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GPU choice for DaVinci

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Guillaume Cottin
GPU choice for DaVinci
on Nov 23, 2012 at 4:49:09 pm


I am working on a 2008 Mac Pro, dual quad-core Xeon 3 Ghz and 16Go Ram, running OSX 10.6.8.
Before builing my own home color grading studio, I am currently using the lite version of DaVinci, which I found extremely slow (due to the limitations of the lite version?)
I would like to know what GPUs would suit Davinci best for my system. Currently I have an nvidia 8800 GT card. The nVidia Quadro FX 4500 seems to be the most powerful graphics card available for my computer, would it accelerate DaVinci ?


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Paul Provost
Re: GPU choice for DaVinci
on Nov 23, 2012 at 6:41:28 pm

Try a $300 gtx570 2.5gb on os10.8.2
You can use this for both GUI and cuda in slot one
Lite runs at same speed as full version, but you are limited to GUI video card and one cuda card
Your Mac Pro is what's really slowing you down though...
Have you read the resolve config guide which explains all this? | owner-colorist | Hollywood, CA

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Jan Martens
don't buy a GTX570 for your 2008 MacPro!
on Dec 16, 2012 at 11:40:51 pm

don't buy a GTX570. Go for a GTX285 instead. In your 3,1 system (even in a 2009) the GTX 285 will be faster than the GTX 570! The bottleneck is the MacPro.
I haven't tested it but a user on the "" forum has.
For more details check the topic "Resolve & GTX570HD" at "CPU & GPU".

If you have already bought a GTX570, could you share your performance results?

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Guillaume Cottin
Re: don't buy a GTX570 for your 2008 MacPro!
on Dec 17, 2012 at 9:23:38 am


Thank you for your answers.
I don't think the Mac Pro is the bottleneck. It's old for sure, but I have 8 cores and 16 Gb of RAM that DaVinci doesn't even use. DaVinci is the bottleneck, because it only uses GPUs, barley the CPU and RAM.

In comparaison, when Premiere Pro CS6 (which is really an optimized software), can play a Red R3D in real time (1/2 resolution), with color correction filters applied to it, DaVinci comes and can barely play 1080p ProRes in real time without filters.

Apple limits the software to make us think we need to upgrade. In my case, with a 2.1 Mac Pro, I can't use the latest GPUs on my system because 10.6.8 doesn't support them, and if I need the drivers I need Mountain Lion but then, I can't install Mountain Lion on my computer (because for some obscure reason, the latest version of OSX that is compatible with the 2.1 is Lion). Purely software limitation. I spent $$$ on processors and memory that are not even used, the latest graphics card can work perfectly on my computer but I can't use them, and then I am told to upgrade my hardware whereas DaVinci doesn't even use 30% of my computer's actual processing power.
Bottom line: I ever upgrade, it will be to a PC.

Anyway guys, I'm glad to know the GTX570 will not work well. For now, I found that the combination of a GTX285 and a GT120 apparently gives the best results for a 2.1 Mac Pro computer, as seen here :

But these two cards need a flashed ROM and that's hard to find as hell!



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