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Hi,

I do a lot of photo editing in Affinity Photo and Capture One.
I also do a lot of vector editing in Affinity Designer.

Last year, to speed up workflow, I bought a new Apple iMac Pro 3 GHz 10-Core Intel Xeon W, 64GB memory, Radeon Pro Vega 64X 16 GB graphics card and 2 TB SSD.

This machine did cost me 8500€! This is very very expensive for me, but previously I had a MacBook Pro (2016) that was too slow for my graphics editing. So I thought to me let's spend a little more money to get a really powerful and fast machine, so my graphics editing will be in realtime without waiting time at all.

At least that was what I wished and thought.

But I have to say that neither Affinity Photo nor Affinity Designer have become much faster with the new computer. Both programs often have very long waiting times when working. I always watch the CPU usage and see that no core is ever used to its maximum. Let alone that all cores are used. It is absolutely incomprehensible to me that I have waiting times in the programs if there are enough performance resources available but they are not being used.

For example, I like to work with the Inpainting Brush in Affinity Photo. Sometimes I really have to wait about a minute for it to finish calculating. It is very annoying. During this time, my computer has enough resources that Affinity does not use to calculate it faster. It may take advantage of 2-3 cores in half and the GPU by a quarter. But the rest of the cores do almost nothing. And we're not talking about huge photos here. I recently edited a 12MP iPhone photo.

Or I work in Affinity Designer with graphics that consist of approx. 2000 elements. It is almost impossible to select all of these elements and move them around. It is so jerky that the graphics are rendered here and there and lag behind. It is impossible to work with. Here too it can be observed that perhaps two of the CPU cores do something, but are also underutilized. The rest does nothing. The GPU doesn't do anything either.

Believe me, I've tried every combination of performance settings in Affinity Photo and Designer. Because it really annoys me that everything is so slow! But it only got slower than faster.

I would understand that there is a waiting period if all resources are used to the maximum and there are no resources left. But because the CPU and GPU of my machine are mostly idle while I see slow process bars and long waiting and reaction times, I wonder if something is wrong?
My question is, can I do something about it e.g. use certain special settings or is Affinity Photo and Designer not developed for using the performance of my machine?

I've already spoken to Apple Support who checked my machine. But everything is normal and fine. I have reinstalled macOS and every app. But it hasn't changed.

I mean a year ago this machine was advertised as "Power for Pros" or as "the fastest Mac every build". It would only have been faster with the 18 cores version with 256GB memory.
So I ask myself, what machine do I need to buy from Apple to have a noticeable speed advantage?

Best regards,
Christoph

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If the software is not coded in such a way to effectively use multiple cores then the number of cores in your machine won’t really matter.
Similarly, if the software isn’t written in such a way that uses the GPU optimally then that’s probably not going to help much either.
There’s probably not much you can do about that as it’s down to how the software is written rather than a user-defined setting.
There may be ways to speed some functionality up a bit (Metal processing perhaps) but someone with Mac-based knowledge will have to help you there.

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My iMac 2019, see signature for details, is no match; however, I never experienced a delay using the Inpainting brush and never the Beach Ball of Death,  


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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39 minutes ago, Cecil said:

My iMac 2019, see signature for details, is no match; however, I never experienced a delay using the Inpainting brush and never the Beach Ball of Death,  

Wow that sounds like a dream.

But you also have 8 i9 cores. And each core has 3.6 GHz. I don't know if you can calculate that way, but in total that's 28.8 Ghz. While I have 10 Xeon cores at 3 Ghz. Which are 30 Ghz in total. That's a bit more performance on my iMac Pro. But if only single cores are used, this is probably an advantage for your iMac.

But I don't want to be that technical here.
I'm actually a normal end user who goes to Apple and reads "Most powerful Mac ever build". And then I say to myself, "This is the computer I need so I can work as fast as possible".

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I purchased my RAM and SSD separately, significantly reducing the cost.  That doesn’t explain why you are having problems.  Although Inpainting is very fast for me, the results are not always accurate, requiring masking or erasing.


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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41 minutes ago, Cecil said:

I purchased my RAM and SSD separately, significantly reducing the cost.  That doesn’t explain why you are having problems.  Although Inpainting is very fast for me, the results are not always accurate, requiring masking or erasing.

I attached two videos one of inpainting brush in Affinity Photo and the other of moving a 2000 elements object around in Affinity Designer. Is this normal behaviour?

In Photo I simply mark some area with the inpainting brush. It looks the video has stopped but actually the progress bar pauses as long.

In Designer I take an object and simply drag it around without releasing the mouse button. And the object movement lags extremely behind.

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Sorry, nothing recorded in your screen recordings.


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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8 minutes ago, Christoph Müller said:

I attached two videos one of inpainting brush in Affinity Photo and the other of moving a 2000 elements object around in Affinity Designer. Is this normal behaviour?

In Photo I simply mark some area with the inpainting brush. It looks the video has stopped but actually the progress bar pauses as long.

In Designer I take an object and simply drag it around without releasing the mouse button. And the object movement lags extremely behind.

 

I took a screen shot of the second image and did the same thing in Photo on a 5K iMac, 4ghz i7, 24 gigs of ram, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB GPU and it did that significantly faster. Now I am working with a screen shot and not the original artwork. From experience though that should not be an issue and that image is as simple as they come. 

