DaVinci Resolve is the NLE and color grading software of choice for many creators. Not all of us have the best hardware, so what works and what doesn’t?

As with all things tech, change comes quickly. As of NAB 2019 DaVinci Resolve 16 is in public beta, and I originally started compiling this guide in 2015 with Resolve 11. However, most of the emails I receive are from would-be Resolve users that don’t have the budget to build a monster workstation. The questions I get are from people that want to know more about the minimum requirements rather than the ideal system we would all have if money was no object.

I’m a CSI (Colorist Society International) colorist and have been involved with Resolve both as a user, and consultant to post production companies for many years. I deal with high-end systems all the time, but I feel there’s not a lot of information available about the minimum requirements to run Resolve, yet that’s what many new users and content creators want to know. So while I started this article in 2015, the general points are just as valid as they were years ago.

First things first, the best and most up to date information you will get is in the DaVinci Resolve configuration guide. You can download the latest DaVinci Resolve 15 configuration guide here.

DaVinci Resolve System Requirements

DaVinci Resolve is an amazing and powerful piece of software, however just installing the software doesn’t constitute a workable system. Resolve is one of the most resource intensive applications you can use and will bring any unprepared system to its knees. This being said, some things are more important than others, and you may be able to coax your PC into running Resolve fairly happily just by upgrading your GPU and using some of Resolve’s built in media optimization tools.

The point is not to call you out about your hardware, but to help you understand there are some minimum requirements if you want to get the most out of Resolve.

Here’s is a summary of some minimum DaVinci Resolve system requirements you need to be aiming for.

Getting the Most from Resolve on Limited Hardware

It’s important to talk about your expectations and real world needs. For most of us there is little real need for real-time 4K playback unless you’re monitoring in 4K. Even if your media is 4K or higher and you intend to render at 4K, you can easily edit in an HD resolution timeline and make far more efficient use of your system resources where real-time playback is essential.

Proxies and Timeline Resolution

One of the most useful features of Resolve is how quickly you can change timeline resolution non destructively. For example, as long as your source media is UHD, you can drop your timeline resolution to HD for editing and your clips will be resampled down to HD for better playback. You can switch your timeline resolution back to UHD at any time and the clips will read at the full native UHD resolution. In addition, for RAW media formats you can change decode or playback debayer resolution. This means you can drop your resolution and debayer quality temporarily to ensure playback performance while you’re editing, and then ramp it back up for grading where real-time playback is perhaps not so critical.

Resolve Optimized Media and Render Cache

In situations where dropping debayer quality and/or timeline resolution still doesn’t result in real-time playback on a particular system (most likely a laptop), there are a couple of ways to handle it. One way is to have Resolve create Optimized Media. Optimized Media files are lower resolution, compressed proxies (copies) of your high resolution camera source files. These temporary files are entirely handled by Resolve and can work very well for your edit, you can then relink to your original full res camera files for grading and delivery.

Resolve’s Render Cache is also a very useful tool enabling a background render of a particular shot, sequence, or even an entire timeline to a intermediary codec to ensure real-time playback.

It’s ALL About The GPU

Your GPU is everything! It is more important than your CPU or system RAM (both of which should be up to the task too).

DaVinci Resolve offloads intensive image processing to the GPU. It also employs YRGB 32-bit floating point processing for exceptional color precision.

Ideally, in a desktop PC, this should be a dedicated GPU just for image processing in addition to the graphics card running your desktop GUI (user interface). In the case that you are using a laptop or any system with a single, or integrated GPU you can still run Resolve, but performance will be compromised compared to a dual or multi-GPU system.

If you’re investing in a laptop, I highly recommend making sure you choose one with Thunderbolt 3 ports, and take a look at my post, The Best DaVinci Resolve eGPU Options.

GPU Memory

Of course GPU cores matter, but GPU memory matters more when looking at minimum requirements.

Bottom line, if you’re looking at a new system on a budget and you’re working mostly in HD, I’d recommend an absolute minimum of 2GB GPU memory, really 4GB is a more realistic minimum. Performance also depends on the resolution of your media, the resolution of your timeline and the codecs of the media you are using.

Storage Speed

The next biggest issue is how fast Resolve can read media from your storage. Expecting real-time playback performance with heavy high res RAW media stored on a single internal spinning hard disk is madness. It’s completely impossible. If you’re considering a laptop, make sure it has SSD or PCIe flash storage, or connect fast external media storage via Thunderbolt or at least USB 3.

SSD, PCIe drives and RAID arrays are the only solution unless you’re connected to a SAN or fast NAS. Using an internal SSD or two in a RAID 0 configuration is a good start on a small scale, but you’ll have limited total capacity. External SSD’s provided they are Thunderbolt or at least USB 3 can also work.

New RAW codecs such as Apple ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW are promising raw quality at lower bit rates. This is exciting, but regardless, fast storage is your best friend, and just because an external hard drive says it is Thunderbolt or USB 3, does not mean the actual drive inside supports the data rate claimed.

External desktop Thunderbolt RAID arrays are perfect solutions for a single system, or you can configure a RAID internally as long as your system chassis has at least four drive bays free and you have a motherboard supporting hardware RAID, or a PCIe slot free for a dedicated RAID controller card.

General Considerations

Generally speaking, your GPU and storage are the primary key factors you have to address with any system you expect to run DaVinci Resolve. Secondary to that, your CPU and system RAM are also important, you should be on 16GB of system RAM at least, 32GB is recommended.

These are the basic facts if you expect to get any real work done with DaVinci Resolve.

Resolve Minimum System Requirements FAQ

What is the first thing I should upgrade to improve my system performance in DaVinci Resolve?

The first thing you should consider is your GPU. Other components might be limiting your playback performance, or how quickly you can export videos but your GPU will determine if Resolve will run at all on your system, and how complex your color correction can be.

What is most important when looking at GPU options for DaVinci Resolve?

The most important specification to look at is how much memory the GPU has. Regardless of how many processing cores, it’s video memory that limits the resolution you can work in, the number of correction nodes you can use, and the performance of memory intensive plugins and effects such as noise reduction.

Are GPU cores important for DaVinci Resolve?

The number of GPU cores will determine how quickly a GPU can process image data. When considering a GPU under 4GB, memory is a more important factor than GPU cores. For GPU’s with more than 4GB memory you can consider memory and number of GPU cores equally when making a decision which GPU to buy.

I have only 8GB of system RAM. Should I buy a GPU or more system memory?

This is a tough choice because in this case, really you should do both. If you can only afford to buy more RAM or a new GPU then the best decision depends on your existing GPU. If your existing GPU has at least 2GB video memory then it’s better to buy more system RAM. However if your GPU has only 1GB or 1.5GB video memory, or is a integrated GPU that shares your system memory than a new GPU is the best decision. Either way, whichever one you don’t upgrade right away should be your next upgrade.

My video files won’t play back smoothly in DaVinci Resolve. What should I do?

The most likely reason your video files aren’t playing smoothly is because they are H.264 / AVC or H.265 / HEVC encoded files. DaVinci Resolve relies on your system CPU to decode these complex video files before handing over uncompressed image data to your GPU. It’s likely that your CPU is the bottleneck if these video files are not playing back smoothly. The solution is to decrease the timeline resolution to HD if you are working with 4K video files, and to create optimized media or use render cache on your timeline.

What codec should I choose for DaVinci Resolve’s optimized media and render cache?

If you’re on a Mac, I recommend choosing HD resolution Apple ProRes 422 for both optimized media and render cache. If you’re using a Windows PC, I recommend choosing HD resolution Avid DNxHR HQ for your optimized media and render cache. Both of these codecs are high quality and far less complex to decode. Choose a fast internal or external hard drive as the destination for your optimized media and cache files.

DaVinci Resolve 15 On A 2015 Macbook Pro

I have Resolve 15 running on a 2015 Macbook Pro with 16GB system RAM and integrated Intel Iris Pro graphics that has access to 1.5GB of shared system memory.

However, I wouldn’t recommend it.

So far, it’s still working well enough on HD resolution timelines, even using both the FilmConvert OFX plugin and Neat Video OFX plugin. I have yet to see a GPU out of memory error, however I keep my grades fairly simple and straightforward. I could definitely provoke an out of memory message without much effort.

On this system I’m making use of either optimized media or render cache for everything, every clip on the timeline. This is time consuming but the only way I have real-time playback of H.264/AVC media on this aging laptop.

Many creators are just starting out with Resolve, learning to color grade, and working with what they have, so I want to put it out there that this older Macbook Pro is running Resolve 15, even with some OFX plugins and still chugging along.

Please don’t hesitate to comment with your questions either here, on Youtube, or hit me up on twitter, I will always reply.


  1. Hi Richard,
    I have Davinci 14.0.1 and a GTX 750 Ti with 2GB. When I add some jpgs to the timeline I get GPU memory errors. Do you maybe know a workaround to prevent the memory error? Like making videos from the jpg first or something like that. I am surprised that I can process 4K videos (as long I don’t do optical flow or complex nodes) but just the existence of some jpgs cause rendering errors.
    Best regards

    • Hi Sascha, that’s an interesting bug which I’ve never experienced myself. What resolution are the jpg’s?

      • The issue showed up quickly after adding pictures of about 4000 pixel square. But even smaller pictures caused rendering errors quickly. I found no workaround, neither compound clip no optimized media help me. Therefore I simply bought a 4GB GPU. Until now it runs fine with about 10 pictures of about 4000 pixel in square.
        Thank you very much for your reply.

        • Hi Sascha,
          thank you very much for shareing this information.
          I could verify this with Davince Resolve 14.0.1 when creating a “simple” slideshow with some Nicon RawFormat-Pictues with a resolution of 4256 x 2832 pixels with some randomly selected video transitions.
          According to XRG – an Mac tool to see the GPU utilization – the GPU-memory usage where up to 3044 MB – imho much to many for a 2 MB GPU.

          After all, I’ll have a look for a Titan or Titan-X for upgradeing my machine.

          Thank you very much for your helpful response.

  2. Hi Richard,

    the current release of Davinci Resolve is 14.0.1.

    Do you have any idea if there are changes regarding the GPU requirements for Davinci Resolve 14?

    Right now I’m useing an Apple MacPro 5,1 with 24 vCPU’s and an AMD HD7970 OC with only 3 GB VRAM. Due to the fact that I’m running an Apple MacPro, I’m limited to some special graphics cards that have an flashed BIOS as I need the BootScreen some times.

    I’m just thinking about two GPU’s: first one is a Titan X (non-XP for Power Requirements) fitted with 12 GB VRAM the other one is a GeForce 980 Ti with 6 GB VRAM.

    Due to some issues with the Power Requirements for the new Pascal Engines, I dont’t want to go with the 1080 TI or Titan-XP. There exist reports that they draw too much power, causing the Mac’s to shut down unpredictable.

    I’m currently working with HD-Material (1920 x 1080) in general and am using DR 14 Studio Edition for some reasons and wonder if the FX-effects require 12 GB.

    In a nutshell: Could you please give an advice if the 980 TI would be sufficient or if I should go better with the Titan-X?

    Thanks in advance..


    • Hi Rainer, sorry for the delay in the response. If you’re mostly working in HD then the 980 Ti should be plenty to be honest, but I haven’t actually tried it in your proposed configuration. From a GPU memory point of view, 6GB should be more than enough. If it is absolutely certain that the Titan X will not cause issues with power draw, then of course 12GB would be great, but I don’t think you’ll have any issues going with the 980Ti.

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  4. Hi Richard, I am going to buy gtx 1080 for my HP Z820 workstation (base model/rack minitower). I am confused between the founder edition and the customized model. I have learnt that FE gets hotter and noisy comparatively. Could you please suggest me which one could be better for davinci resolve 14 with respect to my hp z820. Thank you very much.

    • Hi Humauin, thanks for the comment. I don’t know either of these cards well, both will work but in terms of heat and noise, that’s something only users of those cards will be able to tell you. As far as Resolve is concerned both should work.

      • Thank you very much Richard. I am just curious to ask you if a single 2gb GPU can handle the display monitor+2.5k raw editing from A to Z using davinci resolve 14?

        • Hi Humauin, this is a good question. I assume you are talking about raw dng footage from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K? It’s borderline, if you’re working in a HD resolution timeline, then it should work for basic correction. I’ve had 6K RED R3D files on an HD timeline with a 1.5GB GPU, but for certain if you try heavy optical flow effects or noise reduction you might run into problems.

          • Hi Richard, thanks for your valuable comments. Yes, I meant the BMCC 2.5k. I tried with my 2 gb gpu and things did not run smoothly. I just bought gtx 1080 and now it is perfect. Thanks again for your comments.

  5. Hi Richard,

    I would like to use DaVinci Resolve 12.5 full version.
    what do you mean about this configuration ?

    Intel i7 6850k (3.6 GHz 6 cores 15 MB cache 40 lanes PCIe)
    ram: 32 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX CL14
    mainboard: Asus X99-A II

    Nvidia Quadro k600 (for dual UI monitors)

    Geforce GTX 1080 (8 GB ddr5 2560 cuda cores)

    SSD for windows 10 64 bit

    Raid controller + 2 disks Sata3 7200rpm raid 0 (media files and cache)

    Blackmagic intensity pro 4k (preview)

    What files can i handle whit this hardware ?


    • Hi Francesco, thanks for reaching out. Your setup looks perfect. The current version is Resolve 14. Everything looks perfect, my only comment would be your RAID, a two disk 7200RPM RAID 0 will limit you a bit as it’s not fast enough for many high res, high bandwidth formats, especially RAW. If you have enough drive slots in your chassis to have an 8-drive RAID, you’ll be in a better place. Then I would also go RAID 5, not RAID 0 so you have protection for one drive failure. Alternatively you can go for SSD instead of spinning disks.

