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Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it help?

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rsf123

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Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it help?

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 5:09 am

I have an Apple 27” iMac 5K late 2015, 16GB RAM, 3.2GHz i5

I’m aiming to create Fusion-heavy videos, but even with moderate Fusion effects — even using caches and optimised media - when playing the effects in the EDIT tab, the old computer stutters and crawls to be unusable.

I’ll need a new computer.

I’m still learning Fusion, and want to postpone buying the new computer until I’m out of the learning phase into actually producing videos.

Hence my question, for now, will increasing memory from 16GB to 32GB at least let Fusion play more smoothly in the EDIT tab? (I don't care about render time, since I'm merely learning, not yet producing videos).

See my screen shots from macOS Activity Monitor. When running Davinci Resolve Fusion, the CPU is only pushed 40-60%, but memory is around 80-90%.

Memory.jpg
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CPU.jpg
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Brock Lowstetter

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 5:43 am

Upgrading RAM just allows you to do more and have more elements and won’t effectively improve the performance.

The biggest bottleneck would be the Graphics Card.

If you got a external eGPU it would dramatically improve your performance.

Other than that a new computer with a newer graphics card would ultimately improve your performance.


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Chad Capeland

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 4:17 pm

You won't see significant playback performance boost until you get to much higher memory amounts. 32GB is still too low to store many frames.

You can get much better memory use in Fusion Studio, though. Like 4x. Might be worth considering for low end hardware.
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Dennis Wiener

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostSun Feb 02, 2020 5:51 pm

rsf123 wrote:I have an Apple 27” iMac 5K late 2015, 16GB RAM, 3.2GHz i5

I’m aiming to create Fusion-heavy videos, but even with moderate Fusion effects — even using caches and optimised media - when playing the effects in the EDIT tab, the old computer stutters and crawls to be unusable.

I’ll need a new computer.

I’m still learning Fusion, and want to postpone buying the new computer until I’m out of the learning phase into actually producing videos.

Hence my question, for now, will increasing memory from 16GB to 32GB at least let Fusion play more smoothly in the EDIT tab? (I don't care about render time, since I'm merely learning, not yet producing videos).

See my screen shots from macOS Activity Monitor. When running Davinci Resolve Fusion, the CPU is only pushed 40-60%, but memory is around 80-90%.

Memory.jpg


CPU.jpg


I'm just learning fusion. I'm on a late 2012 27"3.4gHz i7 wirh nvidia gpu, 32gb ram and it soes not seem sluggish to me at all. Maybe a memory upgrade will help. If the 16gb is only using 2 of the memory slots, then adding an additional 16gb would not be that expensive and option.
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Pieter Van Houte

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 12:17 am

If you're needing to get - a lot - more out of Fusion on your strapped-for-resources machines (or any machines, really) for anything more complex than a simple effect or a title, run Fusion Standalone. The overhead from Resolve is murderous.
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rsf123

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 1:49 am

Pieter Van Houte wrote:If you're needing to get - a lot - more out of Fusion on your strapped-for-resources machines (or any machines, really) for anything more complex than a simple effect or a title, run Fusion Standalone. The overhead from Resolve is murderous.


Thanks, but that won't help my situation as I'm using the interaction of Davinci video editing, merged with Fusion effects. So I need the whole Davinci.
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Pieter Van Houte

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 2:32 am

Or Fusion Connect. Best of both worlds.
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Frank Engel

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 1:16 pm

Fusion playback performance in the Edit page shouldn't be an issue as long as you give it time to render first.

After editing a Fusion comp and switching back to the Edit page you should see a red line above the clip in the timeline. Wait for it to turn blue.

Screen Shot 2020-02-04 at 8.14.59 AM.png
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Sam Steti

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostWed Feb 05, 2020 10:57 am

rsf123, consider using Fusion Connect from Resolve to Fusion standalone instead, it will help...
Also, render whatever you do in Fusion by clicking every option you can see about Fusion cache (pref and right-click).
Though a t least 32 GB ram would be a step up anyway, I think your GPU is more at stake here, so try other options first not to be disappointed by the potential cheap improvement of the performance with more ram...
Legacy MacPro 8core Xeons, 32 Go ram, 2 x gtx 980 ti, 1SSD for system, 2 SSDs raid0 for footage and caches, OSX ElCap and High Sierra, Resolve 15.3 Studio
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Jeff Ha

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostWed Feb 05, 2020 11:23 am

save your money and headache of using an old mac and just get a PC. a nice threadripper workstation with a real GPU will help your workflow and efficiency tremendously. Ultimately it should be about getting the job done versus watching a beach ball telling yourself, "Well I think I still love my mac." I say this as a person who has to use a Mac at work for 3D, mograph and compositing. It's dreadful compared to my workstation at home.

