Filmmaker Facelift: Should You Level up to GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and DaVinci Resolve?

Patrick Fitzgerald  |  03-12-2020
Upgrading to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti - Video Editing & Gaming PC Build 2020

Stop wasting time waiting on Premiere exports

THAT’S IT!!! We’re fucking done trouble-shooting why our exports keep freezing in Adobe Premiere. 

If you’re anything like us, we barely have time to sit around and wait for our exports. Let alone spend hours troubleshooting or waiting on hold with Premiere.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

And when you have six client projects all going on at the same time… that extra time is essential. So, we took a look at the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card to see if this $1,200 upgrade was actually worth it.

Top of the Crop

As of February 27th 2020, this card currently sits at #1 on Tom’s Hardware GPU hierarchy and #1 on PCGamer’s GPU Hierarchy. But how does it do in Premiere?

First, with our current GTX 980 graphics card loaded, we took our C9 demo reel and tried playing it back on an unrendered timeline to see how many frames were dropped. Then we installed the upgraded RTX 2080 Ti card and played it back in the same unrendered timeline. Keep in mind that all the footage used was 8K RED and 4K Canon C200 RAW footage.

Upgrading to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti - Video Editing & Gaming PC Build 2020 - number of dropped frames during playback

Typically, we wouldn’t edit this timeline without proxies and full timeline resolution. We did this just for the sake of testing speed and playback. But it was clear that the RTX 2080 Ti performed slightly better—the difference was actually a bit smaller than we expected!

Can this difference be 100% attributed to the graphics card? We say probably not, but it certainly plays a part in it. We know that many factors contribute to timeline playback including the speed of the drive your source files are on and RAM speed. 

Software or Hardware Issue?

Next we revisited our local TV Spot that we couldn’t export with CUDA on the 980. We hoped the 2080 Ti would make a difference, but it also failed.

Upgrading to the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti - Video Editing & Gaming PC Build 2020 - premiere error

After researching the render error, we found that it was actually a software bug and had nothing to do with the hardware. If you’ve ever received this error, try copying and pasting the sequence into another sequence! That seemed to work for us. 

Despite that small hurdle, the 2080 Ti got past the point where the 980 couldn’t. Could this be due to the amount of VRAM, 11 GB of GDDR6, and 4352 CUDA coresthe 2080 Ti has? Maybe, considering the 980 only has 4GB of GDDR5 and 2048 CUDA Cores. But for all we know that could’ve just been another software bug.

GPU Usage: DaVinci vs Premiere

After messing around with DaVinci Resolve a bit when conducting our research, we found that DaVinci appears to have a lot more options when it comes to playback and encoding.

So, we took a full resolution premium timeline with some 8K RED Code and 6K Black Magic RAW footage and added two GPU-intensive effects: denoiser and glow to see how much of the graphic card’s power it would actually use.

And wow. DaVinci clocked in using around 97-99% of the graphics card’s power compared to Premiere only using about 14-30%.

When it comes to GPU optimization… DaVinci definitely takes the cake.


The bottom line is the RTX 2080 Ti fares better against the GTX 980 graphics card, but it won’t solve all your problems. 

The best solution, at least from these tests we ran, is to upgrade to the RTX 2080 Ti AND begin the switch to using DaVinci Resolve as the GPU utilization is exponentially higher. This will cut down your export time and time wasted troubleshooting.

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