Editing PC for Hitiflm

edited May 2017 in Everything Else

Hey, I am planning on building a PC for Hitfilm 2017 Pro. Was wondering if the software revolves more around a graphics card like DaVinvi Resolve or more around a CPU like Premier Pro. It would also be very helpful if anyone can leave a PC workstation build for Hitfilm down below. (My budget is around $2000 for a 4K workstation. )And some simple guidelines as to which type of parts Hitfilm works best with. Ex: Radeon or Intel; i7 or Xeon; Invidia or something else; etc. And any news if Hitfilm Pro will support XAVC 4K format for Sony users?


  • @Flip390  I have seen some of the HF savvy users say that Hitfilm uses the GPU far more than the CPU.  I have not regretted upgrading to an Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB card. (There's better now but I got a pretty decent price on this one.) Pro 2017 does support up to 8K but I am not familiar enough to know about XAVC.  Hope this helps you some.

  • OK thanks. Anything is much appreciated. And may I ask are you able to edit 4K fluently on your PC with that card? If so, with what processor?

  • edited May 2017

    @Flip 390

    I have not tried to edit any 4K footage as I have no camera to shoot it.  I did output a series of png renders of a modeling tutorial of the earth in 4k edit it in HF and it didn't have any issue there.  I have an AMD FX 8 core 4 ghz processor and 32 gb ram but when I was using a 2 gb Nvidia 6200 card they were not enough to run HF smoothly until I upgraded the GPU.  Some heavy laden shots still give it pause but not often.

    Edit:  NormanPCN mentioned something about 8 real cores and I remembered that mine is 4 real/4 virtual.  I had no clue such a thing existed when I got mine.  I just saw 8 cores!  I'll be looking into that in the future, I guess.

  • edited May 2017

    4k will be brutal. Only the top performing machines can do well here. This is true for ANY video editor.

    Is CPU or GPU the most important. The answer is both and as always, it depends on exactly what you are doing.

    The CPU performs video file decode and 4K will be harsh here. You will want to transcode to a low overhead format. XAVC is not supported but even it is were you might still want to transcode to something a little lower overhead. Without specifics it is hard to say. A big question here is do you expect to simultaneously composite multiple media files at any given point in time. One media is not really a big deal. If you will be doing a lot work with heavy multi-media file compositing then you are probably going to want a 8 real/full core CPU for 4k work.

    Hitfilm 2017 does perform very well with Cineform in 4k. I did a quick test and posted it somewhere. Let me find the link... Okay, it's not bookmarked and I'll look for it later.

    The GPU handles the graphics in Hitfilm. Well 99% anyway. How much GPU do you need? The answer asks how much and what specific graphics effects are you using. Typical color grade type stuff is no big deal performance wise. Curves, color correct and such. Other effects can be compute intensive. For example Glows. Glows are compute intensive and we are using them in multiples when we do use them. With graphics you can improve performance by running the viewer at Half. That is 1/4 the pixels of full and can help the GPU out.

    The CPU will do your file encoding during export.

  • edited May 2017

    SOB my post disappeared when I edited it and clicked save comment. 

    4k will be brutal and only top PCs can perform well here. This is true of any video editor.

    Is CPU or GPU the most important. The answer is both. As usual it depends on exactly what you are doing. If CG only then the GPU really the only issue.

    The CPU handles media file decode. 4k is harsh here. You will want to transcode to a low overhead media format. XAVC is not supported and I cannot say how well it would perform in Hitfilm. Cineform in 2017 performs very well. I once did a quickie 4k test and I'll try to find the thread later. I don't have it bookmarked. One big question comes up here. How much multi-file compositing do you expect to do. A single media is not so much a big deal. With 4k and multiple file compositing then you might start to think about 8 full/real core CPUs. Also, think about a very fast I/O subsystem for all those high bitrate simultaneous files.

    The GPU handles all graphics effects. Well 99% anyway. Again the question comes up. Exactly what and how much of this are you doing? Color grading type stuff is very fast and not much of a GPU compute burden. Curves, color corrector and such. Levels histogram is slow. Some commonly used special effects like Glow are compute intensive. We also tend to use Glows in multiples building up the result so it adds up quick. Lots of GPU can help here.

    With effects you can improve performance by running the viewer in Half resolution. This is 1/4 the pixels to process versus Full resolution.

    The CPU handles file encoding during export.

    Again a lot comes up to how much of what are you doing. Having some shots that are slow and never real time editing is expected. The more of that you have, then the more you are going to want more PC,

    EDIT: My 4k quick test thread.


  • edited May 2017

    Thanks for the help Norman. So for 4K editing with very minor lag would a 6 core i7 work? Say like the i7-6800K. Its 6 real cores and 12 virtual or hyperthreaded cores. For the purposes of editing in the timeline + color grading+ and some VFX when compositing. Hitfilm recommends a 4gb graphics card for 4K so would a gtx 1060 6gb do? Or should I get a gtx 1070 8gb card? I am ok with some lag when adding VFX, but it should be minor or very little lag after I switch to 1/4 resolution.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I'd say the 1070 8GB. I mean it's a higher-series card and faster, but also, VRAM is important. Since the GPU is doing all rendering tasks it's bearing the brunt of all that massive 4K footage. If you start getting into compositing and layering elements together--especially if particles and models get involved--it's possible to crash the software by overflowing the GPU VRAM. Just a 2-layer composite with a grade layer on top at 4K is the system pushing over well over100MB/frame (before anti aliasing kicks in, and, if you're doing animations with motion blur....)

