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tylermason72

High end PC build for Affinity Designer

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I work with very large files with dot gradients, so there's millions of tiny dots all over the place. Adobe Illustrator literally wouldn't work with this file, I'd move my mouse and go to sleep before it actually responds. But on Designer I can sort of move around, probably because it actually uses the hardware resources unlike Illustrator.

I'm looking for very high end PC build so I can work smoothly on these extremely complex files. Assume no budget

 

Thanks!

Edited by tylermason72

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Surely a PC with any hardware would work better with AD and not with Ai.

So you could post an example file to understand the size, heaviness, complexity of the file you generated to understand example on my PC i7 4.0ghz gen4 / HD NVME m.2 / 32gb RAm and 4gb ram 1050ti if the file goes very well ?
Hoi can opt for more recent hardware.

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15 hours ago, tylermason72 said:

I'm looking for very high end PC build so I can work smoothly on these extremely complex files. Assume no budget

I doubt it would be something you would seriously consider, but assuming no budget limitations, a maxed out iMac Pro should scream through anything you can throw at it in Affinity Designer (or Photo or Publisher when it is released).

The specs are almost as impressive as the {gulp} ~$16,000 price tag:

  • 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
  • 256GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC Memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega 64X with 16GB of HBM2 memory
  • 4TB SSD storage

In addition to the performance boost from the high end hardware, the Affinity apps are (at least for now) better optimized for the macOS than for Windows, so there are fewer bottlenecks to contend with that would otherwise cause slowdowns with heavyweight files.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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So apple says 18-core xeon but the 9980XE is half the price apple lists it for and doesn't support ECC memory and only up to 128GB not 256GB, like Apple says it does, assuming it's the same CPU because Apple doesn't even actually say.

  • Would the Threadripper 2990WX not be better? It has 32 cores opposed to the 9980XE's 18 and even supports up to 1024GB (not that I would use that much) vs 128GB with basically the same price (a little less even) and about the same boost speed (4.2GHz TR vs 4.3GHz XE)
  • Why the Radeon Pro as well? There's much better cards.

Are there certain things that Affinity Designer utilizes? Does it prefer high cores like the 2990WX with 32 or high boost speeds like the i9-9900k that can get over 5GHz? If I remember correctly the GPU doesn't really affect performance in Designer much at all so any basic modern GPU should do on that front, no?

I've attached a file that usually just freezes AI and won't let me touch it that I could somewhat use in AF, if anyone wants to test it in either.

And if anyone's got any software side performance tips, they'd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

1stsurface.pdf

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@tylermason72

You've attached a pdf file, rather than the "preferable" Designer file.  

Also, the supplied pdf opens "blank", giving the error message in PDF X Change Editor you can see in the screenshot.

 

ScreenShot00551.jpg


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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2 hours ago, tylermason72 said:

So apple says 18-core xeon but the 9980XE is half the price apple lists it for and doesn't support ECC memory and only up to 128GB not 256GB, like Apple says it does, assuming it's the same CPU because Apple doesn't even actually say.

My guess is it is an Intel Xeon W-2195 CPU like this one, or very similar to it.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.0.1

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2 hours ago, tylermason72 said:

So apple says 18-core xeon but the 9980XE is half the price apple lists it for and doesn't support ECC memory and only up to 128GB not 256GB, like Apple says it does, assuming it's the same CPU because Apple doesn't even actually say

A 9980XE is a Core I9. Xeon is a completely different line of chips, intended for servers or workstations rather than desktop machines.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.815 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.815 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.798 Beta.

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Tyler, FYI the pdf file doesn't even work in Apple's Preview.

In the Designer file there is a Curves layer that seems to be a problem.  I don't understand what is in it this layer, from the image this should be a small designer file.  This looks to be a simple gradient, but Designer is acting like this layer is composed of something strange.  107.8MB with this layer and 17.4KB without.  Is this image all there really is to the file?

1610207509_ScreenShot2019-05-23at10_48_32AM.png.5fb1d75179f6977de6cc35a9d5abf711.png

 

1stsurface-1.afdesign


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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6 minutes ago, Gear maker said:

Tyler, FYI the pdf file doesn't even work in Apple's Preview.

In the Designer file there is a Curves layer that seems to be a problem.  I don't understand what is in it this layer, from the image this should be a small designer file.  This looks to be a simple gradient, but Designer is acting like this layer is composed of something strange.  107.8MB with this layer and 17.4KB without.  Is this image all there really is to the file?

1610207509_ScreenShot2019-05-23at10_48_32AM.png.5fb1d75179f6977de6cc35a9d5abf711.png

 

1stsurface-1.afdesign

The PDF file was given to us, so we didn't make it. it's large because it's a dot gradient, not a normal gradient and it's being printed on window film and being put on a conference room so it has to be very high resolution or it'll look bad, the gradient being that much of the actual file size doesn't surprise me, the rest of it is pretty simple.

How much were you able to work with the file, and could you move around each individual dot in the gradient? (not the big white circles)

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47 minutes ago, tylermason72 said:

The PDF file was given to us, so we didn't make it. it's large because it's a dot gradient, not a normal gradient and it's being printed on window film and being put on a conference room so it has to be very high resolution or it'll look bad, the gradient being that much of the actual file size doesn't surprise me, the rest of it is pretty simple.

