RAM Upgrade Speed Improvement?

maneo11
maneo11 Posts: 125
edited March 2018 in HitFilm

Hi all

So I just installed new memory on my iMac (2011, 21.5 inch) I’ve gone from 4g of ram to 32 bit and I can see no difference in hitfilm whatsoever. Playback is just as choppy no matter what setting and items take to load just as long as they ever did. I would of thought there would be some visible difference in the upgrade but disappointingly there is not. Anyone have any clues? What am  I doing wrong here?

Comments

  • GodofThunder
    GodofThunder Posts: 190 Enthusiast

    I’ve done the same recently with my mid 2011 iMac. Gone from 4gb to 8gb. I’ve noticed a small but better running speed in apps from photoshop (where I use HUGE files) and indesign. In my hitfilm pro 4, the speed is less noticeably for me, however exporting a file was probably half the time it would normally take. I imported a large 3D model, and the increased speed was minimal, but still an improvement. Playback is choppy, but you can proxy first then view. 

    I read somewhere that using iTunes (to listen to music) at the same as running other apps can slow down performance significantly.

    sorry I don’t have any advice, but just saying there should be a slight improvement assuming your new memory is working ok. I got mine from mrmemory.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,297 Power User

    Adding more RAM. might give small speed increases, but your expectations are unrealistic. It USED to be that adding more RAM greatly sped up many applications, but that's dated advice from before the advent of GPUs. Now, a GPU is used to take a graphics load from a CPU, but the GPU is basically a dedicated processor with its own memory and buss, taking commands from a CPU, but executing them on its own. 

    Ok, so Hitfilm uses the CPU for file encode/decode (read/write from a drive) and for particle physics calculations. Your GPU is what renders images and effects. Adding RAM doesn't increase the speed or power of your CPU and GPU. It will provide a bit greater stability when working with a lot of files or very large files. Having more RAM also allows you to, well, have longer RAM previews.

    More RAM might improve performance with large 3D models, but, otherwise, in Hitfilm the GPU is pretty much the most important factor in speed and responsiveness. And the GPU has its own RAM. The GPU VRAM is what determines maximum comp/project size in Hitfilm, and you need 2GB of VRAM for 4k.

    @GodofThunder is correct in that running iTunes, or basically any other program, will have a negative impact on speed in Hitfilm. Bottom line is digital video and VFX are just about the most complex thing done on computers outside of serious science simulations. The data rate needed for video is insane. For 1920x1080 video at 24 fps has a data flow of roughly 142 megaBYTES per second. Now, using a typical DSLR as an example, 35 megaBITS/sec is a common data rate. This is a compression ratio of about 35:1--which the computer has to decompress to "see." Higher compression ratios waste more time in decompression time. Ah, but we're dealing with transparency. That's 189 MEGABYTES/second, per layer. Bear in mind I'm not even getting into overhead for decompression, effects calculaton, 3D models, particles, audio, UI and everything else Hitfilm is doing.

    4k, 60fps footage is 10 times that data rate--or 1.89 GIGABYTES per second, per layer (plus the other overhead I'm ignoring). Oh, hey, that's why Hitfilm needs 2GB of VRAM for 4k!

    This is a massive ton of data... And any other software you're running in the background is stealing CPU and GPU time from Hitfilm.

    Remember, a GPU has its own RAM. Upgrading your system RAM did nothing for your GPU.

    The bottom line is you're still running a seven year old machine. The most powerful GPU in a 21.5" 2011 iMac is the Radeon 6770m, which is about 80% faster than the Intel HD 4000 that is the minimum spec for Hitfilm. If you have the 6750m, that's only about 40% faster than the HD 4000. For comparison, my Nvidia 980m is almost 800% faster than the 6770m (or 1200% faster than the HD 4000), and an Nvidia 1080 is about 150% the speed of my 980m (over 3000% faster than the HD 4000).

    In short, by current standards your machine is slow.

