6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2016 9:44 AM by ghijohansson

    Powerful laptop for video editing?

    ghijohansson Level 1

      Sometimes people ask what laptop to buy for video editing. My laptop has the following specification.

       

      1 gigabyte graphics memory (NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M)

      Intel core i7 3632qm CPU (quad core, 2.2 GHz with maximum 3.2 GHz).

      5400 RPM hard drive in two partions C: and D:

      6 gigabytes with RAM

       

      I use Windows 8.1, with Windows settings for maximum performance.

      I have spent more than 200 hours editing a project which is about 110 minutes long. 
      RAM, graphics card respectively CPU have been no limitation. But my hard drive must often work hard.

      Partition C: became full with media cache files since my project is so big. So in the future I will put the media cache files on partition D: For this project I solved the problem by deleting those media cache files which were no longer needed.

       

      Alright, I have been forced to split up my long project into smaller pieces. So I have projects which each contains a few hours with raw material, out of which there is about 10 minutes on the timeline. For each project I export a video file. These files I import into another project where I join them into one video file which is 110 minutes long.

       

      I find it inconvenient when PE 12 needs more than one minute to load a particular project. This is the reason why I split up my long project into smaller pieces.

       

      To avoid confusion, I never use video transitions. And I only use video effects when I am forced to correct poor footage. So in each project there is at most about a minute of footage to be rendered. I mean, even though I don't render, PE 12 works well.

       

      I hope this will help those who need to buy a laptop for editing.

        • 1. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          >5400 RPM hard drive in two partions C: and D:


          Bad for 2 reasons

          1-you need a 7200rpm hard drive for faster operation

          2-a partition means twice as much work for the drive, since it is constantly having to switch between the partitions

          You need two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition for a "spindle" drive http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708 for more on partitions)


          If you have USB3 or eSata you may use an external hard drive for your video files and projects

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

          • 2. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
            ghijohansson Level 1

            Yes, a faster hard drive would be nice so if the one I use breaks down, then I will probably replace it with a faster one. But right now it works.

             

            I found it unexpected that you thought my laptop would not be useful for editing. I typically put 99 % of the footage on the same video/audio track because my projects are such that I have good reason to keep everything simple. Presumably your editing is the very opposite.

            • 3. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
              ghijohansson Level 1

              I realized that it would probably be relevant if I told two more details about how I edit.

               

              Whenever possible, I have the track for video collapsed rather than expanded. When I have that track expanded, my laptop has to work uncomfortably hard. But with that track collapsed, my computer does not need to create any images on the timeline.

               

              Often I also have the track for audio collapsed, but this makes less difference in the work load for the hardware.

               

              The resolution for the monitor is only 1366*768, which is not much more than the minimum. This also limits how hard the hardware must work.I mean, the monitor can only show a small part of the timeline.

               

              So my dear John, I guess you edit in a completely different way since you believed my hardware was not powerful enough.

              • 4. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
                A.T. Romano Level 7

                ghijohansson

                 

                Thank you for reporting on the workflow that is working for you with your Premiere Elements projects.

                 

                I just saw your thread and had a few questions and comments

                 

                a. You Wrote

                Whenever possible, I have the track for video collapsed rather than expanded. When I have that track expanded, my laptop has to work uncomfortably hard. But with that track collapsed, my computer does not need to create any images on the timeline.

                Could you explain what you mean by work uncomfortably hard...in what way? Are you monitoring CPU usuage or something else with and without the tracks closed?. I have not seen an significant different in CPU usage whether a track in opened or closed. Whether or not the track is closed, it can still be seen in the Edit area monitor.

                 

                b. You Wrote

                The resolution for the monitor is only 1366*768, which is not much more than the minimum. This also limits how hard the hardware must work

                In numerous places online, you can see the comment about multiple monitors not having any significant effect on CPU usage.

                 

                c. You wrote

                I hope this will help those who need to buy a laptop for editing.

