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PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve

Written on August 26, 2019 by Matt Bach
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At Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to make sure that our customers end up with a fast, reliable workstation that is perfectly tailored to their unique workflow. The main way we do this is by benchmarking a wide range of hardware in DaVinci Resolve (and numerous other software packages) that we then publish in our ongoing series of hardware articles.

However, while this ensures that we are selling the right hardware, it does not give our customers a great idea of how much faster a new workstation might be compared to their existing system. In addition, with the amount of hardware that is currently available, it is impossible for us to test everything on our own, so we want to provide tools for other hardware reviewers to perform real world benchmarking in professional applications like DaVinci Resolve

To address both of these issues, we are making our DaVinci Resolve benchmark available for download so that anyone can can perform the same testing we do in our hardware articles.

[Download PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve User Guide]

PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve

Free Edition

Download V0.92.3 BETA (4.4GB)

Suitable for personal use
Results upload to the PugetBench online database.

Commercial license for PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve

Commercial License

Purchase License

For commercial use.
Includes optional uploading of results, email support, automation, and logging.

Be sure to check out the full list of benchmarks we have available!

[Request Press License]

The main benchmark download includes all the files necessary to run the Standard preset. If you wish to run the Extended preset, you will need to download the supplementary Extended Assets from the link below and place it alongside the "Standard" assets in the "Assets" folder. Note that the Extended preset requires the Studio version of DaVinci Resolve and a GPU with at least 8GB of VRAM:

PugetBench for  DaVinci Resolve Studio Benchmark

System Requirements

DaVinci Resolve 16.2 or 17.0 (beta versions not officially supported)

  • 16GB of memory
  • 4GB of GPU VRAM (8GB for Extended tests)
  • 50GB free space on your drive
  • Compatible with both Windows 10 only (MacOS and Linux support is planned for the future)
  • Must be run from a local drive (no network attached storage)

Note that this benchmark is still in BETA. Plug-ins and customized preferences in particular may prevent the benchmark from running properly. If you run into any issues, we recommend resetting your preferences to default.

A Note on DaVinci Resolve Free vs Studio

Blackmagic has two versions available for DaVinci Resolve - a Free version and a paid “Studio” version. In the context of benchmarking, the primary differences between these two versions is the following:

Free Studio
Maximum GPUs 1 8
H.264/HEVC GPU Decoding No Yes
H.264/HEVC GPU Encoding No Yes
Maximum Timeline Resolution 4K 8K+
OpenFX Watermarked Full
Noise Reduction Watermarked Full

While the “Standard” and “R3D Mode” presets can be run on either version, the lack of GPU decoding/encoding means that you will always see lower performance with the Free version of DaVinci Resolve. In addition, if you want to test multiple GPUs or run the Extended preset, you will need the Studio version.

How to run the benchmark

  1. Download and unzip the benchmark from the link above.
  2. Install DaVinci Resolve (if not already)
    1. After installing Resolve, run it once to accept any default configuration options, firewall permissions, etc.
  3. Confirm Resolve configuration options. We recommend the following:
    1. DaVinci Resolve -> Preferences… -> Memory and GPU -> GPU Processing Mode: Auto
    2. DaVinci Resolve -> Preferences… -> Memory and GPU -> Use display GPU for compute (Studio edition only): enabled
  4. Launch the “Run PugetBench for DaVinci Resolve” program
  5. Configure any settings you want to change (especially if you have a commercial license).
  6. Run the benchmark!

Note: If you want to run any of the extended tests, also download the "Extended Assets" zip file and copy the "Extended" folder to the "Assets" folder. You should end up with both a "Standard" and "Extended" folder side by side in the Assets folder.

When the benchmark is complete, it will give you an "Overall Score" and upload the results to to our online database (unless told not to with the licensed version). From the uploaded results, you can view the sub-scores and individual test results.

