Thread: Building an editing computer for Resolve 16

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  1. #1 Building an editing computer for Resolve 16 
    Hello Everyone,

    I have been using a 2014 macpro “trashcan” and was waiting to see what apple would come forward with as its successor but sadly the “cheese grater” spec'd the way I would like it is out of my price range (frankly just way overpriced). I have decided to build my own computer to edit and color in Resolve 16. I will be mainly editing and coloring BRAW 4.6k feature length work. I know there are a ton of fantastic builds out there and have been looking around but I was wondering if anyone on the forum has built a machine that really excels? I am fine working on either a PC or Hackentosh. Please if anyone has any experience it would be great to hear what you have done?

    Thanks,

    GSK
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  2. #2  
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    As you already know, there are a lot of fantastic builds to follow out there. IMO, BMD has done a ton of improvements in performance on Resolve, it has lessen the burden of requiring a hefty and powerful computer to run it - a decently configured system with good mainstream i7 6-core CPU, a decent graphics card, at east 32Gb RAM, fast drives (M.2, SSD) for around $2K will be a good workstation for it. Of course, you can throw more to it and spec it such that it's a dream built. My point is that you will find Resolve 15 and 16 to be very efficient even on a starter gaming PC. BRAW even just made it lighter to edit and grade, and have faster playback. Keep in mind that you can have the fastest CPU and Graphics card but if your cache drives are slow, that will be your weakest link. For my cache drive, I use 2 x 1TB M.2 in Raid 0 set-up and my data files are stored on 20TB RAID 10. I also have an external backup storage system - just using HDD will be fine. 32Gb RAM and 8Gb VRAM should be your minimum.
    Last edited by EYu; 07-21-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Frank Glencairn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gskguston View Post
    I have decided to build my own computer to edit and color in Resolve 16. I will be mainly editing and coloring BRAW 4.6k feature length work.
    Welcome to the dark side :-)

    In a nut shell:

    If you can, wait for the new Threadrippers coming out soon - you not gonna get more bang for the buck.
    Don't buy one with the highest core count, but with the highest clock speed - 16 cores will probably the sweet spot.
    For GPU, keep it Nvidia and get the best card your budget allows.
    64 gig of RAM should be enough.

    One SSD for the OS/programs, one SSD for cache, one RAID 0 for material to cut from, one fast drive to render to.
    One drive for other files.

    Everything else actually doesn't mater that much.
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    as EYu mentioned, for features storage is likely an issue, esp if you are working on mutiple films concurrently

    the machine is a small part of the equation, hero software, plugin's, support software, cloud delivery services, UPS, power conditioner, monitor + callibration system, router, external scopes, QC /error logging, backup systems, control surfaces, desk, chairs, sound proofing, bias lighting, client couch, room lighting, biz overhead, biz taxes, accounting, tech support.. all add up over a three year ROI cycle to be vastly more costly than a machine

    i don't buy more than what is needed to get to the end game, and i will always go for reliability first

    i've shipped a feature every 21 days this year, plus some comericals, music video's and TV shows.... using an HP / dual 12c / 128g / 2x1080Ti / 64Tb raid, my return on that investment has been very good and i've never missed a deadline, or even close to missing one, and there's zero reason to get anything newer as that machine runs 4k all day long, stays cool and rock solid absolutly stable.....

    and make double, triple sure your bakup systems are rock soild and tested frequently to validate the saves

    as mentioned above i have mutiple projects alive at the same time, today i have five feature length films hogging space on my array... all are either ArriRAW or RED principal camera, not a frame from a BMD camera currently, there's no getting around needing allot of space... s big pool of raided spinning drives is the only realistic answer there

    oh, and i have mirrored SSD's for boot disks on all four of my machines... that's one more fail point to consider, and find an answer for that works with your delivery schedules and risk assesment...

    i sweep all metadata every night and upload to an offsite server
    Last edited by dermot shane; 07-20-2019 at 01:58 AM.
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  5. #5  
    Thanks for the great feedback. It is great to hear about everyone’s set up and how it is running. I can see a few aspects of the build that seem to be quite important throughout everyone’s experience. I wanted to list them so that the thread could be more coherent and complete possibly for others as well who are considering this.

    1. External hard drive arrays are important for both storing material and backing up. This can be achieved by a lot of raided spinning drives. Currently I have been using a lot of 20tb G-RAID thunderbolt drives but I am sure there are better options out there? I had been using these for backup and editing but they became too slow and I purchased a Blackmagic Multi Dock with thunderbolt that I turned into a RAID 0 Array with 4 2TB SSD’s. This made everything run very fast and I would probably use this in my new system.

    2. Internal hard drives should be M.2 SSD set to RAID 0 and should be used for cache files and possibly render/cut from.

    3. Processor is important but Davinci Reslove has optimised its performance so that it does not need a massive CPU to run well. Obviously the faster the better and more cores the better but maybe 16 cores is the sweet spot. The threadrippers seem to be a good option and I can wait until the new versions arrive.

