[Laptop buying advice] + How well does HitFilm 3 Express run on a Laptop?

kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
edited March 2016 in General

Hello,

I'm curious, because I would like to start using this program while travelling. My main concern is the drive, how do people get by with a Hard Drive as opposed to an SSD?

 Thanks!

«1

Comments

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador
    edited January 2016

    My previous laptop was a 2011 model with 7200rpm hard drives. Because a Hard Drive is slower than an SSD, you will see a performance hit, but how much depends on what you're doing. For animation and things using generated or graphic elements you'll have very little edit slowdown because the images are generated in the software, not video. If you're doing a lot with video, yeah, you'll get some slowdown. That said I used Hitfilm's 2, 3 and 4 on that machine. You'll see slowdown on rendering depending on the render. Complex scenes that take something like 10 seconds or more to generate the frame, no slowdown. Simple things might take a hit. 

    SSD is faster, but I got by on the HDD. My current laptop is actually still using an HDD as the project drive, although I am about to transfer that to SSD. My current laptop is insane, however, and has four drive bays. 

    I guess the TL/DR is that a similar spec desktop will outperform a laptop, but the laptops can do well. 

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Very informative answer. Okay, so because I'm a beginner, in your (or others) opinion, is this too much?

     

    Brand Acer
    Item Weight 2.5 Kg
    Item model number NX.MLTEK.063
    Series Aspire E5-571G
    Form Factor Portable
    Screen Size 15.6 inches
    Processor Brand Intel®
    Processor Speed 2400 MHz
    Processor Count 2
    RAM Size 8192 MB
    Hard Drive Size 1000 GB
    Graphics Card Description GEFORCE 840M
    Graphics Card Ram Size

    4096 MB

     

     

    All I want is be able to edit videos, add a few cool effects, tracking, noise reduction, etc.

    Am I overthinking this? The last thing I want is buy an expensive laptop like the one above, if it turns out that I don't need that much power.

    I won't be gaming either, if that matters. I will be using it for school software and HF3E.

    The camera I will be using is Canon 600D, and the media will be shot in 1920x1080 at 24 FPS.

     

    This one is even cheaper, and I'm assuming better? 940>840?

    GeForce 940M

    Core i5-4210U

    8GB RAM

    1000GB HDD

    Windows 10 Home

     

     

    Thanks!

  • StormyKnightStormyKnight Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,726 Ambassador
    edited January 2016

    IMHO you can never have enough power.....best to plan ahead. You'll kick yourself if you come up short especially if you want to go to the pro version of HF at some point in the future.

    I have a Dell XPS laptop and it's handled all the generations of HitFilm just fine (HF is the reason I got it in the first place). It has an i5 and GeForce 555M and I'll be upgrading the storage from 500GB to 1TB come tax time. What I've learned to do to speed up rendering times is to export a composite shot and bring it back into HF to add more to it if needed.  The only thing with doing it that way is if you have to change something you have to go back to the original composite, make the changes, export again and follow all the steps you took to get back to the same point. But with careful planning you can eventually get the results you want. I don't do that with all projects just the effects intensive ones.

    The second laptop specs [above] are what I would lean towards personally. Although, if you can get an i7 it would be faster. The HF team is working on their end to make the software faster and more streamline but like I said, more power is never a bad thing.

    Hopefully, W10 will work well for you. I had issues with W10 on my desktop (lots of error messages, crashes and BSOD- so many I went back to W8.1). However, my laptop had W7 when I bought it and since putting in W10 I've only had one issue and that was with a Windows Defender update. A Microsoft error the techs didn't even understand nor could they offer a resolution. I had to reinstall everything the one time but since then I've had zero issues- for about 6 months now.

    I also use a Canon T2i and haven't had any issues with the video at all.

  • FlyingBanana78FlyingBanana78 Website User Posts: 419 Enthusiast

    I am running Hitfilm 3 Pro at the moment (waiting on an update for HF4 so I can hopefully use 4. I will say that this is the laptop that I use and the only thing I have upgraded was the ram amount in it. The main issue I have is when using particle effects as in multiple particle physics (lag gets pretty bad) . Pretty much any other use of the software runs just fine on it.