Out of curiosity can you try the same things in Adobe Photoshop? If you do not have it you can get the demo and see how performance compares. Vectors can be bit and miss depending on how complex they are so can't comment on that one without having the native files. 

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If you look at videos you attached, the total recording time is 0.00 or nothing recorded.  I do not have AD, only AP.  As I stated I would have nothing to compare as my Inpainting works without noticeable lag, unless I would try to Inpaint a whole picture.

Maybe someone with both will see this thread and has similar MAC setup, and both programs and Photoshop, which I do not want to download on a fairly clean system. You would also have to re-record your screen recording as on my end, it shows 0.00 recorded. 


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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I can see your videos OK. What you show for Photo is definitely not normal -- even my old low end iMac (see my sig for specs) performs similarly simple inpainting chores faster than you are seeing.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

I can see your videos OK. What you show for Photo is definitely not normal -- even my old low end iMac (see my sig for specs) performs similarly simple inpainting chores faster than you are seeing.

I wonder why both recordings on my end show 0:00 record time? If I try to force play, nothing happens.

4DB2A506-32BF-483E-A55D-2CD001AFB645.jpeg


Cecil 

iMac Retina 5K, 27”, 2019. 3.6 GHz Intel Core 9, 40 GB Memory DDR4, Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB, macOS 10.5.4 iPad Pro iPadOS

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection 

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3 hours ago, Cecil said:

I wonder why both recordings on my end show 0:00 record time? If I try to force play, nothing happens.

For me, videos posted to the forum frequently show the little spinner in the play bar for so long that I just give up. But when that happens, the duration shows as "--:--" not "00:00"

I frequently see other stalls as well -- sometimes it can take 10-20 seconds just for a posted graphic to finish loading, or for a reply to post, or for the stream I use to show new replies & posts in the questions forum to begin loading.

Other times everything works very fast. I don't know why.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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4 hours ago, Cecil said:

I wonder why both recordings on my end show 0:00 record time? If I try to force play, nothing happens.

4DB2A506-32BF-483E-A55D-2CD001AFB645.jpeg

I don't know why so many can't see the videos. The first is 13s the second 25s long. I can play back both here in the forum... Maybe its the format? It was recorded with the macOS build in screen recording. It's H.264. 

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10 hours ago, wonderings said:

I took a screen shot of the second image and did the same thing in Photo on a 5K iMac, 4ghz i7, 24 gigs of ram, AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096 MB GPU and it did that significantly faster. Now I am working with a screen shot and not the original artwork. From experience though that should not be an issue and that image is as simple as they come. 

Out of curiosity can you try the same things in Adobe Photoshop? If you do not have it you can get the demo and see how performance compares. Vectors can be bit and miss depending on how complex they are so can't comment on that one without having the native files. 

Here is the original of the photo. The vector file I can't upload, because of licensing. But I search for an other vector file, that is complex that I can post here.

It is unbelievable to me, how someone can work and edit those complex vector art graphics Serif sometimes posts on their Instagram or Facebook channel.

IMG_2269.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Christoph Müller said:

Here is the original of the photo.

What would be most useful for testing purposes is the .afphoto file. What you posted is a jpeg. Is it identical with what you opened in Affinity Photo?


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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15 minutes ago, R C-R said:

What would be most useful for testing purposes is the .afphoto file. What you posted is a jpeg. Is it identical with what you opened in Affinity Photo?

Yes, this was just a Photo taken with my iPhone. And in Apple Photos I choose "Edit with Affinity Photo".

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3 hours ago, Christoph Müller said:

Here is the original of the photo.

Downloading the full-size image (4032 x 3024px), not the thumbnail displayed, I get similar results to you with my mid-range PC taking 14 seconds and your MAC taking 12 seconds to do the first in-painting shown on the video

My CPU for APhoto sits at around about 40% and it is only using 2GB memory

Maybe for some tasks it does not matter how much more CPU or memory power your machine has.

E.g. Maybe there are other factors involved when in-painting which limits how fast it can go once you have a certain amount of CPU power and memory available and adding more will do nothing to increase the speed?

 


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be worried about.

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Same here,about 10 secs to do the first inpainting.
What I never see,when people are complaining about performance,is a visual of a taskmanager or equivalent.
By this I mean people often are running heavy ram using software in the background and don't put that in the equation.

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As for the Affinity Designer move performance, I have someting you can try out.

I downloaded the PDF of a manufacturer of pens in Germany. I attached the PDF to this post.

Open this in Affinity Designer and in the Import-Dialog that pops up let everything default and choose "Open".

Than select all artboards and try to move them around. On my iMac Pro it looks like this:

 

Pica-Marker_D-GB-F_Katalog_2020_Web.pdf

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13 minutes ago, carl123 said:

Downloading the full-size image (4032 x 3024px), not the thumbnail displayed, I get similar results to you with my mid-range PC taking 14 seconds and your MAC taking 12 seconds to do the first in-painting shown on the video

14 seconds is about the same as I get on the first inpaint using my old, very low performance iMac (2.9GHz i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 7200 rpm HDD, & a GTX 660M GPU that does not support metal compute acceleration).

So I suspect there is something else causing the poor inpainting performance on the OP's iMac Pro, since it should outperform my iMac many times over. Since the OP said all the AP performance settings were tried & had no effect, my guess is either the app needs to be reset to clear out some corrupted user setting or there is a third party add-on of some kind that is not compatible with the Affinity apps.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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1 minute ago, haakoo said:

Access denied

Same for me.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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