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Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7900?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:04 pm
by AlanKafton
My old Photoshop computer is too long in the tooth for Resolve, so it’s time to build a new one.

Key points:

1)I have the paid Resolve Studio.

2) I’m strictly amateur, with rendered travel videos from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, & musical theater performances of 2+ hours.

3) My travel source material is mostly UHD, 60fps, highly compressed h.264 8-bit, so I know I can’t push the grading too far – basic color correction, contrast adjustment, levels, etc. Maybe some noise reduction. I’ll probably also use h.265 or XAVC S in the future.

4) I'm color managed with Eizo monitor & calibrator.

I’m debating if I should go with a 6-core i7-8700K Coffee Lake, or spring for a 10-core i9-7900 Skylake. In either case, I’m thinking I'll go with a single 1080ti graphics card. Of course the i9 gives me more cores (for actions that can take advantage of more cores), & more PCIE lanes for expandability – but frankly I’m not sure I’ll ever expand the system with a second graphics cards during the life of the system. I suppose it’s possible I’ll get a DeckLink card in the future. The i7 would gives me faster clock speeds, which may benefit H.264 decode. I like stability, so I’m not likely to overclock too much.

I’ve read the Resolve configuration guide & many reviews, including the great articles on Puget Systems. They all seem to focus on editing & grading & rendering professional formats such as RAW, ProRes, DNxHD, etc. They rarely talk about highly compressed formats, other than to say they are tough to play back in Resolve without re-encoding to a more edit-friendly format, or by using proxies or optimized media.

I would LOVE to edit & grade my H.264 media directly -- & to have smooth playback (no skipped frames or stuttering) & smooth scrubbing. My question – is this even possible with ether of my proposed computer builds? I’m less concerned with rendering times – I don’t mind leaving it overnight.

Thanks, Alan

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:41 pm
by Carsten Sellberg

I wonder if your h.264 8-bit is in the format, that can use the Hardware encoding/decoding of the newest nVidea Graphics Cards in the paid version of Resolve?
So my first questen must be, what Graphics Card do you use today?

Regards Carsten.

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:43 pm
by AlanKafton
Hi Carsten,

As I said, my system is long in the tooth for Resolve. It's an i5-2500K Sandy Bridge with GTX-660 graphics card. The Asrock Z68 Pro3-M only supports PCI Express 2.0 x16.

Given the age & PCIE support, I don't think the system will benefit from any of the newer graphics cards.

Ironically, the system still works well for very large Photoshop files & stitching my panoramic images. It's also been OK for 1080p video editing using Sony Movie Maker or Premier Elements. Now that I'm shooting UHD, I wanted to make the move to more robust editing solution with scopes, hence Resolve.

Thanks, Alan

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:25 am
by Carsten Sellberg

I want to start with to tell you a little more about the mp4 hardware decode possibilities in the paid version of Resolve.

Here is a link to the API used: ... ECFeatures

As you can se is faster decoding of H.264 (AVCHD) in 4:2:0 done in Hardware, if you update you nVidea Graphics card to a Kepler based one or newer.

But back to you CPU questen.

Intel have for more than year had a 8 Core CPU in their Coffee Lake road map. It is expected around the end of the year of 2018. All expect it to use the new Z390 motherboards, soon to be introduced. One months ago Intel publish the data of the Z390 on their homepage, but later removed it again.

But why use Intel. A AMD Threadripper CPU will be the perfect solution for a Windows 10 systems. It is in the DaVinci Resolve 15 Configuration Guide on page 18: ... _Guide.pdf

AMD just show the Next generation of the Threadripper CPU's on the Computex 2018 Tradeshow.

Coming Q3. I expect them some time in August.
Can use existing motherboards.
Can use air coolers.

You can use existing motherboards, but I have seen pictures of some very nice refresh X399 motherboards and a very nice Air Cooler.

Here are 2 very technical links: ... 99-refresh ... 37215.html

The Next generation will come in 24 and 32 Core version. But already a few months ago they lowered the price for the first generation 12 and 16 core version.