    Screen Size 15.6 inches
    Max Screen Resolution 1366 X 768
    Processor 2.5 GHz
    RAM 4 GB SDRAM DDR3   *upgraded to 8 GB*
    Hard Drive 750 GB mechanical_hard_drive
    Graphics Coprocessor Intel Integrated Graphics
    Wireless Type 802.11bgn
    Average Battery Life (in hours) 5 hours
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    Whats the make and model number of the second laptop you listed? 

    A problem with the first one is it's hard drive is slow--5400rpm. 7200rpm have been the minimum for video since standard def! 

    Second one, from the specs shown, is better, but still has unknowns (hard drive speed, for example). There's other considerations as well for a laptop, like how good is it's screen? If it's got a terrible screen with bad color reproduction, it's problematic for video work since you won't be able to trust your eyes doing color grades or correction! 

    What's your budget, and when do you need it? My general advice would be to wait a month. In theory, Nvidia launches their 2016 GPU's in Feb, so, in March there's a good probability prices will drop. (This is actually advice I followed myself when buying my last laptop. I had to take my editing machine offline last week of August. I waited till October to upgrade, because I knew new Intels came out 9/28. Come Oct 2 I was suddenly able to buy a better machine, cheaper, than by best option on 9/25).

    Also, if you're not in a hurry, best option is to actually try a site dedicated to custom game pc's. These online retailers set you up with a custom order, usually at a better price than pre-configs. The advantage is getting the most bang out of your dollar, the disadvantage is you won't get that machine for awhile. 

    Although those companies tend to specialize in current components. Might be out of your price range. 

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Thanks StormyKnight and FlyingBanana78.

    Triem23, here's the model # for the second laptop: Acer Aspite E5-573G.

    Oh yes, I can absolutely wait, I'm currently using a PC and editing in Hitfilm 3 Express just fine, on my crappy old AMD A8 5500 using integrated graphics. The problem is travelling, though I'm expecting to research for 1-2 months actually, so I'm definitely not in a hurry!

    I came across this one which is the same price as the second laptop I listed:

    http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?j=2770713

    You may want to translate the webpage into your language.

    Here's where I found it (it's listing webpages in Sweden where the products are available): http://www.prisjakt.nu/kategori.php?m=353

    I used the filter and it's also got an advanced section.

    The currency is displayed in red <b> and so the very top of my budget for a laptop is 8000 kr/sek

     

    However, it's got a 5400 RPM hard drive, and when I looked up the 940m vs 860m, the 860m is 100%+ faster, that's ridiculous.

    Because of everything else being perfect, I plan to replace the hard drive with an SSD, and use the hard drive as external storage, using something like:

    http://www.amazon.com/Optimized-Inateck-External-Enclosure-Tool-free/dp/B00FCLG65U/ref=sr_1_15?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1454170291&sr=1-15&keywords=ssd+to+usb

     

    So far this I think this is the best product for me. I will absolutely wait until they release the new GPU, but will they release laptop GPU's as well, and perhaps lower the older GPU prices or is that not a thing?

     

     Edit: Corrected typos and wrong links, sorry for the inconveniance!

     

    Thanks!

     

     

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    You actually just covered the one thing I was going to say about not turning down something just because it has 5400 RPM drive. You can almost always do better total cost wise getting and installing an SSD yourself and there are even laptop upgrade kits that include an external enclosure for the mechanical hard drive for just slightly more than the cost of a bare SSD.

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Yes, I think it's much better, it can't be that hard to do it yourself. The problem Aladdin4d is cost, I can't seem to find a good laptop with an SSD, they're very expensive.

    I was wondering if any of you know a website in/for Europe that just adds shipping + VAT (25% here), where you can customise parts for the laptop? I looked into Sager, and I wasn't able to find a way to swap parts around, I want to focus much more on the graphics card, and less on everything else, assuming 8 GB of RAM is more than enough?

     

    Thanks!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    The core units for most Sager laptops are actually made by Clevo and somebody on notebookreview.com put together a list of EU Clevo resellers. Somebody on that list, although I have no idea who, is going to be your best bet for something custom in the EU.

    "Yes, I think it's much better, it can't be that hard to do it yourself. The problem Aladdin4d is cost, I can't seem to find a good laptop with an SSD, they're very expensive."

    Yep an SSD is still a premium option most places and you end up paying a premium price for one to be pre-installed. Part of that cost is most companies end up having to purchase drives in bulk at the height of the price curve. 6 months later the same drives are significantly cheaper but you still have expensive drives in inventory. The only way to recoup the cost is charge a premium upgrade for them.

