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Performance issue question in Resolve 9 lite

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Pierre Paré-Blais
Performance issue question in Resolve 9 lite
on Sep 7, 2012 at 3:38:02 pm

Basically what I'd like to know is just, in the opinion of people of more experience then me, if the performance result I'm getting in resolve is normal for my system spec. As I am relatively new to resolve, I have no way of judging this appropriately by myself.

first my system specs:

Mac Pro mid 2010, 2 x 2.4 quad-core intel Xeon (so 8-core)
running OSX 10.7.4
24 Gb Ram
Graphic card for GUI GT 120 1024MB
Graphic card for GPU GTX 285 1792MB (CUDA driver up to date)
Decklink Studio (BMD desktop video 9.6.2)
Blackmagic smartview HD
Most of my projects media are on external Firewire 800 drive, all 7200rpm
Resolve 9 lite

I know from the start these are not great specs, but for the time being, until I get more at ease with resolve and get a few more projects my way (personal and professional), this is pretty much what I can afford.

Now the details of the first "real world" job I decided to try in resolve 9.
The job is an AAF coming from AVID MC, all the media is DNxHD 145 8-bit, a total of 52min long (a documentary for broadcast), no sound (sound is an external track from PT), the aff simply linked to the freshly transcoded files on my avide media drive, the media is 1080i 60, so 29.97 interlaced, and that is the settings I replicate in the timeline setting of resolve. I'm pretty sure my resolve project is setup properly, I've followed the manual's AAF roundtrip section pretty closely (great addition BTW).

The performance in resolve is that I can rarely get playback above 21 to 24.5 fps that's without any grade, when I've applied just simple primary grades it tops around 21fps for most clips, and then of course goes way down when more complexe node graphs are applied. Now I can of course work with this, it as little impact on my work, it does get more painful when getting to reviews though... I just want to know if this is normal for my system, if it is then that's fine for now.

what seems off to me is that when I try to use the various performance enhancement tools available in resolve (proxy on the fly or clipcache), or some of the tricks Alexis writes in the manual for improving realtime performance (p.297 of the manual), it seems to either have no effect what so ever or it makes things worst! for example when I try to use proxy on the fly (setup to 960x540 in preferences) it tends to drop the fps to 10-11fps, and when I try to use the render cache mode user only with only one clip added, once I've waited for the clip to be 100% in cache, it plays back at about 5 fps, and it blacks out every few frames...

so any input on this would be very welcome, like I said, if this is normal given my specs then that's fine! I'll make due, I understand that. And if so perhaps it would be helpful to suggest what the best next update I should do be (better GPU? better hard drive configuration? higher decklink model) to get better performance, I can't do these all at once but knowing what to prioritize might be very helpful!

Pierre P. Blais
Multimedia performance and VFX artist
Pierre P. Blais Productions
Perception Films
http://www.vimeo.com/user1771129


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Joseph Owens
Re: Performance issue question in Resolve 9 lite
on Sep 7, 2012 at 6:21:07 pm

First thing I'd suspect is the external FW800 drive. I know ProRes is fine, and 800 is more than adequate for real-time playback under Quicktime, but the color corrector applications call data differently and require very high sustained transfer rates -- something that few single-spindle external drives can do.

Try moving a project to an internal RAID and see if it makes a difference.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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