New PC for use with Darktable

I have not yet decided on whether upgrading or a complete new PC will be my best choice. I am using Darktable with Windows 10/11. I used to run it on Ubuntu, but deserted Linux for more convenience about one year ago. I have been advised to ask, if Darktable is designed to work best with a certain CPU architecture and if number of cores or core tacting is more effective in speeding Darktable up. Another important question is, which hardware acceleration is supported by Darktable. Finally how much RAM is considered plenty for darktable?
Would be great to have those questions answered. Thank you so much in advance.

The biggest speed up you can get is adding a GPU if you don’t have one. darktable can use openCL of your GPU driver supports it, and you’ll want to make sure it does.

16GB of RAM should be enough for average edits.

Finally, darktable scales well over multiple CPU cores, but if you have a CPU that is relatively recent, say within the last 5 years, then going to the latest and greatest won’t give you that great of a bump.

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Thank you for the prompt answer! Now I know what to do. Keep the mainboard and CPU and upgrade.

I’m an Nvidia user under Linux, and have been quite trouble-free.
Also, you don’t need the latest and greatest card. As long as the video card has enough RAM, you should be fine. I use a GTX 1060 with 6GB RAM, and used a 650 before that, until with darktable 3.2 or so its 2GB memory ran out. Using those cards, I was able to run darktable on an ancient, 2-core machine from 2008, with 4GB of RAM (and a bit of patience :wink: )

Haha, …“and a bit of patience”. That’s a good one!

Von meinem/meiner Galaxy gesendet

I’m still fine on my Gtx 770 with 2Gb RAM, but then I only use it for OpenCL. I’d like an upgrade but now is not a good time to be buying a GPU.

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GPU it what to get.

Threadripper 1950x took 9 seconds for the sample picture.
With GTX 1060 it took 4,5 seconds.

With RTX 2080 it took 2,2 seconds. €650 when I bought it before the whole world wanted graphic cards.
And after an upgrade darktable speed (in general, and when using two monitors) - #108 by Peter

Gpu is more important than the cpu in darktable, as it uses gpu extensively.

An amd ryzen 5 5600x woukd be a good choice nowadays, combined with a motherboard with x570 chipset. It provides pcie 4.0 in all expansion ports, more important in nvme ssd drives for future expansion.
An apropiate quick nvme ssd with 2600 write speed pr more and 3200 ddr4 16 GB me.ory would give a good pc.
Gpu us delicate, a 4.9 Ddr6 4GB board woukd be great, but noadays good gpu are expensive.

In intel an i5 11600 or 11600K and z590 chipset would be as capable, with tge advantage of an integrated gpu you can dedicate to thumbnail and preview generation.
The problem with intel is that the chipsets provide pcie 3.0 only, not 4.0. You get 4.0 only in expansion port x16 connected to the cpu, for the graphics card.

I use a Ryzen 5600x with a B550-based motherboard and 64 GB of RAM (not really needed for darktable). My graphics card is a second-hand NVidia 1060/6GB, which I bought in November 2019 for CHF 139 ($150), and I don’t feel it’s a bottleneck (sure, a newer card could be faster, but the price/performance ratio, I think, is excellent).

B550 is a more limited MB than X570 and not as far in price.

GPU is better improvement than cpu for darktable. But the pruce af new GPU has gone high.

Nvidia 1650 eith 4GB is a good option, not tto expensive.
New and advance AMD GPUs are mad priced.

I run darktable on a i5 8th gen with 8Gb RAM and no GPU. And darktable runs fast, even though darktable and all images are on an external USB HDD.

Based on my hardware GPU would bring no noticeable darktable benefits.

Where it lacks:
Darktable plus too many browser tabs open
Video (DaVinci won’t even load, blender is no fun)
G’mic plugin in Affinity Photo - very, very slow

…but the next hardware will certainly have more RAM and some GPU for video/G’mic

I have an i7 8700K 16GB ram and darktable is quite usable without gpu thanks to code paralization and use of sse, but not fast, not comparable to using a simple gpu like geforce 1050 Ti.

Delay in many module sliders is noticable and expor takes quite long.
With the gpu everything is smoother.

8GB in qu dows for many ipen tabs and programs is scarce nowadays.
And darktable can use lots of ram running from cpu.

You will see great imprivement with more ram abd a gpu.

If your i5 is not a 8xxxF you have an intel HD GPU in it but you have to activate it in farktable, as intel dricers are blacklisted in DT, at least under windows.

Some modules are drastically faster with OpenCL. E.g. diffuse or sharpen on a given image:
OpenCL NVidia 1060: 0.45 s
Ryzen 5 5600x: 5.2 s (with a total of 59 s CPU time)

I can’t see a module named diffuse in the 3.6 manual

It’s on the master (development) branch.

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I use a Windows 10/ or when windows 11 comes I will upgrade to it (I have tpm 2.0),

I have 256GB ram (Which is too much for darktable) But it still runs totally fine, A single nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER (GDDR6 6GB VRAM) on msi creator X299 motherboard with Intel® Core™ i9-10900X X-series Processor (19.25M Cache, 3.70 GHz) , which works totally fine in anything with darktable.

I do not recommend you to just get 256GB ram, as I surely didn’t bought it for darktable, I just bought this much for davinci resolve studio, premiere Pro and shotcut, which are video editors and they need a lot more than darktable.
According to me 32 GB ram is just enough and a graphics card with 4GB Vram is good in most cases.

Depending on your tasks. If you have an 100mpx camera and stitched a hdr panorama … :slight_smile:
But if you buy a Motherboard with 4 ram slots 2x8gb 3200mhz should be enough for now. You can upgrade to 4x8gb later on.

What is your setup right now?
What is your budget?

The GPU prices are still “a little crazy”. So I would, if possible, use your old gpu until the prices are more sane.
Or get an APU (its a cpu which has an gpu build in).
For AMD that would be a 4650or 5600g or 5700g.
And if later on needed, you can still build in a external GPU.

And as always, dont cheap out on the m.2 ssd and the power supply :slight_smile:

Integrated graphucs are not that good.
In AMD if you buy a g or ge pricessor you sacrifuce pcie 4.0, all ryzen zen 3 processors with integrated graphics provide just pcie 3.0.

In intel you get pcie 4.0 in the 16x slot connected to cpu and in case of z590 chipset, the nvme x4 ssd connector, everithing else is pcie 3.0.

3.0 provides about half the bandwidth of 4.0, if the board supports it.

All intel cpu execpt F models, provide intel HD graphics which is not compatible with darktable as they are blacklisted.
If you fisable the list of blacklisted boards in darktablerc, you can use intel integrated GPU.
I found no problem with that, but it is still not well tested.

@ariznaf Please could you expand on this? I use an intel cpu with integrated HD graphics, but I’m not aware of any problems, I’ve been using dt for ages! Details -
Intel® Core™ i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz × 8
Intel® HD Graphics 530 (SKL GT2)

Intel NEO drivers used in HD graphics used in CPuU have been blacklisted in some version of DT at least unser windows OS due to problems with opencl implementation, which caused problems in DT.

Intek drivers have be en changed and now use code that is opnen sourcef and seem to work correctly.

But developers have not taken them out of the blacklist as it has not been well testef, and few of them usewindows.

I am using it and found no problem

You can enable intel hd drivers setting ignore_drivers_blacklist=TRUE in darktablerc