:D :geek: :mrgreen:
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Marc Gasser

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostFri Feb 07, 2020 6:34 pm

Save your money.
I used an mac pro 2010 and it was very slow with Fusion, bought a Threadripper with 32-cores a real GPU and Fusion is still kinda slow. It will not support all your cores nor your GPU.
Change the software and you will realize that on the same hardware you get realtime animation, yes, its true.
Pop_OS 18.04 LTS, AMD Threadripper 2990WX 32-Core, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti 11GB, 64 GB Ram, Resolve Studio 16.x, Fusion Studio 9.0.2
....switched to Blender 2.8x and Natron 2.x to work in realtime....

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Kel Philm

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostFri Feb 07, 2020 7:51 pm

+1 for Fusion Connect, its faster, more stable and basically does the same thing.
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Kristof Indeherberge

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostFri Feb 07, 2020 8:46 pm

Marc Gasser wrote:Save your money.
I used an mac pro 2010 and it was very slow with Fusion, bought a Threadripper with 32-cores a real GPU and Fusion is still kinda slow. It will not support all your cores nor your GPU.
Change the software and you will realize that on the same hardware you get realtime animation, yes, its true.


You sound very much like a disgruntled ex-user. Please keep it objective. I can easily show you stuf that is realtime or I can make things go at a snail's pace. It all depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it. Broad statements like yours do not make any sense. And no, Natron is not a Fusion replacement. More like A Nuke lookalike, lacking a 3D engine. Memory issues... Stalled development...
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Marc Gasser

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostSat Feb 08, 2020 12:27 am

@Kristof Indeherberge: Yes, I am a frustrated "ex-user" who can not understand why BMD is destroying Fusion.
Rendering an exact same scene in 40 Minutes instead of 4.5 Hours is a huge difference for my workflow and creativity. Preferring an unstable opensource software with great support versus a paid unstable closed source software with no support was a good choice.
...sorry for off-topic'ing this thread.
Pop_OS 18.04 LTS, AMD Threadripper 2990WX 32-Core, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti 11GB, 64 GB Ram, Resolve Studio 16.x, Fusion Studio 9.0.2
....switched to Blender 2.8x and Natron 2.x to work in realtime....

https://www.pocketvj.com
https://www.magdesign.ch
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Frank Engel

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostMon Feb 10, 2020 5:26 pm

In the "early days" of node-based compositors such as Fusion (and Shake before it) GPU-based rendering didn't exist and CPUs with large core counts weren't really there either.

The architecture of many of these programs would in fact make it quite difficult to support GPU rendering effectively for some use cases, and while many-core rendering should in theory be easier, it is still a bit of an effort if the code base is old enough.

Fusion was first released in 1996. The latest and greatest CPUs at the time had a clock speed of around 150 MHz; forget dual-core, CMT or GPGPU.

Because of the fact that the rendering architecture is partially exposed by the scripting language nature of the nodes (consider what happens when you copy nodes and paste them into a text editor...) the underlying architecture is by nature difficult to modernize in a product like this one.

If BMD is contending with issues surrounding that code base, it will take time and effort to get it working efficiently on modern systems. From what I have seen I believe they are making progress, but there is clearly work remaining to be done in this area.
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rsf123

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostTue Feb 11, 2020 2:38 am

Marc Gasser wrote:Save your money.
bought a Threadripper with 32-cores a real GPU and Fusion is still kinda slow. It will not support all your cores nor your GPU.


Gosh, I've been researching and hope to eventually get a PC with Ryzen 9 3900X, and 2080 TI graphics card with 64GB RAM - but you're saying even that is slow for Fusion?

(Selecting 3900X rather than 3950X, because Puget systems says Fusion benefits from higher base speed, rather than higher number of cores).

