PC upgrades for DaVinci Resolve?

Just finished editing my latest video and it was plain painful. Partly my fault, with the replacement drone I forgot to change video setting so I recorded everything in h.264 instead of h.265. Just zooming the timeline gets the CPU to 100%.

But even with h.265 footage I hit some issues. Most can be resolved by reducing the playback resolution and things like that, and starting to play with fusion has me hitting a brick wall and videos that I have tried that include anything other than the absolute basics wont render.

It’s probably no surprise, the PC is one I built myself maybe 5-6 years ago with photo editing in mind, and though I did a little video editing it was very basic stuff and plain old HD, so it’s no surprise that today with 4K video it is starting to groan.

The spec is as follows, I think it is only the CPU holding me up right now, but tell me if I am wrong.

i5-6600 3.30GHz (4 core)
32GB DDR4 ram
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti AERO ITX 4G OCV1 Graphics Card
Motherboard is an ASUS something or other
SSD for the operating system and editing software, everything else on mechanical drives

The CPU is 8th gen I believe which uses a LGA 1151 socket. Is there anything worth considering these days that will be a worthwhile upgrade, or do I need to be looking at a new mobo too?

Lets pretend for now that I actually have a budget for this, what would you recommend?

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Would you consider moving to the dark side?

An Apple MacBook with the M2 chip is half the price and 10x the speed.

You can then treat yourself to a holiday abroad with the change :palm_tree: :parasol_on_ground: :smiley:


Surprised 264 is slower than 265. 265 is harder to decode. Have you purchased Davinci? Davinci won’t use the GPU for 264/265 unless it’s the purchased version on Windows. 4k I do struggle with myself on a 3080, i7 12th or 13th gen…

I tend to drag all my clips in, then generate optimised media which speeds everything up! Other clues and hints appreciated though.

I would rather not if possible, there are no apple products in our house so would prefer to stick with what I know.

Understood mate, no hard sell from me, just throwing the option in to the mix :blush:

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I am using he free version. From some research I have done today I believe that in the free version that the GPU is not used for h.264 but that is not the case for h.265 which would tally up with my limited experience so far.

I need to look into this optimised media, not come across that before. I just copy across from the SD card and get to work.

Once drag into your clips bin, right clip on the clip and optimise media. It’ll be way quicker… Though does take 30 mins to convert, so get it going and make a cuppa

I was under impression neither 264 or 265 was optimised or supported. Strange u find it better with 265 than 264. Mines OK until I use 4k without optimising.

Ahhhh free version will encode with ONE GPU, but won’t decode either 264/265 with GPU apparently. The Mac Free version I believe will do it for both ways.

Still getting my head around it!

Thanks, I will give that a go next time. I have one more edit to do from another outing before I remember to change my settings so will be a good test.

My thought that h.265 should be easier going comes from here, there is some talk about the issue with using h.264 in the free version but nothing else.


Optimised media is the way.

But watch out. Davinci does not delete for you. Make sure you know where it is kept and delete it all from time to time. It will fill up your HD.


Ooo also switch on smart rendering

Yup… c:\vol0 cache somewhere… 400GB found the other day :smiley: :smiley:

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I have an old laptop (6 years) with 32gb ram. I find that if I generate proxy media (takes about an hour for 3-4 mov files) then then when I drag the sliders there is no lag. Without proxy media it lags.

Yes, look for the path in the project settings. When you have finished editing delete the proxy files, they are huge

It’s a 6th gen. Very old and slow. The fastest compatable CPU for a LGA 1151 mobo is the Intel Core i9-9900K. On the plus side, the 6th gen were the first gen to consume less power (watts). They were also the first gen to support the new (at the time) H265 codec.

That’s a low spec GPU too. If DaVinci is anything like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can configure it to utilise CPU or GPU. If you get a faster CPU (like that above) then the GPU isn’t a concern. If not, you could upgrade this instead. Unlike CPUs, the GPUs fit the same PCI x16 slot on all boards. It’s just the length of the card to watch out for in case you don’t have a lot of room.

if you are running an i5-6600 the best you can hope for is probably the i7-7700k, while they use the same 1151 socket, i believe the 9900k would require a new motherboard because your current chipset would not support the 9900k.

like the previous post says, your 1050ti is a very budget friendly option, unfortunately the sky is the limit when it comes to pc parts, the more you pay the more you get. you can pick up a decent rtx 3060 new for around ÂŁ275 or used for ÂŁ175 which according to user benchmark is about 225% faster than your 1050ti.

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A little tweak you can do is swap out your mechanical drives for ssd’s. Makes a BIG difference.

Run Davinci like you are are doing on your initial ssd, have a project folder on another with your raw vids in and on the third use this for creating proxy files on. I go for proxy files as optimized media doesn’t seem to work aswell. Davinci then isn’t going to bottleneck trying to access files from different places on one drive. If your motherboard can take them use NVMe ssd’s…way quicker. Just dedicate them to the use of editing.

Depending on the connectivity of your computer you could opt for external ssd’s, much cheaper than once was.

You should find a difference because Davinci can access the info quicker from the 3 seperate drives.

Set timeline res to 1/4 you’ll still be able to see enough for making cuts, transitions etc. But when you come to colour up at the end in the colour tab switch back to full or half so you get a better picture.

I don’t have auto render on. I have the setting set to user, otherwise Davinci just tries to render all the time.

Good luckđź‘Ť Hope this helps

Edit. And trim/optimiser your ssd drive say every other day, or at least before using Davinci.

Plus try stopping background usage of your CPU at start up or before you fire up Resolve.

The GFX card won’t matter for decoding, unless you use the paid for version. I am tempted to pay for davinci, as I’m using it more and more :slight_smile:

Personally I would recommend a 6,8 or 12 core cpu with multi-threading capabilities which means an appropriate motherboard. The best Nvidia graphics card you can afford with at least 8GB of Vram and don’t forget you may need to upgrade your power supply. I wouldn’t bother with external ssd’s, they are not as fast as internal ones.
DVR works best with Nvidia cards.
I have just finished editing a 30 mins long motorbike video (all in 4K) in DVR Studio, rendered at 1080p@60fps and it took less than 6 mins with a final size of 4.5GB. My system is about 3 years old but I upgraded to a GTX 4070 Ti. I don’t have any lag and don’t use optimised media.
The good thing about Windows desktop computers is that you can upgrade bit by bit, but the bad thing is you need the core components first.
Hope this helps you.

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Resolve is pretty brutal on hardware - far worse than premiere.

Firstly though, regarding your 265 footage - are you creating optimised media which should make it nice and easy to use even on your setup.
In addition, set the timeline to a lower resolution, do all your edits there, there just bump it back up to your desired output pre-render.

Ive used a very similar laptop setup acceptably within limits for editing 4k/60 from the drones for a while.

Fusion is going to add a new layer of hardware hurt though.
Things using temporal filters such as noise reduction etc will murder it.

Ultimately what Resolve wants is a GPU with a decent amount of VRAM to handle it properly. Also 32gb of actual ram.

Sadly everything there is holding you back, Resolve uses CPU for some things, others need GPU (see above).
Mechanical drives are a serious bottleneck in any computer system these days.

FWIW my old Dell with i7/8th gen with Geforce 1050 Ti / 32gb ram and SSDs worked fine on resolve as long as i didnt use noise reduction or much Fusion. If i did, it crashed.

My newer laptop is a 13th gen i9/Nvidia 4070/32gb/SSDs and its far better.

But a desktop is a lot more economical to build from scratch. Sadly with your setup i suspect its a new motherboard and new everything to plug into it. That ISNT too costly though for a desktop.