13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2013 6:02 PM by RockstarBruski

    Laptop suitability question


      My daughter is starting college in audio video production and has editing in her blood.  I am looking for a laptop that she can use reasonably well.  I may have a line on a MSI GT70 2OC-059us. I know it is advertised as a gaming computer but it seems to fit the requirements for running premiere pro and after effects. 


      It has an i7 4770MQ processor, GTX 770M 3GB video, 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM, (1) 750 GB HDD and a Blu-ray disk burner.  Here is a link to the model.  http://www.msimobile.com/level3_productpage.aspx?id=395


      I understand that a laptop is no way compares to a desktop in terms of performance but for now it is the best choice for being able to work on projects away from the lab (so I am told).  Any insight or advise is greatly appreciated. 


      Message was edited by: Keledole to correct the model number

        • 1. Re: Laptop suitability question
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          A 7200rpm USB3 drive will ease the load on the single internal drive... if she finds that video editng 'lags' with only one drive


          External eSata or USB3 are both fast enough for video editing... eSata may be better - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1117813 - http://ppbm7.com/index.php/tweakers-page/84-disk-setup


          ONE possibility is this $47 USB3 dock with fan http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station-Cooling/dp/B0055PL2YI


          And, some comparison tests http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1144620

          • 2. Re: Laptop suitability question
            JFPhoton Level 3

            ...it seems odd,by today's standards, that the MSI would only have one drive. Many laptops have two internal or more.....the rest of the machine is perfect,but, two internal drive bays is a must. My Asus laptop has two...

               32 GB memory would be better as well.....I use all SSDs in my laptop and a third SSD in a USB3 dock.....if you could do that with that MSI....it would scream....for a laptop

            • 3. Re: Laptop suitability question
              Keledole Level 1

              Thanks for the links John.  The second link was helpful with regards to the single HDD.  If I read the reviews correctly I understand that this computer has two internal bays and would add another HDD.  The exports would go to an external USB3 drive I assume.


              I also believe that the optical drive can be swapped wiith a HDD caddy to give it a third drive.  This setup would probably get this system as portable and as "ideal" as it gets.   My experience with this kind of computer system is limited.

              • 4. Re: Laptop suitability question
                Keledole Level 1

                Thanks for your reply JFPhoton.  As I said above I hope I am correct in that it has a second HDD bay.  In reading the customer reviews it appears to have four memory slots with only two occupied so an additional 16GB of RAM can be installed in the future.


                This laptop should last for several years assuming a college student will not treat it too roughly ....... or have it stolen,  Is there a way to have a kensington lock cable attached by surgical means to an armbone?

                • 5. Re: Laptop suitability question
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I don't have a laptop, so don't know the proper name, but something else I have read that helps with "high power" (meaning high heat) laptops is some kind of fan base that is relatively thin and goes under the laptop... with one or two slim fans to "pull" heat off the bottom of the laptop and exhaust out the sides


                  Such a base won't work when actually on someone's lap, but is supposed to work well when on a desk

                  • 6. Re: Laptop suitability question
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    a laptop is no way compares to a desktop in terms of performance


                    The guts of that model are just fine for most anything she'll be throwing at it.  The one area where it (and most all Laptops) fall short is the disk system.  Below is what I recommend as a starting point for a good performing edit system.


                    C: System

                    D: Projects

                    E: Cache/Scratch

                    F: Media

                    G: Exports


                    Plus some type of backup.

                    • 7. Re: Laptop suitability question
                      Keledole Level 1

                      The computer specs say that it has an esata port, three usb 3.0 ports and two usb 2.0 ports.  Upon receiving it I do not see an esata port.  I thought that one of the usb ports would be a combination usb/esata port like one I have on my old HP laptop but they clearly are not.  Are the usb 3.0 ports being considered esata?


                      Either way,  are you suggesting that I set up and connect 5 separate drives (internal and external) to use as follows:


                      C: system and programs (Preferably on a SSD in the primary internal drive bay)

                      D: Projects (7200 HDD in secondary internal drive bay)

                      E: cache/scratch on external usb 3.0 7200 HDD

                      F: Media/Raw Footage on external usb 3.0 7200 HDD

                      G: Exports on external usb 3.0 7200 HDD


                      or are you suggesting partitions on the two internal drives.  It is my understanding by reading posts in this forum that partitions should be avoided for the sake of speed.