  6. Hello Richard,
    recently I made a upgrade of my pc, but Resolve keep crashing after 1-2 minutes of editing/grading/whatever else I am doing in Resolve.

    My PC:
    – AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (previously AMD Athlon X4 640)
    – 16gb RAM ddr4 2400 (previously 6gb ddr3)
    – SSD 250gb
    – MSI Radeon 5770 Hawk

    I know that my GPU is defenitely not a perfect match for Resovle, but i really hope at least i can edit HD footage and make a little grading. Well, I cant. Do you have any suggestions where the problem could be please? Thank you!

    • Hi Jiri, looking at the specs of your GPU, I’d say that’s definitely a big part of the problem. It’s a 1GB card, and you’ll need a 1.5GB – 2GB minimum to work even at HD. If you can upgrade your GPU to even a slightly higher one, your problem might be solved.

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  8. I am a ex FCP7 user that took the time to move to Adobe and now am really tired of the Adobe CC (no customer service having) workstation. I have a early 2009 Mac pro..with the following mods…..OWC SSD bootdrive, 32g b ram and just installed a Nivdia GeForce 680 2gb……can I replace Premiere and After effects with Resolve and fusion?

    • Hi Arthur, it really depends on what type of work you are doing and what resolutions you want to deal with. If you are just doing basic HD resolution editing and color correction, Resolve should be fine with 2GB of video memory. However if you apply optical flow effects or start using noise reduction, you may run out of video memory. I’d recommend a GPU with at least 4GB memory if possible.

  9. Thank you Richard for your recommendation and advice, I have gone for the full 4k screen with 32gb Ram and 1Tb hard drive. I look forward to using Resolve on a laptop that can run it properly. Many thanks Tony

  10. Hi Richard
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and advise, it is very kind of you. I am looking to buy a Del XPS15 with 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ Quad Core Processor, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5, it comes with 16gb ram is it worth upgrading to 32gb? and there are two screen options an HD anti glare screen and a 4k gloss screen I do some editing outside so thought the anti glare screen would be fine, is there a good reason why I should go for the 4k screen. I will be editing mp4 drone footage either 2.7k or 4k. Thanks for you help.

    • Hi Tony, the specs sound great. No problems there, if you can go for 32GB system RAM it certainly won’t hurt. The 4K screen will definitely help in terms of the layout of the Resolve UI. It gets a bit cramped at 1920×1080. Good luck!

  11. Hi Richard. Would you be able to advise what upgrades I need to run Davinci Resolve on my laptop please? I have an Acer Aspire 5532 with an AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor L310 2CPU 1,20GHz, 4GB RAM, 64 Bit OS, ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics. Many thanks in advance!

  12. Hey Richard,

    I had a question about CUDA vs OpenCL. I’ve read some places that Resolve runs better with CUDA but haven’t seen actual tests or documentation..just seems to be general thought that’s the case. What is your opinion on one vs the other? Also I have come confusion on Resolve’s support of 10-bit display. Do I need a decklink card if I want to output 10-bit in Resolve at all – or only if I want a 2 displays to be able do output at 10-bit. I’m looking at the AMD Radeon Pro WX 5100 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 as possible GPU’s for a new system. Thanks for the help!

    • Hi Chris, I haven’t had enough experience of CUDA vs OpenCL to tell what the performance differences are. You should really be using a dedicated output card like a Decklink or Ultrastudio to drive your grading monitor. It’s not only about 10-bit color depth, it’s about having a color managed output to a display you can trust. Of course you need a calibrated monitor as well to take full advantage. Your desktop GUI is technically not giving you a true video color space, granted the differences between sRGB and Rec709 are small, but a Decklink card will give you a true 10-bit color managed dedicated output in the correct video color space.

  13. I am looking to purchase the following laptop and specs and wanted to know if I will have any problems running DaVinci on it; ( Thank you)

    ● Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.80GHz)
    ● Windows 10 Home 64
    ● Windows 10 Home 64 English
    ● 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080), anti-glare, IPS
    ● 32GB(16+16) DDR4 2400MHz SODIMM
    ● Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.80GHz)
    ● NVIDIA Quadro M1200 4GB GDDR5
    ● 720p HD Camera with Microphone
    ● Keyboard with Number Pad – English
    ● 3-button TrackPoint pointing device and 3-button multi-touch touchpad, No Color Sensor
    ● Integrated Fingerprint Reader
    ● Hardware dTPM2.0 Enabled
    ● 1TB 5400rpm HDD
    ● 512GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    ● 1.5TB
    ● 170W AC Adapter – US(2pin)
    ● 6 Cell Li-Polymer Battery, 90Wh
    ● Intel Dual Band Wireless AC(2×2) 8265, Bluetooth Version 4.1

  14. I’m on a budget here. Going from lenovo i3 core 4gb ram 128ssd… I’m giving up on it haha definitely not good for resolve or eny video editing.
    So I’ve been looking at something like i5 core 6300 2,8-3,1 ghz dual 8gb ram geoforce gtx 940 .. like to do some 2k, is it possible to get some work done?? I know it isn’t going to be perfect but I can live with some issues.. I’m on a tight budget

    • Hi Mark, it’s really going to come down to three things, most important to get Resolve running is the amount of GPU memory your GTX 940 has. What kind of codecs and media do you plan to work with? Storage speed is also important, you’ll want a SSD to keep your media files (and render cache / optimized media). How much video memory does the GTX 940 you are considering have?

  15. Hello Richard!

    Im looking to build my own PC and I plan on using Davinci Resolve 14 as my only Editing Software. My biggest concerns are GPU and SSD (as stated above, they are vitally important to the software) Let me know if this looks like a good build and where I could use more power.

    GPU: MSI GeForce 1070 8gb
    SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500gb
    CPU: Ryzen 5 16000
    MB: MSI B350M Mortar AM4
    PS: EVGA 650W Gold
    RAM: 16gb Hyperfury X DDR4 2133mhz
    and a 1tb HDD.

    Any input would be helpful 🙂

    • Hi Robbie, as far as I can see you should be good to go with that build. Only thing is I’ve never run Resolve on a AMD platform and most recommended builds are Intel but I don’t see why it should be an issue. You’ll quickly want more SSD space, but you can always add that later (or configure an SSD RAID). Good luck 🙂

  16. Hi Richard,

    I just downloaded Davinci Resolve 12.5. It looks like a really GREAT software! However, there are two issues I’ve had. The first was that I got an error message that there was no OpenCL Acceleration Hardware detected. I found a fix for that placing some code in the preferences. However, now I get an error message saying No CUDA Acceleration Hardware detected. I’ve done some research for this to but haven’t found a fix. In fact, it would appear that there is no fix without buying a new computer. I currently have a 17″ Dell Laptop running Windows 7-64,

    So, saying all that to ask this. 1 Is there a fix for the No Cuda message. 2 Can I use the software in this condition or will it crash on me if I attempt to do anything?

    Thanks for your time and help,


  17. OR, with my 16GB MAC BOOK PRO. MID 2012, COREi5, 2.5GHZ. What is the best GPU upgrade I should go for out there, that will have a great impact on Davinci, even at 2k files. Something compatible?

    I am not quite certain the “NVIDIA GTX 970, 4 GB, 2 x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort (1664 CUDA Cores” is compatible.

  18. Richard the god. I am currently running 16GB MAC BOOK PRO. MID 2012, COREi5, 2.5GHZ. WANTING TO UPGRADE MY GRAPHICS CARD TO A “NVIDIA GTX 970, 4 GB, 2 x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort (1664 CUDA Cores”

    Would this combo work great with Davinci?


  19. Hi Richard,

    I am Playing back a 10/15 second clip – 10bit DPX sequence uncompressed RAW 4K
    in resolve studio 12.5 on windows 10.
    No caching , no proxies, technically we believed the system should have been able to handle playing back raw 10bit 4K however that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    on a system with the following specs

    supermicro X10 Motherboard
    2 x 12 core Xeon 2.8ghz v3 procs
    128gb ram
    3 x Titan 12gb cards
    mellanox dual 10GB ethernet bonded via MCS
    blackmagic extreme 4K 12g

    Read speeds using aja disk check 1900Mbs

    However when playing back the sequence in real time it stutters on both GUI and broadcast monitor

    We replaced the system with an almost identical system that uses an internal SSD raid 8x 1TB in a raid 5
    we get read speeds of 4000Mbs

    The footage plays back fine if read from here no stuttering.

    My question is i was led to believe that playing back 4k red uncompressed needed around 1300Mbs, the read test speeds indicate we are way above that with the iscsi san and yet it stutters. (no color correction has been applied as yet , this is just the imported dpx sequence)
    I believe any debaying is done on the GPU with spillover onto CPU if necessary
    (does compute on GPU need to be on for this, or only if you want to use the 2nd card to do some or all of the debaying? I want to make sure resolve is able to use all 3 cards for computing if necessary)
    We are about to replace the dual 10gb card with 40gb card to see if we get better speeds, however im not convinced that is the issue, unless you know why we would be going over or close to that 1900MBps read speed?

    • Hi Brian, I’m a little confused about one thing that will help me understand further if you can clarify. Are you playing back R3D raw or DPX? R3D raw requires debayering real-time, which is done on the GPU unless you have a RED Rocket card installed. Raw is bayer sensor data (and can be compressed or uncompressed) but DPX is not raw, DPX is uncompressed RGB image data and requires no debayering at all. If it has originated from R3D media then it is debayered already.

      R3D raw will be intensive on your GPU but not necessarily your storage bandwidth, at least not to the extent you are speaking of. DPX will not be intensive on your GPU but will be far more intensive on your storage bandwidth. 4K 10-bit DPX at 24fps will be about 1195MB/sec, this is MB not Mb, there are 8 bits (b) in a byte (B).

      If you are getting real time playback from a 8x SSD RAID, then it definitely sounds to me like a storage and/or networking bandwidth issue, not a GPU issue.

      Looking forward to your reply and seeing if I can help dig a bit deeper at all.

      • Hi Richard,

        you are correct forgive my previous error, i was laying two separate questions into one whole.

        yes the footage was R3D Raw i believe at one point (this is what i’m being told by the editor), It shows in resolve as uncompressed 10bit DPX 4K RGB sequence.
        So you are right any debaying would have been done already when the DPX were created.
        so in this case playback on the broadcast is done via the BM4K, playback on the gui is done via the titan (which should have no issues) and therefore the stuttering
        is most likely coming from the DDP storage or the Network cards.
        I had previously figured it should be around 1200 -1300 MB/s , again forgive my typo the DDP is getting a read of 1900MB/s which should be more than enough.
        Which is why its a little confusing.

        Secondly regarding the debaying of Raw R3D, how does resolve take advantage of all 3 cards if needed, are 3 12gb GPU cards overkill is this when we would set one of the GPUs as a compute in settings?
        or will resolve take advantage of them when rendering out as well?


        for your input!!

        • Hi Brian,

          I usually try to diagnose these things by ruling things out logically. Since you have no playback problems when the media is on internal SSD RAID, and since the media is DPX, GPU is certainly not the issue, and it sounds like disk throughput should not be an issue either. I’d take a close look at your bonded 10Gb ethernet settings, what is your MTU set at? 1500 or higher? You could try 9000. Without seeing it or having a bit more info on your setup I can’t really tell. Is your storage directly connected or through a switch? Are you bonding two 10GbE ports on one card, or two cards? Sometimes a single card can’t deliver the full bandwidth you’d expect when bonded, I know this is the case with at least some Intel cards.

          Just thinking out loud here 🙂

        • Another question, and forgive me for this one, but I’m interested to hear why you are working with 4K DPX instead of the camera R3D raw files? I assume this must be part of your VFX pipeline?

  20. Hi

    I’m having trouble getting resolve to work smoothly on my computer.
    My footage is from a sony action camera. Both H.264 media with 4k res at 30p or HD res at 120p stutters in preview from resolve.
    Is my CPU too old for this? Here are my specs:

    i5 3570K @4.2GHz
    16GB ram
    GTX 1060 GPU

    Thanks for the help

    • Hi Andreas, thanks for the message. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your system per se. H.264 is never going to play back real-time in Resolve, it just won’t. H.264 is a very efficient, but also very computationally intensive codec. Because Resolve processes video in uncompressed 32-bit floating point accuracy regardless of the original camera media, your CPU has to decode all that first into memory, and then hand it over to your GPU for further processing. This is a huge task, and one that most systems fail to do in real-time. Your solution (and everyone else’s) is to transcode your media to a more post friendly format such as Apple Prores or Avid DNxHD / DNxHR. You can also use Resolve to generate optimised media from within the Media Pool. Let me know if I can help take you through that process.

      • Hi Richard,

        Thanks for the reply. Out of all the transcode options, which would you suggest to be most storage efficient?
        I’ve tried going down this route before, but the media becomes at least 10x as large and I don’t have the storage space to handle this.


        • Hi Andreas, unfortunately for your storage space the whole reason to transcode is to avoid having to rely on your system to decompress and decode h.264 on the fly, which in Resolve can’t do quickly enough. Any time you make less compressed (and thus easier to play back) files, they will be larger simply because they are less compressed. You don’t gain any quality making the larger files, that’s also important to understand, but they will be easier and faster for Resolve to work with.

  21. Hi Rich, fantastic article and really helpful! I was wondering if my setup was powerful enough to successfully use DaVinci Resolve 12.5. Would you mind taking a quick look at my spec also please? I use a Dell XPS 13 – 9350. Intel Core i7-6500U Processor. 256 GB SSD. Windows 10 Pro(64Bit). 8GB RAM. Intel HD Graphics 520. 8GB DDR3 1600MHz. Thanks so much, it’s much appreciated!

