How to Make DaVinci Resolve Run Faster - 5 Pro Tips

To make DaVinci Resolve run faster, begin by optimizing your hardware, selecting the right GPU, and ensuring sufficient RAM and SSD space. Adjust the software settings within DaVinci Resolve, including render settings, GPU acceleration, and cache management. Keep the software up to date and make necessary tweaks to your operating system.

October 19, 2023
How to Make DaVinci Resolve Run Faster - 5 Pro Tips
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COMPLETE GUIDE On Reducing Lag In DaVinci Resolve

Are you struggling with DaVinci Resolve's performance? Just three months into video editing and feeling overwhelmed by slow rendering and lagging? Let's dive into the world of DaVinci Resolve optimization. By the way, I believe that understanding the hardware and software tweaks can make your editing experience smoother and more efficient. In my opinion, these tips are essential for anyone, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro.

Technique Requirements Effectiveness Simplicity Description
Optimizing Graphics Settings Adjusting in-game settings High Simple Lower graphics settings to match hardware capability.
Upgrading Hardware New GPU/CPU Very High Complex Install new GPU or CPU to improve performance.
Network Optimization Improved internet connection Medium Simple Use wired connection, optimize router settings.
Using Game Boosters Software installation Medium Simple Install software to enhance gaming performance.
Defragmenting Hard Drive Software tools Low Simple Use tools to defragment and organize hard drive.
Reducing Background Processes OS Settings Medium Simple Close unnecessary applications running in the background.
Upgrading RAM New RAM installation High Complex Install additional or faster RAM to enhance memory.
Optimizing In-Game Resolution Adjusting in-game settings Medium Simple Adjust in-game resolution to fit display and hardware.

Part 1 - Hardware Optimization (Skip To Part 2 For Software Optimization)

Choosing the Right GPU

Why is DaVinci Resolve So Laggy? Most likely because your GPU is shit.

The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is the heart of video editing. For instance, a powerful GPU can significantly speed up rendering and playback in DaVinci Resolve. How about investing in a high-end GPU that supports your editing needs? According to industry standards, NVIDIA and AMD offer great options. On the other hand, if you're on a budget, you might as well consider mid-range GPUs that still offer decent performance.

High-End GPUs

When it comes to high-end GPUs, NVIDIA's RTX series and AMD's Radeon RX series are often considered the best choices. These GPUs are designed to handle complex rendering tasks, 3D effects, and real-time playback. In my opinion, if you're serious about video editing and want to work with 4K or higher resolutions, investing in a high-end GPU is a wise decision. For instance, NVIDIA's RTX 3080 or AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT are popular choices among professionals.

Mid-Range GPUs

On the other hand, mid-range GPUs like NVIDIA's GTX 1660 or AMD's Radeon RX 5500 XT can still offer decent performance for DaVinci Resolve. These GPUs are suitable for 1080p or even some 4K editing, depending on the complexity of your projects. Let's be honest, not everyone needs the power of a high-end GPU, especially if you're just starting. Mid-range GPUs provide a balance between cost and performance, making them a viable option for many users.

GPU Compatibility with DaVinci Resolve

It's essential to ensure that the GPU you choose is compatible with DaVinci Resolve. According to Blackmagic Design (the creators of DaVinci Resolve), certain GPUs are optimized for better performance with the software. Furthermore, checking the system requirements and recommended GPU list on the official DaVinci Resolve website is a good practice. This guide on how to use DaVinci Resolve also includes information on GPU compatibility.

Multi-GPU Setups

For those looking to push the boundaries, multi-GPU setups are an option. In other words, using more than one GPU can further enhance rendering and playback performance in DaVinci Resolve. However, this setup requires a compatible motherboard and power supply. All things considered, a multi-GPU setup is usually reserved for high-end workstations and might be overkill for someone with just three months of experience.

GPU Settings in DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve allows users to tweak GPU settings for optimal performance. For instance, you can select which GPU to use for compute tasks and how to manage GPU memory. In addition, understanding these settings can help you get the most out of your GPU, whether it's high-end or mid-range.

