My Laptop compatibility with HF4Express?

Radioflyer Website User Posts: 1

I've reviewed a few Youtube videos on HF4Express and it seems like the editor I want to spend the next few months learning to edit with. However, I want to spend my time learning the software and not troubleshooting problems. So, before downloading and installing, I would appreciate opinions on whether my laptop will be compatible to begin with. My projects initially will be simple cuts, transitions, audio sync'ing of1080P GoPro video to make 10 minute videos.

Laptop is a Dell Precision M4500 with an i7 Q740 1.73mHz quadcore, running Windows7 sp1, 8GB RAM, and an Nvidia Quadro FX1800M. I'm expecting to add a 7200RPM SATA external drive, but otherwise am hoping this hardware will suffice for now.


  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Website User Posts: 4,063 Enthusiast

    Since others are unlikely to have your exact PC and your media source (aka GoPro) it is probably hard to give and exact answer. It cannot take more than a half an hour to test basic performance. Timeline playback, cut/transition performance, adding a few color grading effects and so on.

    A bigger project does not really run slower. It just possibly takes more RAM. How much more depends on exactly what you are doing. It can be almost no increase to much more. 8GB is probably fine for what you describe.

    One thing I can say for sure is that, IMO, GoPro AVC source media are notoriously high overhead when it comes to decode (playback perf). You will probably want to transcode to a lower overhead AVC or DNxHD or Prores format for good/best edit performance. Your CPU does not have a high clock rate so the transcode may be necessary.

    Lower overhead AVC can be done with the free Handbrake utility. I can help you with settings. As for DNxHD/Prores, I don't normally do that but if I did I would take a more technical low level approach using ffmpeg. You can use Convert V3 to do that transcode but others can list utils that are free.

  • TotopoCraft
    TotopoCraft Website User Posts: 194 Just Starting Out

    I've read that the Quadro cards are not compatible with HitFilm. It seems that it take advantage of Gaming gards, but it has issues with professional grade cards. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Enthusiast

    Actually I find that hard to beliueve, they run the same architecture, just gaming wise they're slower/ price to performance. I do think that Norman will be able to go into details with that though I suppose.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,991 Ambassador

    Again, Norman probably can give more/better information, but Nvidia's workstation cards don't have drivers particularly optimized for Open GL. This is what Hitfilm is using to render with. The workstation cards are, in general, expecting software-specific optimized drivers--i.e. Adobe, Avid and Vegas have specific drivers for those cards bundled in the software. Hitfilm is using standard Open GL to provide compatibility with the widest range of consumer hardware. 

    This is logical when one realizes that for the cost of a Quadro (only) I could build two complete systems based around a 10xx.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Website User Posts: 4,063 Enthusiast
    edited November 2016

    "but Nvidia's workstation cards don't have drivers particularly optimized for Open GL."

    I'll have to strongly disagree with this. Workstation drivers are generally more stable. Better validated. Also, workstation cards use the same GPUs as consumer cards. They just have jumpered support for 10-bit and ECC ram and maybe other stuff as well. The custom driver thing is specific optimizations for specific applications for best performance with that app. Using such an app you really want the intimate customization. The app expects it to be there. The profit margins in the workstation cards allow such app specific customization. Also, there are not all that many apps one needs to customize to.

    Workstation CPU cards have historically had one real application. 3D modeling applications. Those applications have historically used OpenGL for fast viewport preview rendering. With custom drivers there can be special stuff. Real/final renders are always done with some other render engine for high quality. GPU 3D model texturing is designed for speed and not the ultimate in quality. Preview quality. Video game also.

    There was a time not too long ago that you hack Nvidia consumer card BIOS to allow installing the workstation drivers. Why? Because the workstation OpenGL implementation was superior to the consumer driver to protect the workstation cards and their hefty profit margins. Nvidia quickly closed that BIOS hack loophole.

    These days OpenCL exists but that is new. OpenCL is actually not a 3D graphics engine. OpenGL is tied to the display, and is designed for 3D models, but OpenCL does not even care and has no APIs to do things like OpenGL. Completely different animals. To say that workstation cards are optimized for OpenCL is off target, IMO.

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