21 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2012 8:16 PM by benson-2

    Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6

    kingdomofsolomon Level 1

      Hello everyone,

      Just wanted to get in idea will this laptop be good for HD and 4K editing, if there is any recommendation please advice me.

       

      1st:

      Alienware M18x

      Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 2630QM (2.0Ghz, 6MB, 4C)
      Graphics : 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460M
      4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
      320GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
      18.4" WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD
      DVD+/-RW (DVD, CD read and write)
      Intel® Advanced N  6200 a/g/n 2x2 - Europe
      Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Card - EUR
      Primary 12-cell 96W/HR LI-ION
      Price: £1,678.80
      -----------
      2nd:

      Alienware M18x

      Intel® Core™ i7 2920XM Overclocked Turbo Boost to 4.0GHz (8MB Cache)
      Graphics : Dual 2GB GDDR5 AMD® Radeon™ HD 6970M CrossfireX™
      32768MB (4x8GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
      1.5TB (2x750GB) SATA Raid 0 "Stripe" (7,200rpm) Dual HDD
      18.4" WideFHD (1920 x 1080) WLED LCD
      Blu-Ray ROM Combo (Blu-ray read only, DVD, CD read and write) Drive
      Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300 a/g/n 3x3 - Europe
      Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Card - EUR
      Primary 12-cell 96W/HR LI-ION

      Price: £4,798.80

       

      Thank you

       

        • 1. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          None of the above. You have to seriously reconsider editing on a laptop with 4K material. See http://forums.adobe.com/message/4717373#4717373

           

          You need at least three distinct (raided) volumes for 4K material.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
            Jeff Bellune Level 5

            [moved to hardware forum]

            • 3. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
              kingdomofsolomon Level 1

              Thank you Harm,

              Do you think this is better?

              Case   ADK - ADK 9000x: 17" Laptop WUXGA 1920 x 1080 3HDD capable, upto 3 HDD internal T   
              Power Supply   None   
              Processor    Intel - Core i7 3820 3.6GHz 4 core 10meg cache 
              Memory    ADK - 32Gig (4x8gig) 1600 11-11-11-28 Sodimm, Samsung Chips, Lifetime Warranty 
              Operating System    Microsoft - Windows 7 Pro 64 bit OEM 
              Recovery Software    Paragon Backup & Recovery 11 Suite with ADK recovery DVD. 
              OS/Programs Drive     Western Digital - 750G 7200RPM Hard Drive 16meg cache 5 yr warranty 
              Source Drive(s)     None 
              Render Drive(s)    None 
              Internal Storage     ADK - Seagate 3TB SATA 600 ,64Meg cache USB3 Ext Bay with cables. 1yr warranty on 
              Removable Media    None 
              External Raid    none 
              Raid Controller    None 
              FW/USB/E-Sata Cntlrs     None 
              DVD-RW/BDR    Slim 8X DVD-RW/+RW and CD-RW Drive. Dual Layer 
              Dual Head Video    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M w/4GB GDDR5 
              Video Preview      None 
              NIC    included wired 1Gb and Intel Ultimate-N 6300 Wi-Fi 
              Warranty   Standard 1 yr Parts and Labor Lifetime Tech Support 
              Power Protection    None 
              Pro Audio Interface    None 
              Audio Software    NONE 
              NLE Editor    NONE 
              Plug-ins/Audio    NONE 
              • 4. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Still the same problem, not enough disk I/O capacity. While it might work somewhat for HDV and AVCHD material, it is insufficient for RED 4K material, that requires huge bandwidth for handling 4444 material and the single media disk can not deliver that. You really need a very good disk setup for that material and a laptop does not offer that.

                • 5. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                  RjL190365 Level 4

                  A bit better, but still far short on disks. No current laptop - not even a custom-built one - can accommodate anywhere near the three distinct ultra-fast RAIDed volumes that are necessary for 4K material. And USB 3.0, while adequate for single fast disks, is too limiting on RAIDs. Multiple Thunderbolt ports (for multiple fast RAID boxes) are needed on a laptop before such a laptop can even be considered for editing videos above the typical 1080i/p HD.

                  • 6. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                    Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Rather than onfiguring something your self call Eric at ADK and let him try to solve your problem,

                    • 7. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                      kingdomofsolomon Level 1

                      Would you be able to tell me the disk setup and what I need please?

                      • 8. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Minimum:

                         

                        C: OS & programs, SSD on SATA 6G.

                        D: 2 x 7200 RPM SATA 6G in raid0 for media and projects.

                        E: 2 x 7200 RPM SATA 6G in raid0 for media cache, previews and exports.

                        F: large 7200 RPM eSATA for backups.

                         

                        This is about minimum requirement for editing RED 4K material. More disks is better.

