I'd like to ask for advice about a video card for a laptop.
My situation is that I work mainly in audio editing (Pro Tools, Sound Forge, Audition, etc), and only occasionally work with video (not intensive video editing, but using Premiere Pro CS5.5 to transcode or resize videos for soundtrack work, make showreels, do sound restoration, etc.). I also do some basic image editing in Photoshop.
In addition to the audio work and infrequent video work, I like to game occasionally (I'm such a slow gamer that none of my games are more recent than 2009!).
Currently I have a desktop PC that contains a Radeon HD4870 with 1GB RAM. I realise that a laptop will have to be a compromise on horsepower for the sake of mobility. I'm also aware that it would be an opportunity to get an Nvidia card that provides acceleration in Premiere Pro.
I am currently considering a Clevo-based 15.6" laptop with a 2GB GT555 card. Generally, this seems a reasonable balance of power, mobility and heat (since excessive fan noise will cause problems for audio).
However, having now read some of the posts on this forum (e.g. http://forums.adobe.com/message/4219956#4219956), I am wondering whether this card is too low-specced (DDR3 RAM, 144 CUDA Cores) to make it worthwhile.
If it isn't worthwhile, I may as well include Radeon-based laptops in my search.
As I say, I only work with video occasionally, so a super-powerful card is definitely not worth the investment (and added heat/noise); my dilemma is whether I should even bother with CUDA acceleration given my requirements.
Thanks in advance for any advice!
If the choice is a 555M or a Radeon, that is a no-brainer: 555M only.
You do realize that a laptop can never keep up with a desktop for the same $$, that a laptop is not really a laptop, since you need a wall outlet to run it.
Hardware MPE capabilities, which are lacking on all AMD cards. With rendering, and exporting using rendering, scaling, blending or blurring (not the encoding, that is 100% CPU bound) this will be around a factor 10 faster (for that part of the export) than all AMD cards.
Ok, I understand that only Nvidia cards provide hardware support for the MPE.
I just wasn't sure whether those benefits would be negated by the fact that the version of the 555M in the Clevo laptop has 128Bit DDR3.
Oh, that changes things significantly. Your nVidia card needs at least 1 Gb of VRAM. 128 MB will not do. Check if there is a nVidia card with at least 1 GB memory, otherwise hardware MPE will not be possible at all and then it really makes no difference whether you have an AMD or nVidia card.
It's 128-bit not 128MB! ;-) The card has 2GB of 128-bit DDR3 RAM (it's the third version of the card in this list: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-555M.41933.0.html)
A very useful resource is the PPBM 5 website, it has extensive benchmark results of people's rigs on standardized tests. Filter out the results purely for laptops and it will be much more useful for you.
I recently experimented with a crappy geforce 525m and even that will suffice for your basic needs.