Hardware buying tips for running HitFilm

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  • Hi,
    You would not really see a performance increase from buying a Workstation card, Workstation cards are predominately used for CAD, 3DS Max.. etc. They can also be considerably more expensive than a 'consumer' graphics card.
    In my opinion picking up the latest Nvidia card would be a better investment.
    Thanks
    Ady

    I'm using Maya 2013 and downloaded 3DS Max because I could get it for free student and former school employee.
  • Hey,
    So I just received my copy of HitFilm Ultimate and am absolutely thrilled to finally start making films again. My only issue is that, although my laptop can run the software, it doesnt seem to be running it well. The animations are choppy at best on full resolution and Im often forced to revert to quarter res, which makes editing a real pain in the neck. I think maybe I need a new GPU? But Im not entirely certain if that's the problem. I want to do everything I can to run this software at optimum capacity, but I could really use some help with the technical specifics. Im using a Dell XPS L50 2X, and it works, but just barely. Any advice?
    ~Q
  • What are the specs of your machine? What processor, graphics card, and how much RAM? And what format is your video footage, or are you just working with the internal effects, and no video footage?
  • Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GBs of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce GT 540M. Right now Im just trying to wrap my head around the internal effects, so no actual footage yet.
  • AdyAdy Staff
    edited July 2012

    Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GBs of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce GT 540M. Right now Im just trying to wrap my head around the internal effects, so no actual footage yet.

    Hi,
    I can't seem to find an i7 model of the Dell XPS L502X, they all seem to be i5's with an Nvidia 525M. But even so, I think the problem here maybe that you have multiple GPU's. An Intel HD 3000 & an Nvidia Chipset also, you can read about how to set up your machines Profile for this here. It's possible your machine is using the Intel HD 3000 chip rather than the Nvidia one, so you must tell your system to use the more powerful Nvidia Chip when running HitFilm.
    But before doing this, please update your driver which I have linked to below:
    Nvidia Driver
    And finally, always make sure you run a Version HitFilm that is native to your operating system, as your Windows Operating System is 64bit, make sure you are running the 64bit version of the software. This can be downloaded within your account here
    Thanks
    Ady
  • Ady, you are the man. It is an i7 model, but you were right about the 525M. I switched my preferences from the Intel 3000 to the Nvidia and everything is rendering much better, though still kind of choppy. Do you guys have any suggestions for better graphics cards? Or is there something else I should try to get it to render smoother? Im trying to get this program to run as smooth as physically possible for my laptop, and I'll take any input you guys can dish out. Thanks a million!
    ~Q
  • What should be my next upgrade?
    I have a Dell XPS 410 with a Intel Core 2 Extreme Q6800 at 2.93 Ghz, It has a max of 8 gigs of ram, a NVidia Geforce 560 Ti 1 gig. My system is running windows 7 64bit and I have a 224 SSD and as soon as I figure out how to move my system onto that harddrive I will be running on that. I hated how terribly slow Hitfilm got when I had a bunch of things going and that made rotoscoping a bigger chore then it really needs to be. I've been looking at either upgrading my motherboard/ tower to something which would accommadate most of my components but allow for an Sli or take the plunge to some beast of a GPU that is either in the GTX 600's or has at least 3 gigs of RAM.
  • I get a pretty good performance on a similar system at home, Mchl. What kind of stuff are you doing when you start to see the slowdown? Regardless of your system, at some point you're going to hit a barrier that prevents realtime performance.
    Processor and GPU are always the main areas to focus on upgrading, I'd say, with regards to HitFilm.
  • Well my vfx test for control has 7 comp layers. The first comp has a light particle simulator. the next comp has several planes and tracked media and points. Another composite has 2 particle sims on it and some tracked points. By this point things started going slower in the next comp. I did lightning and then masked out some things and rotoscoping took a lot longer then it realy should have. To move the masks took forever when I was clicking and repositioning things.

    Here is my cpu in comparison to others.
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core2+Extreme+Q6800+@+2.93GHz
    In terms of GPU you can find the GTX 560 Ti
    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

    A expensive graphics card would work on this system and future systems so right now I am really struggling with what I would like to do. Building a new computer would give me a lot more options for raw power but if I can only spend 500 bucks and get the performance I need right now then I am tempted, If i build a new computer I could get a good mobo and tower for 500 but then i'd need to begin gathering components again.
  • AdyAdy Staff

    Well my vfx test for control has 7 comp layers. The first comp has a light particle simulator. the next comp has several planes and tracked media and points. Another composite has 2 particle sims on it and some tracked points. By this point things started going slower in the next comp. I did lightning and then masked out some things and rotoscoping took a lot longer then it realy should have. To move the masks took forever when I was clicking and repositioning things.

