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Hi, Loving AP and Designer but having troubles with speed. I have a 3.7Ghz i5,  6 core processor and plenty of Ram but now I'm doing projects with loads of layers, the stack is taking a long time to render. I don't currently have a separate graphics card and have been relying on the 'on board' one on my Asus Mobo.  I keep trawling the web for specifics regarding specs needed to speed the rendering up significantly but info is sketchy at best. So, will getting a card help? Or is all the rendering done using the CPU? If a card will indeed help, I'm assuming I don't need hundreds of pounds worth of gaming kit? Been looking at a Geforce 1050 which has 4GB of RAM but do I need that much? Would something with 2GB be adequate provided it supports DX10 or higher? 

Someone help as my old 2010 desktop mac renders the same stack twice as fast as my bang up-to-date PC

Thanks,

 

Steve

 

PS are you ever going to give us colour change guides?

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We don't have many specifics in terms of graphics cards, due to there being so many variations. In general the minimum is a card that supports DirectX 10 otherwise you will see a warning message when opening the app, see this FAQ for more information.

In the 1.9 update to our apps, hardware acceleration (OpenCL) was added, this should increase performance on Windows. However this itself also requires a certain spec'd system, including Windows and DirectX versions, see this FAQ for more information. It's worth noting that even some graphics drivers are having issues with OpenCL and even we've reported issues to their developers to look into. It's worth making sure that Windows and graphics drivers are also up to date.

With regards to the ability to change the guides, it's been requested but no timeframe at this time as to if/when the feature will be added.

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Thank you Lee for your reply.

 

I'm not feeling like I have an answer. I'm not a gamer so don't need anything special but the question remains, will a graphics card improve the rendering time on a multiple layer project or not? 

Don't have money to waste if it's not going to help. Plus because of all those bitcoin miners out there, a decent GPU is hard to come by and far more expensive than it needs to be.

 

Thanks again,

Steve

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@Sclong137 Whatever your machine is, it's got some kind of graphics hardware even if it's not a separate plugin card.  If you are working at modern screen resolutions, we can assume you've got something better than VGA hardware.  Unless Affinity Photo is offloading layer compositing to the graphics hardware, even the most minimal modern graphics hardware is not going to be the bottleneck.  So, "No, you probably don't need a separate graphics card, and you certainly don't need a fancy graphics card with hundreds of shader units and Gigabytes of on-card dynamic RAM."

Affinity have not made clear exactly which features are enhanced by "Hardware Acceleration" and "HA support" is complicated by the need for specific OS support (for API features) and video card driver support (for actual functionality).  So I cannot be absolutely certain of my answer.  But since you did not get a direct, explicit answer from Affinity, you can try mine.

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12 hours ago, Sclong137 said:

I'm not feeling like I have an answer. I'm not a gamer so don't need anything special but the question remains, will a graphics card improve the rendering time on a multiple layer project or not? 

Don't have money to waste if it's not going to help. Plus because of all those bitcoin miners out there, a decent GPU is hard to come by and far more expensive than it needs to be.

I'd love to see a definitive answer to this, too.  Unfortunately, for me at least, upgrading the graphics card would mean at least a new PSU, and possibly a new motherboard too - it's a leap in the dark!  Disabling hardware acceleration has been the solution to a number of users' problems, but so far I haven't seen anyone complaining that the performance has suffered.

AP, AD & APub user, running Win10

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Thanks for that, yes I had to disable hardware acceleration after an update some months ago when they claimed to be offloading work to the GPU. I assumed the onboard graphics just weren’t up to the job, but it’s been suggested that some manufacturers drivers are to blame. As you say, a leap in the dark. Might be a monumental waste of money. Surely someone at Serif could tell me which manufacturers to avoid at least. Please?

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3 hours ago, Sclong137 said:

Might be a monumental waste of money. Surely someone at Serif could tell me which manufacturers to avoid at least. Please?

The possible hardware configurations are enormous. No one is going to be able to say for certain that the SClong-137 computer does not work with x version of y company's z line of graphic card. 

If the applications are running okay, save the cash. After all depending on the type of work you do there may be only a tiny improvement with the best card. Would that be worth investing in?

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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3 hours ago, Sclong137 said:

Surely someone at Serif could tell me which manufacturers to avoid at least. Please?

Out of date and buggy device drivers get blamed for all sorts of problems - the Affinity apps aren't unusual in that respect.  I'd expect the "culprits" to be a lot more specific than the manufacturers though.  But even if there was a list it could all change tomorrow as old bugs are fixed and new ones come to light.  

AP, AD & APub user, running Win10

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I also wonder what the problem could be. My system specs are pretty ok I suppose, AMD Ryzen 5900x with 24 cores, 128GB Ram of fast DDR4 RAM. Graphics card is an AMD Radeon RX Vega, of course everything with the latest drivers. With OpenCL + Hardware Acceleration activated with stock settings of AD (made sure it's set to use the dedicated graphics card though), still I get chunky movement when moving a simple object around. (see video).

