Hitfilm and CPU Cores

francisw19
francisw19 Posts: 35 Enthusiast

Hello all, I'm wondering if anyone knows the affect the number of CPU cores has on Hitfilm Pro performance.  I know Hitfilm will make use of both the CPU and GPU, but I'm more interested in how Hitfilm uses the CPU.

Reason being is I'm tossing around the idea of upgrading to a Core i7 6800K (6C/12T) from my current Core i7 4790K (4C/8T) CPU.  I'm currently running a GTX 980Ti GPU but do not intend to upgrade that at the moment.

It would would be a fairly expensive upgrade if I went through with it. Hitfilm is one of the more intense programs I run so if it would benefit from the CPU upgrade, I'd be OK with it.

Anyone else go through a similar hardware upgrade by chance?  Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance! :)

Comments

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert

    @francisw19  I'm not one that understands technical specs and such, so I can only relate my own experience.  I'd wanted to run Hitfilm since 2 Ultimate but I only had a 32 bit machine so I finally got an upgrade and built up a new one with 32 GB ram and an 8 core AMD chip with an NVidia Geforce 6600 gpu I think it was and it ran 4 Pro ok but there was some serious lags in the preview even at quarter rez and renders took forever.  I bit the bullet and got a massive GPU GTX 1080 6 GB and it has made a world of difference.  From that experience, I think cores and ram matter less than GPU, but I only have a very small set for comparison and the Pros here know far more than I.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,279 Power User

    CPU deals mostly with decoding video and encoding video. GPU does everything else.

    NormanPCN could give the long and correct answer, but the short and close enough answer is that upgrading the CPU should show modest improvement on basic video playback. Since each video playback is a single thread operation in theory you'll be able to layer up more video objects before you start seeing super laggy response. 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,994 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2017

    You'll need a new motherboard (with good VRM and heatsinks, as well as power phase), a new cooler (maybe), new RAM DDR4, and of course the new CPU. That doesn't really look like good value, unless you sell off parts of your current rig. And to top it all, HitFilm doesn't properly take advantage of more than 4 cores, if even that, from an Intel CPU. I've seen it, and Norman can certainly comment on that.

  • DLKeur
    DLKeur Posts: 326 Just Starting Out*
    edited January 2017

    You know, you people blow me away. I'm running a lot less machine (It's now two years old, uses AMD, not Intel, 4 cores, NVidea GeForce 750Ti, Win 7 Pro 64bit stripped, and 16G RAM) and having no problems with Hitfilm Pro 2017 at all. It runs light on the machine, I simultaneously run other programs--heavy ones, including 3D software--and have absolutely no problems unless I'm running heavy masking in Hitfilm. Then it does slow down on the previews when it hits the heavy masking, but not anything making it unweildy. Might I suggest that the problems you could be encountering are due to OS bloat? Get your OS stripped down and I bet some of your problems will disappear.

  • francisw19
    francisw19 Posts: 35 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the feedback, guys.  I appreciate it and gives me some stuff to think about.  @NormanPCN, any thoughts to add? :)

    @DLKeur, Woah take it easy...this isn't an OS bloat issue or something like that.  I do keep Windows quite lean already.  In general I agree with you in that Hitfilm runs reasonably light.  But working with 4K video is the one thing that hammers my machine.  It's workable, but makes handling the clip (dragging/trimming/etc.) laggy.  Even with lower viewer resolution and the like.  HD and FHD is fine though.  If you're running the same workload, let me know what your secret is. ;)

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,994 Just Starting Out

    You should trancode your clips to an intermediate codec. Though 4k is super demanding on ANY machine, compromises have to be made, be it wait for RAM previews or proxies.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,890 Ambassador
    edited January 2017

    @francisw19 Like you I have an i7 and a GTX980Ti.  I've found that converting to Cineform  at 4K improves performance on the timeline.  I'm not getting full on "real time" playback but it's close enough to use for editing.

    Also, make sure to set Preview Mode to "none" to turn off thumbnails.

  • DLKeur
    DLKeur Posts: 326 Just Starting Out*

    @francisw19 : I didn't think I was uneasy.  I was just observing that, while you guys are running higher-end machines than the little custom built tower I'm using to work Hitfilm, you shouldn't be having these issues.  I've been using 4k and HD clips and  Hitfilm hasn't gulped once. Just sayin'.  Maybe it's not what you think that's causing the problems.

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Posts: 4,371 Expert

    As @Triem23 stated, the CPU is really only used for video file decode and export file encoding. 4-cores should be enough for most HD 1080 work. You can composite multiple streams, probably 4 unique streams, smoothly with media files in a suitable format/codec. Probably transcoded files from camera source. Hitfilm 2017 performs better than Hitfilm 4 in multiple stream compositing.

    As for file encoding the MP4/AVC encoder is the one that will use threading the most. Hitfilm in general is slow at exporting so 4-core should suffice. I don't know how well the Mainconcept AVC encoder scales as you have more cores. Hitfilm has trouble keeping the file encoder fully loaded and busy anyway so it may be a moot point. Most other export file encoders are not really going to benefit from a more than 4-cores. Most are probably single threaded.

    If you are interested in UHD 4K work then more than 4-cores definitely can be important on the media file decode side. Decoding those media streams is a lot of work for the CPU and the more you want to simultaneously composite the harder. For a couple of simultaneous media streams 4-core is probably fine, with a fast clocked CPU. You WILL want to be using media files in a low decode overhead. So probably a transcode from your camera source files is in order. Doing 4k is also going to stress your I/O subsystem. You will want a fast RAID setup for hard drives or have all 4k media files on SSDs for > 2 media stream compositing.

    If you do GG work then this really only uses one CPU core. That one CPU core is telling the GPU want to do.

  • francisw19
    francisw19 Posts: 35 Enthusiast

    Thanks @NormanPCN, appreciate the detailed reply. :)