                         

                        Good luck finding a laptop with the externals to meet these minimum requirements, and the wall outlets necessary.

                        • 9. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                          kingdomofsolomon Level 1

                          thank you very much for the advice.

                          • 10. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                            JFPhoton Level 3

                            .....what about an all SSD solution...if there are three drive bays ? Tho expensive....2 - large Plextor pro marvell SSDs in addition to an OS drive??

                            • 11. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                              Alex - DV411 Level 2

                              Still the same problem, not enough disk I/O capacity. While it might work somewhat for HDV and AVCHD material, it is insufficient for RED 4K material, that requires huge bandwidth for handling 4444 material and the single media disk can not deliver that.

                              I am confused. Isn't debayering done in memory, and R3D 4K files are generally less than 150MB/s? Why do you need that extra disk I/O bandwidth for 4K files?

                               

                              My Red 4K / CS5 demo station at Creatashpere 2010 was a 2009 MBP with 8GB RAM, Win7-64 in Bootcamp.  I didn't edit Red files: the demo was simply a few R3D 2K files stitched together: at full speed at 1/4th res.  4K files were playing at full speed at 1/8th. All - from the internal 7200rpm spinning disk.  Sure, it's far from a perfect machine for R3D 4K; bottom line is that it can still handle 4K.

                               

                              Edit: while Harm is right that a single spinning disk isn't enough for R3D 4K (the right SSD will work), I find his "minimum" advice utterly puzzling.  Dedicating a separate volume for media cache - especially so.  People actually edit R3D 4K on dual-drive RAID0.  (I certainly am not talking about color grading and compositing workflows where heavily compressed R3D files are converted to uncompressed RGBA DPX ones.)

                               

                              Harm: is that advice field-proven?  If so, could you say how?

                              • 12. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                No current laptop - not even a custom-built one - can accommodate anywhere near the three distinct ultra-fast RAIDed volumes that are necessary for 4K material.

                                RjL,

                                 

                                What's the average bandwidth of Red 4K files?

                                • 13. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                  RjL190365 Level 4

                                  Alex Gerulaitis wrote:

                                   

                                  No current laptop - not even a custom-built one - can accommodate anywhere near the three distinct ultra-fast RAIDed volumes that are necessary for 4K material.

                                  RjL,

                                   

                                  What's the average bandwidth of Red 4K files?

                                  Alex,

                                   

                                  As decompressed, the average bitrate for 4K video at 4096x2160p24 is nearly 1 GB/s (8 Gbps). A single disk or even a two-disk RAID 0 does not provide enough disk I/O throughput for this material. In fact, RED 4k needs a much larger, more complex multi-disk RAID with 8 or more disks per volume (assuming that the NLE decompresses and recompresses on the fly during editing, like most NLEs do).

                                  • 14. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                    Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                    RjL190365 wrote:

                                     

                                    As decompressed, the average bitrate for 4K video at 4096x2160p24 is nearly 1 GB/s (8 Gbps). A single disk or even a two-disk RAID 0 does not provide enough disk I/O throughput for this material. In fact, RED 4k needs a much larger, more complex multi-disk RAID with 8 or more disks per volume (assuming that the NLE decompresses and recompresses on the fly during editing, like most NLEs do).

                                    What makes you think uncompressed 4K ever reaches the disks with Pr?

                                     

                                    Think about it for a second, if uncompressed files had to be written to the disks, most HD editing systems out there would grind to a halt.  Uncompressed RGB HD (which is what Pr works with when previewing) is already humongous.

                                    • 15. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                      RjL190365 Level 4

                                      Alex Gerulaitis wrote:

                                       

                                      What makes you think uncompressed 4K ever reaches the disks with Pr?

                                      Same way that most NLEs decompress compressed HD material on the fly. You see, native 4K handling has not yet been invented in NLEs.

                                       

                                      Plus, laptops are much more limited - both in terms of the number of disks that they can accommodate and the total I/O throughput of all of their available ports combined - than full-blown desktops or servers. In fact, those laptops whose fastest available external port is only a USB 3.0 port are limited to a maximum combined sustainable external throughput of only around 200 MB/s! That's barely sufficient I/O bandwidth for even unpacked HD material, and woefully inadequate for unpacked 4K material.

                                       

                                      Try running the new test (downloadable from the PPBM6 site, ppbm7.com), and you'll find that nearly all systems (laptop or desktop) will have an extremely tough time rendering this mixed 4K and HD timeline, often requiring 30 or more times longer than real time just to render that timeline without CUDA GPU acceleration. One of the original choices in the OP's original post does not have an Nvidia GPU at all; thus no CUDA GPU acceleration and a permanent lock of Pr to the software-only mode.

