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System Upgrade Options

Hello everyone,

I have a couple of questions that are related to a lot of other posts on the forum, but slightly different. I am processing very large files and while my workstation is handling them, it is getting older and processing times are going up. For some reason, one project I am processing right now is going incredibly slow for Step 2-I will need to troubleshoot a bit once it finishes (other large projects have processed quicker than this one).

My first question comes down to whether it is worth upgrading the CPU in my existing machine, or if I am much better off putting it towards a new workstation?

My existing machine has (I listed the CPU, RAM, GPU, if anyone wants other info, please ask):

  • 4 core/8 thread i7-4770 3.4ghz
  • 32gb DDR3 RAM
  • GeForce 970 4GB

To upgrade to a significantly better processor, I would need to swap out the motherboard, and possibly the power supply. I’m guessing I would spend in the range of $1,200-$1,300 and this would change my CPU benchmark from about 10K to about 19K (with a Xeon 8 core/16 thread CPU in the 3.5ghz range).


My other option is to build a new workstation for somewhere in the range of $3,300. This system would include:

  • 8 core/16 thread Xeon 3.7GHZ CPU
  • 32GB DDR4 RAM
  • GeForce 1080 8gb

My questions on a new system are:

  1. I’m looking at the Xeon W Scalable W-2145 3.7ghz processor, but I am not familiar with the Scalable series-does anyone have input on this?
  2. Trying to stay under $3,500, are there changes that anyone recommends?

Overall questions/thoughts include:

  1. Can anyone tell me how much of a difference I might expect to see with my existing system vs. upgrading the existing system vs. new system?
  2. It’s worth noting that one advantage to getting a new system is I can process a project on one, while doing other work on the other.
  3. This is going off topic a little bit, but in regards to #2 above, how does Pix4D Cloud do with processing very large jobs? One issue I have run into trying to test this is that Cloud will not upload if you have images with duplicate names. I have my photos categorized in folders by flight, so unfortunately my existing project does have photos with duplicate names (i.e. DJI_0001 in Flight 1 folder, and DJI_0001 in Flight 3 folder), so I would have to re-name the photos and re-create my project (through Step 1) before testing the Cloud service.

Thank you in advance,



I am not aware of anybody having tested the Xeon W series yet but it should work similar to the Core i7/i9 chips.  Although they cost more so I don’t understand the WHY if you aren’t going past 128GB of RAM.

I have tested the Pix4D cloud server and it is slower and runs smaller projects than my desktop…but my desktop is $6,000 too.  Renaming the files is super easy in Win10 by just copying and saying keep both so it will add a _# to the end of the name.  This will get you past one hurdle…and you can let the Pix4D cloud server run Step 1 too.

Personally, I favor the idea of dedicated Pix4D desktops with a mix of some dual-purpose computers to really have the computing power and flexibility available…your old system is good so I say buy a new one and have another computer in-house.  I would get a Core i9 with 64GB or 128GB of RAM…and good luck finding a video card in-stock and at a good price these days.

Thanks Adam, I appreciate the advice. From your advice, I looked more at the i9’s. Looks like I could get a higher benchmark processor for similar price (i9-7900x 3.30ghz with 22.5K benchmark is what I’m looking at now). How much importance would you put on 64gb ram vs. 32 gb?

Yeah, I’m not worried about renaming the pictures (actually in Windows 10, you can rename all files at once and it will just put an auto-increment number-1,2,3, etc. at the end of whatever name you put in). Unfortunately, the time to re-process through Step 1, combined with my current processing, makes it troublesome.

I recently left the company I was at to start my own practice (although my largest project right now is very Pix4D heavy, not all of my projects are), and so it really comes down to trying to maximize budget for fees, etc. I’m trying to keep going on the old computer as long as I can, but I might have to add a second one sooner than I’d like:)

If you have read the other hardware benchmark threads then you should know my system…so if you need a large project handled on one of the best hardware configurations then give me a shout at as I routinely work on other people’s pics.  My fees are much cheaper than buying a new computer :slight_smile:

The system RAM helps make a better point cloud if you have a large gigapixel project and is necessary for high-end meshes…otherwise most people have little need to go above 64GB of RAM (I wouldn’t recommend 32GB).