    • Hi Andy, hmm… interesting. I’d say you’re probably borderline. How much memory is allocated to your GPU? The integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 shares system RAM.

      • Hi Richard, many thanks for getting back to me! I asked Dell Technical Support how my memory is allocated as I didn’t really know. Their response is as follows:

        “Your XPS 9350 has 8GB memory and an inbuilt Intel HD Graphics card that can use upto 2GB of internal memory if needed. The graphics card will first execute all graphics within its capacity. If it requires additional memory it will then get upto 2 GB of memory from the RAM through the GPU on your system. All this is done automatically within the system and there is no requirement from the user to make any manual changes.”

        Hopefully this provides the answer we need as to how borderline I may be? Thanks again for your time and advice, it’s greatly appreciated!

        • Hi Andy, sorry for the delay in my response. Your GPU has access to enough memory then to get started with Resolve. Is there any possibility of increasing the overall system RAM to 16GB?

          • Hi Richard, totally no need to apologies your thoughts have been invaluable. Especially, now I know that I can safely run Resolve. Sadly I don’t think I can increase the overall RAM. I believe that my Dell XPS- 13 9350 is effectively an Ultrabook and therefore has the RAM soldered onto the motherboard for space saving. However, I’m still delighted to know I can definitely give Resolve a go. So, I must say, many many thanks for helping me make a solid decision on this!

          • Hi Andy, please let me know how it goes!

  22. Hi, Richard,
    i have Mac Pro (early 2008)
    Processor 2×3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory 8 GB 667 MHz DDR2
    Graphics Card NVIDIA Quadro 2000 1024MB
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5

    can you please tell me what Resolve Version can i use for HD or 4K raw???

    • Hi Neo, unfortunately you won’t be able to run Resolve at all without more system RAM and at least a 2GB GPU for basic HD work, even then you won’t handle 4K RAW, definitely not real-time. For that I’d really recommend a completely new up to date system.

  23. Hi Richard
    I’ve read your comments about 15” MacBook Pros, but I’m planning to do some documentary work for an NGO overseas and need to travel as light as possible, so I’m specifically looking at the new 13” MacBook Pro so I can save some weight.
    I’ll be shooting with a GH4 in 4K UHD, but will mostly work in an HD timeline. I won’t need to do any really heavy grades and operations – I just need to produce some 1080p work in the field to show clients, and can do the final work on my desktop machine when I return home.
    In terms of graphics, the 13” MacBook Pro only gives the choice of Intel Iris Graphics 540 or 550, whereas the 15” MacBook Pro offers Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB or Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB. Do you think the 13” MBP could handle light work in Resolve?
    If I could get away with a 12” MacBook I would, but these only offer 8GB RAM & Intel HD Graphics 515 so I doubt this would cut it.

    • Hi Sam, to be totally honest I wouldn’t consider the 13″ but I am saying that without having ever tried to run Resolve on one. I’m assuming you’re referring to the latest generation. It’s going to come down to GPU RAM and system RAM, and the integrated Intel Iris GPU’s share the system RAM. Technically if the GPU allocates at least 1.5GB, Resolve should run and you should be fine with basic HD work. However, saying that, I’m not certain if having only 8GB system RAM (minus whatever is allocated to GPU… and OS demands) will cause issues, it’s not a lot of memory for such an intensive application. Even if it runs and is stable, you’ll need to use render cache for your work with 4K off the GH5. You absolutely won’t get real-time playback of the native GH5 camera files in Resolve. It’s H.26x based (I am not certain if it’s H.264 or HEVC H.265) and will need to either be transcoded to ProRes first, or cached as ProRes proxies using Resolves render cache or optimised media. This adds significant time to your workflow as the system has to create these files. This brings me to one last point, and that is the need for fast storage. The internal 256GB flash storage is fantastic and you can use it, but it will fill up quickly, so plan on investing in external SSD drives on USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 (or Thunderbolt 2 with an adaptor). I hope this info helps, I don’t mean to be discouraging, just giving you some facts.

  24. Any Drawbacks between Mac and PC? I was either thinking of getting an older Mac Pro or building a newer pc platform desktop.

    • Hi Alex, good question. I’m mostly recommending PC right now, especially for very high performance requirements. For lower and medium requirements a decent spec iMac or Macbook Pro with lots of RAM and dedicated GPU is totally viable, those tend to be the maxxed out specs which get pricey, that’s the only thing. I have no bias really, for me it’s just important to have a system that is stable, powerful and responsive enough to do the required work. I far prefer OSX to Windows, but that’s more of a OS preference to any kind of particular hardware preference. For most clients that don’t have any wish to build a custom PC and want manufacturer based support it’s tough to beat a HP Z840 based system. You can build something custom for less money too though. The drawback of running Resolve on Windows is the lack of ProRes encoding support but that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Plenty of professionals are running Windows systems and relying on various Avid DNxHR codecs in place of Apple ProRes.

  25. Where can you rent this beast of a package ? Software pre-loaded machine

    • Hmm… I have not heard of any place that dry rents the system, not a bad business idea though if you wanted to start! (depending on the likely demand in your area of course)

  26. Hello there,

    If anyone can please help me. I’am just starting to use Davinci Resolve 12.5 and amazed by how much you are getting for free.
    For the moment I am using footage off D7000 and Gopro4 (HD and 4K) but will be moving to a lumix camera and mostly working on 4k (100mbps 30f)

    At the moment, the playback is really a struggle, making it impossible for me to edit files. This is my system configuration :

    PC : HP Elite 8200 SFF (I want your advice , keeping in mind that this is a small factor case with a PSU 240W)
    Inter Core i7 -2600 3.40GHz
    16 Gb RAM
    Nvidia GeForce GT 710 (I think the problem is here)

    Since I need a low profile card, would the gigabyte 750ti hp elite 8200 handle 4K ? If there is any other card that fits the criteria, please let me know.

    Please help me out here !!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Sundeep, Thanks for leaving a comment. You would benefit from a faster GPU with more video memory, but this is not the main problem you are facing. The real issue has to do with the codecs you are working with. I wrote an article about why h.26x based codecs are such a struggle in Resolve here: XAVC / XAVC-S and DaVinci Resolve | Why You Need to Transcode I’ve been working with a lot of 4K 100Mbps h.264 media lately and I transcode everything to ProRes 422HQ before I start editing. I just archive the original files and work with the ProRes. For small projects I’ll cut the native h.264 media in Resolve but generate optimised media (basically the same thing as transcoding). Let me know if you need any help with that.

  27. Hi Rich,

    I am currently building a budget PC and could use some input.
    I mainly edit 1080p projects, but have the occasional 4K project. I only monitor in 1080p and don’t have any qualms about lowering the playback resolution when editing UHD, seeing as it won’t have a perceivable difference.

    I’m currently looking to get a GTX 1050 Ti with 4 gigs of ram. Will this be enough, or should I look into something with more RAM? If so, would a RX 470 w/ 8 gigs be okay?

    I really am on a tight budget and would prefer to save a bit on my cash now and upgrade later when I have my resources.

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Daniel, a GTX 1050 Ti 4GB is perfect. You can go RX 470 with 8GB RAM if you want, but the GTX 1050 will most likely do everything you need it to. There’s no wrong choice between those.

  28. Hi Richard,

    I’m building a budget PC, and am planning on running Resolve Lite on it.

    I can’t currently afford a GPU that is above $200, however there are options that seem good to me. That being said, you have the experience in this department, so I would love to hear your input.

    I’m considering
    either an RX460 w/ 4g – $125
    a GTX 1050 Ti w/ 4g – $150
    Or an RX 470 w/ 8g – $200

    My rig is still under construction, I’m building it slowly as I save up for each part.

    I mostly do 1080p projects, however lately I’ve been taking on 4K (UHD) projects. I’d like to be able to handle as much as I possibly can on my new computer, however I realize this is a budget build and beggars can’t be choosers.

    Kind regards,


    • I answered your other comment regarding GPU choice, any of those can work, I guess I’d be tempted to go GTX 1050 Ti /4GB, saves you $50 and I’m not sure you’ll see the difference between 4GB and 8GB GPU memory running the free version of Resolve (no noise reduction) on 1080p and occasional 4K work. You’ll be fine. I’d love to hear how it’s going?

      • Hi Richard,

        Well four months later I have a rather lovely little machine, however I think I did something wrong in the storage department. I have a 250gig SSD as the C drive and my content is on a 2 gig 7200 rpm drive.
        I would take it that this was my mistake?

        I imagine that I need either an SSD or Raid (well, you posted this. I misread it) how much space should I need for this?

        • Hi Daniel, ah yes, you’ll want the fastest storage (SSD) for your media, not as a system drive, although it always is nice to have a fast system drive as well. However 250GB is not a lot for media and will fill up quickly. As for the question of how much space you’ll need, it depends a lot on the kind of codecs, resolutions and media you are using, can you let me know what kind of codecs you’ll mostly be working with?

  29. Hi !

    I want to get a proper color suite and upgrade my system and i’m reading in a lots of forums that you need 2 GPUs, and it looks that the way to go is getting a Quadro (for GUI and also beacuse can output 10bit) and a GTX for the image processing. My doubt is if it’s really necessary to have the Quadro or if a Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K (which also output 10bit 2160p) could do the job. I don’t know if the quadro and the decklink do the same or they are complementary…Is the GUI really using a lot of resources to just have one card just for that purpose?

    My idea would be having 2 monitors, a shitty monitor i have for the GUI (via HDMI or DP) and a grade 1 calibrated monitor for grading (Flanders, Sony… via SDI). Can i just do that from a 1 GTX and get a 10bit workflow (output decklinck–>SDI–>Grade monitor input)? Would the Quadro+GTX+Decklink be a major improve over a GTX+Decklink ?

    Thanks Richard !

    • Hi Eduardo, for monitoring output you don’t use the output from any of your GPU’s at all, the GPU’s are just doing number crunching so it really doesn’t matter whether they support a 10-bit output or not. What matters for GPU’s is memory and CUDA cores. Your output reference monitor should be driven by a video output interface such as the Blackmagic Decklink Mini Monitor or any Decklink card, and that will give you the 10-bit output you need. In any case Resolve doesn’t give you the option of a full screen output on any desktop GUI output. Also the GUI card doesn’t need to be a particularly high end card, except in systems which only have one GPU. I hope this makes sense, let me know if you have any further questions. I’ll be glad to help.

  30. Hi,

    I posted something deep in the tread about transcoing GoPro files. Will get back to that in a sec.
    I’m in the process of putting together a system, if you can give some feedback it would be very helpful.

    processor:Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake
    Cooler:Corsair Hydro Series H55 CPU Cooler
    MB: ASUS Z170-E, Socket-1151 MB (6xsata)
    Ram: HyperX Savage DDR4 2400MHz 32GB
    ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 ROG Strix Gaming
    Samsung PM961 SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5” HDD

    • Opp, somthing went wrong at I posted before finishing

      processor:Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake
      Cooler:Corsair Hydro Series H55 CPU Cooler
      MB: ASUS Z170-E, Socket-1151 MB (6xsata)
      Ram: HyperX Savage DDR4 2400MHz 32GB
      GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 ROG Strix Gaming 8GB
      System disc: Samsung PM961 SSD 512GB M.2 NVMe
      Media Drive Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5” HDD Will install a second drive as a “render to” dick. Will look at Raid later.

      As for GoPro files, my I7, 10gb ASUSZenbook runs Gopro Studio (cineform) transcoded 4k clips pretty well with Sony Vegas 1080p like knife thru butter. No problems.
      In Resolve, I can’t get anything to run smoothly. Optimised media etc.

      What would your workflow be for Gopro files? I imaging and hope the new system listed would work well. Convert to AVI with Studio (Ciniform) or just run native files and get optimized media working.

      Thanks for your time.

  31. Why on Earth you don’t state it clearly in your article about CPU: 32-bit and 64-bit, or 64-bit only? Why no one word about it?

    • Hi Oleg, I don’t think it needs to be stated. It is safe to assume everyone is working on 64-bit CPU’s. 64-bit CPU’s have been the standard now for a very long time.

  32. Hey Richard, i wrote a couple of months ago, ok SO i was thinking about building my own computer, but its a taunting task, so I talked to my IT guy here at my station, and we are getting brand new computers,I told him what I was trying to do and he suggested these specs:

    is this set up ok??

    Dell Precision Tower 5810 ­ Build your own
    Intel® Xeon® ProcessorE5­1603 v3 (4C, 2.8GHz, 10M, 140W
    NVIDIA® Quadro® M4000 8GB (4 DP) (1 DP to SL­DVI adapter
    16GB (4x4GB) 2133MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC
    integrated Intel AHCI chipset SATA controller (6 x 6.0Gb/s) ­ SW RAID 0/1/5/10
    C1 SATA 3.5 Inch, 1­2 Hard Drives
    500GB 3.5″ Serial­ATA (7,200 RPM) Hard Drive
    Boot drive or boot volume is less than 2TB

    is this good enough to run Davinci resolve, instead of building all this with windows 10 keyboard, monitor etc comes out to about 1800

  33. Greetings from Qatar!

    I’m shooting with GH4 4k footage and would like to put together a pc build that will last me for a long time without upgrading. So i want to run resolve 12.5 as my nle and grading software (time to say by to PP). After reading all the posts I feel this should comfortably do the job. I will sometimes need to render out in cinema 4k and of course sometimes in full Hd.

    intel core i7 3.5 Ghz K 5930 (6 cores and 6 threads)
    nvidia gtx 980 ti 6GB DDR5
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB (system)
    2x 240 ssd samsung evo (raid) (cache and media)
    ram DDR4 2300 MHz 32 GB
    S X99 motherboard, gaming 7
    windows 10 pro

    Also i would like to run 3 monitors incl a fully calibrated one for grading as ive always used a dual monitor configuration in the past and would like to have a 3rd TV HD display to see finished videos in all their 4K glory. If I wanted to have such a monitor set up what would I need in terms of video card?