    The hardest/longest part of changing a drive is re-installing the OS or cloning the OEM drive depending on which way you want to go. If you decide to clone the OEM drive Macrium Reflect is a pretty good free option.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    As Aladdin said Sager is a US rebranding of Clevo. Find a Clevo seller. 

    My last two machines have been Sager. I've been very happy with the build quality and price. 

    When you say "swap parts around," you're talking about initial configuration, yes?  Once a laptop is built, usually you can't do much more part-swapping besides maxing RAM and swapping HDD/SSDs. 

    8GB RAM is ok, but, in general, more RAM is always better, but, yes, focus on your GPU and CPU first. RAM can be upgraded later. 

     

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast

    When I say swap parts around, I'm looking for a way to swap out weaker components for stronger ones. Imagine if you could choose 2 GB RAM, i7, 860m or so and land at around 1/2 the price of a laptop that has those specs already, even after replacing the weak parts in this case hard drive and RAM, that would be amazing if you could. I looked up Clevo and Sager, neither offer a way to customize your laptop the way I would like.

    My best option is that i5 + 860m + 8 GB + 5400 RPM, though I'm still looking. Do any of you know where to look up the newer laptop GPU's for this year, or are they going to use older desktop GPU's in these newer ones?

    I looked this up myself, and all I could find was that it's likely that they come out Q2'16, but if that's the case, then I'll happily wait until they come out before purchasing, because I will be using my laptop for many years, possibly 3-4 years before considering a new one.

     

    As far as RAM is concerned, I could always swap that 8 GB for 16 GB that's true, but I won't be able to swap out the GPU or the CPU, correct? I'm wondering what the performance hit will be on my future machine, because I'm guessing HitFilm 3 Express run worse than HitFilm 4?

    I know I'm overthinking this, but I would be very upset if I happen to make a poor decision when buying my laptop because I didn't wait for the upcoming 2016 models, even though the i5+860m+8GB, etc is at a very good price considering it's a laptop.

     

     

    Thanks!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    Sager's allow you to upgrade RAM and HDD... At least my current and previous do. Cuz I did! (for the record my current Sager is an i7-6700HQ, Nvidia 980m 8GB 64 GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM Win 7Pro 64-bit OS with 256GB SSDs in two m2 slots (OS drive, Programs drive), a 7200rpm 1 TB HDD (library--soon to be upgraded to 2 or 4 TB and a 1 TB SSD as a work drive.)

    You are correct, CPU and GPU generally cannot be upgraded after purchase. I think there are a couple of laptop mobo's that are socketed, not soldered, but I don't remember the model numbers. You would have to purchase a machine using that mobo--probably a high end machine in the $2000 range. 

    When new GPUs come out manufacturers should still make models using the previous generation or two. Also, there should be a price drop. 

    HF3 actually runs a bit faster than 4. 4 has some new, advanced features that take more calculation time, but greatly improve output quality. Especially for 3D and particles. 

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    So because I won't (likely anyways) be able to afford a laptop with two hard drive bays, that means I'll almost immediatly replace whatever is in there with an SSD, and I have been looking at the Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB. But what's going to happen if I use it as a scratch drive, as well as media and storage + OS at the same time? It's got a sequential read and write of 500 MB/s, so the performance loss shouldn't be that high right, still act like an SSD and not a 7200 RPM hard drive? Because if that's the case, I'm probably better of going with say 3 USB 3 7200 RPM drives instead, though of course an SSD would be easier and not having to carry multiple drives at once.

     

    Thanks!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    Unfortunately you can't replace the CPU on many laptops anymore. Most use a BGA type socket which means surface mount soldered to the motherboard. This limits the option combinations too so for example you have a laptop with this core i5 and you like everything else about it but you really want that core i7. Well you can't because that core i7 uses a different socket which means a completely different motherboard. Because of the different motherboard that GPU you liked doesn't really work anymore so the engineers went with this GPU instead and so on and so on. Laptops are always an exercise in compromise somehow. More money means less compromising on performance but usually also means larger, heavier and less battery life. 

