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Let's Speed up PixInsight!

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#1 joeytroy

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 05:09 PM

So I have been doing some tweaking in PI on my Mac Mini but this will work on Windows/Linux/Mac. I did two simple tweaks

 

1. I checked to see how many procs / threads I have

 

Mac Terminal Command. Remember the hw.logicalcpu number

$ sysctl hw.physicalcpu hw.logicalcpu
hw.physicalcpu: 6
hw.logicalcpu: 12

Windows PowerShell: Remember the Number of LogicalProcessors

PS> Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Processor | Select-Object -Property Name, Number*
Name                                    NumberOfCores NumberOfLogicalProcessors
----                                    ------------- -------------------------
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-26...                          2                         4

Linux Terminal:  Remember the Thread Count

$ sudo dmidecode -t 4 | grep -E 'Socket Designation|Count'
    Socket Designation: CPU1
    Core Count: 8
    Thread Count: 16
    Socket Designation: CPU2
    Core Count: 8
    Thread Count: 16

Now that we know our threads hop into PixInsight and go to Edit < Global Preferences < Parallel Processing and Threads and change the "Maximum number of read and write threads" to your thread count. Mine was 12 so I have 12 in both boxes

Screen-Shot-2021-02-17-at-2-58-15-PM.png

 

2. Next go to Directories and Networks and setup some more directories for swap anywhere you want. I added 3 after testing 4 and 5 and not making a big difference so 3 was my magic number but I read some other posts people have made as many as 11 based on their beefy hardware.

Screen-Shot-2021-02-17-at-2-59-25-PM.png

 

After making the changes I ran Scripts < Benchmarks < Pixinsight Benchmark and saw the following difference in bench marks after making the changes. The lower numbers are pre changes and then the faster number was after the thread and swap folder changes.

Screen-Shot-2021-02-17-at-2-59-47-PM.png

 

As usual YMMV, best of luck!

 


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#2 joeytroy

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 05:58 PM

One more thing I would like to share for Windows users that have an NVIDIA video card and use StarNet++. This will also get you some serious RPM's from what I am reading. I need to verify my Xeon Laptop NVIDIA card model so not sure it's going to work for me but may work for others.

 

https://darkskies.sp...t-starnet-cuda/


Edited by joeytroy, 17 February 2021 - 06:00 PM.


#3 MikiSJ

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 06:25 PM

I tried your suggestion and here is the increase in my system. I increased the file threads to 8 from 1

 

Current Performance Indices
Total performance ......  5880 CPU performance ........ 6643 Swap performance ....... 4009

 

Prior Performance Indices

Total performance ......  5503 CPU performance ........ 6055  Swap performance ...... 4022

 

Not a significant improvement, but worth a try.

 

Here is my system information:

 

CPU model .............. AMD Ryzen 7 3700U with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx

System Information
Operating system .... Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Core version ............ PixInsight Core 1.8.8-7 (x64)
Logical processors .. 8
Total memory size ... 9.879 GiB



#4 joeytroy

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 06:30 PM

I tried your suggestion and here is the increase in my system. I increased the file threads to 8 from 1

 

Current Performance Indices
Total performance ......  5880 CPU performance ........ 6643 Swap performance ....... 4009

 

Prior Performance Indices

Total performance ......  5503 CPU performance ........ 6055  Swap performance ...... 4022

 

Not a significant improvement, but worth a try.

 

Here is my system information:

 

CPU model .............. AMD Ryzen 7 3700U with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx

System Information
Operating system .... Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Core version ............ PixInsight Core 1.8.8-7 (x64)
Logical processors .. 8
Total memory size ... 9.879 GiB

Did you also increase the swap directories as well?



#5 MikiSJ

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 06:35 PM

Yes, I added 3 new swap directories.



#6 joeytroy

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 06:37 PM

Yes, I added 3 new swap directories.

Not bad at all then!



#7 imtl

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 07:23 PM

It's weird. I don't have those options when I go to Parallel processing. I don't have the last 4 parameters on the right! Is this only in the newest PI? My options end at the Allow using all available processing tickmark. 



#8 joeytroy

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 07:53 PM

I’m currently running the newest version right now and all current updates including the newest WBP 2.0

#9 jonnybravo0311

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for the tip on editing the global preferences, Joey. I was running with PI defaults - never even bothered looking at these settings previously. I ended up running a whole bunch of different configurations. My best score ended up being 4 swap directories (all on my MBP internal drive) and 8 each read/write threads. Final score:

 

med_gallery_347158_15661_345722.png

 

Not too shabby. Before the change, I was getting a considerably lower benchmark.


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#10 airscottdenning

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 12:23 AM

Thanks for these suggestions. I run latest PI on a 2017 Mac Mini (6 cores/12 threads, 64 GB RAM).

 

Before your recommended changes I got 

Total =7460 CPU=9039 SWAP=4357

 

After I got

Total=8101 CPU=9116 SWAP=5592

 

For a tad less than 10% improvement.


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#11 airscottdenning

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 08:55 AM

Another data point, on my 2016 MacBook Pro:

 

Speedup 3% total,

slight SLOWDOWN CPU,

43% improvement on swap


Edited by airscottdenning, 18 February 2021 - 08:55 AM.

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#12 corpusjonsey

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:18 AM

I tried this. Haha. my total performance is less than your improvements. 2010 i3. Guess I need an upgrade.


Edited by corpusjonsey, 18 February 2021 - 09:18 AM.


#13 joeytroy

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for the tip on editing the global preferences, Joey. I was running with PI defaults - never even bothered looking at these settings previously. I ended up running a whole bunch of different configurations. My best score ended up being 4 swap directories (all on my MBP internal drive) and 8 each read/write threads. Final score:

 

Nice Jonny! Glad it's improving speed!

 

Thanks for these suggestions. I run latest PI on a 2017 Mac Mini (6 cores/12 threads, 64 GB RAM).

 

You bet Scott!

 

I tried this. Haha. my total performance is less than your improvements. 2010 i3. Guess I need an upgrade.

Yeah never fails, there seems to always be something we need to upgrade in AP lol.gif



#14 joeytroy

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 03:27 PM

So I wanted to post an update. I recently decided to give OSX the old heave ho and installed Ubuntu 20.04.2 on my 2018 Mac Mini. To say I am impressed by the speed increase is an simply an understatement!

 

OSX Big Sur Speeds first run with out changes, second with 12 proc and 3 swaps

Screen-Shot-2021-02-17-at-2-59-47-PM.png

 

Ubuntu 20.04.2 Speeds first run with out changes, second with 12 proc and 3 swaps

afterchanges.png

 

If I did my math correct that is a huge increase over the second runs from OSX to Ubuntu. So glad I made the switch!

 

TOTAL= 42.9078% CPU=17.2724% SWAP=158.499%


Edited by joeytroy, 23 February 2021 - 03:28 PM.

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