Resolve Update Adds Support for HEVC 4:2:2 Main10 on Apple Silicon

DaVinci Resolve Studio 17.4.4 brings many enhancements, chief among them being support for encoding H.265 4:2:2 Main10 on Apple Silicon, the codec used to upload HDR video to YouTube and the most demanding operation on our M1 Max MacBook Pro with 32GB RAM. In order to determine exactly how much of an improvement the update brings, we imported a ProRes 4444 file and dragged it onto the timeline of Resolve. Using the Option key, we created five stacked clips, after which we added a small amount of noise reduction. Our math is pretty execrable, but it appears as though the update increases efficiency by as much as 25 – 30%. Pretty impressive, right? It is until you consider that the same clip that required 3 min. 45 sec. to render in DaVinci Resolve Studio 17.4.4 took a mere 32 seconds to complete in Apple Compressor. Encoding at higher quality increased that time to just 1:59. The five stacked ProRes 4444 clips with noise reduction played back in real time in Final Cut Pro while in Resolve, the timeline came to a complete standstill. One caveat, though: in Compressor, faster (standard quality) encoding can be a memory hog, so we recommend slower (higher quality) encoding and closing out all other applications while rendering if you’ve got a 32GB RAM machine.

Note 17.03.2022: We weren’t aware at the time of writing that, along with the update, there’s a separate selection for 4:2:2 subsampled 10-bit HEVC on the render page. So now, there are three choices: Main (8-bit), Main10 (10-bit 4:2:0) and Main 4:2:2 10. Therefore, the rendering speed comparisons are only valid for HEVC Main10 and although Apple has the upper hand in terms of sheer performance, DaVinci Resolve maintains its lead by offering the superior codec.

Update 13.04.2022: Compressor 4.6.1 adds the ability to encode files in HEVC 10 bit 4:2:2 on Mac computers with Apple silicon on macOS Monterey 12.3 or later.

Download a comparison between ProRes 4444 XQ, HEVC Main 4:2:2 10 and Main10. It is recommended you throw the clip on the timeline of your favorite NLE, change settings to HDR PQ and view on an external HDR monitor or television.

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