    The GPU can be replaced on some, mainly Clevo based along with a couple from MSI  and Alienware but you're going to pay A LOT just to get the option. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    If you only have one drive bay, get a terabyte. 500 gigs goes fast once you have your OS, Programs, cache files and projects on a single drive. Yeah, everything streaming off one drive can cause slowdown, but SSDs are so fast, should be fine. 

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    If the laptop you choose has an optical drive and you're willing to do without you might be able to use that as a second hard drive bay with a caddy

    http://www.newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=page&id=8

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast

    I don't think I'll need a terabyte. Figured I'll just connect my camera's card and transfer the footage, when it's starting to get full I'll use a large storage drive connecting using USB 3 or something, that's my plan anyways.

    Aladdin4d, what do you mean?

    If the laptop I buy only has 1 hard drive bay, is there a way to get 2 using that caddy?

    I find this hard to believe because even though it's a lot of money to spend for me personally, it's really not for gamers or pro's using laptops.

     

    Thanks!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,281 Ambassador

    Yeah, what Aladdin is sayingis that often you can get another HDD/SSD installed where a CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive would go. If you don't need an optical drive, this is a great option. If you need an optical drive, USB extenals go from $25 to $100, and you could still add a second internal. 

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast

    I didn't know that. I thought disc drives were a lot bigger. I'll definitely look into this. But before I start looking for laptops again on Amazon.co.uk or a Swedish site, I want to prioritise GPU, then RAM, then CPU, in that order from best to worst?

     

    Thanks!

  • davide445davide445 Website User Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2016

    Considering the GPU it's the faster changing part on the market, consider the option to buy a laptop with the best i7 cpu you can afford and an Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port where you can attach an eGPU adapter such as Razer Core.

    In that way you can avoid paying the huge premium for a laptop with a powerful discrete gpu you can't upgrade, use your laptop in mobility and when you need attach every GPU you want. 

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Omg??? Tthere has to be a catch. That sounds to good to be true.

    I can't find this product seperately. What do I search for to find that box but not a Razer one, that works with Type C?

    Thanks, davide445!

     

    @davide445; please take a look at this list: http://www.prisjakt.nu/kategori.php?m=s257147382&o=produkt_pris_inkmoms#rparams=m=s257147475

    In the filter I selected Thunderbolt 3, USB Type C, is that correct, and a requirement to get this feature to work?

     

    Follow up: How come both the i5's and i7's are dual core + Hyper Threading, and yet the i7 is the better choice?

     

    Thanks!

     

     

  • davide445davide445 Website User Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2016

    Some clarifications: if you need your laptop now you need to wait till Razer put a pricing on the Core, it's not on the market right now.  Also cross your fingers since a couple of years ago Akitio presented by similar device, that was pulled from the market after some customers orders due to Intel not kind on the idea. This time hopefully will not be so, having Intel itself presented TB3 with an eGPU demo. Is rumored Atikio is presenting a new TB3 eGPU adapter this month, so there will be some choice after all. 

    Also some declarations from Razer state he will not prevent the usage of Core with laptop of different manufacturers,  but if me I will first wait for someone to try. 

    Finally there is also no official statement but appear that a laptop to work with this kind of devices need to recognize it at BIOS level. It's supposed this will enable a plug and play behaviour, but the eGPU will be anyway recognized (whatever the BIOS is setup)  if attached before the boot. 

    So if you want to take this path you need either to be patient or have some risks.

    Personally I did repower my 2011 laptop with a DIY eGPU setup, obtaining in some cases a x15 speed gain on HF, so I can say my risk was well rewarded.

    About your other questions, yes all you need will be a TB3+USB Type-C port (apart from before doubts). Also AFAIK i7 come also also as quad-core, here the advantage.  (Edit: i7 on the Razer Stealth is only dual core. Normally does have a bigger cache vs i5 but IMHO didn't worth the price as dual core solution).

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast

    Awesome help from everybody. I'm very, very grateful. I already feel smarter and won't be fooled by some marketing tricks at a store. Which has happend before, haha, but I digress.

    I will be actively looking for the best solution possible for me. I can wait until 2016-07-01, as that's when I'll be able to record outside properly, and is when I would want my laptop. This is of course 5 months away, but I'm hoping I will have a lot of options by then.

    Until then, all I'm doing is educating myself, mainly because I'm going to keep the laptop I get for many, many years, hopefully 4-5 and that's being realistic, it may actually last way longer if all I have to do is replace the GPU using that eGPU solution, incredible to hear about it, coming from a almost exclusively laptop user.

