New Spec Requirements for HitFilm - Buying a New Computer

Now that FXhome has delivered on the promise of raising the specs for running HitFilm, my computer is no longer up to the task.

I have a friend who is a computer tech guru. I have been speaking to him about helping me find a new computer to run HitFilm. Last week, he suggested a Dell which was very well priced. I am aware of the problems that Dell computers can have with HitFilm. My question about that would be... It's not so much the Dell computer that is the problem, but more the Alienware / Dell backup software that is the problem, right? So if I were to get a Dell and then remove that software, will it be fine, or is there something more going on there?

Also, balancing requirements against price, it seems to me that I should prioritze in the following manner...

  1. GPU
  2. CPU
  3. Ram
  4. Hard Drive Speed

I have an SSD already that I work from. I would transfer that over to the new computer, so that is secondary to me anyway. The first three seem to be most important anyway. Would everyone agree that I have the priorities in line?

Any other advice or suggestions would be greatly welcomed! :)


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Component priority: order of 1 and 2 are a bit debatable. I usually argue for GPU first, as I do a lot of animation/mograph work. @NormanPCN would then normally counter that the CPU does video decoding so would be more important than GPU to someone mostly cutting video with light VFX work. Since HF12 is starting to add in hardware decoding things are now a little different when using mp4 media. Since,  at least from your YouTube channel you seem to do more animation/VFX I'd agree that GPU is most important.

    RAM ranks lower, partially because it's pretty cheap and can be slowly upgraded very easily. Same with drives/storage. Especially if you're going to take the old computer totally out of service and can cannibalize for parts.

    Correct  with Dell/Alienware it's the backup/recovery software causing issues. That bit of OEM garbage causes issues with much other software as well.

    ESPECIALLY as you have a tech guru, I say consider looking at an online vendor specializing in custom gaming rigs. I use XoticPC  but there are others like AVADirect. They all tend towards comparable pricing. The custom configs will give you a lot more options at a better price - my current laptop is a custom configuration Sager/Clevo that was half the cost of the identically speced Alienware. The advantage is you should get more power for your dollar. The disadvantage is a custom build won't show up for a month.

    (Note many users have mostly stable performance on just under spec machines... HF12 came out three months ago, 12.3 a month ago and you're still doing TRON animations and tutorials, so my guess is waiting for a custom build won't be critical...)

    Otherwise  if you go for Nvidia GPUs, get an xx60, 70 or 80. The 1050 benches under my 980m, and a 980m is about equal to a desktop 770. If the 1050 is slower than the not - flagship card from three generations back, it's bad value for money. Since HF won't use RTX raytracing, IMHO the Nvidia 1070 is the power/price sweet spot with the 1080 being "splurge" and the 1060 being "good enough."

  • Following........ new custom build coming soon.



  • @Triem23 @JBaymore That's what I'm doing, a custom build. Regardless of what I get, I will put in a clean install of Windows 10 with no "OEM garbage." I am building a desktop for my office, so no need for portability. I will post the results when it happens, but it may be a while. Like Mike said, I have time to make sure I do it right, so I will. I'm in no hurry to get something done in short order, but it is a priority to work on, that's for sure.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited May 2019

    @FilmSensei ;  Good that you are doing a custom build.  You will wind up with much better components than something off the shelf.  Kind of with Mike on the back and forth with CPU vs. GPU .   Both are equally important.  (I Definitely recommend an Intel CPU and an NVidia GPU.)  Whatever you do, put your money on those two items.  

    But do not overlook your power supply.  A big GPU will pull a good chunk of power.   Better to have more watts than you think you'll need to cover additional cards or add-on devices.

    When I built my last system I used   I was able to compare prices on components and dial in the power I needed for my budget.   Also make sure your motherboard has room for expansion.   

    Buy the meanest screaminest system you can afford (or barely afford).  You will have it a while.   You don't want to be kicking yourself a year later over a $50 difference on a critical item.

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