About LightRoom CC and GPU - what should I expect? What kind of GPU should I buy?

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OK, I'm not a GPU specialist. Let's say I want to get the most out of LR, what can I expect from GPU acceleration ? Wich kind of graphic card should I buy?
Is OpenGL the only thing I have to check ? Will I see a difference between a cheap card, a Radeon R9 and a high end Quattro pro ? Is it better to have 2 Go of memory or 4 or 8, what about the frequency, how many calcul units are best?

Is a quadro or a FirePro better than a GTX or a Radeon for LR ?

So can you give us advices on what matters in order to choose the best product for LR CC according to our budget ?
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ERIC BURLET

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Posted 3 years ago

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ERIC BURLET

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I've found a great white paper on performance for Premiere Pro :
http://www.nvidia.fr/docs/IO/121761/a...

Is there a white paper for LR with GPU considerations ?

Thank you
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Eric,

There is not a single or straightforward answer to this, but I will try to help. You do not need to buy a super high-end (expensive) card, but you do need a recent card from a modern GPU architecture, with relatively high compute and memory bandwidth resources.

That still sounds pretty vague, doesn't it? So let's get concrete.

"Recent" means: ideally within the last 2 years.

Memory: at least 1 GB, but 2 GB is better. If you want to use a high-res display like a 4K display, make sure you have at least a 2 GB card.

For AMD cards, consider the Radeon R9 series of cards, such as the R9 270 thru 290.

For NVIDIA cards, consider a card from the GeForce GTX 760+ line (760, 770, 780, ...) or from the GeForce GTX 900 series.

It is not necessary to get a workstation-class card (AMD FirePro, NVIDIA Quadro) but similarly spec'd workstation-class cards are also fine.

Eric
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Alain Capéran

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Hi Eric,

Eric Chan: Can we have an openGL test passed for our card without any benefit?

In my case, I use an AMD HD 6450 with Lr6 test passed (with previous driver from April 2014) but it's obvious that I have no benefit to use it: any zoom in the develop module with "Use GPU on" take 3-4 second instead of less than 1 second without.

Is it normal?

Thanks for all your work and help.
Alain
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Alain,

Unfortunately, yes it is indeed possible for the internal diagnostics to pass (the card works and renders images correctly) but for the card to not provide much practical benefit (speed) in Develop. That is, the internal diagnostics only check for correctness, not speed improvement.

The specific card that you mentioned (AMD Radeon HD 6450) is an entry-level card from early 2011. It uses an older bus interface (PCIe 2), has lower memory bandwidth (~10 GB/sec), and more limited compute resources (~200 GFLOPS 32-bit float). It is good to hear it renders correctly with the 14.4 driver, but it's unlikely to provide any speed benefit in Develop, and as you've found, will actually probably slow things down. More harm than good.

Contrast with a more recent AMD card such as the R9 270. This is from late 2013, so not the newest nor fastest card. But it supports a newer bus interface (PCIe 3 vs PCIe 2), has much higher memory bandwidth (~180 GB/sec, vs 10), and is much faster (~2300 GFLOPS 32-bit float, vs 200).

Hope this helps.

Eric
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ERIC BURLET

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Great, thank you Eric !