View Full Version : What computer can edit 4K AVCHD?

07-06-2016, 09:41 AM
Does anyone have a system that will edit 4K AVCHD? Is there any system, chip powerful enough to edit 4K AVCHD without stuttering? I am looking for a such a computer. If I can't find one I will edit from "proxy" low bandwidth dual codec files.

I don't want to transcode my clips to ProRes or Cineform. I want to edit, if possible, the 100 to 200 Mbs AVCHD clips the DVX200 produces.

07-06-2016, 09:59 AM
I think it depends on the type of editing and how heavy it is. I think most modern computers can handle just cutting. Dropping your real time resolution is useful too. I have edited dozens of 4K material from various cameras on a 2014 MacBook Air.

07-06-2016, 11:44 AM
Lots of guys are editing with the 27" Imac and FCPX. Just works well. Just be sure to have plenty of RAM and a solid video card.

07-06-2016, 02:53 PM
NorBro and Slidemaster,

Do you know if people are editing the 4K AVCHD clips, or are they converting them to something else first?

i want to copy the 4K AVCHD files from the SD card to an external harddrive, link to them and edit away…if that is possible without stuttering. I believe that sometimes, depending on settings of a given NLE, when files are imported they get transcoded to easier to edit formats. I don’t want to have to transcode or convert to an easier to edit format. I want to edit the untouched 4K AVCHD files.

Are you reporting good editing experience with 4K AVCHD specifically?

Conversely, is anybody working on a powerful, newish workstation/gaming grade machine not able to edit 4K AVCHD without stuttering?


07-06-2016, 03:02 PM
[QUOTE=David_;1986645449]NorBro and Slidemaster,

Do you know if people are editing the 4K AVCHD clips, or are they converting them to something else first? - its as much about the software as the computer. FCPX sees AVC natively. If you want to, you can also edit proxy files and then relink them afterward. Apple Adobe and a few others are always updating for new codecs. Dusty Lens has been editing with it, Im switching to it. After all the updates it has turned into a professional system.

07-06-2016, 03:43 PM
So I haven't edited AVCHD in a while, but with FCPX, I always imported the footage without transcoding to proxy or optimized media (I left them unchecked). It was a quick process, but FCPX was still doing some type of engineering/unwrapping/copying of the files as .movs were created in the 'original media' folder in the event you imported everything into. I've never actually "linked" to any files off the card and tried editing them. I import everything straight off the card or dump the card in its original file structure/format onto a hard drive and import that. Every NLE has its own process, but FCPX handles it all well (IMO).

07-06-2016, 04:30 PM
AVC codecs are efficient for quality vs file size but have tremendous processing overhead requirements to decode and buffer full length GOP's to uncompressed frames that NLE's actually run on a timeline.
200Mbps i-frame XAVC is not too bad, but still has much higher decoding overhead than Prores or DNXHR or Cineform for equal or better quality than your originals. You will have less generational loss, better FX results, and superior recompression for final delivery from a DI codec that is specifically designed for editing.
If you get into $4k and up 8 core workstations with loads of ram and fat GPU's you can throw enough processing power at 4K AVC to edit with reasonable efficiency, but that is what it takes. Forget laptops.

This is a short screen cap sample of 1080p H.264AVCHD vs Cineform medium quality on my 4GHZ i7 4770K with 16GB ram and an Nvidia GTX760 256bit 2GB DDR5 GPU under Win 7. The transcode from 4:2:0 8-bit AVC to 10 bit 4:2:2 Cineform makes a better master for post grading and FX with zero visible loss of quality. 2nd generation recompression of AVC to H.264 web streaming formats loses more quality than exporting from Cineform. Prores gives similar results. This is just a single clip and you can see the obvious difference in fast scan performance when I run out of CPU and ram capacity for keeping up with the decoding process.
I don't edit with AVC. I don't use proxies. I edit and finish using DI masters at an appropriate quality level for the original material and intended delivery format.


07-06-2016, 06:38 PM
Late 2015 27" 5K Retina iMac with maxed-out RAM running FCPX. No problems.

07-06-2016, 08:21 PM
What is maxed out ram on an iMac these days? 32GB? 64GB?

07-07-2016, 01:31 AM
I work with all native files the DVX200 produce (4k / UHD / FHD) on a W10pro machine. Intel i7-6700K CPU, 16GB DDR5RAM,ASUS MB.
It works fine without stuttering on Adobe Premiere CC.

Ron Evans
07-07-2016, 05:16 AM
I have an i7 4790K Win7 PC that edits UHD 60P XAVC-S from my FDR-AX1 just fine in EDIUS 8.2WG all native files.

07-07-2016, 06:23 AM
Does FCPX handle AVCHD dfferently than does FCP7? Did Apple bake in something that magically makes the difficulties of editing AVCHD go away?