I would look at a first generation Threadripper CPU with around 16 cores and may be one of the new refresh X399 motherboards together with the new AIR Cooler.

Regards Carsten.

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:21 am
by Bink19th
I'd taken the time to write a longer reply detailing various benchmarks and such, only to lose it all with a "You're not allowed to post URL's" message when I posted.

So, in summary, for multi-core supported video work such as this:

Intel i7-8700K vs Intel i9-7900X: Intel i9 7900X 55% faster
AMD Threadripper 1950X vs Intel i9-7900X: AMD Threadripper 1950X 38% faster
AMD Threadripper 1950X vs Intel i9-7920X: AMD Threadripper 1950X 21% faster
AMD Threadripper 1950X vs Intel i9-7940X: AMD Threadripper 1950X 3% faster
AMD Threadripper 1950X vs Intel i9-7960X: Intel i9-7960X 6% faster
AMD Threadripper 1950X vs Intel i9-7980XE: Intel i9-7980XE 15% faster

In all referenced AMD vs Intel benchmarks, Intel had faster single core performance.

Source: UserBenchmark (

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:03 pm
by AlanKafton
Hi Carston,

Thanks for the graphic card info -- my card is Kepler based but I'm thinking it's too old (on PCIe 2.0 bus) & not enough graphics memory (2GB) to give me real-time playback in Resolve.

Thanks too for the heads up on the 8-core Coffee Lake & Z390. I had read about the Z390, but not the 8-core cpu. Makes a lot of sense to wait a bit for them to come out. (I'm and Intel guy, so I'm not considering the AMD offerings.)

I did some looking into the current Z370 motherboards for the PCIe support. Given the limited number of PCIe lanes, you got to be VERY selective on your board selection. I want X16 for an 1080ti graphics card, & X4 for a possible DeckLink card. Many of the motherboards out there don't offer this! Many of them will revert to X8/X8 with two cards, & I hate to cripple an $800 graphics card! The new Z390 motherboards are likely to be the same as there is no changes to the number of PCIe lanes. WLAN is directly supported by the chipset, so I'm thinking that may help free up some resources.

The 10-core i7 + X299 chipsets make the PCIe puzzle much simpler!

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:32 am
by Carsten Sellberg
AlanKafton wrote: I'm and Intel guy, so I'm not considering the AMD offerings.


I will still recommend you to look into the AMD Threadripper systems. AMD is not the company they used is to be, since the got a new CEO a few years ago. Her name is Lisa Su and she is Doctor Tech and a very sussesfull businesses woman.

The Intel 10 core Core i9-7900X has 44 PCIe Lanes and the CPU cost $999

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16 Cores / 32 Threads is reduced to $869
And AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X 12 Cores / 24 Threads is reduced to $669
All AMD Threadrippers CPU's has 60 PCIe lanes.

There is no doubt that AMD technology will overtake Intels in the near future.
Intel had just again delayed the next die shrink. OK, I know they recently released two new 2 cores low power CPU's on the new 10 nm process node. But mass production of main CPU's on 10 nm is again delayed an another year.

While AMD at the Computex 2018 Trade Show gave a very short, but working, demo for a 7nm GPU with 32 GB HBM Fast Vram aimed for the AI market.
AMD works with two different wafer plants who both are on schedule and will release 7nm chips i 2018 on what they call a 7nm process node. It is very similar to what Intel call 10 nm.

This node shrink will give cheaper and faster CPU/GPU's consuming less power.

The future is bright for AMD, you shoud reconsider them.

Regards Carsten.

Re: Resolve Computer Build for H.264 UHD -- i7 8700K or i9 7

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:33 am
by Diman Ku
my usage is similar to you: strictly amateur, with rendered travel videos from 5 minutes to 30 minutes

my build can do what you wish so I think 8700k is good enough, but if you want more I think spending on AMD 1950x is better value then Intel 7900K

My build:
X99 & 5820K
48G ram(mostly only need ~25g)
C drive and media drive separate sata3 SSD
GTX960 4G