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DaVinci Resolve Studio - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 Performance

Written on September 24, 2020 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 performance in DaVinci Resolve Studio

Overall, the new RTX 30-series cards do extremely well in DaVinci Resolve Studio. For the tasks that rely heavily on the GPU (noise reduction or using OpenFX primarily), the RTX 3080 is more than 60% faster than an RTX 2080 SUPER, while the RTX 3090 is 44% faster than a Titan RTX and within a few percent of two RTX 2080 Ti GPUs. Considering that a single RTX 3090 24GB has significantly more VRAM than 2x 2080 Ti 11Gb cards, and costs $1,000 less, that is an extremely impressive result from the 3090.

Introduction

DaVinci Resolve is known in the industry as having excellent GPU-acceleration support - greatly benefiting from a powerful (or multiple powerful) video cards. This makes it very interesting in regards to NVIDIA's recently announced GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs since NVIDIA has been pushing their GeForce line of cards more and more into the professional content creation space with their "Studio" program. Gaming may still be front and center during these launches, but we have high expectations for what these new GPUs will be able to achieve in a professional application like DaVinci Resolve.

DaVinci Resolve Studio GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIA's page for the new 30 series cards. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM CUDA Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 2070S 8GB 2,560 1.77 GHz 215W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 2080 Ti 11GB 4,352 1.55 GHz 250W $1,199
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
Titan RTX 24GB 4,608 1.77 GHz 280W $2,499
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, it is a great sign that NVIDIA has doubled the number of CUDA cores compared to the comparable RTX 20 series cards with only a small drop in the boost clock. At the same time, the RTX 3080 and 3090 are also $500-1000 less expensive than the previous generation depending on which models you are comparing them to.

While it is a bit odd that the RTX 3080 has less VRAM than the 2080 Ti, all three of these new cards should all be capable of working with 4K timelines in DaVinci Resolve. If you want to work with 8K and above media, however, only the 3090 (with 24GB of VRAM respectively) would meet our current recommendation. Using a GPU with less than 20GB of VRAM when using 8K and larger media is likely to result in constant "out of GPU memory" errors that are not conducive to a smooth workflow.

With the launch of the RTX 3090, we can update our previous DaVinci Resolve Studio - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Performance article with results for the 3090, but since the RTX 3070 is not launching until sometime in October, we cannot include it at this time. However, we are very interested in how the RTX 3070 will perform, and when we are able to test that card, we will post another follow-up article with the results.

We also have a separate article focusing on multi-GPU performance in Resolve with these new cards. It is important to note that all the currently available GPU models are not a good choice for multi-GPU configurations, so while the performance in that article should be accurate, we would highly recommend waiting for blower-style cards to be released before getting a system with multiple RTX 30-series GPUs.

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Test Setup

Listed below is the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of September 15th, 2020

To test each GPU, we will be using the fastest platform currently available for DaVinci Resolve- most notably the AMD Threadripper 3970X. Since Resolve utilizes the CPU so heavily, this should minimize the impact of the processor and allow each GPU to perform at their fullest potential.

For the testing itself, we will be using an upcoming version of our PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve benchmark that is not yet available to the public. This new version is very close to being available for download, but since the tests are much better than the version that you can currently download, we opted to go ahead and use it for this comparison.

We will be using the "Extended" preset that includes both 4K, 8K media as well as specific effects and Fusion tests. Using 8K media with most of the cards we are testing is actually not a good idea due to the "out of GPU memory" errors you would likely encounter, but our benchmark does not load the Resolve UI which means that the VRAM load is much lower; allowing GPUs with just 8GB of VRAM to successfully complete the 8K tests.

Raw Benchmark Results

While we are going to go through our analysis of the testing in the next section, we always like to provide the raw results for those that want to dig into the details. If there is a specific codec or export setting you tend to use in your workflow, examining the raw results for that task is going to be much more applicable than our more general analysis.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 performance in DaVinci Resolve Studio

Overall DaVinci Resolve Studio Performance Analysis

While many reviewers like to solely look at things like temporal noise reduction (often to an unrealistic degree) or OpenFX that heavily utilize the GPU, we first want to start off by looking at the overall performance we saw from our DaVinci Resolve benchmark with each GPU in order to show what most users would likely experience in their day-to-day work.