Can Affinity help here? What am I doing wrong?

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27 minutes ago, pekranodon said:

I also wonder what the problem could be. My system specs are pretty ok I suppose, AMD Ryzen 5900x with 24 cores, 128GB Ram of fast DDR4 RAM. Graphics card is an AMD Radeon RX Vega, of course everything with the latest drivers. With OpenCL + Hardware Acceleration activated with stock settings of AD (made sure it's set to use the dedicated graphics card though), still I get chunky movement when moving a simple object around. (see video).

Can Affinity help here? What am I doing wrong?

I think this would be better submitted as a new question - it doesn't have anything to do with selecting a graphics card and could easily be missed.

AP, AD & APub user, running Win10

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3 hours ago, Old Bruce said:

The possible hardware configurations are enormous.

Considering the number of different hardware configurations plus the number of different graphics drivers that might be used with them, I do not see how there could be anything even remotely like a simple definitive answer about which combinations would improve rendering performance enough to justify the cost. 

I'm not even sure how that could be quantified, but even if it could it still would depend on what the documents that were being rendered contained, since some combinations of stacked filters, adjustments, etc. & other layer types would benefit more than others from GPU acceleration.

Besides, all of this could change dramatically as new drivers & cards become available, their prices fluctuate, & as Serif tweaks the rendering performance for different hardware configurations.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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Without anyone committing themselves, it theory does AP use the graphics card when hardware acceleration is switched on or does it not? I'm not asking for any more than a program to run as it's designed to. James Ritson shows a 32bit large file with multiple layers being rendered almost instantaneously when Open CL is enabled. When I enable Open CL, AP immediately falls over. I need someone who works on the program to comment really, not that I don't value everything you've all said so far. Serif have actually said they are having problems with certain manufacturers' drivers, I'd just like to know which ones they are so I can avoid them... even if that list does change tomorrow, at least I've got a chance today. 

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44 minutes ago, Sclong137 said:

Without anyone committing themselves, it theory does AP use the graphics card when hardware acceleration is switched on or does it not?

You are never going to get a more definitive answer than "it depends on a bunch of different factors." For example, even if the drivers are 100% compatible & the card is very high performance, only some rendering tasks will benefit a noticeable amount from hardware acceleration & that in turn depends on what kinds of layers are involved & how they are stacked.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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50 minutes ago, Sclong137 said:

Serif have actually said they are having problems with certain manufacturers' drivers, I'd just like to know which ones they are so I can avoid them... even if that list does change tomorrow, at least I've got a chance today. 

Serif staff have said there's a problem with some of the AMD Adrenalin drivers, and various users have said they've had problems with specific Nvidia and AMD drivers but I don't believe that Serif have said there's a general problem with any manufacturer.

AP, AD & APub user, running Win10

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37 minutes ago, IanSG said:

Serif staff have said there's a problem with some of the AMD Adrenalin drivers, and various users have said they've had problems with specific Nvidia and AMD drivers but I don't believe that Serif have said there's a general problem with any manufacturer.

Some of the problems seem to occur only with certain combinations of drivers & cards, so it isn't even as simple as just specific drivers.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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Forget, drivers. Forget manufacturers. Does enabling Hardware acceleration / OpenCL make the program render using the GPU? In Theory. No one is going to sue. Yes or no?

I won't whine, or call you names, I just want to know from someone who actually knows what the switch does. (in a perfect universe)

Thanks for all the comments so far.

 

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5 minutes ago, Sclong137 said:

Forget, drivers. Forget manufacturers. Does enabling Hardware acceleration / OpenCL make the program render using the GPU? In Theory

Yes of course it will, only if the drivers are properly working for the hardware and software. There is no way of getting around the need for Drivers

The actual answer is Maybe. It Depends. It's Complicated. 

The other part of the answer is You may not notice any speed up or improvement.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7

Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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Hm, I am with @Sclong134 here. It seems like a lot of assumptions and semi-knowledge is mixed and what comes out is a bit wishy-washy.

To me it doesn't really make sense that hardware acceleration would not work on all setups where the OS provides it for. I am using a AMD-manufactured graphics card with the proper, up-to-date AMD drivers and with all diagnosis tools reporting fully functional hardware acceleration. It can't get more "off the shelf" than this. If Affinity does not run smoothly (as in "renders a simple shaded circle without choppy flickering") on a beefy "non-exotic" machine like mine, I really wonder where it does.

Not only do tons of triple-A and smaller games get it done, so does Blender, Adobe's CS, video encoders and many others with similar workloads. So no, while I can accept the functionality just not working, I can not accept something like "it's probably something down the driver chain that is out of our control" as an excuse.

 

... so just curious, can anyone provide a screen capture of a AD running smoothly on a Windows machine? Just let's say, drag a gradient-filled, beveled circle smoothly around.

