It depends upon what type of footage you're going to edit. For HD, I think you'll struggle without a raid drive (Raid0) - even if it's eSata. Try a Hitachi G Raid Mini!
Thanks Jon. I'll just be editing HD 1080p. Do you think I need a Raid 0? I am right in thinking they cost about $15 and then I need an external hard drive, like the Hitachi G Raid mini?
That is limited to USB3 or FW800, making it pretty slow.
I'm not sure what you mean about costing $15. A Raid drive is a complete solution. Key to successful editing is to not to use the system drive for storing the source footage and - as important - to be able to acheive speeds of more than 7200 RPM, otherwise it will struggle with HD.
There are many Raid configurations, but for basic editing, Raid 0 is common. Raid0 configuration is when back-to-back drives are combined to give greater capacity - and greater "speeds" than a single drive.
eSata drives, such as the G-Raid Mini, come with an onboard Raid controller, so all you need is an eSata port on the laptop.
My 4 G-Raids all include eSata. I use them onsite with my Precision M6600.
This laptop has an eSATA connection so I should be good if I get an external hard-drive, right? Thanks.
Sorry but the advice you have been given is very, well, limited
I have had a bog standard ASUS N56, with i7 cpu, 8Gb RAM and an nVidia 650 GPU, it also has a 1Tb 5400rpm HD
I use CS 5.5 Production Premium and edit native (untranscoded) AVCHD video files.
Premiere works fine, no rendering, no stutter, even with effects applied.
AE works a treat
Photoshop is fine
Exporting from Premiere into HD MPG2 or MP4 files is fairly fast.
Its not a substitute for a desktop but for on the move editing, previewing/reviewing it works well
Take an SD card with HD video files on it to your local PC shop and see how the files are played back on various laptops
I think it's a cool configuration, I have just i7 950, 7gb ram, ssd disc and gf550ti and it runs smooth and your configuartion is much better so it should be good.
[Moved to Hardware forum.]
The advice may be limited. I was addressing no more than the storage issue. The 5400 spec you suggest falls way below Adobe's recommended spec, and 8gb ram is far to small to enjoy trouble free, speedy operation for HD.
I found AE almost unusable with 8gb in a demanding professional environment. Perhaps fine for low level, time non-critical consumer work.