                      • 8. Re: Laptop suitability question
                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                        I recommend five separate hard drives, no partitions.  eSATA and USB3 would probably work fine, USB2 is only recommended for backups.

                        • 9. Re: Laptop suitability question
                          RockstarBruski Level 1

                          I too am interested in purchasing a new laptop as there are many times when I need to edit while riding in a car, train, plane for many hours and a laptop (while not as powerful or as configurable as a desktop) is ideal for those situations .  I'm a long time Dell laptop user but my current laptop: i5 8GB e6510 latitude with internal 250GB SSD and windows 7 ultimate 64 bit is pausing and coughing when running Adobe Premiere CS6.


                          So, I too have been looking at the MSI laptops and I looked at their gaming laptops at http://www.msimobile.com/defau... and they seem promising that they would be able to handle CS6 projects with up to 4 or 5 video and audio tracks at one time with special effects, etc. 


                          But I'm curious if anyone is actually using any kind of laptop with CS6 and if so if they could reply what their laptop hardware is and what type of projects they have edited on their laptop and what their experience is with being able to render on the fly, smooth editing, any problems, etc?


                          Also, I would rather stick with a PC laptop but would the fastest Mac laptop be better running CS6 than the fastest PC laptop?

                          • 10. Re: Laptop suitability question
                            JFPhoton Level 3

                            .....yes.....I have experience trying to edit "on the road" with a beefy i7 laptop with plenty of memory, plenty of fast drives, and good NVidia dedicated video card for Mercury Playback.


                            Here is what to expect :


                            1. Forget editing while on battery......machine will automatically "throttle back" while unplugged from a 120volt outlet........no matter HOW you adjust your power setiings, ( i.e. 100% CPU while on battery,etc.). The program will not run on my machine. Even if it didn't throttle back, the battery will not last long enough to do anything. You MUST be plugged in to an AC outlet......THEN you can edit. Forget the AC outlet on the plane...they are mostly limited to 75 watts.

                            2.  certain common codecs.....esp. Canon DSLR .MOV files.... are  among the MOST difficult to edit natively, due to their high compression and long "group of pictures" nature. If using THESE .MOV files,( which are Quicktime), the 64 bit capability of PPro is handicapped by the 32bit Quicktime process and the usable memory is reduced to only 4 GB !!  Multiple video tracks and effects comprised of this type of codec can CHOKE the CPU of even the most powerful laptop !! Some users have reported "renaming " the file extension on these .MOVs to ".mp4" FOOLS PPro into using the 64bit process for smoother editing...I am not sure.....didn't work for me. I transcoded the MOVs to DNxHD, which ran much more smoothly while laptop  editing.


                            3. The newest Haswell i7 laptops do have WAY better performance than my 2 year old i7 laptop. To have a chance at smooth editing, you need a balanced system on the laptop.....which would be on the expensive side : minimum 32GB system memory, best 700 series mobile NVidia graphics card, Marvell controlled "Pro" type SSD, ( not Sandforce) for OS,programs, and Windows page file ONLY. Samsung Pro 256 GB is good.

                            A second HDD bay is best....to take advantage of the SATA II speed, you can place even the new marvell controlled  960 GB Crucial SSD in that second bay for your project files, media, previews, and cache files..


                            With a little more money, you can use a third drive...external....hooked to eSATA, ( better), or USB 3 for the "scratch" drive......( previews, media cache and database, and even exports ). Keep in mind that using a 7,200 rpm HDD anywhere  will limit the sequential transfer speed to 130MB/sec and LOWER. While the SATA II SSDs can do over 400MB/sec read AND write !!.......this is important when having multiple tracks when editing.


                            Very important.....unlike a desktop.....overclocking the CPU on a laptop is almost impossible. The significant overclocking on a desktop Haswell gives a real boost to performance. So, go desktop...if you can !!


                            Don't know about Mac performance...I have a PC laptop. However, I think PC laptops might be better at this time because of : Windows 8 OS runs PPro better, better NVidia graphics cards to choose from, and multi- hard drive setups.


                            Things do change.....Thunderbolt.......new Video cards, etc. It does seem to appear that on these forums there are more MAC users having problems.....you may want to read relevant postings.

                            • 11. Re: Laptop suitability question
                              RockstarBruski Level 1

                              JFPhoton, thanks very much for the helpful information. 


