Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

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r.heynemann

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Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSat Jun 15, 2019 9:29 pm

Hey guys,

I noticed that on all the more recent Macs I own, Davinci Resolve Studio seems to be unable to playback 1080/60p content smoothly.

My media already is optimized, my caches are rendered, I even tried choosing ProRes 422 Proxy as Media Formats for caching and media optimization.

No nodes are active, no effects, just playback of the untouched/optimized video files, independent of the source files. Playback on FCPX works flawlessly though, also in Quicktime player, even on my slowest 12" Retina MacBook from 2016, not dropping any frames as far as I can tell. As soon as I try playing back the same files inside of Davinci Resolve Studio, I get a lot of dropouts in the beginning, then it catches up a bit, runs nicely for a few seconds and then drops out again catastrophically.

On Windows with similar equipped machines, playback in Resolve seems much smoother. Do you guys have an idea what I could tweak to make Davinci playback more fluent on macOS? Are there media formats that are easier on the Hardware than ProRes 422 Proxy?

Thanks in advance for your ideas.
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Glenn Venghaus

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Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSat Jun 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Sounds like a driver issue as even on my mbp late 2013 resolve runs smooth with prores files.

On the newer models it should be like butter for any prores codecs.
Its the best and smoothest codec for mac.
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r.heynemann

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 1:48 pm

Hey Glenn,

thanks for your reply.

Let's say it was a driver issue: Wouldn't I then have the same problems in FCPX and Quicktime?

Since you mentioned the late 2013 MacBook Pro: would you mind testing something for me?

I have uploaded a small project archive containing a 60p timeline as a zip file. On your MBP 2013, could you start Davinci Resolve, import the extracted folder via "Restore Project Archive..." and try to play it back on your 2013 MacBook Pro?

Generate optimized media, enable caching, then let the timeline play for at least 20 seconds and watch the hand of the clock closely. Does the playback show any dropouts/hiccups?

https://tinyurl.com/60p-test-zip

Thank you very much in advance.

@others: Please feel free to test this on your Mac, I would be very interested in the results.
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Glenn Venghaus

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 3:08 pm

Just did the tests as requested om my ~6 year old mpb .
Cached/Optimised to prores or native h264 behaves the same :
In media/color page, 60fps rock solid.
In edit pages light jiggle sometimes between 58-60 fps . If i set the viewer window to display all frames, it remains smooth during the jiggle. If set to default "not" to play all frames (allowing frame skip essentially) you will see skipping behavior during these small jiggle periods mentioned above.

Rem: i have to switch of gpu scopes to get the smooth 60fps in color

p.s. I never work with 60fps (or higher) material in a high framerate timeline , only 25(EU) or 24 for timeline resolutions so never noticed. Tested the same clip in a 25fps timeline and super smooth in all pages.
So its likely just a high fps in high fps timeline thing you are hitting, but if my 6 years old shows only minor jiggle and only in edit page, then any newer model must be flawless. Unless something else is interferring on your laptop. 60fps is also display refresh rate for macbooks so maybe as its identical to that it behaves a bit odd and gets some higher prio itterrrupts .
For example if i drop the same 60fps material in a 100fps timeline , it gets stuck playing at 58-59fps.
Maybe try and connect an external display as see how it behaves on that.
Last edited by Glenn Venghaus on Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Beatstep & APC-40 Resolve Edition Custom Controllers https://posttools.tachyon-consulting.com
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Glenn Venghaus

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 3:25 pm

Suspicion in my last remarks confirmed.
Just connected a 27' display to my 2013mbp and 60 fps timeline in Resolve smooth as butter in all pages, zero stutter or skipframe. either in native h264 or any prores variant. Now i can also up the timeline framerate to even 120fps, while on internal monitor 60 was the limit.
So likely related to the 60fps beeing also the laptop display framerate / limit, that can give issues apparently.
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Glenn Venghaus

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 3:51 pm

Hmmm, interestingly enough after disconnecting the external monitor , i can not get the 60fps timeline to skip or jiggle anymore once in a while in edit page. Its all smooth. Also now i can run the 120fps timeline i made from the same material on internal monitor that before was limited to ~60fps. Tried to revert it to the old behavior but even a restart of macbook did not revert it.
Maybe some setting/limit got stuck/unstuck while switching resolutions and monitors as i also use SwitchRezX to set my screen(s) to any resolution i want.
Not complaining.