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4 minutes ago, pekranodon said:

Hm, I am with @Sclong134 here. It seems like a lot of assumptions and semi-knowledge is mixed and what comes out is a bit wishy-washy.

To me it doesn't really make sense that hardware acceleration would not work on all setups where the OS provides it for. I am using a AMD-manufactured graphics card with the proper, up-to-date AMD drivers and with all diagnosis tools reporting fully functional hardware acceleration. It can't get more "off the shelf" than this. If Affinity does not run smoothly (as in "renders a simple shaded circle without choppy flickering") on a beefy "non-exotic" machine like mine, I really wonder where it does.

Not only do tons of triple-A and smaller games get it done, so does Blender, Adobe's CS, video encoders and many others with similar workloads. So no, while I can accept the functionality just not working, I can not accept something like "it's probably something down the driver chain that is out of our control" as an excuse.

 

... so just curious, can anyone provide a screen capture of a AD running smoothly on a Windows machine? Just let's say, drag a gradient-filled, beveled circle smoothly around.

Edit: Found this: 

This offers some insight. You need at least Direct3D12, Feature level 12.0. Windows 10 as of April 2020. In addition, too old or too new AMD cards will not work and there will be problems with OpenCL on AMD cards.

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14 minutes ago, pekranodon said:

I can not accept something like "it's probably something down the driver chain that is out of our control" as an excuse.

Users have confirmed here that some driver levels for some cards don't work with the functions the Affinity apps use. And also that sometimes a lower level of a driver works, and then errors arise when the drivers are updated to a later level.

So, clearly, the drivers do matter. 

Also, the Windows update processing is well known to leave garbage around rather that doing clean replacements. And users have also confirmed here that doing a full uninstall of the graphics drivers and a clean reinstall can help.

They've even shown that doing a clean refresh or reinstall of Windows can help, by cleaning up garbage within Windows itself.

15 minutes ago, pekranodon said:

Not only do tons of triple-A and smaller games get it done, so does Blender, Adobe's CS, video encoders and many others with similar workloads.

They might not be using OpenCL. Or the exact same OpenCL functions that Affinity uses.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
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  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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2 hours ago, pekranodon said:

To me it doesn't really make sense that hardware acceleration would not work on all setups where the OS provides it for.

The OS just provides the ability for a suitable driver to support hardware acceleration, nothing more.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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Well, I did not want to be too picky about this as it's not relevant if it's the drivers, DirectXs or the OSs fault. Let's call it the platform then. Wording does not matter, my argument still stands: hardware accelerated software like this is done out there, so it can be done. So it is after all Affinity's fault that they don't do it. I guess they have their reasons, maybe it's resources, maybe it's the architecture, maybe it's something else. I am just saying, I have been able to smoothly drag a circle with embossing around in other user interfaces without the choppyness.

So if it's fixed it's fine, but while it's not, I do not really care who's fault it is after all. To me, if it doesn't work as it should (=has functionality that it doesn't work), it's probably bad implementation/design choices/whatever and if it doesn't provide the expected functionality (=functions are not present at all), it's probably not suitable for that workflow. In this case, I just use it for light work where it's strengths shine. And for the other stuff, I (sadly) still go back to Illustrator.

All in all I like the Affinity's software, but some things are just such a pity. I'd love to see proper working HW acceleration or for example fixing those bugs that are around since ages (like that "Layer effect's settings break when you copy them around on differently sized objects" or "Emboss/3D light sources do not rotate when used and rotated as in embedded images"). How it is done or who's fault it is, I don't care in the end. 🤷‍♀️

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47 minutes ago, pekranodon said:

Wording does not matter, my argument still stands: hardware accelerated software like this is done out there, so it can be done. So it is after all Affinity's fault that they don't do it.

But they do support it, just not for all of the thousands of possible hardware & driver configurations.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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Thanks Old Bruce, Nice use of strikethru. Very amusing. It's like trying to get a politician to say yes or no.

Q. is Affinity Photo supposed to offload work to the GPU when HW acceleration is enabled? a, YES  or b, NO

Anyhoo, I'm going to shell out four times the amount I spent on AP on this https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0727WGG3F/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A1RMKK10154812&psc=1 I shall let you know if it does any good. I did install opencl_runtime 2021.3.0.3372 which allowed HW acceleration to run for a minute or two before locking AP, which is an improvement. However, for some reason it took 15 seconds to open the document whereas with openCL turned off it opens in about a second.

Ho hum... watch this space

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4 hours ago, Sclong137 said:

Q. is Affinity Photo supposed to offload work to the GPU when HW acceleration is enabled? a, YES  or b, NO

c. It depends on the kind of work being done, the specific hardware configuration, & the drivers installed to support it.

There is not a simple yes or no answer to this, no matter how many times or in how many ways you ask the question.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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