                Would you feel comfortable using that laptop to edit video with a program such as Premiere CC as well as Premiere Elements?

                 

                From what you wrote you have developed a workflow that works well for you. I congratulate you for that.

                There is always a better and faster lurking behind every device, but the key is that you have a task and you found a way

                for it to get done and done to your satisfaction.

                 

                Best wishes

                 

                ATR

                • 5. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
                  ghijohansson Level 1

                  Thanks for the comments.

                   

                  Sorry for this delay in answering. I didn't check if there was any comment because I didn't expect any.

                   

                  a.

                  I should had expressed myself differently.

                   

                  No, I have not monitored CPU usage because it is the hard drive which limits how fast my laptop works.

                   

                  There is one advantage with having a track for video expanded rather than collapsed. One can see what one has already put on the timeline without moving the cursor. If one waits until the computer has generated pictures on the timeline.

                   

                  But I realized that with my laptop one has to wait uncomfortably long for those pictures to be created. So it is faster to move the cursor to that position where I have guessed that I have already put the footage I want to find.

                   

                  b.

                  I have not tested multiple monitors. Neither would I bother if CPU usage increased because it is the hard drive, not the CPU, which limits how fast my laptop works.

                   

                  c.

                  I have not used Premiere CC so I have not checked the hardware requirements.

                   

                  Unless I have misunderstood something, Premiere CC has somewhat higher hardware requirements than Premiere Elements. Understandable since professional camcorders use higher bit rate (more information per second) than cheaper camcorders.

                   

                  So presumably I would be forced to split up my projects in even smaller parts to make everything manageable. On the other hand, using footage which is intra frame compressed rather than inter frame compressed would mean that the hardware needs to work less hard, so perhaps it would be possible to edit long projects.

                   

                  At the same time, some professional programs can work with proxy files, and in that case the high bit rate for professional footage would be no problem.

                   

                  Besides, unless something is wrong with my memory, Edius has somewhat lower hardware requirements than Premiere CC, so possibly that program would be more relevant for usage on my laptop.

                   

                  Higher bitrate means that there is room for fewer hours with raw material on my single hard drive. So with 100 Mbps I would in practice be limited to creating movies which are at most about 40 minutes long.

                   

                  One advantage with professional video editing software is that it can edit video with higher resolution than 1920*1080. But I doubt that would work on my laptop.

                  -

                  Thanks for your congratulations.

                   

                  Yes it works. And after posting in another forum in my native language, another film maker commented that he had edited on a laptop with even less powerful CPU. For him it was also the speed of the hard drive which limited how fast his laptop worked.

                   

                  • 6. Re: Powerful laptop for video editing?
                    ghijohansson Level 1

                    I think I can now tell how large projects my laptop can handle.

                     

                    I have just finished editing a movie which is 102 minutes long. The raw material was as follows.

                     

                    About 120 wav files, in total almost 4 gigabytes with audio files. Perhaps 6 hours.

                    About 460 m2ts files, in total about 44 gigabytes with video or somewhat less than 4 hours. 24 Mbps, 50i, 1920*1080.

                    A limited number of stills.

                     

                    I only used hard cuts and I only needed one video track and one audio track. But there are about 6,000 hard cuts. 3,000 hard cuts for video, 3,000 hard cuts for audio. Or alternatively one can say there were only half as many hard cuts because I counted two cuts everywhere I edited. I mean one cut before the interesting thing started and another cut after the interesting thing had ended.

                     

                    When the project file was largest, it took about 10 minutes to start. I mean it took 10 minutes to load all the files. But still, it was possible to keep everything in one single project.

                     

                    After editing, it was time to add text, on video track number 2. I mean subtitling for those who are hearing impaired. 1300 texts to add. When I had added half of the text, the program started to behave strangely. So I found it best to split the project in two parts.

                     

                    So yes, a large project can be edited with a weak laptop, but it is not very comfortable.