Davinci Resolve on FW 16 (Windows)

I just thought I’d share my experience so far with Davinci Resolve on the FW 16. This is preliminary and anecdotal. I haven’t done any in-depth testing with timed comparisons or anything. This is on a 7840HS with 7700S GPU. I was connected to an external, 4K monitor.

This initial testing was also done with a 60W Framework power supply, which turned out to be woefully insufficient and likely impacted performance. My experience the last couple years in Davinci was on a Mac Studio with M1 Max processor. So I’ll be making a few comparisons to that.

The first thing I noticed, is that when switching between sections of Resolve for the first time after opening the program, such as from the editing page to the color page, there are occasionally little pauses. Like, I click color and it takes a couple seconds before the color page pops up. Even more noticeable, is that when I start making a color adjustments for the first time, the changes initially take about 10+ seconds to start showing up. However, once any page opens or once the changes finally start showing up, it’s butter smooth from there. I can make changes that show up in perfect, non-delayed, real time. So despite these little pauses once in a while, it’s great.

Even a 4K timeline with 4K, 10 bit, 4.2.2, H265 files will play and scrub with total fluidity and zero issue. So that’s great. The fans do ramp up quite a bit during this. Even just playing back those files on a 1080p timeline will make the fans spin up and will make the battery life slowly drop while plugged into a 60 watt charger. But it’s totally smooth for me.

Compared to the Mac studio I used to use, it’s a bit of a wash. On the M1 Max, it would sometimes chug a bit with a 4K timeline when certain affects were applied to the clips, or when making certain color changes. On the other hand, I never had those little pauses when switching pages and such. Granted, those pauses could be as much down to Windows vs. Mac OS. So it’s tough to say.

Rendering is where I really had reason to wonder what was going on. I’m hoping that it was just due to the 60 watt power supply. The next project I do (not sure when that will be) I will be using the 180 watt Framework power supply. Initially, it was rendering okay, but not quite as fast as the Mac. It was rendering at around 70-90 FPS, while I’d normally get 100-115 on the Mac Studio. No big deal, and again, I would’t be surprised if it’s faster with the 180w power adapter. However, there were times when I literally just had a still jpg image on the timeline and when rendering those frames, it would drop to 6-8 FPS. That’s normally when the Mac would jump to 150+FPS because it’s just a still image. Bizarre. Also, the fans didn’t spin up as much during rendering as they did while simply playing the timeline. This is particularly strange because the battery was actually dropping faster during rendering than it was during editing. Maybe more load was on the GPU at that point and it wasn’t heating up as much as the CPU was during editing? Not sure. Like I said, I wasn’t monitoring stats or anything. This is just how it “felt” in use.

Overall, totally usable and smooth for 4K editing in Resolve. It’s unfortunate that the rendering was so much slower than I’m used to. However, certain things, such as noise reduction, would make the Mac drop to the single digits or low double digits FPS while rendering, but I didn’t do any of that in this project, so I’m interested to see how the FW 16 will handle it. I’m thinking the GPU may help, but we’ll see. I’m also hoping the 180w power supply will make a difference.

Anyway, that’s my first experience editing in Davinci Resolve with the FW 16. I’ll update after I do another project. In the meantime, I may also check to be sure Resolve is using the dedicated GPU and not the iGPU. If I find out anything interesting in that regard, I’ll report that as well.

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Just did a quick test. I tested with the 180W power supply and had AMD Adrenalin up while rendering a section of the project. It is definitely utilizing the dedicated GPU as well as the iGPU. It was pulling 60-ish watts from the 7700S and around 30 watts from the 780m. CPU utilization was very low.

With the 180W power supply, performance was noticeably better. 108 FPS during normal sections, and 8 FPS when rendering the static .jpgs instead of 70-90 and 6.5-7 FPS.

All of this testing was with Windows performance mode set to “balanced.” Next time I’ll try it with Windows set to “performance” to see what/if any difference it makes.

Where did you connect the 4K Monitor? USB-C on the back of the GPU module, or on HDM/DB?
I noticed the intermittent stuttering too (happening when the system is switching from internal to external GPU). And I also noticed that the display is not “smooth” on the external screens compared to the laptop screen. 60Hz vs. 1xx Hz.

Try to connect the 4K screen to the GPU built-in USB-C port. It draws more power, but is way smoother from experience.

PS: For video editing, I started using KDEnlive. Kind of find it almost more intuitive.

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I’ll have to check KDEnlive out.

I do have the monitor connected to one of the normal ports, not the port on the GPU. However, I don’t think it’s the whole screen freezing, just certain aspects of Davinci. I can still move the mouse and interact with certain aspects of the interface. It’s just Davinci chugging for whatever reason. It only seems to happen the first time I do certain things, so it’s not a significant issue. Still, I may try connecting the monitor directly to the GPU, just to see how that goes.

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Davinci resolve does not like Wayland + AMD GPU. So useless for me. Will not adapt my system to software.