FCPX or Resolve

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by OldCorpse, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #1
    I’m running High Sierra on my i7 27” iMac. I’ve been out of the game for awhile, but I want to start editing again.

    I know FCPX is only $300... but Resolve is free (ok, the pro is also $300).

    Before I sink a lot of time into a software system I thought it might be good to ask the smart folks here for their experience - how do you guys feel about the pros and cons compared to each other for both.

    What do you guys think? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #2
    The recent versions of Resolve 15 have greatly improved performance and is the only other NLE with "skimmer-like" behavior. It has more elaborate built-in color tools than FCPX or any other NLE.

    Resolve uses a more conventional track-oriented paradigm so this can be more familiar to editors transitioning from other NLEs. Resolve can handle a wider array of codecs than FCPX, but that's only a factor if you need those. FCPX handles mosts of the common ones.

    Resolve is a complex professional product, but IMO FCPX is only simple at the lower end of the complexity/size ladder. When you progress to larger more sophisticated projects, FCPX media management and other aspects can require extensive study.

    However Resolve does not have FCPX's database-like orientation and organizational tools.

    In past versions the free version of Resolve was nearly full featured, but in more recent versions many features are only available in the $300 "Studio" version. These features include deinterlacing, collaborative mode, H.264 accelerated encoding on high-spec nVidia GPUs, HDR, HEVC decoding, Dehaze, Face Refinement, Sharpen, Deflicker, video noise reduction, and above UHD resolutions such as cinema 4k: http://documents.blackmagicdesign.c...99d/DaVinci_Resolve_15_Feature_Comparison.pdf

    By this gradually increasing differentiation, it appears Black Magic is slowly shepherding Resolve users to the paid $300 product. I don't think the paid product can generally be purchased and activated on line. They have to send you a physical card or dongle (through the mail) with the authentication info. A few Resolve resellers may have some kind of "several hour" on-line activation, but Black Magic deals with their reseller network not directly with customers.

    A DaVinci Resolve Studio license can be used on up to two computers simultaneously. FCPX has no limits but the license restricts you to "computers you own or control", and those must use your Apple ID and login to install FCPX. In my case I have five Mac at my house with FCPX (I'm a video editor), so that's an advantage since I don't have to buy and maintain multiple licenses. Apple has never charged for an FCPX update since it was released in 2011. I think Resolve Studio updates have also been free, but I don't remember the entire history.
     
  3. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #3
    Thank you, joema2! At this point, I am leaning toward Resolve, just because my editing background is in more traditional NLEs, so I want to give it a spin. Plus, I hear that the sound editing in Resolve is vastly superior to FCPX, and sound is super important to what I'll be doing. Thank you again!
     
  4. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2008
    #4
    Thanks - I had the same question - I'm doing short educational videos - most will be viewed on mobile devices via headphones so sound is important...

    I tried years ago to get my head around FCP pre and post 'X' - mind bending. Adobe I just hate on principle as their idea of user interface is not built with humans in mind it would seem!

    The reality is I don't have time to go through too steep of a learning curve - the project timelines & staying married simply won't allow!!

    Any thoughts on hardware? I currently have a late 2017 MBPr with 16Gb or RAM and 2.9GHz i7 - almost but not quite the top of the line at the time I bought it. I have 2 others on my team currently on Win10Pro64 environments and who could be persuaded to jump to MAC, and we're in need of a remote or central render box that we could add more power to (e.g eGPUs) over time as budgets allow.
     
  5. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #5
    Keep in mind Resolve is multiplatform, so presumably your teammates don't have to jump to Mac. As far as requirements, I believe Resolve needs 16GB RAM minimum (and 32GB for Fusion), so you should be fine. A bigger issue is screen real estate. That's why I am staying with the 27" iMac - though plenty, PLENTY of people edit on laptops with no issues at all. For me another advantage of the iMac is that since it is a desktop, it's easier to hook up a bunch of external drives, which can sometimes be harder on mobile platforms (although again, there are tons of very capable portable drives).

    As far as learning curve goes, watch some youtube tutorials to get the basics, and maybe join an online forum that's active, like something on creativecow.net - they have many subforums for both Resolve and FCPX.
     
  6. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2008
    #6
    Thanks OldCorpse. Further investigation/research points to us not needing to change hardware - my team mates like their current setups...

    So, I'm looking at Sonnet eGFX breakaway boxes for us all, and an appropriate graphics card. I'm looking at the RX 580 with 8Gb of DDR5 memory.

    Do you have any thoughts on which variant of this card - they range in price by around $80-$100...?

