Minimum Configuration Required for MistikaVR:
This is the absolute minimum for low resolution projects (up to 4K):
- Number of processors: 1
- Number of cores: 2
- RAM: 8 GB
- Display resolution: 1920x1080
- Graphics card model:
Windows: A discrete GPU is required. NVIDIA is recommended and it is the certified manufacturer for Mistika VR. However, AMD boards are also supported.
macOS: All models from "late 2013" having an NVIDIAor AMD discrete GPU are supported. Mac computers older to that date will not work. (You can check your hardware build date in the Apple icon -> "About my Mac")
In any case, Mistika VR requires a discrete GPU from NVIDIA or AMD, systems without one of those are not currently supported, such us M1 hardware from Apple.
Recommended Configuration for Mistika VR:
These are recommendations for working at high resolutions or many source cameras:
- Most of the processing in Mistika VR is made by GPU: Geometry adjustments, Color adjustments, Optical Flow (which is typically the bottleneck), etc. So this is the most important component. A modern NVIDIA board with high specs is the optimal configuration, although AMD GPUs are also supported.
- The processes that are let to CPU processing are the decoding of camera codecs and the encoding of the render codec. With these exceptions:
* NVIDIA h264/h265 codecs are rendered by GPU (these codecs are rendered with NVIDIA nvenc encoder, so the GPU needs to be NVIDIA for those. For these cases the computer needs to be Windows, as Apple does not currently support NVIDIA ).
The NVidia encoder uses a dedicated hardware for this that is not used for any other task. This means that using it will not reduce the speed of the other processes. If you want to take advantage of this capability we would recommend a NVIDIA model from the Pascal generation or later, as only that ones can do the hardware encoding at 8K resolution. (for more details https://developer.nvidia.com/video-encode-and-decode-gpu-support-matrix-new#Encoder )
* However that is for encoding the render format, reading camera rushes may still need a lot of CPU power, depending on the number of cameras, their codecs, and their resolution. Currently all camera models are supported in all platforms, both Windows and Mac (the above considerations are only for rendering).
* The decoding and encoding of uncompressed formats do not need significant GPU and neither CPU, they only need disk speed, but a lot of it!.
So it depends. Workflows using many camera rushes based on compressed codecs or heavy CPU encoding to Apple ProRes or EXR can take advantage of having many CPU cores at high clock speeds. Meanwhile, stitching smaller camera rigs and then rendering to NVIDIA h264/h265 deliveries will not take advantage of high end CPUs. We recommend to watch the Windows Task Manager or macOS Activity Monitor while rendering to find where are the hardware bottlenecks for your particular case.
- Mistika VR only uses one GPU, the one where it is launched. We do not expect extra speed by having two GPUs.
Another recommendation could be this: In general, the highest end models of CPUs and GPUs only provide a bit more speed than models that are a bit inferior, but they can cost much more. In the highest end a typical figure is to pay up to 100% more for just 15% additional speed, compared with cost efficient hardware in the sweet spot.
For this reason, in general it is better to use two computers with good specs. but not top of the range, rather than one only workstation with top specs. And then use distributed render tools like Uberware Smedge for render managing.
- RAM: 8GB is the absolute minimum for simple cases (few source cameras and rendering to 4K). 64 GB is a good reference for most other formats, but it depends on the number of cameras and render resolution.
- Display resolution: There are no current limitations. In 4K and higher resolution displays the GUI elements may appear small initially (depending on the monitor size), but you will find scaling options in the preferences menu.
- GPU dedicated video memory: 8GB dedicated memory. More recommended when there are many cameras and when rendering to high resolutions like 8K+ ).
Recommended GPU models from previous generations and custom setups:
If you are building your own system these are our recommendations.
Mac: For the case of Mac it is unusual to build custom systems, so we could only say "Get the Mac with the fastest AMD GPU as possible and as much memory as possible".
Windows: On Windows NVIDIA is the preferred optin. Given that the latest GPU models can be difficult to find in stock (or be expensive) we have decided to include a lsit of models from old generations. The fact is that some old models were great machines and are still very fast for Mistika.
As a referece, the performance difference for Mistika VR stitching between the first and last model in the list below is typically 2 to 3 times, or a bit less when the GPU is not the only bottleneck.
In terms of perfomance the A6000, A5000 and the 3090 are currently the top performers, while in terms of costs the sweet spot is probably the venerable GeForce 1080ti, if you can find a refurbished unit.
In value order for MistikaVR typical usage, from top to bottom:
RTX A5000 (good value for money)
GeForce RTX 3090 (good value for money)
Quadro RTX 6000
Quadro RTX 5000 (good value for money)
GeForce RTX 3080ti (good value for money)
Quadro P5000 (good value for money)
GeForce RTX 3080
GeForce 1080ti (best value for money)
Please note that only the models that were considered to have good perfomance/cost ratios for Mistika from each generation are listed above ("Titan" equivalent models are not included in the list for performance/cost reasons, but they are perfectly valid if you can find one of those at a good price). The clasification criteria is subjective and includes not only the raw performance (cuda cores) but also other aspects like the amount of graphics memory and robustness. Models with less than 8GB dedicated memory are not listed, although they can work well for simple cases. Value for money is highlighted acording to the average cost in the open market at the date of this document (refurbished units).
Storage: Ideally as fast as needed to read all the camera shots simultaneously. Also important when rendering to uncompressed formats. Please note that rendering involves both reading and writing at the same time, so if the storage is not fast enough and the destination format is specially big (like DPX or EXR) then it can help to put the original files in one drive and rendering to a different one.
Supported OS distributions (Last update: Mistika VR v10.2):
macOS: Big Sur, Catalina, High Sierra, and Mojave.
Windows: Windows 10 (64bit)