    To a certain extent it also depend on how long you intend to use the current setup. If you're one of those people who upgrades a PC every year, then save a few bucks on the 1060. If you're going to run this machine for 3-5 years, then the extra money spent on the 1070 now will pay off two years down the road.

  • edited May 2017

    With this whole anti-aliasing thing. None of this will show on the final export right? Because I basically want a "relatively" smooth editing process. Smooth enough as to not ruin my production levels. For instance when it takes me 20 minutes longer to rotoscope something because of lag. That would be bad.  And just to clear this up, when you mentioned not enough VRAM that was targeted toward the 1060, and not the 1070, right? So that with the 1070 I wouldn't have these problems? And thank you everyone for so much help. It is much appreciated.

    edited May 2017

    If you have the ability/knowledge/time to learn how to put together your own PC from scratch, then I wouldn't settle for less (unless it needs to include monitors and other misc stuff)

    To answer your question, definitely go with the Ryzen (AMD) CPU. Their 8 core 16 thread is neck and neck next to Intel's 8 core 16 thread CPU, at half the price.

    With 4k, you might need more RAM, but without knowing the size of the projects, 32 GB is still a pretty high amount.

    Picking up another SSD with a higher volume or the same as the one below to RAID 0 them if necessary for demanding files is also possible, but so much information is missing to "tailor" it to you.

    PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zv4wnn
    Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zv4wnn/by_merchant/

    CPU: AMD - RYZEN 7 1700 3.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($313.75 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua - NH-D15 SE-AM4 140.2 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.95 @ Newegg Marketplace)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($84.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: G.Skill - FORTIS 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($219.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Sandisk - SSD PLUS 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($83.85 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: PNY - CS1111 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.89 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.89 @ OutletPC)
    Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Gaming OC 11G Video Card ($684.79 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: Fractal Design - Define R5 Blackout Edition ATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - G-750 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $1977.07
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

  • edited May 2017

    Well thanks so much! Sounds like a monster PC for that price. Is the processor due for overclocking? Maybe the TI version of the 1080 is a bit overkill, or not. You know better than me here. And if I overclock the CPU would I need a better cooling system?

    edited May 2017

    Yes, the CPU can be overclocked. No, that cooler is among the best available, it beats all in one water coolers, and it's not as loud.

    Let's be real, you said 4k - nothing is overkill.

  • edited May 2017

    It is the best available. Cool! CPU overclockable, great! And yeah I guess nothing would be overkill, but if money forces me to would a normal gtx 1080 or 1070 do?  Since you did say discounts included, so depending on the sale the price of the computer will be slightly different. And thanks for clearing all that up. (and btw I don't mind going down 1/2 or 1/4 resolution in the viewer when doing some VFX, as long as the edit is exported in 4K and I get that final 4K resolution, assuming I am getting smooth playback and editing on one of those resolutions when doing VFX whether it be 1080FHD or 2K or 4K.)

    Edit: I know I am paranoid but the are retailers you mentioned are trustworthy? And I am assuming that all parts are compatible and will not run into compatibility issues when building the pc.

  • How much power do you need? Triem is definitely the expert here when it comes to pushing a PC to the limit, so I would explain your work process to him, so that we can then figure out what specs you need to achieve that.

    Yep, trustworthy. :)

  • Check out Blender.org. Surprisingly, It is free. But, performs like anything else!

  • edited May 2017

    Ok CNK, I can do some further research when is comes to the graphics card, but if I have the money or find a need for that kind of performance then I will go with your recommendation (or upgrade to it when time comes). As for the processor, will definitely be using that and almost everything else you recommended. Thanks so much, you helped me out a lot.

  • The thing about my build is that prices fluctuate, a lot. But yeah, the two core components are definitely the GPU and the CPU, I'd say RAM third and storage fourth, but yeah, with a budget like that, you're going to get a monster of a machine, as long as you stay away from pre builts, as they're generally bad value for money.

  • edited May 2017

    Well you know, that's my budget max. I am simply not willing to pay more than $2,000 but a good enough computer for some less money would be ideal. If anything I upgrade later. Just gonna search for sales, and check out what they got for Black Friday to get the best for my money. Thanks for everything, I have a good idea of what I need and have a feel for what parts I should get. Next step, learning to build the actual PC. (Will most likely have my uncle check that I built it correctly before I start it up, so that I don't fry it.)

  • Does that $2000 include everything, peripherals as well?

  • $2000 including Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft word I already own so basically the operating system. As for the cost of the actual Hitfilm 2017 Pro. No it does not include that but still sticking to around 2,000 with the software included would be nice. So, I get everything on sale and my budget should be fine.

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