    4. GPU is very important and I am wondering if anyone has noticed a large difference between GPU’s with 8gb VRAM and 16gb VRAM? Is there a specific GPU that seems to work best with Resolve? What have been your experiences? Frank mentioned NVIDIA and I am wondering if there is a specific reason for this?

    5. As Dermont mentioned the computer is really only a small part of the entire workflow ecosystem “hero software, plugin's, support software, cloud delivery services, UPS, power conditioner, monitor + callibration system, router, external scopes, QC /error logging, backup systems, control surfaces, desk, chairs, sound proofing, bias lighting, client couch, room lighting, biz overhead, biz taxes, accounting, tech support”. I completely agree with this. I have struggled to afford a higher end reference monitor such as a flanders scientific and justify its ROI. I currently have a pretty decent BenQ and when I need more accuracy I rent a higher end monitor. I would love to also get a higher end 4k projector at some point as well. Much of this comes down to the scale of my work not generating enough money to make the leap. I hope over the next few years to take this leap but at the moment I have to piece things together with my current income/budget.

    When I build the computer I will post the build on this forum for others to see in the hope that it could be useful. I will also try to post certain metrics and give an overview of my user experience. Again I really appreciate everyone’s help and please if others have more let me know.

    All the best,

    Gus
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    i give a shout out for QNAP NAS, it has 9 slots, 5x3.5 for spinning disks, 4x2.5 for SSD, it uses the SSD for cache and end game is with 5x10 Tb + 4 x512gig SSD you end up with 40Tb raid5, and one machine @ 2000MBs or two machines @ 1000MBs all day long on it's built in 10GBe connections, lets you share media and projects cleanly / simply, cost under 4k Cdn, so around 3k USD if you find deals on the drives

    i have two machines, both useable in cleint attanded sessions, i leap frog between them, using one for conform / export / media manage / render DCP's to the NAS, while i'm gradeing on the other machine, gives me a backup and lets me get mutiple things done at once, i'd never have gotten 10 films out the door in the last six months without two machines underneath me, and the NAS tieing them together

    on the GPU thang, the only time i've had issues with 11g VRAM is when i deliver a roundtrip at cam orig raster, and the cam orig is Helium8k... otherwise 11g is fine, and more is not better on this file, more is nothing more than a waste of resources

    i had 8g GPU in machines, it really limits you to UHD/4k outputs at most, and at that it's borderline.... i'd go with 11/12g somewhere in that range

    one more thought on the GPu thing is i use nVidia due to also leaning on a number of OFX that use either CUDA or Metal, but not openCL, so that makes AMD gpu's useless.

    i'm useing 2x 1080Ti's in each machine currently, and will wait to see what other options are announced on the "super" line, if there's a upgraded 2080Ti super, that likely what i will invest in, i'm seeing an 18 month ROI on GPU's at best, so i'm allowing about $40/month depreacation for each of four GPU's, or putting aside $160/month to buy new GPU's in 2021....
    Last edited by dermot shane; 07-21-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dermot shane View Post
    i'm useing 2x 1080Ti's in each machine currently.
    Have you done any testing comparing one GPU to two? I'm really curious to know which areas benefit from it and which do not. It's difficult to find solid information on this.

    Thanks.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Frank Glencairn's Avatar
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    Not worth it - get the best single card you can afford, and you are golden.

    https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/ar...-Xeon-SP-1121/
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by gskguston View Post

    2. Internal hard drives should be M.2 SSD set to RAID 0 and should be used for cache files and possibly render/cut from.
    The problem with that is, when you really need high speed, because of a high data rate (EXR/uncompressed/DNG etc) you usually also need a ton of drive space - so a spinning drive RAID is way cheaper, if you work with small compressed files, that fit on M.2 drives, you don't need the high data rate of two M.2 in RAID 0.

    Quote Originally Posted by gskguston View Post

    4. GPU is very important and I am wondering if anyone has noticed a large difference between GPU’s with 8gb VRAM and 16gb VRAM? Is there a specific GPU that seems to work best with Resolve? What have been your experiences? Frank mentioned NVIDIA and I am wondering if there is a specific reason for this?
    The more V-RAM, the merryer, but even 8 Gig goes a long way.

    I stick with Nvidia, cause for some effects and functions Resolve uses the Tensor cores (AI), which are not found on AMD cards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph B View Post
    Have you done any testing comparing one GPU to two? I'm really curious to know which areas benefit from it and which do not. It's difficult to find solid information on this.

    Thanks.
    i agree with Frank on this subject, get the best single GPU you can, and then add a second matching GPU if there's a real need, and you can see a return on your investment

    for me the 11g x080ti is the "best", any more vram is a complete waste of power and cash, more is not merrier, more is wasteful, and on my system (big/fast disks, 128g ram, 2 x 12c CPU's, 1200w power) a single GPU was a the bottleneck, now i see everything running around 40-50% in taskmanager typicaly, and that's a comfortable place to sit, when i need extra power i have it on tap - mainly for rendering/exporting

    the utlity of a second GPU is project/workflow based, how often you need to call upon temporal effects, AI enhanced effects, and OFX.... then a second GPU shines, otherwise, really not worth it
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