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Peter Bye
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How to further improve image editing with ON1 Photo Raw 2021

I recently upgraded the GPU in a Dell T5810 workstation from an Nvidia Quadro M4000 (8 GB) to an MSI GTX 1660 Super (6 GB). The changes I see are a bit puzzling to me. I am hoping you can help explain what I see and offer guidance on two questions regarding a possible next GPU upgrade.
The Dell Precision Workstation T5810, 4 years old, key specs:
  • Xeon E5-1660 v4, 8 cores, 3.8 GHz
  • 64 GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
  • 2   1TB  PCIe m.2 NVMe SSDs (one for Windows + apps, one for data)
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • ON1 Photo Raw 2021 64-bit image editing app
The demanding application is photographic image editing using ON1 Photo Raw. In particular, the most-demanding task seems to be creating an image mask of a complex object (e.g. isolate a squirrel or some birds from a larger background of trees and flowers). It sends the GPU temperature up and activates the GPU's fans.
OLD GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M4000, 8 GB RAM
NEW GPU: MSI GTX 1660 Super, 6 GB RAM
With the Quadro all aspects of sorting and editing images were irritatingly slow although with help from many experts I found ways to improve the situation (see https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29218666/Hardware-and-migration-decisions-replacing-Dell-Workstation-to-improve-performance-editing-images.html?preview=ndn0YvXLhs3KR9gagOp1dA%3D%3D).
With the new GTX 1660 Super GPU I find:
  • Overall working with ON1 2021 Photo Raw is now manageable.
  • Sorting and selecting images is hugely faster.
  • Creating masks (as described above) is somewhat faster and more responsive although there is still some hesitation and "jerkiness" in operation.
  • Other aspects of editing have more improvement than creating masks.
  • While it is manageable and a lot better, I would prefer to get it even more responsive.
T5810-based constraints for any new GPU:
  • System power supply is 685 Watts.
  • GPU PCIE x16 slot rated for 225 Watts maximum.
  • Space is tight; can only use a dual-width GPU.
The puzzle in a nutshell: The MSI GTX 1660 Super card uses DirectX (12). PassMark overall is better than the Quadro M4000. But 2D graphics is slightly worse than the M4000. 3D graphics is much better.
The T5810 workstation with the original Quadro M4000:
The T5810 with the GTX 1660 Super:

Detail of the GTX 1660 2D and 3D PassMark results (sorry – I don't have this for the M4000):

For image editing it seems to me that 2D performance is more important than 3D performance.
So perhaps we explain the varied improvements I see due to using DirectX and perhaps faster GPU operation but limited by reduced 2D capability?
QUESTION 1: Does my conclusion make sense to you? Do you see other explanations?  I am trying to understand this situation as deeply as possible.
QUESTION 2: If 2D capability is what's most important is there a way to know how a particular GPU does on 2D? (Likely candidates are RTX 3060, 3060 ti, 3070. And Radeon 5700 XT. Higher versions tend to be too deep or require too much power.)
QUESTION 3: Is there something different I should be considering to further improve the image editing performance?
Thanks, Pete
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Peter Bye

8/22/2022 - Mon
Peter Bye

I'll add to the puzzle. I just compared the Quadro M4000 and the GTX 1660 Super on PassMark's website. They show an average G2D value (827) quite a bit higher than it got on my computer (640). Perhaps they come from GPUs installed on newer and more-capable computers.


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Peter Bye

I uninstalled the old NVIDIA drivers and did a clean install of the latest drivers for the new card. I also uninstalled and reinstalled ON1 Photo Raw 2021. Drivers, ON1 Photo Raw app, and Windows are on one m.2 NVME SSD. Data and images are on a different m.2 NVME SSD.

I also used the auto-scan function of MSI Afterburner to find what it says is the highest overclocking that is stable, and use those settings.

Nvidia GEForce Experience supposedly can auto optimize the GPU for ON1 Photo Raw but not yet for ON1 Photo Raw 2021. I submitted a request that the 2021 version be added.

Good idea about checking with MSI. I'll try that.

Does it seem accurate that for photographic still image editing 2D performance is more important than 3D performance?

about the 2D performance : i think so, because it is used to define the forms, , contours etc... while 3D only after this comes into play - and even not always; but i must add i'm no specialiast in this topic
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Immanuel Smith

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Peter Bye

Thanks for these thoughts Immanuel. This makes a lot of sense. The implication is that if present performance cannot be tweaked enough then it is time for a new computer.

There are, I think, still some possible adjustments and tuning of the GPU and the image editing software that I am also pursuing. Interestingly, in ON1 Photo Raw there is an adjustment to tell ON1 how strong the GPU is. It affects ON1 responsiveness. Adjusting it to indicate a slower/weaker GPU helps make masking more smooth. Also, ON1 prefers to give image processing to the GPU so to your point there will be a lot of hand-offs between CPU and GPU.

I will leave this question open for 2 - 3 days in case others have more thoughts to share.
Peter Bye

It seems no other experts have input so I will close this.

Thanks, both Immanuel and nobus. I am also taking into account the inputs I received from the previous question linked in my original post. My plan of action for now:

  • See if NVIDIA adds customization for ON1 Photo Raw 2021 to GEForce Experience since this might provide improved performance with the GTX 1660 Super.
  • Continue adjusting the GPU performance tab in ON1 Photo Raw 2021 to see if it improves performance enough to be acceptable.
  • The NVIDIA-branded GPUs seem to sell for less than other brands. If I can get one of their RTX 3060 ti or RTX 3070 cards for a reasonable price I might try it to see what improvement I get. This would be much less expensive than a new high-end desktop computer and, for me, would be an investment worth trying.
  • Otherwise, follow Immanuel's suggestion of a new PC.

Many thanks for your suggestions and for helping me think this through. I will pick solutions/assists now.