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Looking at the Overall Extended Score, the new RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 do very well, with the 3080 beating the 2080 SUPER by about 20% and the 3090 beating the 2080 Ti by about beating the Titan RTX by roughly 13%. Both of these cards even manage to trade blows with a dual RTX 2080 Ti setup, only losing by a few percent.

If you are currently using a lower-end RTX card, an AMD Radeon GPU, or an older GTX 1080 Ti, the performance gains are significant. Depending on the exact card, you are looking at anywhere from a 20 to 50% increase in performance with the new RTX 3080 and 3090.

However, as you have probably noticed, there isn't much of a difference between the RTX 3080 10GB and the more expensive RTX 3090 24GB. The extra VRAM is certainly critical for 8K workflows, and even handy for more complex 4K timelines, but given the specs, you might expect more from the RTX 3090.

The issue here is that the Overall Extended Score is looking at the performance in all of our tests - including the Fusion portion which is almost entirely CPU limited. To get a better idea of the maximum performance difference between these cards, we should hone in on the "GPU Effects" portion of our benchmark which looks at tasks like TNR and various GPU-accelerated OpenFX.

GPU Score Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB DaVinci Resolve Studio GPU Effects benchmark performance

The GPU effects portion of our benchmarks looks at the performance of individual GPU-accelerated effects such as temporal noise reduction, film grain, lens blur, optical flow, face refinement, and more. In our testing, these effects easily show the largest benefit from having a powerful GPU, which means that they should give us the best look at the maximum performance gain you may encounter from each of the GPUs we are testing.

In this test, the new RTX 30-series cards put up some very impressive numbers. The RTX 3080 is terrific for its cost, beating the similarly priced RTX 2080 SUPER by a whopping 62%. Compared to the more expensive RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX, the RTX 3080 also handily beats those cards by around 30%. Dual RTX 2080 Ti is still faster than a single RTX 3080, but even that configuration is only ~15% faster.

The RTX 3090 is even more impressive, beating the RTX 3080 by 13%, the Titan RTX by 44%, and the RTX 2080 Ti by 52%. In fact, it comes within 3% of the dual RTX 2080 Ti setup, which considering you get 24GB of VRAM compared to the 11GB on the 2080 Ti and a single RTX 3090 is significantly cheaper than two 2080 Ti's, is well worth the minor difference in performance.

Compared to the lower-end RTX 20-series and GTX 1080 Ti cards, the new RTX 30-series cards are like night and day. You are looking at around a doubling of performance once you get down to the RTX 2060 SUPER or GTX 1080 Ti. And if you are considering moving from an AMD Radeon GPU to the RTX 3080 or 3090, the performance gain is even more significant - up to 3x faster!

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 perform in DaVinci Resolve Studio?

Overall, the new RTX 30-series cards do extremely well in DaVinci Resolve Studio. For the tasks that rely heavily on the GPU (noise reduction or using OpenFX primarily), the RTX 3080 is more than 60% faster than an RTX 2080 SUPER, while the RTX 3090 is 44% faster than a Titan RTX and within a few percent of two RTX 2080 Ti GPUs. Considering that a single RTX 3090 24GB has significantly more VRAM than 2x 2080 Ti 11Gb cards, and costs $1,000 less, that is an extremely impressive result from the 3090.

No matter what GPU you are currently using, these new cards are going to be a significant upgrade. Being able to get this much power from a single card, especially at these price points, is a big deal for DaVinci Resolve Studio users. In addition, dropping the price of the RTX 3090 24GB to $1,499 (which is $1,000 less than the Titan RTX 24GB) makes it much more affordable for those working with 8K media.

Of course, this article is focused on a single-GPU setup, with the dual RTX 2080 Ti only included to show how close these new cards get to the performance of dual video cards from the previous generation. If you are considering a multi-GPU setup, however, we have you covered with our DaVinci Resolve Studio - RTX 3080 & 3090 Multi-GPU Performance Scaling article which looks at the performance with a triple RTX 3080 and dual RTX 3090 setup. We will spoil it a little bit, however: there are significant problems with these cards in multi-GPU configurations.

As always, keep in mind that these results are strictly for DaVinci Resolve Studio. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a range of applications perform with the new RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.

Computer System

DaVinci Resolve Workstations

Puget Systems offers a range of powerful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs technician talking with customer

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

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Tags: Hardware Acceleration, hardware encoding, NVIDIA, NVIDIA vs AMD, AMD, Vega 64, Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, DaVinci Resolve, RTX 3090
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