    With that said, I'll keep looking. It's unfortunate that my timing isn't that great, since so many new technologies are around the corner, and possibly by my own deadline (although I'm expecting 3-4 months depending on available products).

    It may sound weird having to create a thread so early in my process, but I want to be absolutely 100% sure before buying. And there's no better way than asking the HitFilm community, as I know for a fact HitFilm is very different from how After Effects use it's resources, from low end to high end.

    I've read a lot of technical forum threads and I'm hoping to get great performance for years to come, so I guess my only option is that eGPU solution, but whether or not it comes to market is something we don't know yet, interesting.

     

     

    Thanks for everyone's input, I'm always happy to receive new replies. I'm sure you guys aren't used to someone willing to wait for so long, but in my case it's partly because I actually can't edit videos at the moment, due to my climate, too much snow. :)

     

     

     

    Thanks!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    There are other companies toying with eGPU solutions like MSI, Alienware and Gigabyte. There is some risk as not everybody is using the same connection method and you could get left out in the cold. Or you could DIY it like davide445 did. @davide445 - very cool mod!

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Yeah, I wouldn't call myself good enough to not mess something up by doing it myself. I would feel a lot more confident using that Razer Core box for instance, it even came with a power supply, so hopefully it gets released and other companies make their own version. I think the marget is huge for those travelling a lot in need of graphics power, as it wasn't even bigger than a laptop...

     

    Thanks!

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    Would you guys call an i7 6700HQ overkill, should I settle for less?

    I would love to hear from someone who is using a mid end laptop with HitFilm, and tell me what it's like in terms of slowdowns or when or if you notice and obvious bottlenecks during workflow, not necessarily while working on complex scenes, which believe me, it's going  to take a while until I'm as good as you guys.

     

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-Apache-210UK-Gaming-Notebook/dp/B016O5G0SA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1454262545&sr=8-5&keywords=i7-6700HQ

  • davide445davide445 Website User Posts: 306 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2016

     @Aladdin4d yes other companies are proposing eGPU enclosures such as Alienware Graphics Amplifier, but Razer Core it's the only one using a standard TB3 connector, so allowing his usage on different laptop brands.

    Right now the only cost effective available solution for using a TB interface was the Akitio Thunder2, that require a DIY mod to power a GPU since his power output is limited to 25w. His TB3 successor still need to be presented, hoping for another standard eGPU solution.

    About DIY need to be said with the right laptop it's not all this fuss: I did just purchase a commercial adapter from Bplus, connected my GPU, connected to laptop, powered the adapter, booted laptop, loaded drivers, stop. The eGPU forum on Techinferno is really kind to help and developed also a specific sw to solve common problems.

  • karmakarma Website User Posts: 165 Enthusiast

    I did not read the other replies to this thread, but here is my system:

    I have a MSI Dominator with 32GB ram, gen 6 - 8 core i7 2.90ghz processor, Nvidia GTX Geforce 980m with 8gb nvram and a 512GB SSD HD with an addition 3TB RAID array.  The audio on this baby is unreal good.

    This one all decked out:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154034

    It runs Hitfilm 4 Pro like a champ, as well as any video editing, audio editing, compositing, 2D and 3D animation and game playing I can throw at it.  Pretty much the highest end laptop I have ever seen and worth EVERY penny.  Rendering time is so small as to be faster than realtime.

    Mike

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,928 Enthusiast
    edited January 2016

    I'm definitely going to wait until the eGPU is a thing, like that Razer Core. I can't stress enough that it's not important to be quick with your replies, there are months left!

     Honestly guys, I'm concidering getting a desktop + a cheap laptop for light editing, and do the effects and stuff at home. To me, the performance hit for my money at this price range is too big. It feels like either getting money worth low end or go all out, at least until the external GPU solution comes out!

    Thanks!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,509 Enthusiast

    @KevinTheFilmmaker -

    "Honestly guys, I'm concidering getting a desktop + a cheap laptop for light editing, "

    That's exactly what I do. I would never criticize anybody for getting a monster laptop and I've even done it myself in the past but these days I go cheap on the laptop and save the heavy duty stuff for a desktop at home. 

Sign In or Register to comment.