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/DaVinci-Resolve-Studio-CPU-performance-AMD-Ryzen-9-3950X-1616/
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Sam Steti

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostTue Feb 11, 2020 11:25 am

No, he's saying that Fusion is slow on it too, not that "it is slow for fusion"... But those kind of beefy configs raise smiles on your face when tested on Resolve...
Legacy MacPro 8core Xeons, 32 Go ram, 2 x gtx 980 ti, 1SSD for system, 2 SSDs raid0 for footage and caches, OSX ElCap and High Sierra, Resolve 15.3 Studio
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Marc Gasser

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostTue Feb 11, 2020 10:12 pm

Compared to my mid2010 MacPro with 96GB Ram and Nvidia GeForce 960,
Fusion Standalone does not run any faster on my new Threadripper workstation,
(Fusion inside Resolve is even slower).

But,
Resolve Studio for video editing and color grading runs and renders blazing fast!
As Frank Engel wrote, the Fusion codebase came in its years an does not really benefit from multi-core architecture.

So as I mentioned in the post above, for more performance you currently have to use another software than Fusion....
Pop_OS 18.04 LTS, AMD Threadripper 2990WX 32-Core, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti 11GB, 64 GB Ram, Resolve Studio 16.x, Fusion Studio 9.0.2
....switched to Blender 2.8x and Natron 2.x to work in realtime....

https://www.pocketvj.com
https://www.magdesign.ch
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Sam Steti

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostTue Feb 11, 2020 11:11 pm

Marc Gasser wrote:So as I mentioned in the post above, for more performance you currently have to use another software than Fusion....

Well, don't know if i'm the guy you're answering to, but I personally know that since I've been experiencing a lot of combinations and despite those disappointing perf, Fu is still one of my favorite pieces of soft...

It's involved in almost all my projects, except for basic edit or quick basic CCorrections, and moreover for more sophisticated Fusion scenes, my projects schedules and organisation of work agenda include Fusion renders as a whole part of the game to be treated as a specific part :) (actually I always keep specific jobs I deal with during Fu renders)...
I've learned not to compare its perf with anything else (and even less Resolve which takes advantage of GPU(s) and constantly evolves)
Legacy MacPro 8core Xeons, 32 Go ram, 2 x gtx 980 ti, 1SSD for system, 2 SSDs raid0 for footage and caches, OSX ElCap and High Sierra, Resolve 15.3 Studio
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Pieter Van Houte

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostWed Feb 12, 2020 1:27 am

Leaving aside the comparing apples to oranges, there is now so much misinformation in this topic it needs its own disclaimer.
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Chad Capeland

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostThu Feb 13, 2020 3:33 am

It's my understanding that Fusion's codebase contains a lot of gluten. FYI.
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rsf123

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Re: Old Mac crawls in Fusion: upgrading 32GB RAM, will it he

PostSat Apr 25, 2020 6:04 am

Just an update on what I did.

I took a risk and bought a 32GB memory upgrade - the risk was that if the extra memory didn't allow me to operate Fusion more readily, that money could have better put towards a new computer.

The good news is that the 32GB enables me do most of what I need to do in Davinci and Fusion, provided I use optimized media, and wait for the Fusion caches to update from red-lines to blue-lines. Sure, it is not fast, but since I'm not a professional, it does not concern me about long render times.

To test the system, I created a 1 hour 4K video project. Every few seconds, I created Fusion keyframes (admittedly I copied and pasted many of them, so I don't know if having identical Fusion clips makes it more efficient, if Fusion doesn't re-calculate identical clips?). The 32GB system handled the 1 hour video with Fusion compositions throughout.

I've ordered a 1TB external SSD to devote solely for Davinci optimized media and caches, so that my main SSD does not get clogged up.

I find that the computer, even with 32GB, still crawls when doing 3D particles - but I don't often do that.

So in summary, the extra 32GB has enabled me to keep using this old computer. I was going to upgrade, but the recent Corona economic downturn motivates me to keep using the present Mac as long as possible. The 2GB VRAM is not great, but I can do most of what I need to do with 4K editing, albeit a bit slower.

I still dream of a 64GB, 3950X, 2080TI one day when the economy picks up.

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