Agisoft Metashape (previously Agisoft PhotoScan) is a powerful photogrammetric processing application that is often used for GIS. To speed up processing times, you will need a tailored Workstation for Metashape.
Agisoft has provided its hardware requirements on its website, but they are very basic and vague. Optimisations are crucial for any business that runs computing operations that can take days or weeks to finish. This article details what hardware is needed to optimise your Metashape Workstation.
Which Processor is the best choice for Agisoft PhotoScan?
Metashape needs both core counts and high clock speeds for different tasks. However, Agisoft Metashape benefits little from the very high core count CPU’s on the market today.
Which Graphics cards should be used for Agisoft PhotoScan?
Metashape does not use your graphics cards (GPU) for most tasks, but the Align photos and Build Dense Cloud stages are GPU accelerated. They are also the most demanding stages of the application’s photogrammetric processes.
A few years ago, Metashape used to benefit a lot from multiple GPU’s. However, due the performance of modern graphics cards, most users will be fine with just one. Some power users may add a 2nd one, but this will not improve performance significantly.
We recommend the NVIDIA GeForce RTX range for Agisoft Metashape. There is no specific reason why Metashape needs the more expensive professional NVIDIA RTX (formerly Quadro) graphics cards. However, it would be best to consider any other professional applications you may be using. They may need professional NVIDIA graphics and therefore affect which GPU to select.
Our testing shows that a mid-range NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card should be ideal for most users. Upgrading to a high-end GPU will offer a small but noticeable increase in performance. Adding a 2nd GPU will be costly and won’t significantly improve your Workstation, but it might be worth considering if you want to maximise performance.
How much RAM do I need for Agisoft PhotoScan?
Choosing the right amount of System Memory (RAM) is crucial when setting up your system for Agisoft Metashape. Too little can slow down your system and increase project completion times.
Metashape has provided some helpful resources online to help you estimate the amount of RAM you will need. This mainly depends on your project’s size and the desired output quality. From our experience 64-128GB is usually enough for most users.
- Check out this document from Agisoft to help calculate your RAM requirements.
- Alternatively contact our consultancy team for assistance.
Data Storage Configuration for Agisoft PhotoScan?
Nowadays, flash-based NVMe Solid State Drives (SSD) are affordable enough that we recommend them for all professionals as their primary drive. You should install your Operating System and applications on this drive to get the best performance.
If you wish to improve performance further, select a 2nd SSD drive to separate your active project files from your Operating System.
Traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are much slower than NVMe SSDs. By using an SSD, you will notice your Operating System will be more responsive, applications will load much faster, and your user experience will be greatly improved.
We suggest configuring a traditional secondary HDD or using a Network Attached Storage system for long-term storage and backups. These larger capacity drives have a lower cost per GB and are ideal for archiving data.
Agisoft Metashape has many stages to think about, making it hard to choose the best Workstation configuration. For example, some steps only use the CPU, while others use the GPU. So it would be best to look for the most balanced Workstation solutions with good multi-core performance, fast clock speeds and a mid to high-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU.
From our current range of Workstation solutions, we recommend one of our Intel® Core™ or AMD Ryzen™ Workstations for Metashape. If you need more than 128GB of RAM, or multiple GPU’s, then you should look at one of our Intel® Xeon® W or AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Pro Workstations.