Troubleshooting

If you have any issues with the benchmark not properly running, first verify that your system meets the System Requirements and that the version of DaVinci Resolve you are using is supported. If there are no issues with your system or software, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can try:

  • Make sure you are following each step listed in the How to run the benchmark section
  • Do not attempt to use the system while the benchmark is running.
  • Clear the application preferences and reset them to default.​​​​​​ You can do this either in the DR preferences window, or by deleting the “DaVinci Resolve” folder in “%appdata%//Blackmagic Design”
  • Disable Windows Defender or any real-time virus scanning programs when you run the benchmark.
  • The benchmark does not work over an unmapped network drive (I.E. //192.168.1.2/Benchmark/). Mapped drives should work, but we highly recommend having the benchmark on a local drive as storage performance can affect the results.
  • If Resolve or the system crashed mid-run, it can corrupt the project files. Re-download the benchmark (or unzip from the previous download)
  • Re-download the benchmark and use a unzipping tool like 7zip to unzip the files rather than the tool that is built into your OS.

Lower than expected performance can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common are:

  • Comparing results from the free version of Resolve to the paid Studio version.
  • Outdated BIOS/drivers/software
  • Running background processes (Antivirus, Windows Updates, etc.)
  • Windows power profile (High Performance is recommended for the best results)
  • DaVinci Resolve application preferences are not correct (GPU acceleration not enabled, etc.)

If you continue to have issues, we recommend posting in the comment section below - ideally with a screenshot of the problem and a copy of any log files that are generated by the benchmark.

What is tested?

Our DaVinci Resolve benchmark looks at rendering with a wide range of codecs at 4K and 8K (Extended preset only) resolutions, OpenFX, as well as performance in Fusion.

Our test media consists of the following resolutions and codecs:

Test Media (59.94 FPS)
4K H.264 150mbps 8-bit 4K ProRes 422
4K RED 8K H.265 100mbps
8K RED

For the 4K and 8K media tests, we benchmark with a relatively basic grade in order to focus on the processing performance for those codecs. Exporting is done both to H.264 (a very standard delivery codec), as well as to DNxHR HQ in order to minimize the encoding step of the process.

The GPU Effects portion of the test focuses on OpenFX and noise reduction with the following effects:

  • Temporal NR x3 - 2 Frames Better
  • Temporal NR - 2 Frames Better
  • Film Grain
  • Spatial NR - Better
  • Lens Blur x5
  • Lens Flare
  • Optical Flow - 50% Enhanced Better
  • Face Refinement

Lastly, the Fusion tests look at the performance in the Fusion tab for a range of projects. These focus on:

  • 3D Titles
  • 3D Lower 3rd
  • Phone Composite (tracking + green screen replacement)
  • 3D Backlit Text (motion graphics)
  • Turbulant Particles (motion graphics)

How does the scoring work?

The scoring system used in our benchmark is based on the performance relative to a reference workstation with an Intel Core i9 10900K and NVIDIA Titan RTX 24GB.

The results are all combined into the "Standard", and "Extended" Overall scores depending on the benchmark preset you chose.

Update Log

Version 0.92.3

  • Fixed bug that caused benchmark results to sometimes be uploaded when they are not supposed to
  • Updated application version detection due to changes in DaVinci Resolve 17.x

Version 0.92.2

  • Added support for DaVinci Resolve 17.

Version 0.92.1

  • Fixed tests for AMD GPUs - a few tests had incorrect names that resulted in the overall scores not being generated.
  • Improved DaVinci Resolve type and version parsing in order to work with the DR 17 beta.

Version 0.92 BETA (major update)

  • Complete re-wrote benchmark from the ground up.
  • Complete re-vamp for the tests - results are not comparable to previous versions.
  • Results are now uploaded to our online database. This is required for the free version, but opt-in if you have a license.
  • Improved method used to gather system specs. This should break less often on unusual or older system configurations.
  • Licensed options added.
  • Status logs and configuration settings moved to "~Documents⧵PugetBench⧵DaVinci Resolve⧵TIMESTAMP"
  • General bug fixes and stability improvements.

Version 0.61 BETA

  • Minor update to fix issue when running the benchmark from a non C: drive

Version 0.6 BETA

  • Replaced H.264 media with 150mbps footage straight from a Panasonic GH5

Version 0.5 BETA

  • First release.

Looking for a DaVinci Resolve Workstation?

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Tags: DaVinci Resolve, Benchmark, Public, Download
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