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Which format/codec for best performance?

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Paul Meyer
Which format/codec for best performance?
on Feb 2, 2017 at 3:46:12 pm

I am currently finishing an 1080p project in After Effects (using mostly ARRIRAW footage) and will be grading it in DaVinci Resolve next. Since this is a personal project and I am using my old 2010 Mac Pro I am concerned about performance.

Which of the common lossless or near-lossless file formats offers the fastest performance in DaVinci Resolve? TIFF, OpenEXR, DPX, PNG, ProRes 4444?

I feel like the answer should be out there already, but I couldn't find it using google...


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Joseph Owens
Re: Which format/codec for best performance?
on Feb 2, 2017 at 5:41:00 pm

[Paul Meyer] "fastest performance in DaVinci Resolve? TIFF, OpenEXR, DPX, PNG, ProRes 4444?

I feel like the answer should be out there already, but I couldn't find it using google..."


Do you really mean "optimal" performance?

You are talking about loading the system with a variety of sequential formats and a Quicktime .mov container, with a related bitrate/compression disparity.

With a strong enough system, you would not notice any difference between any of these formats, but low confidence in your specific instance makes me think you should probably stick with the ProRes option. 444 is probably also overkill, unless there is a theatrical or other high-bandwidth deliverable... also dependent on whether using a larger capacity media type makes sense with respect to your source material. One tollhouse cookie in a container ship is still just one tollhouse cookie.

Unless your MacPro is especially lame, Resolve will likely still be faster than the read/write cycle of your storage, irrespective of format. Larger files will simply take longer to be retrieved from your drives, and teraflops of processing will be wasted in idle mode.

jPo, CSI

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


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Which format/codec for best performance?
on Feb 2, 2017 at 6:27:57 pm

Uncompressed(or slightly compressed) image sequences like EXR/DPX/TIFF require a pretty fast storage even in HD.


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Paul Meyer
Re: Which format/codec for best performance?
on Feb 3, 2017 at 10:31:20 am

That makes sense, thanks. I only have an internal SSD in a SATA II drive-bay as a media drive, so I will probably be going with ProRes.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Which format/codec for best performance?
on Feb 3, 2017 at 5:55:30 pm

Ive experienced 1080 ProRes playing back just fine as a single stream from a USB2 drive. That's probably not a good benchmark, there are a lot of factors.

jPo, CSI

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


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