I am using the free version of DaVinci Resolve in a Windows environment. Operations such as video playback during editing are slow. Will the paid version fix this?
There is a possibility that it will be improved, depending on the scene and symptoms where you feel slowness and PC specs.
Also, even with the free version, it may become comfortable if you put in the effort. The details of the comfortable settings are under construction, but the outline is described later, so we recommend that you try it once. Note that the contents may differ depending on the version. This article is based on version 17.4.
(H.265 encoding can now be processed by hardware such as GPU even with the free version from 17.4.)
About the relationship between "free GPU processing", which is often said to be a problem, and slowness
Only in the Windows environment, GPU handling differs between the free version and the paid version.
However, even if it is not a paid version, there is a possibility that it can be improved by putting in some effort, so please read the solution described later.
DaVinci Resolve supports GPU processing on both Windows and Mac.
However, when using the free version on Windows, among the processing that uses the GPU, only H.264 encoding/decoding and H.265 decoding are targeted for software processing. There are some restrictions.
Although it says "only for H.264 encoding/decoding and H.265 decoding," this process is not applicable to H.264/H.265 decoding for video playback and frame processing. Since it is frequently executed during editing such as forwarding, it will give a strong impression that it is slow as a result. H.264/H.265 is commonly used for common mp4 files.
Therefore, if you are using the paid version and the hardware can use the hardware encoder/decoder function of NVIDIA/AMD/Intel QuickSync, you can use the encoder/decoder for H.264/H.265. It is likely that the processing of as will be able to run in hardware without limits and will be comfortable.
Is there any way to improve the free version?
It takes some work, but there is a way.
Replace the data format when editing with something that can be edited lightly without depending on the GPU.
Before starting full-scale editing, please work after creating what is called optimized media or proxy media from the media (files) to be used. Considerable improvement is expected.
By using optimized media and proxy media, it is possible to operate optimally for editing.
In general, "DNxHR xxx" is used as the data format for optimized media and proxy media generated from DaVinci Resolve, but decoding processing depends on the basic CPU. Is it okay to rely on the CPU? You may think that, but in general, playback with lower load is possible compared to H.264/H.265. Also, since the resolution is changed at the timing of creating proxy media, it becomes even lighter.
It is often misunderstood, but even if you use optimized media or proxy media, the final delivery (export) can be processed based on the information in the original file, so please do not worry about quality deterioration. I'm sorry. Please rest assured.
I think that the following video and the article where the official is written will be helpful. You can also expect some improvement by lowering the resolution in timeline proxy mode [Playback]-[Timeline proxy mode].