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Davinci Resolve: PERF diffs of Free vs. Studio for H.265

Not A Speck Of Cereal

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[Mods: the one video forum I found seemed to be a show your shots/video place, not a place for editing questions. And this is very much an M2P specific editing question given the video format.]

Hey all,

First, note that this is not a thread for discussing all of the differences between DaVinci Resolve free vs. the paid Studio version. For a comparison of all features, go to the Blackmagicdesign web site.

Premise: I've been using the free version since I got my M2P and it's worked okay, as long as I stayed with simple clip editing and splicing.

But lately I've been shooting in HVEC/H.265 D-log. After adding LUTs and doing lens distortion correction, it's now getting very choppy / stuttery. I can only imagine that getting deeper into FX would only exasperate the problem.

Question: will the paid-for Studio version give me better performance for this than the free, all other things being equal?

I've seen differences of opinion of whether the free version does hardware encoding or software emulation -- it's not clear to me if I really need the studio version to get faster processing.

My machine specs:
  • i7-8700 (8th gen) 6-core 3.20GHz
  • 64 GB RAM
  • SSDs: M.2 NVMe PCIe, boot and editing drives
  • PNY Quadro P1000 video card 4GB, single GPU (NVIDIA Pascal architecture)
BONUS: if you go to this NVIDIA developer SDK page, and scroll down to the table under the heading "NVENC - Hardware-Accelerated Video Encoding", you should see which level architecture has 10-bit H.265 processing baked in (mine is Pascal)

My question is simply if the free version makes use of that, or if I should need the Studio version for it.

Chris
 
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PC1134

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I found that the Studio version was more stable than the free. That said, there is a You Tube video out there when shows you how to optimise your video clips. You change some settings and then apply it to the clip. Takes a few seconds, but gives you silky smooth video - no choppiness. Presume that will work in the free version as well. But for my money, the small one off payment which gives you forever upgrades was well and truly worth it for me. It takes a bit of time to get used to the interface but it gives wonderful results. I've just been using some H.265 footage in DLog-M and I got a better grade just using the tools than I did when I introduced a LUT. Then did an H.264 vid from my Osmo Pocket with D-Cinelike and it was a cracker. Great toning and easy to grade. Bottom line, with your PC specs you should blaze through with anything and I don't believe you will regret going for the Studio version as long as you optimise your media in the app.
 

mambadude

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The studio version will certainly be faster and smoother, because it uses GPU hardware acceleration for many things (not just encode/decode) and the free one doesn't use GPU acceleration for anything. However, you might run into issues with the GPU memory getting full with only a 4GB card and certain effects. The studio version has a nice de-noise capability, but if I use too high a quality setting, or use it when I have several other color-correction nodes already for a clip (I like to keep each type of correction in its own node to make it easier to tweak), I sometimes hit the GPU memory full error and the video cannot be rendered, requiring a little re-ordering to make things work (doing the de-noise in the first node seems to help a lot). The GPU-accelerated distortion correction filter in studio (verses using the extremely, painfully slow fusion workaround in the free version), is instant, so studio will definitely help you there. I have not regretted getting the studio version, the speed and extra features like de-haze, de-noise and fast distortion correction are great.
 

Not A Speck Of Cereal

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I have not regretted getting the studio version, the speed and extra features like de-haze, de-noise and fast distortion correction are great.
Thanks Mambadude. I did try some of those Studio-only features — which are there to sample in the free version with a huge DaVinci Studio overlay / watermark over it — and it did seem faster, though still with stuttering no using hardware acceleration. I have already ordered Studio and an looking forward to trying it.

I must say, studio or not, the more I play with Resolve the more I see how superior it is to what I'm used to (Premier Pro before, the severely lame Sony Vegas most recently). I love the node-based work-flow.

Up on the Blackmagic forums, I've been given a sense that even with the hardware acceleration, I could run into some hiccups like you mentioned (with the low video RAM), but it's good to know that there are workarounds to use until I can rebuild this machine / get a more capable card.

Cheers, Chris
 

Not A Speck Of Cereal

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Thanks to all who contributed. I received Resolve Studio today and put it to the test on both a desktop and laptop (the latter having an even better video adapter than the former). The results are:
  • The performance improves. A lot. There can still be some stutter with some FX, color correction, and lens distort correction applied, but not nearly as bad as before.
  • The render is very much faster, by a factor of several times. (for some clips, 30 seconds compared to some renders taking over 10 minutes). If you don't see it in your Codec drop-down in the Studio version, Resolve has probably not put it on the box due to your GPU. Also, the encoder choices showed all 3 on-board encoders (2 NVIDIA and one Intel) -- that didn't happen in the free version.
  • Resolve Studio does indeed export to H.265, so you can retain your 10-bit intermediates for further mastering / mixing with other clips to final production.
All that and the added features, I'm not disappointed in the $300 cost in the least bit.

Thanks again,
Chris
 

CanadaDrone

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The studio version will certainly be faster and smoother, because it uses GPU hardware acceleration for many things (not just encode/decode) and the free one doesn't use GPU acceleration for anything. However, you might run into issues with the GPU memory getting full with only a 4GB card and certain effects.
The free version uses the GPU still, just not as much. Color correction is one of those areas, and since it cannot use multiple GPUs (reserved for Studio) you can pick what GPU you want it to use in the free version if you do have multiple GPUs. The biggest time saver with the Studio version is the GPU acceleration in the encoding/exporting.
 

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