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  • Davinci 18 and smooth playback

    Posted by Alex Gat on April 16, 2023 at 12:52 pm


    I have a station Z170X skylake i7-6700K with a amd rx 6900 XT (16Gb) and 32Gb of RAM. My system is on a NVMe and I use SDD disks for editing.
    At the moment, I am editing 4K mp4 clips on a 1080 timeline and I have lags and delays every time I hit the space bar and every 3-4 seconds during playback. I have set the timeline resolution to half and it becomes smooth only when I set to a quarter.

    Considering the station that I have, this is not normal, is it?

    I have read about proxies but I did not think I would need to use them. I am using smart cache. What am I missing?

    Thanks for your input.


    Tom Watson
    replied 5 months, 1 week ago
    4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Steven Martillo

    April 16, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Alex!

    Based on your system specs, you should have decent performance for video editing, so the lag issues you are experiencing are not normal.

    It’s possible that the cause of the lag is that your system is processing the original video file at 4K resolution in real time, which can be very demanding for any hardware, even for a high-end workstation. That’s why setting the timeline resolution to a quarter of its original size helps ease the load and improve performance.

    One possible solution is to use proxies, which are low-resolution versions of your original video files, but keep the same length and aspect ratios. These proxies are used in editing instead of the original video files, which significantly reduces the processing load on your system.

    Smart caching can also help improve performance by caching parts of the timeline that have already been processed for smoother playback in future playbacks. However, it may not be enough to improve real-time editing performance.

    I recommend that you try working with proxies to see if that improves editing performance. If you are still experiencing performance issues, you can also try closing other applications that are consuming resources in the background while editing as sometimes I’ve gone from editing to noticing that it’s heavy davinci and closed everything out and it worked… or consider updating your graphics card drivers or reinstalling your video editing software.

    try those tips and if you still have problems let us know so we can go deeper into your problem and solve it!


  • Riccardo Luppi

    April 16, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Hey mate,

    So first a question: you mention an ssd: is that internal or external? If external, what connection are you using?

    If you are working from an external ssd, unless you have it connected via thunderbolt, you should transfer the file to the internal disk. This is because the usb connection is too slow.

    That said, the major issue is the file format, mp4 (i’d assume H264). That is a terrible format to edit, as it is heavily compressed. Thus, DVR has to work a lot to unpack the information to work with for every frame.

    The best way to solve the issue is to use either proxies or optimized media. If you are not working with other editors I’d recommend the Optimized. Anyway, the resolution can stay to choose automatically, the important setting is the format. I’d recommend DNxHR HQ if the source is 8bit or HQX if the source is 10bit.

    With the optimized/proxies you’d be good to go.

  • Tom Watson

    April 16, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    In addition to what the others said, I can fill a 1TB SSD with cache files quite fast on a large project. When this happens, the whole project suffers – especially playback.

    Thus, I have gotten in the habit of deleting all unused cache files on a regular basis.

    Go to the Playback Tab – Delete Render Cache – Unused
    Then give it some time to complete the task.

    I can remember from some forum reading in the past that there used to be problems with some older AMD cards not playing nice with Resolve. You may want to look into that.

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