Sigma Photo Pro: an analysis of high speed settings


Speed is a constantly recurring topic when it comes to Sigma Photo Pro. By their very nature the photo files of Sigma cameras are large and algorithms used for their processing complex. Therefore it is hardly a surprise that one needs a lot of memory and a fast processor if one doesn’t want to spend too much time in front of the PC. At least that was my assumption before checking the settings in detail and measuring their effect on the processing time.

I used a Lenovo Ideapad 320s ultrabook with the following components: Intel i5-8250U, 8GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce MX150. The image files were on an external hard disk drive (a 2.5” model) connected via USB 3.0, which can read and write with around 100MB/s. You can see the available settings in the image at the very beginning of the article. I started off with all the boxes unchecked. In other words none of the performance-increasing settings was enabled. Then I activated „Use extra memory“, followed by „high speed processing by pre-processing the image“, and finally measured the effect of GPU acceleration – first with the integrated Intel GPU, an UHD Graphics 620, and then with the Nvidia GeForce MX150. Don’t be surprised that the laptop has two GPUs. This is called Nvidia Optimus and has been on the market for several years now. The faster Nvidia GPU only gets powered up when an app needs a lot of performance. Otherwise it is deactivated in order to save energy.

Let’s now take a look at the results.

SPP table

Before the GPU acceleration is enabled the settings have an expected effect on processing time. Through the use of additional memory the processor is able to process the tasks faster. “High speed processing by pre-processing the image“ reduces the time needed to open an image. In return you have to wait until the photos are pre-processed. Interestingly the Intel UHD Graphics 620 is considerably slower than the CPU, which shouldn’t be the case. This shouldn’t be due to the hardware. The notorious Intel drivers are probably to blame. The Nvidia GeForce MX150, which is twice as fast according to benchmarks, shows what real GPU acceleration is supposed to look like. It is considerably faster than the Intel i5-8250U and more than twice as fast while saving a photo. I would like to hear about your experience with your hardware, because expectedly there are considerable differences depending on the configuration. Does anyone know how AMD’s CPUs and GPUs perform?

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