PC specifications for 3D mapping analysis

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Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum, happy that I have found it. Also, quite new to the drones world.

I am mapping rooftops of houses, buildings, industrial areas and also open ground with DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.

After the photoshoot, I'm heading to the office and analize the results using DatuSurvey software. That takes between 1.5-9 hours (depending on the project scale) with the current laptop I'm using: Dell Vostro 15" i7-7500U 2.7GHz, SSD 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon R5 420 for graphics.
Then, I export a 3D model in an OBJ format for planning on SketchUp and email a screenshot with the relevant details for the clients. SketchUp works very slow when importing the OBJ file, so planning takes time.

I'm looking to purchase a high spec PC (Mac is not compitable with the software) to shorten the analysis time on DatuSurvey and the SketchUp planing on OBJ file.
Looking for a spec that will be relavant for the next 2-3 years as the technology gets better and better.

I do have the reccommanded spec for the Datusurvey, but I'd really like to get your reccommandations from your experience.

If you have any questions you are very welcome to ask.

Thanks.
 

BigAl07

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Welcome to the forum :)

All I can say is get as much processor and RAM as you can under the hood. From my experience you usually get more bang for the buck if you go with a Desktop as opposed to a laptop format simply because space and cooling are less of an issue on a Desktop system.

A colleague of mine just went down this road in November and because of his work situation he HAD to go with a laptop. I don't know the specs but I do know he went with a system built for 3D gaming and it has been performing well for him. Not sure if that helps or not.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to go with and how it performs.
 
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Hello,

I'm in IT and I whole heartedly agree with everything Al said. I will just elaborate on one item and I also have a mapping question for both of you.
In general when you are looking for high performance computers:
  • Always get a desktop computer instead of a laptop for high-end applications, if possible. You will get much better bang for the buck in a desktop system. Also when it comes to things like CAD and mapping, it all is easier to see and work on if you have a nice large monitor.
  • If you need to make concessions based on cost I would concentrate first on RAM, and then processor.
  • RAM is comparatively cheap and will greatly boost performance, so max it out. Do make sure you get the processor and system that will allow the fastest RAM allowed by that vendor. Then use that fastest RAM, even though it will be more expensive.
  • When it comes to processor, get a good (middle to high-end) processor but there's no need to break the bank. There is a point of diminishing returns and the high-end processors do get really expensive. It really comes down to how well the software takes advantage of that processors and multiple cores. Why buy a 32-core processor if the software does not take advantage of all those cores?
  • These types of applications usually write and read lots of data in big files. So get yourself a huge hard drive to store those big files. Ask the software vendor how much the hard disk is used during processing. For efficiency the good software packages keep all the data in RAM during processing. However if they make use of the hard disk during processing then you want to get the fastest hard drive possible as that will be a major bottleneck for speed. For faster hard drives you may want to move from SATA to SCSI or SAS, which will cost more.
  • This one is incredibly dependent on the actual software, but a dedicated high-end Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) may give you incredible benefits if the software uses it effectively for calculations. That is why you see bitcoin-mining systems really excel on systems with very high-end GPUs. You need to ask the software vendor how much improvement can be expected with a good GPU. If they say it is a great improvement then spend the money on a good GPU. Otherwise save that money and put it towards other components.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

I started typing my questions here but it was turning into a very long post and I didn't want to hijack your thread. Please look for my new thread regarding mapping of roofs with a Phantom 4. Here is the link ---> Commercial Mapping of Roofs and Buildings
 
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BigAl07

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Very well said @PhantomFandom . You said everything I "should" have said and very well.
 
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Very well said @PhantomFandom . You said everything I "should" have said and very well.
You're very welcome. You did say it very well yourself. Just thought the hard drive and GPU needed to be factored in as well.
 
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