RAM and Storage

RAM (Random Access Memory) and SSD (Solid State Drive) are crucial as well. In other words, more RAM allows DaVinci Resolve to handle complex tasks, while a fast SSD ensures quick access to files. I'd suggest at least 16GB of RAM and an SSD with sufficient space for your projects.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is essentially your computer's short-term memory. It temporarily stores data that your system is currently using or processing. In the context of DaVinci Resolve, having more RAM means that the software can handle more complex tasks simultaneously. Let's break it down:

  • 16GB RAM: This is the minimum I'd suggest for basic editing. It allows for smooth operation with standard resolutions and basic effects.
  • 32GB RAM or More: For more demanding projects, such as 4K editing with multiple layers and effects, 32GB or more is recommended. It ensures that DaVinci Resolve can handle the increased workload without slowing down.

In other words, the more RAM you have, the more complex your projects can be without suffering performance issues.

The Role of SSD

An SSD (Solid State Drive) is a type of storage device that uses flash memory. Unlike traditional hard drives (HDD), SSDs are much faster, allowing for quicker access to files. Here's why an SSD is crucial for DaVinci Resolve:

  • Speed: SSDs provide faster read and write speeds, meaning that your files and projects load quicker. This is especially important when working with large video files.
  • Reliability: SSDs are generally more reliable and less prone to failure compared to HDDs. This means less risk of losing your precious work.
  • Capacity: Choosing an SSD with sufficient space for your projects is essential. Video files can be enormous, and running out of space can be a real hindrance. I'd suggest at least a 500GB SSD, but a 1TB or larger might be a wise investment, especially if you work on multiple projects simultaneously.

How to Optimize RAM and SSD in DaVinci Resolve

RAM Optimization

  • Allocate More RAM to DaVinci Resolve: You can adjust settings within DaVinci Resolve to allocate more RAM specifically to the software. This ensures that it has enough memory to perform efficiently.
  • Close Unnecessary Background Applications: Running too many applications at the same time can eat up RAM. Closing those that you don't need during editing frees up more RAM for DaVinci Resolve.

SSD Optimization

  • Store Projects on the SSD: Storing your DaVinci Resolve projects on the SSD ensures faster access and smoother performance.
  • Regularly Clear Cache and Temporary Files: Over time, temporary files can accumulate and take up valuable SSD space. Regularly clearing these can keep your SSD performing at its best.

Part 2 - Software Settings Optimization

Adjusting Render Settings

Render settings can be a game-changer. Just tweaking a few options can make a huge difference. For instance, you can change the render cache to 'User' and select optimized media formats. This guide on how to export in DaVinci Resolve provides detailed steps on render settings.

Render Cache

The render cache in DaVinci Resolve is a powerful feature that stores rendered effects, transitions, and clips. By setting the render cache to 'User,' you have control over what gets cached. In other words, you can manually select which parts of the timeline to cache, saving system resources. Furthermore, you can choose the cache format that best suits your system. For instance, DNxHR LB is a good option for most users.

Optimized Media

Optimized media is a lower-resolution version of your original media files. It's used to improve playback and editing speed without affecting the final export quality. How about creating optimized media for clips that are particularly resource-intensive? To be honest, this can be a lifesaver when working on complex projects. You can set the resolution and format for optimized media in the project settings.

Deliver Page Settings

The Deliver page in DaVinci Resolve is where you set up your final export. Here, you can choose the format, codec, resolution, and other export settings. I'd suggest using presets if you're exporting for specific platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. However, understanding custom settings allows for more control. For example, selecting a higher bitrate ensures better quality but results in larger file sizes.

Using Proxies

Proxies are another way to enhance performance. They are lower resolution copies of your original media files, used during editing. In my opinion, proxies are essential when working with high-resolution footage on a less powerful system. You can create proxies manually or use DaVinci Resolve's built-in proxy workflow.

GPU Acceleration

GPU acceleration is a feature that allows DaVinci Resolve to utilize your GPU for rendering. This can significantly speed up the process, especially with GPU-intensive tasks like color grading or using 3D effects. On the other hand, not all effects are GPU-accelerated, so it's essential to know when and how to use this feature.

GPU Acceleration and Cache Management

GPU acceleration utilizes your GPU to its fullest, enhancing performance. Furthermore, managing cache properly ensures that DaVinci Resolve runs smoothly. In other words, regularly clearing cache frees up space and prevents slowdowns. Here's how to change the resolution in DaVinci Resolve, which might help in managing cache better.