    I also own a 27inch imac non retina and a full hd smasung calibrated monitor, could these be used as displays in the setup!

    Thanks for all your help.

    • Hi Ferhan, your specs look good. You’ll need a Blackmagic Decklink card to give you the output for your dedicated monitor. Preferably of course this should be a calibrated color critical reference monitor. A Decklink mini monitor card is all you need.

  34. Hey,

    I am building my new workstation (on windows 10). I consider to put NVIDIA GTX 1080 inside, and wonder if I can also put in a 2nd graphics card for UI for example. Does it necessarily need to be exactly the same, or can a put a lower gpu thats more priceless? I have another GTX 680 in my old Mac Pro (2009) – could I use that too even its from mac? its the evga gtx 680 mac edition.


    • Hi Phil, yes the GUI can run on a less powerful GPU, they don’t need to be the same. I am not sure if you can use a card straight out of a Mac on a Windows build as it has different firmware.

  35. Hi Richard.

    Firstly to echo the praise for the info on your site. Very useful.

    Secondly, just about to take the plunge on an iMac 27, with all the right bits from Jigsaw24. I have only one question: is 2TB Fusion or 512Gb Flash the best option.

    I expect this machine to be almost exclusively for Davincj Resolve and to be using usb 3 or thunderbolt external storage for the files.

    I am currently working on 2k, but obviously 4k is coming.


    • Hi Nick, good choice. As long as your media files will be on fast external Thunderbolt or USB 3 RAID or SSD drives then the internal storage isn’t so critical. Assuming it’s just for OS and other files. However, you may want to use it for Resolve’s cache files and optimised media, in which case the 512GB flash is the way to go. Cache files you can always delete if you run low on space as Resolve can regenerate them. I’d go for the flash for this reason if I were you.

  36. I am planning to make the jump to Davinci Resolve (the free edition) from Premiere Pro. I am a part time photographer and cannot justify the full CC subscription but I do occasionally do some small video projects and timelapse videos so the Adobe Photo Plan and Davinci Resolve seem like a great option.

    My current system includes a Skylake i7 6700K and 16GB ram. I am debating between a GTX 1050 Ti (4GB) or a GTX 1060 (6GB). My question is whether the 1050TI can handle Resolve and if I will see a significant increase in performance with the 1060 that justifies an extra $100.

    Any guidance in this respect would be greatly appreciated. Your website is a great wealth of knowledge regarding video production. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Pete, sounds good to me. To be honest you probably won’t notice that much difference, but if you can spare the extra $100, I’d put it into the GPU for sure. Still, it’s not a deal breaker. You’ll be fine in Resolve either way.

  37. I am upgrading to new custom pc
    my wishlist is
    i5 6500
    ddr4 kingston hyper x 16 gb
    gigabyte g1 sniper gtx 1020
    hhd 2 tb seagate 7200 rpm
    is this config good ?
    or should i add ssd also ?

  38. Hello Richard. I found your article very interesting and I was wondering if could maybe solve a question I have. I’m planning to build a new station for DR mainly and also some After Effects and CInema 4D. The thing is that as X99 motherboards are not as easy to find though my distributors I’ve been looking for dual PCI Gen3 x16 on motherboards with LGA1151 sockets. There’s almost none, apart from EVGA Z170 Classified 4-way, i haven’t find any. The thing is, is there any x16/x8? I couldn’t find any either. And what about building a dual x8 on x16 Gen3? Would there be a bottleneck or any performance reduction using gtx 10? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Adrian, thanks for getting in touch. I have to say though this is one question I don’t know enough to answer so specifically. Sorry about that. I’d reach out in some of the Resolve forums, pages or groups on Facebook, there’s a good chance someone will be able to advise you.

  39. Hi, I’m looking to get an ultra book, the lenovo ideapad 710s

    It has an i7 6560U
    Intel iris 540
    8 GB of RAM
    256GB PCIe SSD

    Would this be enough for 10 minute 1080p edits?
    I won’t be adding much effects (think Casey neistat type of videos)

    • Hi Ges, it’s on the low end, but really comes down to the Intel Iris 540. It shares system memory but I can’t seem to find out exactly what total amount of memory the GPU can access. You really want to be looking at 16GB system RAM also, it’s not an ideal notebook for Resolve but without knowing the exact GPU memory I can’t really say. As long as the GPU can access at least 1.5GB (at the absolute minimum) you should be able to run Resolve.

  40. Hi Richard, it is very nice of you to be so helpful offering your advice here. I too am looking at getting a new workstation for editing R3D raw footage in premiere CC, then transferring to davinci for coloring. It looks like there are new Mac Pros released now. What would be your recommendation for building a Mac Pro tower? I am happy to spend the necessary amount to get a system that will run smoothly. I am concerned of making the mistake of getting unnecessary upgrades. I am planning on getting a 4k color grading monitor to go with it. What would be your advice on this? Also do you know any other sites I can learn more about getting the right system to handle my workflow?

  41. Which new Macpro should I buy to run DR?

    1) 13 inch, 2.9Ghz i5, 8GB ram, Iris Graphics card 550 1.5GPU for $1799.
    2) 15 inch, 2.6Ghz i7, 16GB ram, Radeon 2GB GPU, $2399.

    I do mostly home and travel videos using FCPX. I don’t do 4K, just HD footage.

    Also should I get the 256GB SSD storage instead of 512GB and save myself $2-300. I can get a 1TB external harddrive for under $100.

  42. Sorry, i forgot to tell that i stock nothing inside this computer, no video, no photo, no heavy program, it’s just dedicated to youtube and one game .

  43. Hello Richard,

    I bought 2 months ago a Laptop gaming MSI GE62 6QF APACHE PRO, Nvidia GTX970M, Intel core i7 6700HQ 2.60GHz, RAM 8GB, systeme windows 10, 64 bit but only on storage a SATA disk 970GB… no SSD i think at all.
    i would like to use this fantastic program DaVinci resolve 12.5 only for Youtube Vlog purpose with no 4K work, but i like go deeply on details to enhance video !

    I m wondering to solve the problem of storage maybe by purchasing a SSD PORTABLE type Sandisk extreme 900 480GO, max speed 850 MO/S ?… not too expensive

    This one : https://www.amazon.fr/Portable-SanDisk-Extreme-Vitesse-Lecture/dp/B01127E5J6/ref=sr_1_16?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1477496372&sr=1-16&keywords=ssd

    Is it All right for my purpose or did you see other difficulties about my requirements system ?

    Thanks for your explanation above about DaVinci resolve


  44. Hey Richard, the information you provide here is invaluable, thank you so much for your time and effort in keeping up with responses (for almost a year now). I have clicked on this page more times than I can count, and I am finally about to purchase a macbook pro (I have to have a laptop) for editing with Davinci, so I thought I’d make a query directly to you. I understand that the 15″ macbook pro with the “dedicated” AMD graphics card is preferred for editing 4k footage, but if I am ok with editing the 4k footage in HD could I get by working with these specs:

    MacBook Pro
    Intel Iris Pro 5200
    RAM: 16GB
    RAM Technology: DDR3L SDRAM
    Max Supported RAM: 16GB
    RAM Speed: 1600MHz
    Processor Type: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2.20GHz
    Number of Cores: Quad-Core

    Display Technology: Retina Display
    Display Size: 15.4″
    Display Max. Resolution: 2880 x 1800

    Thanks a lot for your time taken in responding.

    • Hi Neil, you totally can use the 1.5GB Intel Iris GPU for Resolve. I use this exact same spec Macbook Pro at home (I’m on it right now). I’m primarily working with 4K media but in a HD timeline, but I’ve often switched the timeline back to UHD at the end of the grade and rendered a UHD file.

      I will say that in my experience, you’ll be using the Optimised Media and render cache features in Resolve a lot. I rely on them on this Macbook Pro with pretty much any format I bring in, from R3D to ProRes out of the Alexa Mini, and especially H.264 media from my iPhone, or lately the Fujifilm X-T2.

      You will struggle with any optical flow effects, or motion blur, noise reduction etc… the GPU just doesn’t have enough memory, actually it shares system memory.

      Also it will throw you GPU out of memory errors if you get into crazy complicated grades with a lot of nodes and heavy operations.

      However, it will work, within certain limits and with some patience to generate optimised media and let it cache clips on your timeline.

      • Hi Neil, I just wanted to add… I keep my Macbook Pro’s internal flash storage clear for media. Granted it’s not a huge space, but it is very very fast storage. Also use fast external SSD’s on Thunderbolt or USB3. Apparently Apple may be launching a new generation Macbook Pro soon (Oct 27th) so it might be worth waiting a few weeks to see what the new models have in store, and the price points for different configurations.

  45. Hey I just got Davinci resolve and I just finished building my pc so I wanted to know if my system specs are capable to do 1920×1080 at 60fps, or at most, 4k videos from my galaxy s6, here are my system specs:
    CPU – I5 4690k clocked at 3.5ghz (I intend to overclock to 4.2ghz)
    Ram – 2 x 4gb sticks clocked at 1866mhz (totaling 8gb, will expand if necessary to 16gb)
    GPU – PNY GTX 1060 6gb edition
    Storage – 1x 120GB holding OS and device drivers, 1x 240GB for holding key applications (like Davinci resolve) and 1x 1TB.
    I also have a EVGA 750w gold PSU. It should be noted that I intend to work much more with the 1920×1080 60fps resolution than the galaxy s6 4k resolution. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Justin, I’d say you look good to go but I would definitely recommend the jump to 16GB RAM. You didn’t mention what type of drives, I assume your main drive for media is the 1TB, is it an SSD?

      I assume you are talking about slow motion as far as your 60fps material is concerned? So it will still be played back at your project frame rate and won’t be a problem.

      H.264 media (from phones and most consumer/prosumer cameras) is notoriously bad to playback in Resolve even on a high-end system, so you still may find yourself making proxies, or using optimised media in Resolve for that material. I do it all the time that way, it works, and I can help you with that workflow when you get to it if you’ve got questions later.

  46. I have a i7 870 with 16gb RAM and two graphic cards, a GTX 670 and a GTS 450: is the multi gpu support available only in Resolve Studio? Which workflow can I handle with this configuration?

    • Hi Andrea, yes multi-GPU support is only on DaVinci Resolve Studio. The GTS 450 is a 1GB card correct? It won’t be much use with Resolve, except maybe as your desktop GUI card, so you’d run your desktop monitors from it. The GTX 670 will be fine to get started with HD work and even some occasional 4K as long as you’re not expecting lightning fast performance. However that configuration (using both cards) is only possible with Resolve Studio.

  47. Hi Rich,

    Very interesting to read your article and your indepth analysis.
    I am still a bit confused with the requirements, specially the GPU. Is there a limit to the number of GPUs we can use with DaVinci? Or the more the better? Would having 8 x GTX 1080 have a serious impact on performance?


  48. Hello Davinci community! I’ve heard a lot about the minimum system specs for this program, and I had a few questions.
    Build #1 the i7 6700, and GTX 1060 6GB;
    does that seem unbalanced to run full HD edits? Would it be more balanced if I went
    Build #2 i5 6500, and GTX 1070 8GB?
    Which would run davinci better? I’m on a tight budget, and unfortunately I don’t have the cash to build anything at a much greater price than either of those.
    Thank you so much guys, I really appreciate your feedback 🙂
    I hope to be editing soon! Thanks again,
    – Caleb

    • Hi Caleb, the i7 6700 and GTX 1060 6GB will be absolutely fine for HD work and easily tackle some 4K too. Just keep in mind you may still want or need to transcode some codecs for better performance, but generally speaking I’d go with the i7 6700 and GTX 1060. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’ll try my best.

  49. Hi
    Just download DavinciResolve.
    My question are some 4K video from action camera able to import and some unable to import. Both H.264 and MP4. Any solution/s ?

    My Laptop specs are:-

    Intel® Core™ i5-6300HQ with Intel® HD Graphics 530 (2.3 GHz, up to 3.2 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)

    Intel HM170

    16 GB DDR3L SDRAM (1 x 4 GB)1600

    Video Graphics
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (4 GB DDR3L dedicated)

    Hard Drive
    1 TB 5400 rpm SATA however i’m using external flashdrive thru usb 3.0 and SDcard class 10 U3

    15.6″ diagonal FHD anti-glare WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)

    • Hi, your specs are perfectly fine. The only bottleneck I see potentially is your storage speed/bandwidth, but I don’t think that will affect your action camera files. You might want to look at working off a USB 3 external SSD drive sometime in future.

      Action camera files can be problematic sometimes, it should import… although I might be wrong since I don’t deal with these files very often. You can check the supported formats here. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/manuals/DaVinciResolve/DaVinci_Resolve_12.5_Supported_Codec_List.pdf

      I would definitely transcode those files to Avid DNxHD/DNxHR in any case for better performance and a better overall experience in DaVinci Resolve.