I have assumed that mainly brute power of the computer is what would make editing of 4K AVCHD possible, not software. I am trying to determine the power/memory/graphics card threshold that 4K AVCHD requires. Some of you are reporting that Apple and or NLE software makes a difference too. I can imagine how NLE and even Apple could make a difference, but I don't see how it could make a huge difference. Does anyone have some insight here?

07-07-2016, 08:49 AM
I can edit two streams of 1080p AVC at normal playback speeds without issues with timeline FX like dissolves. It runs best with i-frame AVC codecs above 50Mbps. Fast scanning through AVC footage at more than 3x will result in skipped frames. I can run 200Mbps Cineform at 10x frame by frame with perfect fluidity. Other NLE's may well handle AVC better than LIghtworks which is biased toward optimum handling of higher grade formats including 800Mbps+ uncompressed broadcast HDSDI and DPX frame stacks, which run better than any highly compressed long GOP format up to the limits of my drive transfer rates.

07-07-2016, 11:23 AM
Pedantry, yes, but it should be said -- there is no such thing as "4K AVCHD". AVCHD is a specific brand name for a specific file format. AVC, by itself, can generally be used to describe h.264/mp4/mpeg-4 files. But AVCHD is a specific brand name, and it applies only to HD. Therefore, there is no such thing as 4K AVCHD.

07-07-2016, 01:33 PM
Sorry for the misnaming. Thanks for the info. 4K AVC then is what I want to edit without stuttering and for which I hope to find a PC laptop to handle, if possible. I get conflicting info. Some think it can be done, others not.

Some hardware and some NLE software are claimed to be better at doing so than others. I intend to edit on Lightworks but perhaps FCPX handles AVC better. I don't inderstand why. What is the FCPX magic?

07-07-2016, 05:01 PM
Only the engineers and developers with a deep understanding of the software can get into that kind of detail.

I think you should invest in the best system you possibly can and try various software to see which one works best for you.

The question is kind of difficult to answer because editing can mean a lot of different things.

Bob Nilsen
07-08-2016, 02:57 AM
I believe AVCHD is HD, not 4K or UHD. I've been shooting in UHD 100 and 150 / sec and the files are MOV or MP4. I do all my editing on a I7-6700K cpu, 32 gigs of ram, and a Gforce 9800ti GPU. I am running Win10 now. My edit program is Edius 7.5. I can run 2 time lines (tracks) and edit real time with a PIP on each track. I have not tried Edius V8.2 yet, but do plan to upgrade soon. The Work group version will let you do more in real time.

07-08-2016, 08:48 AM
I have the same configuration like Bob and no problems to process the DVX files, equal if FHD
or UHD. But I'm working with Win 8.1 and EDIUS 8.2 WG. EDIUS 8.2 is optimized for the i7-6700
and Intel Quicksync.


07-08-2016, 09:33 AM
Interesting. Do you know why Edius was optimized for the 6700 chip? Is it somehow matched to editing?

07-08-2016, 09:51 AM
Because the i7 6700 is including his own GPU (graphic processor unit) and this has the
Intel Quick Sync Technology inside. This technology accelerated the rendertime in h264
and the realtime working in Edius etc.
For more information about Edius and Quick Sync have a look to their homepages.


07-08-2016, 10:38 AM

07-10-2016, 08:51 AM
What is maxed out ram on an iMac these days? 32GB? 64GB?
Up to 32GB. Mine is configured as 2x 16GB DDR3.

Vaughan Wood
07-10-2016, 05:36 PM
I run Edius on an 6700K Asus Z170-Pro motherboard, 32 GB ram, and it will do one 4K track and two other HD camera tracks in real time multicam cutting with Edius 8.

Just wanted to make sure that you realised that for on board graphics and quick sync "speed encoding" you have to have the 6700 chip with the "K" on the end for the graphics,
and a quick sync capable motherboard. (Very hard to find that info, but on most ASUS motherboards).



Ron Evans
07-10-2016, 07:01 PM
Interesting. Do you know why Edius was optimized for the 6700 chip? Is it somehow matched to editing?

The EDIUS Pro8 Quicksync optimization is for any Intel CPU with integrated Quicksync GPU. It works fine with my i7 4790K not just the 6700K . The CPU of course has to be on a motherboard that will use the on board GPU. Optimization works on my Dell Laptop for instance that is not a K variant. The K variants allow overlclocking.

07-13-2016, 07:49 AM
I'm a pretty-much newbie, but I get much better performance while editing when I have the footage on the resident SSD instead of on a remote drive...even if connected via fast USB. I was running into problems with some stuttering as the clip length increased, until I realized it wasn't my Macbook Pro hardware...the external drive couldn't keep up with the data rate.

Bob Nilsen
07-13-2016, 02:28 PM
I'm using 2 7200 WD Black drives in a raid 0 setup, just to make sure I'm not causing a bottleneck.


07-14-2016, 01:06 AM
If someone would link a DVX200 4k sample clip or two for download, I would love to test it in Lightworks on my rig. I can run 4k XAVC 200Mbps i-frame without issues, but don't know about long GOP.