How much were you able to work with the file, and could you move around each individual dot in the gradient? (not the big white circles)

The thing was made in "Adobe Illustrator CC 22.1 (Windows)" so I am guessing that is some sort of vector fill for the gradient. Those individual dots are not selectable. Trying to select a dot is pointless because they aren't dots.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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8 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

Trying to select a dot is pointless because they aren't dots.

How can anything to do with dots ever be “pointless”?? :/


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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6 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

The thing was made in "Adobe Illustrator CC 22.1 (Windows)" so I am guessing that is some sort of vector fill for the gradient. Those individual dots are not selectable. Trying to select a dot is pointless because they aren't dots.

Each individual dot in the gradient is selectable. They may not be when opened in Affinity Designer, which may be why it runs it a little better than Illustrator. If someone could open the PDF or the .afdesign file in Illustrator and let me know the results that'd be greatly appreciated.

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Howdy,

I have a two year old system by now, an AMD Ryzen 1700x, 8 core, 16 threads, 3.5 Ghz base, with a Samsung 960 NVMe M.2 SSD, 32 GB of RAM and a 1070 Ti, 8 GB graphics card.

I am able to open the file. The blue dot gradient is the very last item in the Layers panel. It is named 'Curves'. The other layers that are named 'Curve' are for each of the larger white circles. I am able to zoom in, I got to 1000% and saw all of the blue dots that make up the gradient but this is not a fun file to navigate or deal with. Designer is taking quite a bit of time to open it, display items, when zooming in, etc. Oh, now it has crashed, yeah, no fun at all. That dot gradient, there could be so many, millions of points involved in that, it is kinda crazy.

 

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16 minutes ago, tylermason72 said:

Each individual dot in the gradient is selectable. They may not be when opened in Affinity Designer, which may be why it runs it a little better than Illustrator. If someone could open the PDF or the .afdesign file in Illustrator and let me know the results that'd be greatly appreciated.

Okay, I have to ask. Why do you want or need to select the individual dots?


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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33 minutes ago, Scungio said:

That dot gradient, there could be so many, millions of points involved in that, it is kinda crazy.

1.8 million +/-

Yes I did count them and I also named them all.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.4 | Affinity Photo 1.8.4 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.4 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.9.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.9.0.199 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.9.0.742

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Just for giggles I was able to open the file on my 2nd gen iPad Pro and was able to zoom in and navigate around. The problem is when I go to the blue dot ‘curves’ layer and try to select anything with the node tool it crashes.

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I tested this file in various applications: Affinity Publisher, PDF Exchange Editor, Xara Designer Pro, Affinity Photo, PhotoLine, InkScape,... I don't have a license of Designer myself (yet?).

The file chokes up all apps. Some take ages to open it, others (Xara) once opened each move takes forever. Xara is one of the fastest vector rendering engines on the market, but while the file will load, every change takes a long time and Xara chokes. And Xara works absolutely smooth with some very heavy vector files.

PDF Exchange Editor is the fastest of the lot and works reasonably well. But that's only for viewing. Still takes a couple of seconds to render those dots when zoomed in.

With this many vector objects I don't see how ANY software is going to be able to work in a smooth manner. This file is NOT meant to be edited, but meant for output only. Those dot patterns are usually created at print/output time, and not meant for editing.

I think no hardware in the world is going to give you a smooth vector editing experience when dealing with files like these. Perhaps reconsider your workflow.

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I begs the question, what machine was this created on, maybe part of a render farm?


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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3 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

I begs the question, what machine was this created on, maybe part of a render farm?

So the file was given to us as is except the gradient was just a normal gradient, no dots. We used an Illustrator plug-in to turn the gradient into dots (which is why they're individually clickable in Illustrator at least), I personally didn't do it but the person who did was using an i7-4770k, 32gb (or less?) ram, 860 evo ssd, and a GTX 970. 

As far as I know it took several days and the computer was unusable haha. We hit print as soon as it was ready, no workflow issues here.

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On 5/22/2019 at 10:07 PM, tylermason72 said:

I work with very large files with dot gradients, so there's millions of tiny dots all over the place. Adobe Illustrator literally wouldn't work with this file, I'd move my mouse and go to sleep before it actually responds. But on Designer I can sort of move around, probably because it actually uses the hardware resources unlike Illustrator.

I'm looking for very high end PC build so I can work smoothly on these extremely complex files. Assume no budget

 

Thanks!

 

On 5/23/2019 at 10:15 PM, tylermason72 said:

So the file was given to us as is except the gradient was just a normal gradient, no dots. We used an Illustrator plug-in to turn the gradient into dots (which is why they're individually clickable in Illustrator at least), I personally didn't do it but the person who did was using an i7-4770k, 32gb (or less?) ram, 860 evo ssd, and a GTX 970. 

As far as I know it took several days and the computer was unusable haha. We hit print as soon as it was ready, no workflow issues here.

That was a fun test. On my iMac Pro (Xeon W 3.2Ghz base 8-core/ 16 threads, 32GB RAM, Radeon Vega Pro 56 8GB) the file opened fairly quickly. It was responsive, and obviously very snappy when the dot-gradient layer was unselected.

Zooming in was okay, bit sluggish. I went to 11754943.0%. Whilst zooming in Affinity Designer used around 35 threads (CPU tab in Activity Monitor) and consumed around 2GB RAM. The machine remained quiet and cool.

Though I was not able to select one of the single dots in the dot-gradient layer.

Ps: I wanted to share a screenshot of the zoomed in file at 11754943.0%. But got a -200 error from the website.

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