  50. hi , Rich …

    since i’m really noob & newbie in video editing , does pci-e DeckLink is a must ??! …

    what DeckLink function is if i may know …

    • A DeckLink card gives you dedicated video input and output. Input is for capturing video signals from external sources and I don’t think you’ll use it, but the output is important. The video output from the DeckLink card you would use for a high quality color calibrated monitor. It will give you an uncompressed 10-bit clean output for your main reference monitor. You can’t really trust your desktop display for color accuracy, not to mention that it’s set to a sRGB color space, which is correct for a computer display, but may not be the desired color space for your video project. Also, DaVinci Resolve gives you no option to view full screen on a second or third extended desktop monitor. The only way to get a full screen monitor is to use a DeckLink or UltraStudio to give you the correct video output signal.

  51. hi , Rich …

    i’m forget to ask you , did Resolve relies on CUDA cores or VRAM ??! …

  52. Alexandre Sepulveda

    Hi, Richard! What do you think about my new system for Resolve color grading and Avid/Premiere editing (4K raw)?

    GA-X99P-SLI Thunderbolt 3 Motherboard

    Xeon E5-2620V4 3.0GHz Processor

    64GB Kingston DDR4 2133MHz ECC Memory

    SSD 480GB Kingston UV400 System drive

    Single Geforce GTX 1080 8GB for UI and Grade

    Windows 10 Professional 64x

    Promise Pegasus 2 R4 – Thunderbolt 2 Storage

    Blackmagic Ultra Studio Express – Thunderbolt Video I/O interface

    Thank you!

  53. Thanks Rick for your instant reply and valuable suggestion. You are a life saver !!

  54. Hi Rich, I am planning to get a Blackmagic micro cinema camera that shoots RAW at 1080 p I want to switch to Resolve 12.5 for editing and color correction. Basically I used an old mac tower 2008 model which has crashed now. Time to get a new machine what do you suggest? mac book pro 15 inches or i mac 5k 27 inches or Mac pro with D500 cards? I may want to try editing sony a6300 footage in the future too. Please help me out.

    • Hi Ajay, if all of those are options for your budget, I’d choose the Mac Pro with dual-D500 GPU’s just for the extra graphics power. I use a 15″ Macbook Pro Retina, it’s less than a year old and I like it well enough, I use it a ton for Resolve, but it’s not hugely powerful. I’m always relying on render cache or optimised media. The 5K iMac is a good option but again it won’t have the GPU power of the Mac Pro. In order I’d choose, Mac Pro (dual D500), 5K iMac (go for 16GB RAM and AMD Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory), lastly the Macbook Pro Retina (16GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory). Hope that helps.

  55. Hi Rich, thanks a lot.

  56. Richard, what do you think of this? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thewolfe/the-wolfe-supercharge-your-laptop

    I have a Macbook pro mid 2014, 2.8ghz i7, 16gb RAM, Nvidia GT 750m 2gb. For me Resolve freaks out when im trying to edit 4k prores from an Ursa mini 4.6k. Im going to purchase a flanders DM240 so i can do color critical grading of 4k prores and 5K RED footage, so hoping the above solution is a magic bullet for macbook pro’s like mine, but maybe eGPU solutions are limited in some way?

    • Hi Ivan, I don’t know much about the link you shared but I’ll give you my opinion for what it’s worth. I believe that expecting to work with 4K RAW media effectively from your URSA Mini 4.6k on a Macbook Pro is not realistic. I can only recommend looking at a much higher power and newer PC laptop, or build yourself a workstation. You are putting the cart before the horse so to speak by investing in a Flanders monitor, and driving it from a very underpowered Macbook Pro. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but its the truth. No offence is intended I hope you don’t take my thoughts the wrong way.

      • I thought as much. Im getting an FSI monitor as much becuase im primarily a DOP and want color critical monitoring on set as anything else. Currently i edit with 4k prores on this macbook and do simple grades in Premiere, which i can just about make work. Im probably going to jump on the Wolfe eGPU solution just to see how much improvement it gives me and then if as you suspect im still underpowered to grade RED 5k (im becoming an owner/operator in the new year), i will build a proper workstation.

        Do you have an opinion on whether Hackintosh or Specced up older Mac Pro would be the way to go? I have built windows based PC’s before (15 years ago!!) so am up for the build challenge either way, but i want to stay on OSX and cant afford a new Mac Pro

        • Hi Ivan, You are heading down the right path for sure, good choice on the monitor. As for workstation, you can look at going the Hackintosh route. I last did it with a Supermicro workstation a few years ago, so it’s been a while. Worked great though, so I’m sure it’s still a totally viable option. I’d definitely look into getting OSX running on a new build workstation, the older Mac Pro’s will limit you from the beginning.

          • I got a great deal on a Mac Pro 5.1 12 core 3.46ghz so am going to give it a try rather than go full hackintosh for now. I’ll installing the OS and apps on a PCIe SSD and running a Titan X GPU, so the last thing to consider is storage for active projects. Do you think a single SSD drive will be quick enough to start working with RED 5k footage, or should I be looking at a RAID 0 set up there? Is it even worth thing about a RAID 0 HDD set up?

          • Hi Ivan, congrats! If you go SSD, I’d advise two SSD’s in RAID 0 but you should keep a copy of all your media somewhere else for backup. If one of the SSD’s fail all of your data will be lost. However, SSD’s will give you limited total capacity. Otherwise you can look at 5 HDD in RAID 5, this gives you a measure of data protection (any one drive can fail) but your throughput won’t be huge, should be enough however. Here’s some more info: http://create.pro/blog/mac-pro-51-best-system-creative-professionals-internal-expandability-unparalleled-customisation-king/

  57. I plan to purchase a new 13in Macbook Pro(i7, 2.9Ghz, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics Card <- apple doesn't list how many GPU. I'm assuming 1GB GPU.) laptop next month. So after reading the system requirements that you need at least 2GB GPU, that means this laptop won't be able to run DS12,5 right? I don't do 4K, mostly just HD footage.

    (The 15in Macbook pro comes with 2GB GPU, but it's too large for me to carry around.)

    • It may actually allocate up to 1.5GB of the system memory to the GPU, it is the Intel Iris 6100. For basic HD work it will probably work but I’m saying that without ever having used or run Resolve on the 13″ Macbook Pro. You’ll want to stay away from any noise reduction or optical flow effects. It’s not ideal but if you are patient with it, and willing to use optimised media and render cache, you can probably make it work.

  58. Hi Richard Lackey, It is awesome post. I am seeking your advice.
    I want to edit 2.5k raw (BMCC-mft) using Davinci resolve. I am thinking to configure HP Z840 workstation according to BM recommendation.

    Dual Intel Xeon E5-2697 v3 (dual 14 core) (Dual 8 core is minimum recommended)
    32GB RAM (8x4GB memory sticks)
    Use pairs of 4 for maximum memory bandwidth
    SATA 7200 1TB system hard drive
    1 x DVD-RW drive, SATA, Black
    Recommended Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M 6000, NVIDIA Quadro K5200, NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, among which I chose GeForce GTX 980 (4GB).

    I would like to ask you IF (1) one graphic card (GeForce GTX 980 (4GB)) and one processor are enough for 2.5 k raw editing? But I intend to update them later on when I am capable; (2) 16GB RAM is enough? (3) I need any other things to add with the aforementioned specification ?

    Thank you very much. I appreciate your help very much.

    • 16GB system RAM, the single CPU and GTX 980 4GB will definitely get you going with your 2.5k RAW. But, make sure you have your RAW media on fast storage, such as some internal SSD’s. You’ll easily be able to upgrade this system as time goes on. Good choice. If you want to monitor properly to an external monitor, you’ll need a video output card. You can look at a Decklink card from Blackmagic Design for that.

      • Hi Rich,
        Thank you very much for your clarification. It already helped me lots. I have just three more questions.

        (1) Did you recommend the video output card because I am not going to use any extra GUP only for Monitor? Or I still need a video card for proper post production even if I use an extra GPU for monitor?

        (2) Regarding internal SSD, as Blackmagic design mentioned nothing about SSD for HP 840, I wonder why, but a SATA 7200 1TB system hard drive. Then should I buy some internal SSD’s storage instead of SATA 7200 1TB system hard drive. Or I can add some SSD’s along with SATA 7200 1TB system hard drive?

        (3) Referring to my first post, I meant one GPU for both monitor and image processing and so you?

        Thank you very much and looking forward to hearing from you.

        • Hi Humauin,

          The GTX 980 is fine as a single GPU, you can run your desktop monitor from it, and it will do all the processing for Resolve too. Later on, you could add another GPU, but to begin with it will be fine. The only reason I mentioned the video output card is that technically speaking you can’t rely on a desktop monitor to be color accurate or display your full color gamut and bit depth that you may want for monitoring. So, you would use a video output card such as a Decklink card, and run a HD monitor attached to it. This should really be a monitor intended and designed for color accuracy. Plenty of people are learning to grade just by using their desktop screen, but it’s not accurate and technically speaking not good enough… but this is up to you. Grading monitors are not cheap, it’s something you can add later.

          As for SSD’s, you will not be able to play 2.5k CinemaDNG RAW from your 1TB 7200 RPM disk, the hard disk is far too slow. You can leave the system and other application files and any normal documents on it, but add some SSD storage internally for your media and Resolve’s cache location. A couple of SSD’s in RAID will work nicely, or you could add at least four additional 7200RPM HDD’s, all identical, and configure them as a RAID. You might want to look at a dedicated RAID controller card for that too.

          • Hi Rich,

            Thank you very much for your advice. Now things are clear to me. Just grateful to you. Much appreciated.

          • Hi Rich,

            I have got some minor issues on CPU and GPU selection. As I mentioned before, I wanted to buy “1xIntel Xeon E5-2697 v3” which is actually very expensive for me now. So I have found three others CPU I can afford one of them which are “Intel Xeon E5-2620 V3 2.4 GHz 6-Core-Processor” / “Intel Xeon E5-2620 V4 2.1 GHz 8-Core-Processor” and / “Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3 2.4 GHz 8-Core Processor”. Among those, I prefer “Intel Xeon E5-2620 V3 2.4 GHz 6-Core-Processor” since it is inexpensive comparatively and available with ready-made workstation here (Vienna, Austria). Do you think it can handle my job or any other suggestion?

            As to GPU, there are several brands (GeForce GTX 980 4GB) I discovered (http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-980/buy-gpu) which made me confused. Could you please let me know which one I should choose?

            Thank you very much for your help and looking forward to hearing from you.

          • Hi Humauin, I think the Xeon E5-2620 6-Core will be just fine, you’re already a long way ahead of a lot of people performance wise with this. In terms of the GPU, I’m not sure, I’d post a question in one of the Resolve or Color Grading groups or pages on Facebook. Someone will probably have some specific advice.

  59. umm …

    i’m not quite catch it since i’m not familiar with it because i’m noob in video editing … ?

    so basically i can edit gopro footage in Resolve without convert it ??! …

    • Ah, no it’s best to convert it, but give me a shout when you start and I can take you through it.

      • what video converter software that you reccomend ??! …

        • I’ve actually never used GoPro footage. As far as I know Resolve should see it, and then I’d put it all in a sequence and use Resolve to transcode it to Avid DNxHD on Windows, or ProRes 422 on Mac. Or you could use Resolve Media Management to transcode… although I haven’t tested this yet.

          • hi Rich …

            i’m forget to ask you …

            does Resolve perform better if build pc with 1080 / Titan X Pascal in SLI configuration ??! …

            also does Resolve support SLI without problem ??! …

          • SLI can be problematic, but I think there is a workaround I came across last week. I’ll just check the details and get back to you.

          • Been editing GoPro files on an i7 10gb Asus ultrabook with Vegas. I allways Transcode native GoPro files with Gopro Studio (Cineform) to avi befor editing in Vegas. Edits 4K like a hot knife thru butter.

            Want to move on to Resolve and i’am about to build a new desktop for it as I understand Resolve need a fast setup.

            However, why isnt there any talk run avi’s from Gp studio/cineform?

            Thanks for the informative article.

  60. hi Rich , sorry for late reply …

    thanks god , i’m now can build with ease …

    i think i’m going with Xeon E5 2680 V4 14-core & Quadro M5000 / Quadro P5000 combo because i’m also running other software which is CPU hungry & more GPU acceleration like sculpting in ZBrush , Keyshot , Maya , PP , AE , Photoshop , Lightroom , Capture One Pro & Dragonframe …

    also , regarding Davinci Resolve …

    i also read some user can’t import & open GoPro footage which is .mp4 format in Resolve ??! … is it true ??! …

    what advice / solution that you can give to me so i can edit .mp4 in Resolve ??! …

    because sometimes i’m also editing behind the scenes footage from GoPro …


  61. hi Rich , greeting from Indonesia …

    great article , i’m planning to move from Premiere Pro CS6 to Davinci Resolve 12.5 …

    also , i’m planning to build workstation PC based on X99 platform mainly for video editing only …

    but i’m still have some question regarding Resolve system requirements …

    i’ve read somewhere that Resolve didn’t support & didn’t work with Windows 7 , is it true ??! …

    for me , Win 7 is still the best platform & i didn’t have plan to upgrade to Win 8 , 8.1 or 10 …

    also , regarding hardware … does Resolve run better with (single) Xeon – Quadro combo or i7 – GTX combo ??! …

    in my mind i have 3 planning build ;

    – single Xeon E5 2680 V4 14-core , Quadro M5000 & 64 GB registered RAM …

    – single Xeon E5 2640 V4 10-core , Quadro M4000 & 64 GB registered RAM …

    – i7 6900K 8-core / i7 6950X 10-core , GTX 1080 / Titan X Pascal & 64 GB RAM …

    as for storage , i’m planning to use 1TB SSD as OS & Software drive another 1TB SSD as Scratch Disk & 8TB ( 2 x 4TB ) 3.5″ 7200rpm HDD in RAID 0 …

    which one i should build ??! …

    budget isn’t problem for me as long Resolve run better & fast …

    my main concern is OS …



    • Hi Reza, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to you tomorrow on this one. Pretty sure if it were me, I’d build the i7 / GTX 1080 / Titan X combo but I want to check some things first which I will do tomorrow and then reply here again 🙂

      • hi Rich , thanks for your reply …

        may i ask why you prefer i7 – GTX 1080 / Titan X combo instead of Xeon – Quadro combo ??! …

        also , regarding OS …

        does Resolve compatible & work with Windows 7 ( 64 bit ) ??! …

        because i read somewhere that Resolve 12.5 didn’t work with Windows 7 …

        • I’m looking into this for you, it will take a bit longer. I’m asking some folks who have experience of both GPU’s. I would recommend Windows 10 to be honest, I don’t know if 12.5 will run on Win 7 x64 but consider that’s a 7 year old OS now. A lot happens in 7 years. More info to come.