    You haven't done "anything wrong," really, but you misunderstood how Hitfilm works and where the computer power needs to be. 

  • GodofThunder
    GodofThunder Posts: 190 Enthusiast

    I knew Triem would be able to give a more technical and thorough answer than I ever could, which is why I couldn’t go into detail lol (I nearly mentioned the graphic card ram, but knew I would probably only make a fool of myself by getting some detail wrong!). 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,297 Power User

    @GodofThunder I'm sure @NormanPCN @Stargazer54 or @Aladdin4d could correct me. I oversimplified a bit, but it's close enough to make the point without critical errors. I have a few assumptions that could be wrong. Maybe a 4k video or plane is 24-bits/pixel until a mask is created and only then goes up to 32-bits/pixel, but it's safer to assume everything is 32-bit (has transparency,) because then the error would be in favor of faster processing. There's a bit of rounding in my figures, where data rates are rounded up, and relative speeds rounded down. Benchmarks aren't 100% accurate in all cases, so my speed comparisons may be off. Still, any errors I have should correct towards having MORE speed. I'd rather overestimate the data/processing load than underestimate. :) The key points are accurate. More System RAM will have minimum impact on GPU performance, and a 7-year old GPU will be slow by current standards.

    Side note, I had speed variance of over 3000% for an Nvidia 1080 vs an intel hd 4000. By comparison a 2018 i7 8770k only benches about 150% of the speed of a 2011 i5 2300. This much wider range of performance in the GPU world is why I usually argue upgrade money is better spent on a GPU than CPU, but I think Norman could make some points in favor of CPU. And he'd be right for someone mostly doing straight editing with almost no effects. But for people doing mostly VFX, animation or mograph, it's GPU power needed.

    Maneo I'm reworking a tutorial on ways to optimize and speed up Hitfilm. I've gone over every option I can think of with a pool of knowledgeable users, and we think we've hit everything. But, some of what we came up with involves digging in the file structure--which changed in Hitfilm Pro v6. I've got a few questions out to the devs to double check our ideas (want to make certain none of these ideas can cause issues in Hitfilm), and the tutorial has been held back until the next major upgrade of Express (whenever that is) so as to only cover one file structure, not two, but I'm hoping within a couple of months to have an informative video out on everything one can tweak for optimal Hitfilm performance. I'd GUESS, based on past release schedules, the next major Express upgrade will drop around mid-May, but with how FXHOME has changed the game with Pro, that's only a decent guess, not a solid guess. 

  • maneo11
    maneo11 Posts: 125

    Thank you all for the advice. I look forward to the tutorial Triem23. I’ll do some further investigating...maybe I’ll have to look into buying a new computer. 

  • maneo11
    maneo11 Posts: 125

    Another quick question if anyone can answer it...which of the latest iMac would be best (bar the pro) for use with hitfilm

  • 8KMAX
    8KMAX Posts: 189 Just Starting Out*

    Is the gpu inside the graphics card????

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,297 Power User

    @4KMax yes. GPU stands for  "Graphics Processing Unit."

  • Alright, so what do we need to do in order for hitfilm to work a little faster or at least smoother, minimizing those irritating spinning wheels (Mac).

    I was actually going to ask the same question about adding memory and whatnot. 

    So GPUs and all that...how do we make our editing a little more enjoyable and smooth? Sick of lag and spinning wheels. 

  • GodofThunder
    GodofThunder Posts: 190 Enthusiast
    edited March 2018

    @Hitfilmer128619 reread Triem’s last paragraph in his second to last post 

  • HitFilmer128619
    HitFilmer128619 Posts: 322
    edited March 2018

    So wait for the tutorial. 

    We can’t jack up our processing speed or anything? Nothing we can add. Just “tweak” and whatnot? 

  • While I’m here...should I go ahead and update? I’ve been clicking “remind me in a week” for about a month now. Not sure why, exactly. 

    I think I saw something about “bugs” or something. 

This discussion has been closed.