I bought a Toshiba Qosmio x775 which by all accounts should be a very robust laptop for editing, but I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I can't get smooth playback in my source or program monitors in Premiere Pro 5.5. The video is very choppy (I am using DSLR footage at 1080p). The same HD video is smooth in other programs (quicktime, VLC player). I am brand new to editing and the Adobe world. I just started a new company and have sunk well over $2000 into the laptop and adobe suite and I am frutrated at this point since I don't know where to go from here. Any suggestions? I am really in a bind here. We have shot our first short film but I am at a standstill in the editing process because of this (and a problem with plural eyes).
Robust is overdone, but it should be a reasonably decent laptop, if and only if it is properly tuned, the standard 750 GB 5400 RPM disk has been exchanged for a 7200 RPM disk and the latest drivers have been installed. If all those steps have been taken you can expect a laptop that is only 5 - 7 times slower than a good desktop. It should run for about one hour before it turns into a slow desktop, because it needs to be plugged in to a wall outlet, defeating the purpose of a laptop.
It would be a serious problem if a player could not handle this difficult material, but since that is OK, it only means that your source material is requiring too much porsepower, that just is not available in your current setup. So start tuning, removing crap, Toshiba supplied software, McAfee and similar resource hogs, disabling processes, turning off services, etc. If that still does not help, consider upping the memory to 16 GB and adding a third HDD, eSATA 7200 type.
The advantage of a laptop is of course that export times, that take one hour on a fast desktop now take 5 to 7 hours and thus require juice from a wall outlet.