          • hi , Rich …

            thanks for your effort …

            guess i don’t have other choice than using Windows 10 on my build then …

          • I’m still getting some answers for you, lets see 🙂

          • Ok so… the Quadro cards are workstation class cards, they process floating point data to a higher precision than the GTX cards. In this sense the Quadro is a better choice… technically, however, my initial opinion on going for the i7 and GTX 1080 combo is just about value for money. If budget is not an issue, build a proper workstation class system on Xeon and Quadro. That’s the advise I’ve got for you. I hope it helps.

          • Ah… Reza, I have Resolve 12.5.1 running on Win7 x64 today. No issues.

  62. Hi Rich,

    I work for a production company that is considering using Resolve for our transcoding (sending to Avid for offline then back to Resolve for grading) and I’m trying to spec out the best machine possible to get the job done. We are grading on a fully setup online suite so this is just for transcoding purposes. Footage is 6k RED Dragon. 1/4 – 1/2 debater is fine for our off lines. Right now I’m using my edit suite (12 core mac Pro with a 5870) and getting decent performance (24-48 FPS) but I’d like to see that improved. Plus my suite is unusable for off lines while those transcodes run. Footage is coming off a USB 3.0 RAID and transcoding over Fibre Channel.

    We do have an old Boxx machine that’s getting a new power supply next week that I would like to use as a transcoding machine. However, I wanted to check if it’s specs seem enough before I try and sell my boss on a GPU upgrade to really make it fly. Currently it’s running:

    2x 2.8GHz 4-Core Xeon
    32GB of RAM (I’m not positive on this but pretty sure)
    NVIDIA Quadro 4000
    240GB OWC Mercury Elexa 6G SSD
    2x 500GB HDD’s in RAID 0

    Once the new power supply comes in I plan on testing this machine. If it can get solid performance I want to upgrade the GPU. My main question is do you think this will be able to perform better than my current Mac Pro? Also, how much of a performance increase would I see from something like a NVIDIA 980 or 1060?


    • Hi Rob, it sounds like a good plan, and you seem well on your way. As you’ve already said, the best thing is to test it. I’d be tempted to invest in a RED Rocket X card though for transcoding. It’s tough for me to make a call on transcode times, I really don’t know and wouldn’t want to tell you something and then be totally wrong. The GPU upgrade is definitely a good idea though. My gut feel is your transcode times should be pretty good.

      • Would you expect to see a significant increase in performance from a RED Rocket X over something like a Titan X? I know these new GPU’s handle debaying at incredible rates so spending over $6500 rather than $600-$1200 might be a hard sell; especially when we are only working with 1/4 – 1/2 debayer.

        I guess I’m mostly worried with how much the GPU affects transcoding times. Coming from Avid I’m used to it doing nothing but it does seem to have a major effect in Resolve.

        • Yep, I’m going to have to be honest and say that I don’t totally know the answer because I haven’t used a machine equipped with Titan X yet. I think you could be right, put a 1080 ti in it and it will probably scream, negating any advantage of a Rocket card.

          Resolve relies on GPU heavily for debayering and all uncompressed image processing (and internally all image processing happens in 32-bit float YRGB uncompressed space regardless of original media compression).

          Generally speaking NLE’s don’t so much because they aren’t doing the same kind of processing. Video compression/decompression for playback and rendering is CPU dependent, not GPU dependent.

          Editing, more than color correction and finishing for instance, in Avid, is much more CPU reliant for this reason. This changes if you are working with R3D natively in your NLE for instance, Premiere Pro will take advantage of GPU for this. Avid will also use (compatible) GPU acceleration for playback with certain effects and rendering. I assume also for AMA debayering of RAW media although I would have to verify that but it would make sense.

  63. Hey this post is reply are awesome I use a acer predator 17 laptop: i7 6700HQ cpu 16gb ram upgradeable to 64gb ram, 120 ssd run windows 10 OS, 1tb 7200rpm, 2 open slot to add more sdd, gtx 970m 3gb gpu card, my camera is the 7d mark ll so I wont be doing for any 4k unless I use my s7 edge phone camera which i might. I’m I good for editing hip hop videos with my laptop? thanks for your reply in advance

    • Hi James, you’re in good shape with that one. Just try to keep any larger, heavier media (if you ever work with any) on SSD rather than the spinning drive. Adding a dedicated SSD for media would be a good idea. Sounds like a nice system.

  64. i will be playing with 4k all the time. i am thinking of making 7200 raid hope this resolve the storage issue. having a 2 gpu will this improve or help resolve performance. and in regard to the display i will be having a 4k ext monitor.

    • Well, it’s just my opinion but I would never expect to work real-time at 4K on a laptop at all. You really need to be on a high-spec workstation for that kind of performance. There is little reason to work or monitor at 4K to be totally honest. I always work on a 1080p timeline and monitor at 1080p even if the delivery will be 4K.

      The specs look okay though, so I wish you the best of luck with it. It would be great if you could come back and let me know how it performs, I’d love to know.

  65. Hi Rich,
    I am so confused and what system do I get. I am thinking of getting below config laptop. What do you suggest. should i go for it . in regard to the storage is it possible to create a fusion drive in a laptop or use external 7200 NAS. and what about GPU. Should i go for dual 8 gb 980m or dual 6gb 970m is enough. Your advice will be much appreciated.
    Thank you.

    17.3″ FHD IPS WVA 60Hz G-Sync LED
    Dual 970M With G Sync
    Core i7-6700K 8MB 4.0GHz
    32GB DDR4 2400MHZ (2 x 16GB)
    540S 1TB SATA3 M.2 SSD
    1TB 7200RPM HDD
    1TB 7200RPM HDD
    Killer 1535 AC
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit

    • These specs look fine, but it all depends on what kind of performance you expect. Can you tell me what type of media you will be using most of the time?

      I’d be tempted to recommend a higher resolution display. Full HD display is the minimum and you will probably be frustrated with it. The Resolve GUI likes more screen resolution.

      Any 7200 RPM HDD will be slow, unless it’s a 4-drive or 8-drive external RAID. The 1TB SSD is good enough, and you can use external SSD drives also, just avoid any single spinning disk external drives, they are far too slow.

  66. Pingback:The Secret to Making DaVinci Resolve Faster

  67. Hi Andrew, in your case it sounds like its more down to CPU than GPU because your mp4 files require a lot of CPU usage to decode before Resolve even gets to them. Your easiest option is not to work with the mp4 files, but transcode them to something easier on your system, either Apple ProRes, or maybe Avid DNxHD/HR. Resolve comes from a high-end finishing background, and that’s a world where compressed long-GOP mp4, H.264 simply doesn’t exist. Resolve has become a NLE only recently, and it favors less compressed, high quality formats. With those formats, definitely your hard drive bandwidth and GPU then become the limiting factor as file sizes are significantly larger, requiring higher read throughput from storage. Resolve is a demanding application.

  68. I have tried out Resolve on my computer, and things haven’t been going so well. Playback in Resolve can get very choppy when playing video with any effects layered on top of it and my CPU usage can reach 90% or higher during playback. (Video format footage is 1080p mp4)

    I have an Intel Core i7-4510U, a Nvidia GeForce GT 730M with 2GB of VRAM, 8GB of RAM, and a regular hard drive.

    Would getting a new computer with an SSD and more video ram solve the issue? Or do I primarily need a new CPU?

  69. Pingback:Should You Switch from Premiere Pro to Resolve as Your Primary NLE?

  70. I have a MacBookPro NoRetina 13.3 with 16GB RAM, SSD with 240GB and external HD on USB3. If I upgrade with an external thunderbolt GPU (like a GTX960) what video format can I handle?

    • Hi Andrea, I would not recommend going the external GPU route on the 13.3″ non retina MBP, it’s money you’d be investing in an overall solution that just isn’t going to work well. The display resolution is not even high enough to use Resolve. You need at least 1920×1080 display to see the whole GUI. This is just one person’s opinion however but you’d be much better off investing in a new iMac or a new 15″ retina MBP.

  71. Hi Rich, thanks for you blog. I have a question : I plan to buy an Imac 27” late 2012 or 2013 with 2go ram gpu for occasional color correction work. Does the BM ultrastudio sdi Will help the internal gpu card to do the work with resolve ? Which means I don’t need the 4go ram gpu which is to expansive for me.
    Thanks for your answer.

    • Hi Bertrand,

      No the BM Ultrastudio does nothing for image processing, it only gives you a video output for monitoring. Still, don’t worry, for HD use, and as long as you are not using a lot of noise reduction or optical flow, or grading heavy high res RAW files, the 2GB GPU will work. You say you want to do some occasional color work, that tells me you probably aren’t going to be too crazy heavy in Resolve, and so it should hold up just fine.



  72. Just getting in to video editing, I am on a 2011 macbook pro which I have maxed out with upgrades over the past few years for audio editing… 2.9GHz Core i7, 16GB Ram, SSD internal drive and 1.5GB Intel HD 4000 graphics, I have been using FCPX for a short while but before I dive in to resolve how do my specs stack up?

    • Hi Rob,

      There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that you can install and run Resolve, and you’ll be able to get started as long as you’re working in HD resolution. The upgrades you made make this possible. The bad news is that you will want to start thinking about replacing it if you get more serious. But for now, go for it, it should run fine. It’s just the GPU that may slow you down, and possibly give you out of video memory errors depending on how hard you’re trying to push it.

      All the best,


  73. Thanks Rich… I’ve done some more checking and found this one at Costco for $1,099 through July 17: Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Touchscreen Laptop | Intel Core i7 | 4GB Graphics | 4K Ultra HD.

    Processor & Memory:
    Intel® Core i7-6700HQ Processor 2.6GHz
    16GB DDR3L 1600MHz RAM

    1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive + 128GB Solid State Drive
    No Optical Drive

    Operating System:
    Microsoft® Windows 10

    Graphics & Video:
    15.6″ IPS Truelife LED-Backlit 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) Display
    4GB NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 960M Graphics

    Integrated Widescreen HD Webcam with Digital Microphone
    Intel® 3165 AC (1×1 AC, 433 Mbps) + Bluetooth® 4.0

    2x Stereo speakers + Subwoofer with MaxxAudio Pro Audio Processing

    Dell Backlit Keyboard with Touchpad + 10-key Numeric Keypad

    Ports & Slots:
    3x USB 3.0 (1x with Power Share)
    1x HDMI
    1x Media Card Reader

    Power Supply:
    6-cell 74WHr Battery

    Additional Information:
    Dimensions: 15.08″W x 10.43″D x 1.0″H

    For almost $500 less than the Dell XPS 15 at $1585 on Amazon, you get more RAM (16 vs 8), a bit slower processor (although the 3.5 speed on the XPS model may be due to overclocking – perhaps this 7000 series can match that? I’m thinking the specs may be exactly the same); 128GB SSD on the 7000 series vs. 256GB SSD on the XPS, and only full HD on the XPS at that price vs. 4K on the 7000 series. I think I’m going with the 7000 series vs. the XPS. What do you think?

    • Hi William,

      At that price I’d snatch that up. Looks like fantastic value for money, that’s very decent spec for Resolve on the go. Nice find.

      If you’ve got any other questions feel free to reach out. I’m on fb and twitter too, and try to respond pretty quickly.


  74. Hi Rich,
    great article, what do you think of the following MacPro configuration, for a HD-workflow (BMPCC-Footage: ProRes, RAW?) with resolve, maybe limited UHD handling in the future:

    Mac Pro
    3.7GHz quad-core with 10MB of L3 cache
    16GB (4x4GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    256GB PCIe-based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

    I assume “OS X El Capitan” is preinstalled

    Considering my limited budget, is it a wise choice to choose the quad-core base model, but get at least the D500?

    I’m planning to use the free version of DaVinci Resolve, so I have another question:

    The compare guide on the blackmagic website lists the MacPro (2014? I assume it is the same as “late 2013”?) as exclusive device for the use of 2 GPUs for the
    following features:

    “Scalable clustered GPU image processing for super computer performance.”
    “Supports AMD GPUs using OpenCL for performance grading.”

    ( https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/compare )

    Does this mean you can’t really make use of a dual GPU setup on any other computer with the free version of resolve – so the MacPro really offers a distinct advantage here?

    Will the new “Fusion 8” for Mac run on this machine?

    Thank you!
    Greetings from Germany!

    • Hi Michael,

      Greetings from Dubai! That’s a great configuration for what you’re after, and it’ll run fusion. I would definitely go for the dual D500’s. You’ll be able to do some UHD work on it too, and when real-time playback begins to lag, that’s when you can use Resolve’s proxy cache and optimised media features. When grading UHD, to be honest most professionals won’t grade in a UHD timeline, they will still grade in a 1080p timeline for lots of reasons, and then just kick it up to UHD for delivery.

      All the best, keep in touch and don’t hesitate to come back with questions, whether tech, or grading related.


