Buying a computer? READ THIS FIRST!

triforcefx United StatesModerator, Website User Posts: 1,183 Moderator
edited February 25 in General

Before the pandemic started, it was relatively easy to find a “bang-for-your-buck” computer... just search for computers on Amazon and you could find something decent and capable of running HitFilm in your first few results.

This is no longer the case.

Right now, almost any computer under $500 is PURE GARBAGE. Above $500, there are still quite a few bad apples. Even in the $1000+ category, it’s very possible to end up with a computer that will disappoint you. Here are some tips to help you find a good computer for HitFilm in 2021.


MAKE SURE that any computer you get has an Intel Core i3, i5, i7, or i9; or an AMD Ryzen 3, 5, 7, or 9.

If you see “Pentium”, “Celeron”, “Athelon”, “A4”, or anything that’s not a Core i-series or Ryzen, run for the hills.

Threadrippers and newer Xeon processors will run HitFilm, but will NOT take full advantage of them, and in many instances will run slower than the “desktop-class” chips. Save your money unless you have a specific need for them. (Credit: Triem23)


MAKE SURE that whatever computer you get has an SSD. No computer in this decade should be using a mechanical hard drive for its main drive.

It is recommended to have at least 512 GB of storage. (Credit: Triem23)


In 2021, 8 GB RAM should be a BARE MINIMUM for a new computer, but 16+ GB is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you do settle for less than 16 GB, ensure you have the option to upgrade it in the future. (Credit: Triem23)


HitFilm works best with a dedicated graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD. Make sure it has at least 2 GB of VRAM (this is the majority of current dedicated GPUs), as that is the minimum requirement for editing 4K in HitFilm. (Credit: Stargazer54)


MAC USERS: Do NOT buy the new M1 Macs at this time! HitFilm is not optimized for M1 yet and you will be disappointed with the performance. Stick with what you’ve got for now, or get an Intel Mac.

If you’re unsure about finding a new computer right now, feel free to ask, ESPECIALLY if you’re on a tight budget.

(Edit: Modified some parts and added a few more items based on others’ suggestions. Thanks!)


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,362 Ambassador

    To add a couple of notes. Threadrippers aren't fully utilized by Hitfilm. Unless you have other software that will, you can stick with the Ryzen 3/5/7/9

    Hitfilm is design to run on gaming hardware. Beware workstation GPUs like Quadros.

    You need a minimum of 512GB of drive storage.

    You really need at least 16 GB of RAM to really take advantage things like RAM preview.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,721 Moderator
    edited February 24

    @triforcefx Great timing to start this thread. What with income tax refund season gearing up and a maybe, possibly a 3rd pay, stimulus check coming 🤣 there will be a plethora of posts about brand new (albeit under spec) purchases. Good info from both of you.

  • jtjutsvfx
    jtjutsvfx Website User Posts: 54 Enthusiast
  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,101 Ambassador

    Also don't forget a dedicated GPU with at minimum 1 GB VRAM - and even then that's pretty low. I would say the minimum, if you are going to do any effects, is 2 GB, but the more the better.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,362 Ambassador

    @Stargazer54 I'd argue 2GB of VRAM is the minimum.

    2GB of VRAM is (for the new reader) needed to edit 4K video, or make a Timeline larger than 1920x1080 in general.

    Good catch, Lynn!

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,012 Ambassador

    With my adventures into 3d rendering I would add that my 3gb 1060 is running out of memory when handling 3d scences. And one thing I've learnt is that windows 10 rather annoyingly use s gpu memory to handle graphics. Even tools like calculator steals memory from the gpu. Testing has shown only killing the process releases the memory back. So while Hitfilm might not use it other things will. So if you can stretch to more gpu memory go for it.

  • bettyjones
    bettyjones Website User Posts: 1 Just Starting Out
    edited May 3

    Yes, a great post, but I was surprised that someone is still selling computers with Celeron processors, because this is outright rubbish. In any case, buying such a computer is pointless, it is better to look at[ Link removed by Moderator] for a payday loan in the amount of $ 300-500 to buy a computer that will work normally for several more years.

  • DataDesign
    DataDesign Website User Posts: 526 Enthusiast

    Please remove the link. Payday loans are a scam and illegal in many areas. Thanks

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,012 Ambassador

    Bit of an old thread this, but given it has popped up again, Ill just add an update. The GPU market right now is crazy. Nvidia 3xxxx series is either sold out or going on Ebay for silly money. Even older cards are selling way above the price expected. If you need a new computer right now, one of the best ways to get a decent dedicated GPU is infact in a laptop, while some Crypto miners are using these, it is not as popular and because they are sold as a whole deal, scalpers (people that buy lots of one thing that people want and sell at crazy uplifted prices) arn't as interested. Laptops these days come with some pretty dam nifty specs.

    Something like this looks pretty good and not too bad price :

    or Corridor digital recently used this from Razer (but its going to cost you) :

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