DaVinci Resolve 15 performance with iMac Pro (18 core) with AMD Vega Frontier Ed...
 
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DaVinci Resolve 15 performance with iMac Pro (18 core) with AMD Vega Frontier Edition  

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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I am new here, but I actually do all the video editing for a technology website called Kitguru.net. I own the business and have been working with my team who all tend to use Premier on PC. I use Final Cut on OSX as I prefer it for titles and speed of export for 4k. I recently bought an 18 core iMac Pro for the business and decided to see if I could speed up performance with the sonnet 650W eGPU enclosure and an AMD Fronter Edition Vega card which I had imported from America to the UK for $900 (quite cheap considering it has 16GB of HBM memory).

I haven't had much luck getting Final Cut X 10.4.1 to even recognise it (OS 10.13.4), never mind use it, but DaVinci Resolve 15 is able to see it under Manual METAL settings in the app and I found that exporting it was pinning the Frontier Edition card to 100%. The render times are faster than the internal Vega 64 card which is downclocked to accommodate the chassis and it lets the internal card handle other tasks (such as display over my two 5k monitors).

I have dipped in and out of Resolve over the years and know it fairly well, and I do think it has a lot to do to catch up to Final Cut X in many regards, but I am getting extraordinary speeds from Resolve 15 with the Frontier Edition card at 100% - around 5 to 7 minutes for some of 4k files which were taking 13-18 minutes or so to export on Final Cut (and 30 minutes+ on Premier, but I don't use Premier as its a waste of time for Apple hardware).

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Antoine
(@antoine)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

have you tried OpenCL other than Metal? as usually OpenCL runs faster at least in DR 14.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE [email protected] (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.14.6


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@zardonkg Thank you for sharing. I'm amazed at how underutilized the Vega 64 dGPU is. When no eGPU attached, does the dGPU get taxed more? What's the noise level when the dGPU handles the load by itself?

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2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RX 6900 XT @ 32Gbps-M.2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 2004 // my 1st RX 6900 XT build [build link]  


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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The vega frontier edition card is showing 100% utilisation at times, particularly when exporting. Its noticeably faster than the built in Vega Pro 64 inside the Imac Pro. Right now I think you can only set up one card as the main device in Resolve 15 but it does get some utilisation often between 10% and 50%. The Frontier Edition card is definitely helping some features especially the final export - the image above shows that its using the full core of the vega card at 100% but not much of the memory if any. I need to spend more time with this over the coming week to get a handle on what works and what doesnt work, but its rock solid with the new beta 15 resolve.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

The majority of software need optimization for eGPU in macOS. If you can get a hold of FCPX 10.3.4, you can compare the performance of your iMac Pro with vs without eGPU.

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2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RX 6900 XT @ 32Gbps-M.2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 2004 // my 1st RX 6900 XT build [build link]  


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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Antoine

have you tried OpenCL other than Metal? as usually OpenCL runs faster at least in DR 14.

Cant say ive noticed that much difference between metal and opengl when forcing resolve to bypass the vega 64 internal card in the imac pro and using the Frontier Edition PCIe card in the Sonnet 650W eGPU box. I am not really trying to give definitive answers just yet as I need more time with the setup. I used this forum a lot before buying these items so I felt I should at least make some effort in helping other people who are maybe unsure about buying this equipment to accelerate some tasks. Shame that Final Cut X isn't quite so easy to get working with an external GPU.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

The majority of software need optimization for eGPU in macOS. If you can get a hold of FCPX 10.3.4, you can compare the performance of your iMac Pro with vs without eGPU.

Yes, Ive read a lot about 10.3.4. Everything im using is on the latest updates so perhaps its not ideal. in this post I have included an image of load between Vega 64 onboard and Frontier Edition Vega (16GB) with Metal selected. It looks like Frontier Edition is doing the bulk of the export process and the inbuilt Vega 64 is handling the dual 5k monitor ( iMac pro screen and an LG 5k running on bus 2 separate to the eGPU on the other bus) and the playback of the 4k window (and all other processes) while thats happening. I know this kind of very expensive iMac Pro perhaps is not an ideal representation for people, but I am noticing some large speed improvements with the eGPU added. Hopefully support improves over the coming months. I need to start using Resolve more now I feel if I can integrate it into my Final Cut workflow for our 4k videos.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Incidentally I was getting an alert when I selected both GPU's to enable them both saying I would need to pay for the full version (£229 before VAT). I bought it from jigsaw in the Uk and the girl there was kind enough to send a scan over of the code. I downloaded studio from the blackmagic site (not the demo) and now both cards can be selected and they both seem to do exporting now. Its very fast at exporting now. a file that was taking 30 minutes+ in Premiere and around 13 in Final Cut to export seems to be less than 6 minutes!

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

DaVinci Resolve is one of the few apps I've found during this eGPU transition that works well "out of the box" with eGPU. Adobe's apps — in general — lag far behind Black Magic's in terms of GPU utilization. They have partnered with NVIDIA to make their RED previewing functionality marketing-worthy but in terms of the larger workflow and supporting lots of card types, Adobe is a laggard in the GPU space.

Haven't tried FCPX but the new version is worth a look by virtue of ProRes RAW format (bit of a misnomer but it's still going to be cool what it allows for). That said, Resolve 15, once it's officially out and more stable, is going to be my platform for choice for NLEs. Just too much powerful stuff built into it for an unbelievable price.

Bring peace to your computing life: stop trying to understand Apple.


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zardonKG
(@zardonkg)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Chippy McChipset

DaVinci Resolve is one of the few apps I've found during this eGPU transition that works well "out of the box" with eGPU. Adobe's apps — in general — lag far behind Black Magic's in terms of GPU utilization. They have partnered with NVIDIA to make their RED previewing functionality marketing-worthy but in terms of the larger workflow and supporting lots of card types, Adobe is a laggard in the GPU space.

Haven't tried FCPX but the new version is worth a look by virtue of ProRes RAW format (bit of a misnomer but it's still going to be cool what it allows for). That said, Resolve 15, once it's officially out and more stable, is going to be my platform for choice for NLEs. Just too much powerful stuff built into it for an unbelievable price.

Yeah, I would agree. Premiere is just too slow now to consider. BlackMagic Beta 15 seems pretty good all round, but the interface is still noticeably slower at times than Final Cut X. Exporting on Resolve 15 is remarkable however. Need to spend more time with Resolve, but its not too difficult to pick up - even if things like Green Screen etc seem massively convoluted compared to the easy way Final Cut X set all that up.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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