      • Hi Rich,
        thanks alot! You’re right as long as you can’t monitor in UHD, realtime UHD grading isn’t really necessary.

        Another question regarding the MacPro and resolve: Do you know why the free resolve version exclusively supports 2 GPUs on the MacPro?

        And just to be shure, is there a difference between “MacPro 2014” (as listed by Blackmagic) and “Late 2013”?


        • Hi Michael, as far as I know Resolve (free version) only supports dual GPU on the Mac Pro perhaps because there is some reason why it can’t only use one, but has to use both in those specific systems. I am purely speculating here. I don’t know for certain. Unfortunately I also am not 100% sure of the differences between the 2014 and late 2013, but I am sure the answer is only a Google search away.

  75. Hi Rich, thanks for the excellent information. I’ve been looking for quite a while for this kind of specific info on system requirements for editing (I have a BMPCC, shoorting ProRes and Raw). You mention looking at the Dell XPS 15 – I’m assuming you’re referring to the 4K version for $2099, vs. the full-HD version for $1585 (today’s prices on Amazon). Would the full-HD version of the XPS 15 accommodate my editing needs, since I’m not doing 4K, or would you recommend the 4K version of the XPS 15 to future proof and just make things easier in general, despite the price difference? I notice it does come with 16GB of RAM vs. only 8GB on the full-HD version. Thanks!

    • If you can stretch for it, I’d recommend the 4K, as it’ll give you the room you need with the Resolve GUI. Things get cramped in full-HD. It’ll make a more comfortable experience and every day you use it I think you’ll be glad you opted for the high res display. It’s also the Skylake chipset and is much improved over the previous i5 (full HD). From what I’ve read, the display needs individual calibration.

      Another option for a similar price is the Acer Aspire V Nitro Black Edition VN7-792G-74Q4, but opt for the 4K screen and 16GB RAM options if you take a look at that.

  76. Hi Rich,

    Thanks for the response – is definitely a tough one. Out of interest, what spec is your Macbook Pro?

    Are you using a control surface of any kind?

    Have you connected and external calibrated monitor of any sort? I did read a forum post that suggested using an x-rite calibration probe gave some ok results on retina display – not perfect but…

    Again, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    You have some great articles and I have locked your page into my favourites.



    • Hi Jon,

      Thanks so much for the compliment! The Macbook Pro I use is less than a year old, I think it’s still the currently available model. 15.4″ with 2.5GHz CPU, 16GB RAM and the Radeon R9 (2GB). Technically, it’s on the low end for Resolve, I’d consider a 2GB GPU a minimum spec, but for the way I work, it’s great. For someone who expects 4K+ RAW to debayer and play back real-time on a 4K timeline with a bunch of correction nodes (and god-forbid, noise reduction), it’s not going to work at all.

      How you work, in terms of what type of media, which resolutions, workflow with other apps etc all are important to consider. For instance if you’re planning on using a lot of 4K H.264 based codecs, it will likely struggle as decompressing H.264 into an uncompressed 32 bit space (Resolve works internally in YRGB 32-bit float space) is a heavy CPU dependent task happening alongside the color correction which is a heavy GPU dependent task, and it all gets a bit much to ask of a laptop.

      It sounds counter-intuitive, but the “heavier” in terms of file size, large formats with less compression, or at least mathematically less complex compression are simpler, easier and faster for Resolve to work with on any given system. So high-res, high quality Apple ProRes, or even RAW (Redcode RAW, CinemaDNG etc) you’ll have much more fluid performance even on a Macbook Pro than if you’re working with Sony XAVC or XAVC-S, which are smaller files, but more compressed, and compressed in a highly complex way (H.264).

  77. Hi there, this was/is a great post – am wondering what you think almost 12mo on? I’m torn between either the fully spec’d MacBook Pro (2.8gb i7 + 16gb ram + 512bg ssd) or a upgrade spec’d iMac (4.0ghz i7 + 16gb ram + 256gb + 4gb vid).

    I’m a prior davinci + spirit colourist who has been out of the game for a bit and looking to (re)learn resolve software whilst also trying to reestablish contact with clients. Therefore, my plan is around 6mo of retraining and doing pro bono type work. I am pretty proficient with FCPX and do a bunch of editing work presently.

    So my guess is mainly HD work but nothing more than 2k.

    The portability factor would be good (macbook pro) for FCPX editing vs the extra resolve grunt from the iMac.

    What are your thoughts on the latest macbook pros for low end resolve work?

    Any response greatly appreciated.


    • Hi Jon,

      Well, good question. I use a Macbook Pro for basic HD (and sometimes even very basic… i.e a few nodes only 4K correction) and love it. It works for me. But then I don’t expect real-time playback with heavy formats, I don’t tend to get overly complicated with color beyond balancing properly, correcting any problems and then maybe a subtle creative look… and I’m patient. So as long as I don’t push it to the point where I get GPU out of memory errors I’m happy with the Macbook Pro. As you said, then you’re portable.

      However, the iMac by comparison is a better proposition by spec, and especially with the 4GB GPU.

      Tough call. If I could do without being portable, iMac would win hands down. I think it just comes down to how important portability is.

      Of course neither gives you a truly trustworthy display either, but it’s fine. I trust the scopes to know my balance is right more than the screen, and then generally if it looks pretty on screen, it’s not far off looking pretty on any digital device pretty much. Of course you wouldn’t grade a feature film that way, but for most things that will end up on the web, it works just fine.

      Hope that helps, these are just my opinions and experience. Someone else will have a different opinion, especially if their own needs are different.


  78. Hi Rich,

    I shoot and work in prores HQ (BMCC 2,5k). Editing and color grading in Resolve using my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15″, ultimo 2013) …and it’s struggling.

    So, I want to build a bad PC, being able to noise reduce, and using div. new 12.5 plugs (grain, glow, etc …) without it freezing, restarting, losing flow …bleeding.

    But, to be honest I don’t know much/ anything about PC’s or where to begin? Need help with the tailor work. So, how would the ‘best’ PC look like? What parts? Specs?

    I need something that is usable for a couple of years from now …and of course without cleaning my bank account.

    My budget is around 3.000 US$

    I hope you can help point me in the right direction.

    Thanks a lot in advance. Very appreciated.


    Stopher, Denmark

  79. Juliano Angeliano.

    Hey guys…Can you just tell me what ( laptop ) system I can just walk into. Best Buy and purchase that will run Davinci Resolve 12.5 smoothly..I just wanna practice on the go ..been studying for awhile and I would like to get started color grading….thanks…

    • Easiest guaranteed laptop is a Macbook Pro Retina, with the 2GB GPU. I’ve been researching the Dell XPS 15 though, it looks like it should be solid. Main thing are to look for these points:

      1. GPU memory above 2GB (2GB is a minimum)
      2. System RAM 16GB or higher
      3. Internal SSD or PCIe flash storage
      4. High res display is preferable, 1920 x 1080 is not cutting it anymore to get any real work done. Look for a 3K or 4K display.
      5. USB 3 ports, and look for something with Thunderbolt 2 or 3 ports if possible.

      Generally speaking, anything cheap is not going to work.

      Hope that helps.


  80. hi I recently installed resolve 10 4 my son but its giving me the quicktime and cuda errors…
    hs working with a 4gb ddr3 ram, i3 processor and intel hd graphics…..r the specs good enough for the program?

    • Hi Xzavier, unfortunately those specs are way under the minimum requirements. There’s not a chance it’s going to be a useable solution. Sorry.

  81. hey there, i need to buy a new laptop. old laptop is going slow and i got premiere pro student license wich ended. so i decided to go to resolve and want to buy a new laptop.
    I will use only MOV and XAVC fyles and will not edit 4k movies, only HD.

    2 interesting laptops.

    Asus Zenbook UX501VW-FJ024T-BE Azerty 4K(uhd)
    Intel Core i7
    16 GB
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
    Totale opslagcapaciteit
    512 GB ssd

    Asus ROG GL552VW-CN357T-BE Azerty

    15,6 inch
    Intel Core i7
    24 GB
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
    Totale opslagcapaciteit
    1.256 GB 256gb ssd included.

    so my guess, choose between bigger harddisc on zenbook, or more working memory on ROG.

    do i make a good choice? any other options?

    • Hi Peter, both of those look good to me, the GTX 960M has at least 2GB GPU memory right? If one offers you more GPU RAM, that would be the deciding factor for me more than HDD space. I’ve been looking at the Dell XPS 15 recently too. Check it out as an option.

  82. Hi Rich

    Love your Blog
    I have a question for you we building a new system going from mac to pc.
    Not sure im on the right track
    Sys 1
    Zalman R3MAX NANOFLUIDs Liquid Cooler
    ASUS X99-DELUXE USB 3.1 Intel LGA 2011-3 ATX Motherboard

    Corsair 16GB (4 x8GB) CMK16GX4M2B3000C15 DDR4 3000MHz Vengeance LPX Black
    Aerocool XPredator 1000W 80+ Gold Semi-Modular Power Supply
    3x Leadtek NVIDIA Quadro M4000 8GB Video Card
    Intel Core i7 6800K Six Core LGA 2011-3 3.4GHz Unlocked CPU Processor
    Sys 2
    2xCorsair H80i Hydro CW-9060008-WW High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
    2xIntel Xeon S2011 E5-2620v2 2.1GHz Hex Core CPU
    ASUS S2011 Z9PE-D16 Dual Xeon Server Motherboard
    Corsair Full ATX Obsidian 750D CC-9011035-WW Case Black with Window (No PSU)
    1050 Watt Cougar GX1050 80+ Gold Modular Power Supply
    3xLeadtek Quadro M4000 8GB PCIe Video Card PN
    8x 8GB DDR4 Kingston HX424C15FBK2/8 (2x4G) 2400MHz HyperX FURY Black RAM

    We shooting Blackmagic 4k Procuction and Ursa mini 4.6K
    Thanks For your Time



    • Hi Laszlo, Those two systems are going to have no problems. You’re definitely on the right track. Just make sure your storage is fast, I’d build an 8-disk (SSD or spinning disk) RAID 5 internally if the case allows it, and add a dedicated RAID controller card. Of course that won’t be shared storage between the two systems. If you need a shared storage solution, it gets a bit more complicated.

  83. Hi
    I’m used to color correction of the Monitor LG 31MU97
    How is it ensured?

  84. Thanks for all this, Rich!
    … i want a computer that can handle HD for now but 2k and 4k later … upgradable later :
    Asus M51AD-B08 Essentio
    Intel Core i7-4790S 3.2GHz
    12GB RAM,
    NVIDIA GTX750 1GB,
    2TB HDD,
    Windows 8.1

    Thank you so much !!!

  85. Not sure if I am doing something wrong. Just tried Resolve 12.5. My specs: i5-4670 3.4 Ghz, Geforce GTX770 2GB, Win 10, 16 GB RAM

    HD Resolution, 2 Clips, set the Playback Proxy Mode to quarter resolution. Added a simple cross dissolve transition between those two clips: It’s laggy in preview. It’s the transition effect. Removing it and everything is fine. I have to turn on Smart Render Caching to preview the cross dissolve effect without lags/choppiness.

    Somehow I can’t believe that my system can’t handle such simple rendering stuff in Resolve.

    Any idea or tips?

    • Interesting… you’re on the lower edge I would say in term of system performance, was it the same in earlier versions of Resolve or only after updating? What type of media?

      • Found the solution/problem: I got two internal hard drives: On SSD and one traditional hard drive. I used the traditional one and it is really kind of slow. That was it. The internal is almost 5 times faster. Put the files in there and started a test-project: Everything is 100% smooth now. 🙂

        • I meant ‘SSD’ not ‘internal’. Internal are both 🙂

          • Got ya! Yes, a normal spinning hard drive is useless, the read speed is far too low. SSD or PCIe Flash storage is your friend! You can even RAID multiple SSD’s together for even higher bandwidth.

  86. Hello and thanks for informative article! The DR Configuration Guide states that Win 8.1 Pro or Win 10 Pro is required. I wonder if Win 10 Home Edition would be OK too? Because Home and Pro Editions are basically the same, except some corporate features (remote desktop, etc.).

    • Hi Alexsey, I wish I could help with this one, but I’ve not had much experience with running Resolve on Win 10 as I’m mostly on OSX. I guess I’d go by the manual, but it might be worth trying on Win 10 Home Edition.

  87. Thank you for this wonderfully informative article! I’m building my system for Resolve 12.5 and I was wondering if both GPUs needed to be the same specs.

    • Hi Elizabeth, usually in a dual GPU system one GPU is for running the normal GUI desktop and the other is for intensive processing tasks. In this case the desktop GUI GPU can be relatively low spec, it only has to run your desktop monitors. The second GPU that you install for the real work, that’s the one that is most important to have as high performance as you can afford. They don’t need to be the same.

  88. hello Rich

    I come to you so you can give me advice, I am currently trying to build a system for da vinci resolve and would like to know which of these 2 system and the best to go with resolve:

    system 1:

    intel core i7 4790 K 4.00 GHz (4 cores and 4 threads)
    sli gtx 970 2x 4GB DDR5
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB (system)
    2x 240 ssd samsung evo (raid) (cache and media)
    1600 mhz ram ddr3 32gb
    Z97 motherboard, gaming 5
    windows 10 pro

    system 2:

    intel core i7 3.3 Ghz K 5820 (6 cores and 6 threads)
    nvidia gtx 980 ti 6GB DDR5
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB (system)
    2x 240 ssd samsung evo (raid) (cache and media)
    ram DDR4 2300 MHz 32 GB
    S X99 motherboard, gaming 7
    windows 10 pro

    3 system:

    intel core i7 3.5 Ghz K 5930 (6 cores and 6 threads)
    nvidia gtx 980 ti 6GB DDR5
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB (system)
    2x 240 ssd samsung evo (raid) (cache and media)
    ram DDR4 2300 MHz 32 GB
    S X99 motherboard, gaming 7
    windows 10 pro

    Thank you very much for your advice and help.

