Hitfilm 4 Pro Unusable on relatively new Macbook?


I have a mid 2014 13 inch macbook pro (a then 1300$ computer) 
Its specs are
2.6 GHz Intel Core i5
8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 ram 
Intel Iris 1536MB graphics. 

I have tried different scaling options for resolutions, but hitfilm won't play 1080P/30 videos even in the "quarter" setting. No matter what I do, every single input takes 3-5 seconds to take effect, and often times the entire program crashes before that can happen! 

On top of this, other editing software works great. I paid 600$ for hitfilm as I'm in Canada, so this is causing me a lot of anguish. 

I get that macs suck for the price, I get that this computer could be faster, but this doesn't seem like it adds up. Can anyone please help?



  • Also, preview settings are set to "none".

  • Also, I'm currently working with a .mp4, but ive worked with h.264 and its maybe even worse. 

  • What is this, "Intel Iris 1536MB graphics"?  Maybe that's your problem?

  • edited December 2016

     A 2.6 Ghz i5 CPU is not terribly fast. Iris graphics is only a little above minimum spec. You are likely going to have some performance issues.

    "I'm currently working with a .mp4, but ive worked with h.264"

    MP4 is a file format and not a codec but most MP4 files contain AVC/H.264 video. Most AVC video has a high decode overhead. You can help yourself out by transcoding your source media to Prores or DNxHD. They are considered "editing" formats. It is possible that they could dramatically improve your situation. I don't know about available transcoding utilities on the Mac. I'm PC only. I don't know if FxHome has a tutorial on this.

  • Yeremyah that's the graphics chip

  • NormanPCN its just that reincoding everything makes my turnaround time so slow that its worthless to even try to make videos with it. 

    Also, if its above the minimum specs wouldn't it be at least functional? im not talking hiccups here, its absolutely broken. 

    In any case I dont know, so if it isnt possible then that's that i suppose :(

  • @LotusEaterMable Where are your source clips from? If they are from a cell phone , tablet or a screen recording it's possible they have a variable frame rate which complicates things. That shouldn't cause crashes but it would still need to be fixed. 

    As far as transcoding to something more edit friendly goes Mpeg Streamclip should work for you. It's free and has batch processing. A more edit friendly version of h.264 can be made with Handbrake using @NormanPCN 's magic settings and it's also free with batch processing. The best way to convert is to set up your batch and start it just before you go to sleep that way you're not wasting time waiting on the conversion. 

    One last thought - Is your footage interlaced or progressive? HitFilm prefers progressive and interlaced footage can impact performance. 

  • edited December 2016

    Aladdin4d: They're at a constant framerate. I've had problems with that in the past so I know that for sure! im using MPEG streamclip now, and the videos in question are currently converting in batch. I'd like to see these settings if there's a link or something to them.

  • Thanks so everyone who has contributed so far. 

    As a side note, does anyone know if performance is better optimized for windows? If all i needed to do was buy a copy to use with bootcamp to be able to use the program rather than buying a new computer the choice is obvious. 

  • Handbrake settings start @ 8:05 and the extra options are listed in the description


  • edited December 2016

    Based on a 2 year struggle with my iMac.

    Better to buy a PC if you plan on using Hitfilm for extreme VFX. The graphics cards that Mac puts in their machines severely limit performance. 

    Said Mac has a Geforce 755m 1024mb - just about the same performance as your Iris 5200. Just really puked when it came to scrubbing the timeline. Prores defiantly helped but struggled ( slowed to a crawl) a lot when I started adding VFX elements.

    2c's :-)

  • @LotusEaterMable ;"Also, if its above the minimum specs wouldn't it be at least functional? im not talking hiccups here, its absolutely broken. "

    Functional yes, but still maybe slow depending on exactly what you are doing. Most forum complaints of performance are basic timeline playback and that is often made worse by high decode overhead media files. This function is controlled by the CPU. Only when you apply effects does the GPU kick in and its performance can then affect overall throughput.

    You did not mention specific issues. NLE timeline or composite or a specific action. One thing I forgot to mention is to try switching the NLE timeline thumbnail display to start/end or None. Depending on the length of your clips, Hitfilm can perform very bad when you place and/or trim/cut clips and/or timeline zoom. It goes about computing the new thumbnails and audio waveforms and this interferes with playback. The mentioned transcode will likely dramatically improve this delay as well.

    Also, make sure your GPU it setup for max performance for Hitfilm itself. Most GPUs try to lower their clock to idle. This is not an issue but often their usage detection to boost the clock back to full does not really get things to full when Hitfilm is doing many tasks.

    "As a side note, does anyone know if performance is better optimized for windows?"

    Hitfilm performance depends on the hardware itself. The OS has little to do with this, since quite simply, the OS is not doing much. Hitfilm is carrying the load.

    "On top of this, other editing software works great. ...so this is causing me a lot of anguish. "

    Hitfilm is very capable but sadly it is on the slow side relative to many other video editors. e.g. Vegas, FCP, AE, Premiere. The transcode helps many/most people in this regard.

  • @NormanPCN ;

    I really appreciate all of this. Thanks for taking the time to educate me! I know it might have been a little frustrating because of my lack of knowledge. 

    I hope you have a great night, and thanks to everyone who chimed in! 

  • Even the $6,000+ Mac's don't seem to have very powerful GPU + specs :P

  • Hi @LotusEaterMable ... I didn't check bootcamp but I think it won't help you. Can you tell us further information about what you are working on?

    I mean, I do have a MacPro 32Gb RAM 2x AMD FirePro D300 2048 MB. Everything seems ok on the paper but I have some issues  due to the FirePro graphic cards because it seems that HitFilmPro is designed to work with GeForce graphics cards (FCPX and Motion fly but obviously they are products created by Apple). I'm not a professional vfx user so I'm not going to buy a PC so far (but I thought about it), but in order to deal with these issues I always create all my scene (footage/mask/3d models/ effects) but without any light layer because when I start adding light layers to the project it starts going dramaticaly slow so I only check the light layers at the end and only in some frames because I use the cache in order to watch the whole scene. If I need to change something I always disable the light layers first and then I change the scene. You might try this way.





Sign in to comment

Leave a Comment