Anyway. Very long story short :lol: , 1080p/60fps timeline with your project/material on 6 year old mbp is all smooth.

p.s. That macbook pro still has an Nvidia card with Cuda mode in Resolve and running High Sierra. Just saying :mrgreen:
Beatstep & APC-40 Resolve Edition Custom Controllers https://posttools.tachyon-consulting.com
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r.heynemann

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 4:18 pm

:) What a rollercoaster ...

thank you very much for the time and effort you put into experimenting regarding this issue.

Unfortunately, I don't have a screen available that supports higher refresh rates than 60 Hz, but on my 2016 MacBook 12" I am getting the same bad results "solo" as when having it connected to a bigger screen (which is also locked to 60 Hz).

I did another test using a 50p video, to rule out the "internal screen 60 fps limit", but the playback is also very bad. It looks like in Davinci the MacBook's performance allows me to go Full HD with 30p while keeping very smooth playback quality. Everything above hits a wall. Tomorrow I'll have a chance to do these tests on a 2019 MacBook Pro 13".

The strange thing is, that 1080/60p video playback in other programs works fine on said 12" MacBook, without tearing, stuttering or any other unpleasant occurrences. It seems like Davinci Resolve Studio is using a different method to synchronize the visual content to the screen. I'll drop Blackmagic support a message, hoping that they can help me with this.

btw: This was tested on macOS Mojave.

Best regards
Last edited by r.heynemann on Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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r.heynemann

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 4:24 pm

Oh, and I noticed that when my playback in Davinci stuttered, it sometimes didn't affect the displayed frame rate in the user interface of Davinci.

In the 50p test, most of the time it showed me a green 50.0, even when the playback had stutters ... :cry:
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Glenn Venghaus

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 4:34 pm

Yeahs its a wierd story with too many variables to compare. It only shows that it must be possible on mbps in certain configs (like mine). Contacting BM is your best option i guess.

r.heynemann wrote:Oh, and I noticed that when my playback in Davinci stuttered, it sometimes didn't affect the displayed frame rate in the user interface of Davinci.

In the 50p test, most of the time it showed me a green 50.0, even when the playback had stutters ... :cry:


Set the viewer to "display all frames always" (rightclick menu i viewer options area). That will show true fps and feels smoother when you have playback speed issues and do not rely on realtime audio. Default it skips frames if needed (and favors audio)
Make sure that in user/system prefs all references to any playback speed are all in line with 1080p/60fps.
That can also influence things.
Beatstep & APC-40 Resolve Edition Custom Controllers https://posttools.tachyon-consulting.com
Test rig : Dual Xeon | UNRAID VM OSX10.13.6 | 48 vcore | 2xGTX980ti | 64GB | DRS 16.x
V: Decklink-SDI > HDlink > Eizo + Scopebox
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r.heynemann

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 4:59 pm

Glenn Venghaus wrote:Set the viewer to "display all frames always" (rightclick menu i viewer options area). That will show true fps and feels smoother when you have playback speed issues and do not rely on realtime audio. Default it skips frames if needed (and favors audio)
Make sure that in user/system prefs all references to any playback speed are all in line with 1080p/60fps.
That can also influence things.

Thanks once again for your help.

The User- and System Preferences were fine, but the option "Show All Video Frames" wasn't checked.

Re-Running my 50p test with having it enabled showed me that my MacBook is unable to playback FHD at 50p, working hard to reach 44 to 47 fps (having tried Metal and OpenCL).

I'm looking forward to repeat these tests on the MBP tomorrow.
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Glenn Venghaus

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Re: Bad playback performance on 1080/60p (only macOS)

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 5:17 pm

Ah , at least you know now. Playing via Resolve can not be compared with playing solo or via other programs.
Its a different beast with different requirements and a full internal 32bits pipeline regardless of the source material.
Also dont mistake old laptops with new. My old is a (at that time) top specced 15inch macbook pro model , albeit from 2013 (and a fresh Auro Pro X2 2019 internal nvme drive replacement) , it still easily beats some lower specced newer models. They dont automaticaly become faster just because they are newer. You need to also get a higher specced model to get the full benefit of newer hardware.
Beatstep & APC-40 Resolve Edition Custom Controllers https://posttools.tachyon-consulting.com
Test rig : Dual Xeon | UNRAID VM OSX10.13.6 | 48 vcore | 2xGTX980ti | 64GB | DRS 16.x
V: Decklink-SDI > HDlink > Eizo + Scopebox
A: 5.1RME-FireFace

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