    • Hmm… I’d go system 2 or 3, but that’s just my opinion. If I were you I’d also post this on the DaVinci Resolve User Group on facebook and get some more opinions also. The question basically comes down to the dual (SLI) gtx 970 or single gtx 980ti and I haven’t tested that, so I’m hesitant to advise you in case I end up being wrong. Some of the guys on the user group may have more experience with these cards specifically.

  89. Hey, awesome post! I have a Late 2013 27″ iMac that I’m looking at running a little bit of DaVinci Resolve on.
    Nothing higher than 1080p. No 2k or 4k.

    Here are my computer specs:

    OSX El Capitan
    Processor: 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor.
    Memory: 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1024 MB

    Is this powerful enough?

    I did get the demo, and I graded a couple short clips. But when I hit Delivery to export, my screen went black and my computer restarted.

    Thanks, Owen.

    • Hi Owen,

      Thanks for the comment. To be honest, you’re probably going to struggle with Resolve on your iMac. Your processor, RAM and GPU are all borderline, not to mention your hard drive bandwidth. You will quickly get out of video memory errors. Just to note, there is no demo version. There is only Resolve and Resolve Studio, both are full versions, it’s just Resolve (previously Resolve Lite) is free. If you’re going to give it a try, I would advise running Resolve with no other apps open, maybe after a fresh restart. Not sure why it wouldn’t export from the delivery page. Is your CUDA driver totally up to date?

  90. Hi Rich,

    I’m considering getting an iMac to do grading for short clips and films. In my price range is this

    Computer Type – iMac with Retina 4K

    Display Size (Inches) – 21.5

    Resolution (Pixels) – 4096 x 2304

    Screen Resolution – Retina Display

    Display Type – Retina display with IPS

    Processor Type – Intel Core i5

    Processor Clock Speed (GHz) – 3.1

    Processor Max. Clock Speed (GHz) – 3.6

    RAM (GB) – 8.0

    HDD Storage – 1TB

    Total Storage – 1TB

    Graphics Processor – Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200

    Graphics Memory – 1GB

    USB 3.0 Ports – 4

    Thunderbolt 2.0 Ports – 2

    Card Reader – SDXC

    Webcam – True

    Bluetooth – v4.0

    Mouse and Keyboard – Wireless Mouse & Keyboard

    Wi-Fi – 802.11 ac

    Operating System – OS X El Capitan



    • Hi Sam,

      It’s only really the 27″ i7 model that has what it takes to run Resolve, with at least 16GB RAM and preferably the additional 4GB Radeon R9 M395X but I understand that’s the top of the line 27″ and it isn’t cheap. You might be able to run the software on the spec you’re looking it but you will quickly experience GPU out of memory errors and generally performance will not be what it should be. If you are working with HD only non-RAW, such as Prores media, you may be okay for very basic grading with a few nodes and no noise reduction.

      If you can compromise and invest in at least the entry level 27″ model with the 2GB Radeon R9 M380, you’ll be in a much better position.

      • Thanks Rich,

        Would it matter the the entry level 27″ cannot be upgraded to i7, or is it more the graphics that is important?

        • Hi Sam, yes in this case, between these two choices, the higher spec GPU in the entry-level 27″ outweighs any disadvantages of the i5 CPU. Have you considered building a Win 10 machine? I bet you’d get a higher performance system for the same money. I’m a Mac guy too, but I’m just thinking of the bigger picture. Problem then is ProRes becomes an issue of course.

  91. This is one of the more informative articles that I’ve read. I’m looking to help a friend build a system and I’ve seen real world cases of MacPros having serious render hits when dealing with 4k and 6k material, leaving many projects dead in the water. The solution was switching over to a rental Linux. My colleague cannot afford that and can’t afford to be in a render nightmare scenario. I’m thinking of suggesting Windows. I’ve heard the hits are due to Apple driver issues. Any insight on this?

    • Hi, yes you’re 100% right, even the dual D700 Mac Pro’s have had GPU overheating issues. It’s a known problem, although some lucky people seem to be having no problems. Linux is always going to be the basis for the most high performance Resolve installations, but it is more complex to set up. The best thing by far if you are worried about the Mac Pro problems is to run on a well spec’d Windows machine. It’s cheaper to build and will most likely outperform the Mac Pro in any case depending on your GPU configuration.

  92. Hi Rich,

    I’ve been Googling around trying to find out what HDD config would work best with Davinci Resolve 12 Lite editing HD 1080p video. I’ve been trying to edit on a Macbook Pro and every time I add an effect or zoom in on a clip, the playback is lagging. So I’m looking to build a Windows 10 Pro PC with the following spec:

    CPU: AMD x8 FX-8350
    MB: Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming
    RAM: 1 x 16GB Kit Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3-2400
    Medium Tower Case with 500W ATX PSU

    For the HDD’s I’m considering 4 SSD Intel 535 240GB Drives in the following config.

    C: For OS and Programs
    D: For Windows Page File and Davinci Scratch Disk
    E: RAW Media to Read From
    F: Exported / Rendered Media to Write To

    And I may add a standard 4TB Drive for storage and backups from the SSD Drives.

    What I’m wondering is, is this the best way to go using 4 SSD Drives or am I better off doing something different?

    • Hi Jon,

      Technically, a single SSD for media (drive E in your suggested config) is probably fine and should be fast enough even for 4K RAW media at normal frame rates. Some people would rather configure two of the SSD’s together for the extra bandwidth. However I believe the lagging you were experiencing before on the Macbook Pro was down to GPU limitations not HDD.

  93. I’m looking at getting a HP Z840 with dual Xeon E5 2683v3 14 core 2.0 Ghz processors with 128gb RAM and a Titan X 12gb GPU. I’m worried that the slower clock speed may be a problem. My current system is a 2010 Mac Pro dual 6 core 2.96 ghz with 1 GTX 570 and 1 GTX 470. How much difference should I expect between these 2 systems? I mostly work with Alexa Prores4444 2k with the occasional Red Dragon 6k or Sony f65 4K job. I mostly render to Avid DNxHD MFX media.

    • Hi Jack,

      Nice! I wouldn’t worry too much about the CPU clock speed. Resolve is going to hit your GPU hardest anyway. The main thing your CPU will be used for (apart from running the software) is encoding/decoding, and I don’t think you’ll have any problem with R3D or Sony RAW or Prores4444 in this case. The HP Z840’s are fantastic machines. You’ll be good to go I think.

  94. I have a question about the GPUs. Can I use an 8GB gaming GPU or do I need a workstation GPU (e.g. an AMD R9 390x vs a Firepro)? I’m thinking of getting a 2k or 4k camera and possibly shooting in RAW but I’ll probably start out in PRORES. So let’s say I had an R9 390x GPU (and possibly an R7 GPU with it if I have enough slots. I think it’s 2GB), an A10 CPU, 32 GB ram and some RAID HHDs. Would that work fine or do I need a workstation GPU?

    • Good question. I don’t know or have experience with all possible GPU’s that work. The main thing is GPU memory, I’d aim for 4GB GPU RAM. The Nvidia GTX cards are popular.

  95. Hi Rich

    Below are the specs of the Alien 17r3 that I’m purchasing. Is it adequately equipped to run Davinci Resolve 12 studio and in particular edit 4k footage?

    1 555-BCRW Killer Wireless 1535 Driver
    1 817-BBBB No FGA
    1 389-BHPD Regulatory Label
    1 658-BCSC Microsoft Office 30 Day Trial
    1 817-BBBP None Included
    1 801-2185 Dell Limited Hardware Warranty Initial Year
    1 801-2232 Onsite/In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis, 1 Year
    1 389-BHGE Intel Core i7 Processor Label
    1 CD-ID11806
    1 490-BCLG NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5
    1 338-BHVM Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.5GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
    1 CID11806
    1 619-AHCR Windows 10 Pro (64bit) English
    1 391-BCMX 17.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Panel Anti-Glare 300-nits Display
    1 370-ACLR 16GB Dual Channel DDR4 2133MHz (8GBx2)
    1 400-AKWC 128GB M.2 SATA 6Gb/s SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)
    1 750-AAKE Xbox 360 Wireless Controller / Black
    1 555-BCRM Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
    1 451-BBMW 8 Cell 92W Hour Battery
    1 340-ACQQ No Option Included
    1 580-ACWN English Keyboard
    1 583-BCQG Alienware 6 programmable Macro module keys
    1 450-AAGU Power Supply : Alienware 180W AC Adapter
    1 450-AAUO US Power Cord
    2 332-1530 Dell.com Order
    1 340-AGUD Safety/Environment and Regulatory Guide (English/French)
    1 658-BCUO Additional Software
    1 525-0016 Dropbox, Digital Delivery, 20GB for 1 year Promotion
    1 340-AAPP Directship Info Mod
    1 340-ATTO Alienware 17 R2 Shipping box
    1 332-1286 US Order
    1 631-AATV Intel Driver
    1 340-ASNH Placemat (English,French,BRPT,Spanish)


    Ron Lott

    • Hi Ron, yeah, you’ll be good to go with that spec. Looks good. The first bottleneck you may run into is the speed of your storage. If there’s an option to replace the 1TB 7200 RPM HDD with a flash or SSD option, you’ll be in a better position to sustain the high data rates you’d need for 4K. It depends of course on what format media you’ll work with most as well. You could look at using an external RAID on USB 3. I don’t know this machine so I’m assuming you don’t have Thunderbolt 2. The 1920 x 1080 resolution display might bother you, Resolve likes more screen real estate than that.

      These are a couple of the reasons the Retina Macbook Pro’s are so popular for Resolve, the internal flash storage is ridiculously fast, and the Retina displays are great with Resolve (although even 2880 x 1800 can start to feel cramped). Your GPU is better however.

      I’d just say, plan for some faster attached storage for your media, like an external USB 3 SSD, or a portable RAID, and you should be good to go.

  96. this is awesome, ok I have a mac book pro osx Yosemite version 10.10.3 2.5 GHZ inttel core I5 8gb memory 1600 MHz DDR3 GFX intel HD graphics 4000 1024MB, now I can run resolve fine, but can i get a used Imac which has 16gb ram and a ssd drive? and is a 2011

    • I am sure you’re probably getting GPU out of memory errors with only 1GB GPU memory? Really GPU memory is your 1st most important consideration, and storage speed is your 2nd most important thing to look at. I’ve run Resolve just fine on a iMac with Intel Iris Pro integrated GPU with 1.5GB shared memory (shared with the main system memory). I wasn’t pushing it hard though. What GPU does the iMac have?

  97. Hi Rich,

    I am looking for basic editing & may be adding some effects to my videos. Nothing fancy or heavy, as far as the edits go. Be editing only 1080 videos, nothing more than that.

    My system config:

    Upgraded to Win 10 Pro
    CPU – i7 870 @ 2.93Ghz
    RAM – 8GB (upgradable to 16)
    GPU – ATI Radeon HD 4550 (I can upgrade to NVIDIA GeForce GT 330)
    Storage – HDD @ 7200 RPM

    Am I good to go after the GPU upgrade or do I need to think about more?



    • Hi Abhinav, you’ll definitely need a heavier duty GPU, something with at least 2GB memory. The GeForce GT330 is a pretty old card. I’d look at the GeForce GTX line. I’d also highly recommend at least 16GB system RAM.

  98. Is it aslo for windows 32-bit?

  99. Thanks for the great post it helped clarify things a lot.
    I’m new to DaVinci and am thinking at switching from Adobe Premier. My workplace provides laptops as we are in a very secure environment and there is very little to choose from.
    At this stage the system they are looking to provide is:
    CPU: Intel Core i5-4310m
    GPU: NvidiaQuadro K2100Mw/2GB GDDR5

    My thought are that this is not powerful enough to run DaVinci.

    What do you think?


    • Hi Shane,

      I think you should be fine for HD work, at least judging by those specs. Unless there is some other reason I am not aware of, this machine will definitely be able to run Resolve, and for a lot of normal, run of the mill work, especially in HD, should be okay. It’s only if you want to push it to 4K material, and add a lot of complex operations, especially involving noise reduction, that you will run out of GPU memory. On a Windows laptop, one concern is display resolution. You’ll want at least 1920 x 1080 to fit the Resolve GUI on screen, preferably more, and I know PC laptop manufacturers often don’t offer the high res retina type displays, except in more specialised high-end models. An external desktop monitor could take care of this though. Good luck! 🙂

  100. Great, informative article once again Rich.

    I’m primarily going to work with the 2.5k BMCC, is the 2gb GPU enough for me to work RAW files on Resolve without problems?

    • Hi Christian, 2GB should be enough for 2.5K CinemaDNG RAW files from the BMCC, your main thing will be fast enough storage for the media files. Internal or external SSD or desktop RAID over Thunderbolt or USB3 should be fine. Still, real-time playback may an issue, but Resolve gives you various ways of generating optimized media, proxies and using render cache which can all help with real-time playback when you need it.

      • Thank you for the prompt answer Rich. I purchased the imac 27 retina with Final Cut X in mind but working with the new NLE Resolve 12 on a previous project with my team convinced me to change to Resolve indefinitely.

        I wish I had considered this before committing to the 2gb GPU but feel much better after your article/answer since our production team works primarily in 2k files max. I will definitely take your advice about the external SSD storage with the imac.

        Always appreciative of the knowledge you spread on the site.