                                      • 16. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                        Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                        Same way that most NLEs decompress compressed HD material on the fly.

                                        This doesn't answer my question.

                                        You see, native 4K handling has not yet been invented in NLEs.

                                        Uhm, Pr is resolution independent. So is Vegas Pro.  If we were in 2007 - maybe.

                                        ...will have an extremely tough time rendering this mixed 4K and HD timeline

                                        What does this have to do with disk I/O?

                                        • 17. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                          RjL190365 Level 4

                                          I have added a few more details on how editing 4K material can bog down most editing systems. I forgot to mention that the fastest laptop is three to four times slower overall than a good fast desktop.

                                          • 18. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                            Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                            I have added a few more details on how editing 4K material can bog down most editing systems. I forgot to mention that the fastest laptop is three to four times slower overall than a good fast desktop.

                                            RjL please remember that "editing" is not the same as "getting a high PPBM score" and in fact has almost nothing to do with it.  Editing is mainly viewing (and hearing), making decisions based on that, punching them in (edit points, FX and transitions, titles, etc.).  PPBM scores have virtually nothing to do with that activity, especially that you rarely have to actually stop to render in order to preview.  The most important function in a 4K editing system is its ability to preview 4K files at full frame rates and in decent resolutions, not how fast it renders the timeline (not that it's not important either).

                                             

                                            Red One 4K R3D files are mostly under 150MB/s, easily manageable with a USB 3.0 or eSATA RAID0 (unless it's a multicam or similar multi-layer editing scenario in which case indeed, you'd want a good desktop for that, probably with RedRocket).  Uncompressed 4K never reaches the disks in Pr, thanks goodness.

                                            • 19. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                              RjL190365 Level 4

                                              Alex Gerulaitis wrote:

                                               

                                              Red One 4K R3D files are mostly under 150MB/s, easily manageable with a USB 3.0 or eSATA RAID0 (unless it's a multicam or similar multi-layer editing scenario in which case indeed, you'd want a good desktop for that, probably with RedRocket).  Uncompressed 4K never reaches the disks in Pr, thanks goodness.

                                              Only one small problem: Many external hard disks cannot sustain even 100 MB/s across the entire disk, their 140-ish MB/s average throughput notwithstanding. They may peak (or start out) at 150-ish MB/s, but then their transfer rate drops off rather sharply throughout the inner half of the disk.

                                               

                                              But back to the RED 4K suitability to laptops: Most laptops are totally unsuitable for 4K editing because their CPUs simply aren't powerful enough. They are designed for energy efficiency first, performance second.

                                              • 20. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                                Only one small problem: Many external hard disks cannot sustain even 100 MB/s across the entire disk, their 140-ish MB/s average throughput notwithstanding. They may peak (or start out) at 150-ish MB/s, but then their transfer rate drops off rather sharply throughout the inner half of the disk.

                                                Even with the usual 50% drop, still fast enough for most R3D files (I was mistaken thinking they went up to 150MB/s - it's more like under 50MB/s).

                                                But back to the RED 4K suitability to laptops: Most laptops are totally unsuitable for 4K editing because their CPUs simply aren't powerful enough. They are designed for energy efficiency first, performance second.

                                                RjL, are you speaking from personal experience or based on PPBM scores?   I don't doubt that powerful desktops are better suited, yet the "totally unsuitable" comment should be well substantiated, don't you think?

                                                 

                                                In addition, Alienware is hardly your average laptop.

                                                • 21. Re: Dell M18x For Pr CS5.5 & CS6
                                                  benson-2

                                                  I have the M14x, and it's a very similar machine to the one you're looking at. I added an extra internal HDD, and have an mSATA drive (so three disks internally) have the fastest processor available in my model at the time of purchase, the NVIDIA card with 3GB VRAM, and 16 GB of RAM. It does a good job of editing and rendering HD footage (1080p, AVCHD), and while it's not comparable to a good modern desktop built for editing, I have no complaints. I'm willing to sacrifice the performance for the portability, and it does everything I want it to in a reasonable amount of time.

                                                   

                                                  That being said, I don't work with 4K footage, but I don't think my computer (or by extention the one that you're looking at) would be suitable for doing so. If I planned on using 4K on a regular basis, I'd invest in a solid desktop. If you're dead set on having a laptop, and you're OK with using HD footage, you'll be able to cram 4 drives in the M18x (if you sacrifice the optical drive). I'd also upgrade the processor, get the NVIDIA card, and get more RAM. However, by the time you're done paying for all that you'll have spent well over $2000. If you invest the same amount of money in a desktop you'll get a better performing machine (more bang for your buck). The only advantage I can see of having a laptop for editing is portability (why I chose a laptop), and with a starting weight of 12 lbs, the M18x isn't even that portable.