                              Last night I decided to buy an MSI laptop model GT70-017US


                              SPECS:  I7-4700MQ, 17.3 Full HD anti-reflective  Display  (16x9; 1920 x1080)

                              NVIDIA Geforce GTX 770M 3G GDDR5, 128GB SSD, 1TB 7500RPM HDD, 24GB DDR3 1600mhz memory, Killer Wireless-N, USB 3.0 x 3, USB 2.0 x 2, VGA, HDMI, mDP, Blu-ray Disc Burner, Built in 720 HD webcam.


                              When I get a chance to install CS6 I'll post how it works for me.


                              Thanks again

                              • 12. Re: Laptop suitability question
                                JFPhoton Level 3

                                ....make sure you run the video editing benchmark test at PPBM7.com website......longtime forum participants Harm Millard and Bill Gehrke created this test to evaluate the PPro performance of editing machines.

                                ....In the laptop category, your new machine should be at ,or, near the top due to its fastest CPU and best mobile video card. 24 GB system memory should yield great performance.....some users have reported incremental performance gains with memory all the way up to 32GB....where it then levels out. The PPBM test shows memory amount speeds up MPEG 2 encoding.....the difference between 24 and 32GB memory may be very slight. Windows 8 handles up to 128GB system memory......so, you don't need the "PRO" version of Windows 8 that handles up to 512 GB memory.


                                ...as others have said......laptops often are handicapped by the speed of their disk systems. Yours looks like it SHOULD do well.....the MSI page shows 2 -128GB SSDs in a RAID 0 for your OS disk. As an editing machine, only OS, programs, and page file should go on that.


                                ...I am not sure of the nature of the 1 TB HDD in the second drive bay....the MSI specs didn't list any.  Hopefully, it IS 7200 RPM, and will do OK. However, since that drive will be holding all your media files, previews, and media cache and cache data files...performance may slow when having multiple tracks on timeline. Of course, this would depend on what codecs you would be using. In a laptop...the CPU is usually the limiting factor creating a bottleneck. However, with your new speedy Haswell....a bottleneck could develop with the speed of the 1 TB conventional HDD.


                                ...one way to insure the absolute fastest performance possible with your machine would be to place the new 960 GB Crucial SSD, ( which is Marvell controlled) into the 2nd HDD bay. The SATA III speed of over 400MB/sec read AND write on THIS drive could possibly make a big difference in performance.....as this is the drive that is serving up all the media files and handling previews and cache files all at the same time !!

                                You could then place the original 1 TB drive into a cheap USB3 hi-speed dock to use as a backup drive. In my case, I use that dock to conveniently swap different drives.....sometimes I'll put a fast SSD that speedily handles previews and cache files at up to 200MB/sec....or, to export to at a higher speed. Other times, I'll plug in a large conventional 7,200RPM HDD for backing up,or, for slower exporting.


                                ....I am looking forward to seeing your PPBM test results on your new machine !!! It should do very well.... the CPU speed alone is DOUBLE my i7 speed....not to mention the FAR better video card !! Please report back how it does with PPro !!


                                ...One thing to be aware of....reading through these Adobe forums, you will see that the CCloud version seems to be including features which are providing faster performance in certain cases....and also, where they have resolved buggy issues. Also, there is excitement over newer features coming in October to CC. Although many are objecting to the "monthly subscription " model......CC PPro seems to be  progressing significantly beyond CS 6.....you may want to look at that, as that also will affect your work.  Best of luck !!!!!

                                • 13. Re: Laptop suitability question
                                  RockstarBruski Level 1

                                  Hi thanks again for all the helpful information.  A few days after your post I went to http://ppbm7.com and ran all the tests.  Whew that took a long time and a bunch of work!  Their instructions were missing a few steps but with a bit of luck and hunting I figured out what to do and completed all the tests, and uploaded my results.  However, it looks like that site doesn't post results automatically as they need a human moderator to review and post them.  It's been a few weeks since I've posted, I've emailed their help email but still no posting of my results.  Hopefully if and when they get them posted I'll come back to this thread and post the results link with all the stats.


                                  From what I saw in the real world editing on the same project the MSI laptop is seriously fast compared to my e6510 Dell laptop.  I wouldn't say it is as fast as a dedicated tower PC but for a mobile solution the MSI laptop really does well for what I need it to do.  I'll try to do some future real world test of my own to see just how long it takes to render, apply filters, etc and post the results here.