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  7. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #7
    As far as I'm aware, the Sonnet eGFX boxes support RX 580 on High Sierra (2 boxes), but not bootcamp. I have not looked into variants of the 580, whatever will work on your specific system mac or win. Btw., I've looked around for tips wrt. installing Resolve, and found these two relevant - for system requirements on the latest 15.2.1:

    https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/277/42699

    and for general installation tips:

    https://mixinglight.com/color-tutorial/guide-upgrade-davinci-resolve-15/

    I'm somewhat swamped at the moment, but I'll install Resolve after the holidays - that takes us into 2019; the thing is, I'm looking to buy a new iMac next year, so I'm not overly hung up on hardware requirements, grapic cards etc., at the moment, as long as the minimum is met, and I'll see what the new iMacs bring to the table come 2019.
     
  8. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2008
    #8
    Thanks OldCorpse. Especially for those links - very useful.

    I've got the free version of the software downloaded & installed. Had a little play.

    I have on order the Sonnet eGFX box - just 1, with a 550W PSU.
    I also have an RX 580 card on order, an XSX one from Best Buy - the only one I could reliably get here in the next few days, as time is not on my side potentially, and I want to get some testing done over the next few weeks before the madness of 2019 starts!

    I'll let you know how I get on!

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  9. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #9
    Well, I've got my Sonnet eGPU breakout box, the 550W spec'd version, and an RX 580 card with 8Gb of DDR5 VRAM- my MacBook Pro retine 15 inch late 2017 recognised it straight away, and connected straight away. I did some tests with it and Davinci Resolve (the free version) - it does make quite a difference to the edit experience. The final render isn't quite as quick as I had hoped based on my edit experience. We're spending about 90% of our time in edit and Fusion Fx part of Davinci, where many of the FX elements are put out to the eGPU. Final rendering isn't quite so focused on the eGPU apparently. I'm fine with that - lunch or a coffee whilst it does final rendering/delivery is OK by me!

    I'm seeing pretty much the performance boosts the ads/spec sheets indicate - about 75% improvement where imported 1080 video is being messed with, and about 100% improvement where it's all down to Fx processing.

    The demands of the Davinci user interface & experience can be high, so we are going to the paid version which amongst other things allows multiple GPUs to be used, so the internal discrete GPU, a Radeon RX 560 with 4 Gb of ram can be dedicated to that task alone.

    Getting to the same point on my 2 colleagues Lenovo P50 & P51 workstations was a little different. The P51 just needed some driver updates which it took care of by itself when I plugged in the eGPU. We then ran in to some "GPU memory full" errors which kept crashing Davinci. We soon found we had poor settings for Davinci's use of RAM, so fixed that and ordered another 32Gb to add to the 16Gb already in there. The P51 has a Quadro 2000 discrete GPU built in. After that, plain sailing.

    The older P50 needed 2 BIOS updates and a stern talking to to take on an eNVM firmware update for its thunderbolt devices. But after that we were fine - that did take a morning almost though. Again, the paid for version of Davinci will allow all 3 of us to dedicate the built in discrete GPU for handling the apps' own console & User Interface tasks - we've been editing reasonably complex Fx in it and can see the need - minor annoyance factor but for the sake of $300 each - remember we're a business, and we're supporting the ongoing sales education of 1000 sales people around the world who average $4M each in sales annually, so the business case is a no brainer! That said if this were my own business, my own money, I'd spring for the $300 paid version - a test of spending needs at my employer as we're also to some extent shareholders, and whatever we spend on this hardware & apps will reduce the pool of bonus money available, if any(!)...

    So far, so good. I'll order up a Vega 64 card and Akitio Node Pro and do some tests with that before deciding on what the 3rd team member's hardware set up will be. We're also likely to get a 'render engine' for final rendering & delivery of each project, and use Davinci's collaborative project management approach that comes with the paid-for version to have all files on the render engine with a nice fat RAID-based backup via network to some other physical location.

    Merry Christmas to you all!
     
  10. F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #10
    You might find it useful to look at this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/external-gpu-egpu-resources.2154653/

    I might also mention that the new 64-bit Compressor is wickedly fast.
     
  11. mschmalenbach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    #11
    Thanks!

    Further - I got a Razer Pro X eGPU breakout box, and an MSI Vega 56 8Gb HBM2 card to go in it. Nice breakout box. The MSI card has been flaky with my MBPr... about 1/3 of the time it runs along at about 50% of the performance of the built in RX 560 with 4Gb of memory - very odd!

    Apparently some makes of card don't play so well with Macs, and some, in particular those from Saphire, do... I'd not heard of this...

    Anyway, 2 of my team are equipped with Lenovo workstations so I'm sure the VEGA 56 will work fine for one of them!
     

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10 December 5, 2018