    Here is my cpu in comparison to others.
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core2+Extreme+Q6800+@+2.93GHz
    In terms of GPU you can find the GTX 560 Ti
    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

    A expensive graphics card would work on this system and future systems so right now I am really struggling with what I would like to do. Building a new computer would give me a lot more options for raw power but if I can only spend 500 bucks and get the performance I need right now then I am tempted, If i build a new computer I could get a good mobo and tower for 500 but then i'd need to begin gathering components again.

    Hi,
    Can you just clarify something for me? Do you have 7 layers within a Composite Shot or 7 separate Composite Shots all containing multiple Layers?
    It sounds like you have 7 Composite Shots, this is probably why you are experiencing slowdown.
    The CPU you have is from 2008, this would be the logical next step in terms of upgrading your system. Even an i5 would double the performance you are getting from your current CPU, this would probably mean upgrading / changing your Motherboard too though.
    The 560 Ti is perfectly good enough but Particle Systems are unique in that they use both the CPU & GPU for rendering. Your system is some cases is possibly getting 'CPU bound', which is when the time for it to complete a task is determined principally by the speed of the central processor.
    Currently you have an up to date GPU & an 'old' CPU, which will work but you will experience better performance if you update your hardware so that your system is much more balanced.
    But again, your system is capable, just find a work flow that works for you.
    Thanks
    Ady
  • Its 7 different comp shots with multiple layers in it.
  • Hi everyone, I was looking at the minimum processor requirements and I'm not sure if my processor meets them or not. My processor is an Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40 GHz, the minimum processor is a 1.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64. Also, I was wondering how well hitfilm runs with the minimum requirements. And one last thing, can I mix and match some of the recommended requirements and the minimum requirements. For example, rec. GPU with min processor?
  • Hi ben. Your processor does meet the minimum requirements, but you don't mention what GPU you have, or how much RAM you have installed.
    You can use a combination of minimum and recommended requirements on various components of your system. Anything that isn't below the minimum will work, but performance will be much more pleasant if your hardware meets the recommended specs. The minimums are what is required for the software to function, but if your specs are at the bare minimum, then performance will likely slow down quickly as your projects get more complex.
    Trying to keep your entire system somewhat balanced ensures that you don't experience a bottleneck at any one component that slows down the entire system.
  • Thanks, and I have 1 gb ram and a Nvidia GeForce Fx 5500. Also, how much better is my processor than the minimum and how much worse is it than the recommended?
  • i have had hitfilm for a while and its awesome i had problem with the requirements too so i did a lot of research and this laptop the Acer 7750g Its on b and h .com and all its specs are in the recommended requirements it has a 2nd gen dual core i5, Radeon 6850,4gb ram, 640GB HDD its a really good machine here is the link for anyone whose interested hope this helps
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/829664-REG/Acer_LX_RNA02_008_Aspire_7750_AS7750_6458_17_3.html
  • Wow great price too. Do you own one? If you do how does it run hitfilm? Thanks
  • My machine was as follows
    Intel Q6600 2.4GHz Quad core
    4Gb DDR2 800 MHz
    GeForce 8800 GTS
    I did the muzzle flash tutorial. The video files played back beautifully, near real time. After I'd completed the tutorial and applied all the effects, playback became a slideshow. In fact as the muzzle flash is only on one frame I never saw it on playback, only when scrubbing etc.
    My camcorder footage from a Panasonic SD700 was a slideshow without any effects, but hopefully the Hitfilm update will sort that.
    Replaced the gfx card with a GeForce 670 2Gb. Same story re muzzle flash which quite surprised me.
    So I have now bought the following for assembly next weekend, should family duties allow...
    i7 3770k
    Z77 Gigabyte MB with PCIe 3.0 slots
    16 Gb 2x8Gb Dimm Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz
    Crucial M4 256Gb SSD
    GeForce 670 of course.
    Should I expect a slideshow still? Should I have had a slideshow with the original system?

    RE gfx card recommendations. What we need is benchmarks from you guys please.
    If Anandtech can do it for a couple of dozen applications at a time then you can do it for your one application :-)
    For example, my GeForce 670 is very competitive in games with even the top end single GPU Radeon 7000 series. But I know the Radeons have exceptional performance in compute, and the Geforces are crippled somewhat in software, certainly in double precision, to protect NVidias margins on their Teslas. How am I supposed to know how this affects performance in Hitfilm without benchmarks?
    Without benchmarks your recommendations are of marginal use. Just use fraps on some of your tutorials and report frames per second data.
    We need impirical data so we can make our own minds up.

