acceleration is a work in progress, the answer "Is it worth it?" keeps changing, but since Adobe is working at it, it also keeps getting better. Go in with proper expectations, and expect those to shift over time.

If we go back to your question about "the expected benefit," the question then is what benefit do you expect? One of the things the GPU is helping with the most right now is reducing delays when processing very large numbers of pixels. In 8.4, a fully supported GPU should provide smoother, more immediate responsiveness when making adjustments in the Develop module. This might not be noticeable with smaller images on standard resolution displays, but should be more obvious with higher megapixel images on higher resolution displays.

Just as important is knowing what is not currently GPU-optimized, such as the Spot Removal tool, importing, exporting, preview generation, etc. If your expectations are high about those, you will be disappointed with GPU performance for now, and may still have to focus your hardware choices on CPU performance and having enough RAM.

How the benefits of a GPU changes over time depends on which areas of Lightroom the development team focuses on for GPU optimization in each release. There will never be a release where the entire application is instantly speedy because of a GPU, so with each version there are still people who say "The GPU still isn't helping, turn it off" and others who say "Wow, that's a dramatic improvement!" Over time, the percentage of the latter will gradually increase. That's probably a realistic way of thinking about it. In my case, I decided that 8.4 was the point at which a GPU upgrade was going to be worth it for me. But there is no question that performance still needs to be improved in more areas of Lightroom; for example, the Spot Removal tool is still slow.

So ultimately, to answer your question, if your bottleneck is general responsiveness in the Develop module while adjusting high-megapixel raw images on a Retina/HiDPI/4K display, a GPU is going to help a lot as of 8.4. If your bottleneck is in other areas such as Export or other modules like Library which currently depend more on the CPU, you could put a GPU upgrade on hold, keeping an eye on the release notes and user reviews for each version, watching for when GPU acceleration reaches the areas you are most interested in.
 
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It does run better for me on a RTX2080Ti, than an older GTX960, but worth it... I just happened to build a new system in the last few months, and yes it all runs better, but the old system still works well! Heck most of the time I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro, just for ease of travel and work.
 
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Since 8.4 and the graphic acceleration, I've noticed a performance improvement in the usage of local adjustement, especially the cloning tool.
My video card is nVidia 1060 6GB.
 

GrahamP

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I particularly notice the lack of improvement, indeed worsening, of performance in spot removal, if GPU is enabled.

I seem accidentally to specialise in photographing outdoor scenes under trees where there are often literally hundreds of bugs, gnats, mixes, flies -you name it - almost invisible to the naked eye but all too obvious on screen. Moving from spot to spot to spot.... is tedious at the best of times, but with spot preview turned on, if the GPU is enabled, there is a distinct stickiness in the cursor movement from one spot to the next as I try to splat the digital bugs. Without the GPU turned on, it is much smoother moving from one spot to the next in one smooth motion.

Note to self: stop taking photographs around trees...
 

reach

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Thanks for your replies!
So it appears to be clear that IF a dedicated GPU brings any improvement in certain usecases, it is still far away from factor 10 or more (although, isn't that the case for "Enhance details"?)

Personally I don't have special demands. (I haven't even ever noticed the spot healing being slow!) I just thought what GPUs can do with optimized code and since I considered building a new PC anyway, I started this thread. With your answers I can now much better judge if or if not I'll go for a graphics card.
 
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Keep in mind that using the GU implies exchange of data (your image) between the memory of the PC and the memory of the graphic card, both way (from PC to graphic and after calculation from gaphic to PC). These exchanges take time, which must be compensated by the calculation performance difference between the GPU and CPU to get the display performance improved. That why disabling the GPU might give better performance than using it, and why it's difficult if using the GPU will benefit or not.
 
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Keep in mind that using the GU implies exchange of data (your image) between the memory of the PC and the memory of the graphic card, both way (from PC to graphic and after calculation from gaphic to PC). These exchanges take time, which must be compensated by the calculation performance difference between the GPU and CPU to get the display performance improved. That why disabling the GPU might give better performance than using it, and why it's difficult if using the GPU will benefit or not.
I don’t think this is quite accurate. When enabled, the GPU acts as an addition CPU core. The CPU controller (if that is the right term) channels data computations in parallel though the core processors . It then handles the results as they come out the back end. The CPU core interacts with the computer RAM while the GPU uses VRAM as intermediate storage. VRAM is also use on the video card as a display frame buffer. So this can also be in competition with the computational requirements when the GPU is also used in computational acceleration.
 
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