DaVinci Resolve’s optimized media is a media optimization feature that creates temporary proxies of selected source clips. These files are rendered at a chosen resolution in a codec selected for optimal real-time playback by the host system when it lacks the performance to to play the source media natively. The resolution and codec for these proxy files, as well as the optimized media destination folder is set in DaVinci Resolve project settings.
Resolve manages optimized media internally. The optimized media files cannot be used outside of Resolve.
Optimized media differs from render cache in that entire source clips are rendered, not just the cut clips in the timeline. Optimized media is rendered directly from the source media, before any Resolve operations, so it effectively replaces the source media for all Fusion and Color operations for as long as “Use Optimized Media” is selected in the playback menu.
Linking between camera source media and optimized media in the timeline is handled automatically by Resolve.