    PS, the POST button on this forum did nothing from Safari iPad.
  • GTX 670 2 gb? Thats a nice add on. I was going ot go that route because I have a very similar system of your original system. I tracked down a better CPU the QX6800 2.93 I have 8 gigs of ram in my Dell XPS 410 and its running windows 7 64bit. The GPU is the EVGA GTX 560 ti. I kept hearing that the GPU is the most important part but I don't think it is. I mean my system shows 7's on windows ratings and can play all the tough games like Starcraft 2 and StarTrek on the highest resolution. Maybe those games are optimized for cuda, but I am waiting on the 1500 i am owed because a former company had a class action law suit brought against it and then either I am going to build a brand new comp or finance the Cinema camera
    the one from black magic
  • Bear in mind games and HitFilm are two very, very different things. Games are specifically optimised for more thing: real time speed. HitFilm, on the other hand, has to prioritise quality because it's designed for creating high quality, repeatable output.
    We can definitely look into providing benchmarks of some sort, but it's always going to be slightly anecdotal. Benchmarks for the latest computer game make sense because playing that game is always going to be the same. With a tool like HitFilm, projects will vary wildly. Even one particle effect can perform very differently to another particle effect, even though they're both using the same effect.

  • Save us a little work and add some links to desktop and laptop models that meet the processor and graphics card "sweet spot" criteria. I bought Ultimate about three weeks after getting a Lenovo laptop, which is awesome in all other respects, only to discover it has no graphics card when installing the HitFilm software. Now HitFilm is sitting on a shelf unused, because even the card that fit my existing desktop slows down most multimedia processes when installed.

    In some point, I suggest that some staff would go on websites like Dell, Asus, Hp or Lenovo to show us wich workstation that would fit for Hitfilm ultimate for the recommanded specs.
    Here's an exemple from a Dell, the problem is the graphic card, It's an Nvidia, but I don't know if it's okay with the recommanded specs.
    And an exemple from Lenovo, I think that the graphic card would the job for the recommanded specs, but not the CPU.
    And it goes on. I don't think i'm the only one looking for the right computer in the begining before even downloading the trial version of ultimate. The more I search and the more I get lost the find the best machine that runs this beauty! And if this continues, I might go see other commons VFX program or getting serious with Autodesk products.

  • In some point, I suggest that some staff would go on websites like Dell, Asus, Hp or Lenovo to show us wich workstation that would fit for Hitfilm ultimate for the recommanded specs.
    Here's an exemple from a Dell, the problem is the graphic card, It's an Nvidia, but I don't know if it's okay with the recommanded specs.
    And an exemple from Lenovo, I think that the graphic card would the job for the recommanded specs, but not the CPU.
    And it goes on. I don't think i'm the only one looking for the right computer in the begining before even downloading the trial version of ultimate. The more I search and the more I get lost the find the best machine that runs this beauty! And if this continues, I might go see other commons VFX program or getting serious with Autodesk products.

    From my understanding, HitFilm was designed with the more consumer class GPU's in mind rather than workstation level graphics cards. There is nothing wrong with Nvidia cards (I use one myself and I love it). The Dell you've listed comes with a Nvidia Quadro 600 which is a workstation class card. I'm sure the card will work however, it may not be the most efficient card for HitFilm nor your wallet unless you're using other applications that will benefit from that type of card.
    In the second example, the lenovo, the CPU is a 2 core / 4 thread processor the recommended hardware is a quad core based machine. It is also using an integrated video card (stock) which aren't the strongest. You'd be much better off with a dedicated video card.
    As convenient as it would be for us to have HitFilm staff scour the net for machines that fit the recommended hardware requirements it would take a ton of their time away from focusing on developing their software, building tutorials etc. Especially since systems are constantly being changed.
    Perhaps this is where the community forums come to play so other users can help assist people in helping find what they need to run this software :)
    Here's a quick link to a Dell system that would run HitFilm quite well, it's not a workstation class system though:
    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xps-8500?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=corp&~lt=popup

    MegaDamo,
    I know what you mean regarding the choice between AMD / nvidia cards and the compute power difference between them. I had I tough choice between deciding which one to go for and like you, I have the GTX 670.
    You can check out some user benchmarks with regards to export rendering but for real time rendering I don't think anyone has posted any data. Not sure if that will help but check it out below,
    http://community.hitfilm.com/index.php?/topic/510-hitfilm-benchmark-scene/page__st__20
  • Well, first it was not nice from me to ask the staff to scouter trought the web for machines. I'm sorry and of course the community could and can help for those specs. The computers were only exemples. And since some compagnies like Dell or HP can assist via a little chat windows. They can probably assist more then anything in what we need if we send them the recommanded specs.
    Thinking of it, I might probably do that while i'm transcoding and transfering videos.
    By the way, sorry if some of you have difficulties to understand, I may lost the habit to speak and write in english.