Enabling GPU Acceleration

To enable GPU acceleration, you'll need to navigate to the preferences menu in DaVinci Resolve. From there, select the 'Hardware Configuration' option. Here, you can choose your GPU from the list and enable GPU acceleration. By the way, it seems that this simple step can make a noticeable difference in rendering and playback speed.

Understanding GPU Compatibility

Not all GPUs are created equal. In my opinion, it's essential to ensure that your GPU is compatible with DaVinci Resolve and supports GPU acceleration. NVIDIA and AMD GPUs are generally well-supported, but it's worth checking the specific model and its compatibility with DaVinci Resolve.

Cache Management: A Key to Smooth Performance

Cache management is another crucial aspect of making DaVinci Resolve run faster. Cache files are temporary files created by DaVinci Resolve to store information that it might need again soon. However, these files can accumulate and slow down the system. Here's how to manage cache effectively:

Clearing Cache Regularly

Regularly clearing the cache can free up valuable space and prevent slowdowns. To clear the cache, navigate to the 'Playback' menu and select 'Delete Render Cache.' You can choose to delete all or just unused cache files. I'd suggest doing this periodically, especially after completing significant projects.

Setting Cache Location

Choosing the right location for cache files is equally important. An SSD (Solid State Drive) is usually the best choice for storing cache files due to its fast read/write speeds. You can set the cache location in the preferences menu under 'Media Storage.' In addition, make sure there's enough free space in the chosen location to avoid potential issues.

Operating System Tweaks

Updating DaVinci Resolve

Keeping DaVinci Resolve up to date is essential. New updates often include performance enhancements. Here's a guide on how to update DaVinci Resolve that can walk you through the process.

Adjusting System Settings

System settings outside DaVinci Resolve can also impact performance. For instance, disabling unnecessary background applications and optimizing power settings can boost DaVinci Resolve's speed.

Disabling Unnecessary Background Applications

System performance can be significantly affected by unnecessary background applications running simultaneously with DaVinci Resolve. These applications consume valuable system resources, such as CPU and RAM, which could otherwise be utilized by DaVinci Resolve. In my opinion, it's essential to identify and close these applications to free up resources.

For instance, if you have multiple web browsers, cloud syncing services, or other non-essential software running, they might be eating up valuable system resources. By simply closing these applications or disabling them from starting automatically when your computer boots, you can enhance DaVinci Resolve's performance.

Optimizing Power Settings

Power settings play a crucial role in system performance, especially on laptops. Many systems are set to 'Balanced' or 'Power Saver' modes by default, which can limit the performance of your CPU and GPU to save energy. However, if you're working on an intensive project in DaVinci Resolve, you might want to switch to 'High Performance' mode.

In 'High Performance' mode, the system prioritizes performance over energy efficiency, allowing the CPU and GPU to run at their maximum capacity. This can lead to a noticeable improvement in DaVinci Resolve's responsiveness and rendering speed. Just keep in mind that this setting might consume more power and generate additional heat, so it's best used when you're plugged into a power source.

Adjusting Virtual Memory

Virtual Memory acts as an extension of your physical RAM, utilizing a portion of your hard drive. If DaVinci Resolve is using all available RAM, it will start using Virtual Memory. Adjusting the size and management of Virtual Memory can sometimes enhance performance.

For instance, you can set a custom size for the paging file (the file used for Virtual Memory) based on your system's specifications and needs. This might require some experimentation to find the optimal settings, but it can lead to improved performance in some cases.

Workflow Tips in DaVinci Resolve

Using Optimized Media and Proxies

Optimized media and proxies (lower resolution versions of your footage) can make editing smoother. In addition, using proxies allows you to edit without lag, even on less powerful systems.

Understanding and Managing Transitions and Effects

Transitions and effects are essential in video editing, but they can be resource-intensive. Understanding how to apply and manage them efficiently is key. For example, using GPU-accelerated effects that leverage your GPU's power can speed up rendering.

Here's a guide on how to add blur in DaVinci Resolve, a common effect that can be optimized. Furthermore, pre-rendering complex transitions and effects can save time during the final render.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Customization

Keyboard shortcuts and customization might not directly impact performance, but they can significantly speed up your workflow. By learning and using DaVinci Resolve's keyboard shortcuts, you can perform tasks more quickly and efficiently.