  • Well, first it was not nice from me to ask the staff to scouter trought the web for machines. I'm sorry and of course the community could and can help for those specs. The computers were only exemples. And since some compagnies like Dell or HP can assist via a little chat windows. They can probably assist more then anything in what we need if we send them the recommanded specs.
    Thinking of it, I might probably do that while i'm transcoding and transfering videos.
    By the way, sorry if some of you have difficulties to understand, I may lost the habit to speak and write in english.

    No worries, we're all looking to make sure we get the 'right' machine for our needs before we spend our hard earned money on things.
    Feel free to post up a link to machines you're looking at, this community is pretty good at responding to others when they need advice.

  • MegaDamo,
    I know what you mean regarding the choice between AMD / nvidia cards and the compute power difference between them. I had I tough choice between deciding which one to go for and like you, I have the GTX 670.
    You can check out some user benchmarks with regards to export rendering but for real time rendering I don't think anyone has posted any data. Not sure if that will help but check it out below,
    http://community.hitfilm.com/index.php?/topic/510-hitfilm-benchmark-scene/page__st__20


    Thanks for the link, very useful :-)
  • edited July 2012
    I think I've figured out why FXhome recommend the best gaming grade graphics cards as opposed to workstation class cards such as NVidia Quadro's and AMD Fire GL's for Hitfilm. The same goes for compute monsters such as NVidia's Tesla's.
    Hitfilm doesn't use heterogeneous GPU compute codes such as CUDA and OpenCL etc.
    Instead it uses OpenGL Shading Language in the main for effects, hence the emphasis in the system requirements for OpenGL 2.0 capable gaming graphics cards.
    If so, then that explains a lot and makes the advice of the FXhome guys a lot more understandable.
    Am I warm? Come on chaps, tell us :-)
  • That's correct. To ensure HitFilm is available to as many people as possible we haven't gone down the CUDA or OpenCL route.
    A good gaming GPU will run HitFilm effectively.
  • Hi everyone,
    Thought I'd just put this in here rather than creating a new thread.
    So me and a friend are looking at getting into video editing and vfx. Looking around for software to use and I stumbled across this one, which seems absolutely perfect. Then I hit the problem that it only runs on Windows, whilst I've got an iMac. I'm looking at installing Windows 7 through Bootcamp, but I was just wondering if anyone could confirm that my iMac (mid-2010) would be able to cope with it? I think it will, to minimum requirements, but I'd prefer it if someone could give me some more information on what that means regarding performance etc.
    iMac
    21.5-inch, Mid 2010
    Processor: 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3
    Memory: 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB
    Software: Mac OS X 10.7.4
    Thanks for the help!
  • AdyAdy Staff

    Hi everyone,
    Thought I'd just put this in here rather than creating a new thread.
    So me and a friend are looking at getting into video editing and vfx. Looking around for software to use and I stumbled across this one, which seems absolutely perfect. Then I hit the problem that it only runs on Windows, whilst I've got an iMac. I'm looking at installing Windows 7 through Bootcamp, but I was just wondering if anyone could confirm that my iMac (mid-2010) would be able to cope with it? I think it will, to minimum requirements, but I'd prefer it if someone could give me some more information on what that means regarding performance etc.
    iMac
    21.5-inch, Mid 2010
    Processor: 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3
    Memory: 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 MB
    Software: Mac OS X 10.7.4
    Thanks for the help!

    Hi,
    Thanks for your interest in HitFilm & welcome to the forums!
    The AMD 5670 is only just above the minimum specification HD 2900 XT in terms of power, so as much as the software will run & be fine. With some complex Projects, you may experience some slowdown, we have a similar card in a test machine here in the Office, and although not lightning fast the card does handle the software well.
    I hope this helps a little, if you have further questions please get back in touch.
    Thanks
    Ady
  • edited July 2012

    Hi,
    Thanks for your interest in HitFilm & welcome to the forums!
    The AMD 5670 is only just above the minimum specification HD 2900 XT in terms of power, so as much as the software will run & be fine. With some complex Projects, you may experience some slowdown, we have a similar card in a test machine here in the Office, and although not lightning fast the card does handle the software well.
    I hope this helps a little, if you have further questions please get back in touch.
    Thanks
    Ady

    That's great. Seeing as I'm just starting out I doubt I'll be doing any complex projects. I'll download it and if things are going well and I want to move on to more complex things then I can always invest in better hardware at a later date.
    Thanks for the help!

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