6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2014 5:07 PM by Bill Gehrke

    Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup




      I have read many great posts in this forum about this topic (especially about disk setup byHarm Millaard ). However, I feel a bit overwhelmed with all the data. My laptop is quite old and weak (maybe too weak) for Premiere Pro/After Effects in terms of usability. Before I start investing in new PC, I would like to give my current one a try. I am wondering if proper disk setup (scratch disk) would make a difference.

      My budget would allow me to choose one of the below options:

      a)one external ~128 GB SSD drive (USB 3 or eSATA),

      b)one 7200 rpm external HDD (USB 3 or eSATA), eventually TWO

      c)other disk setup suggestions within such budget?

      d)other non-disk setup suggestions?


      I produce 1080p videos, up to ~5 minutes duration.


      My current laptop specs:

      Dell Studio 1555

      Processor: Core 2 Duo 2,4 GHz

      RAM: 4GB

      1 HDD: 500 GB 7200 rpm 16 mb cache sata

      1 external 1TB 5200 rpm HDD USB 3 (I use it for backup at the moment)

      ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 512 MB


      USB 3 (will use a epxress card with USB 3)


      Thanks in advance,

        • 1. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
          JFPhoton Level 3

          ....when I first started...trying to edit HD content with PPro CS4, I had a laptop like yours. At the time, I didnt know ANYTHING and foolishly BELIEVED the "minimum requirements" listed by Adobe to use PPro. I wound up pulling my hair out as NOTHING would work...EVERYTHING froze up. Then, I started reading HERE on this forum posts by Harm Millard, Bill Gherke, and others about what REALLY was needed to run this professional level software.Temporarily, I discovered I could " transcode" the highly compressed ORIGINAL clips into another codec that the laptop could edit. This is something you can try with the free Cineform codec, available at GoPro website.

                  However, your machine is TERMINAL....a remnant of the past...you need to take it to a FIRING RANGE and yell PULL as you throw it into the air and witness its destruction via a loud shotgun blast !!! What you want is to edit NATIVELY the original footage in an easy manner. PPro has since improved GREATLY...now, its entirely 64 bit and has MANY improvements that have improved performance SIGNIFICANTLY.

             You are going to need an i7 machine that is hyperthreaded,that runs over 3 Ghz, that has 32 GB system memory,that has a good NVidia graphics card,7xx series,or, better. Then,fast storage is a great help with performance. Using ONE quality SSD for OS, programs and pagefile is a MUST. Windows 8.1 is BEST because it does NOT have the memory limit of Windows 7 Home premium of 16GB, and HAS better support for USB 3 devices. Just get a new machine ...you can do FINE with a Haswell laptop with memory maxxed out and Crucial M550 SSDs in it,( 2 drive bays)...AND the 7xx series, ( or better), mobile NVidia GPU.

            Or, build a new Haswell E based desktop machine....the mid- level CPU is affordable with great 6 core performance.

          • 2. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

            Unfortunately, if you have the P8600 processor you are in trouble with anything but Standard Definition SD processing.  It only has two cores and no hyperthreading plus it does not have the instruction sets that supports any current version of Premiere Pro.


            Also you probably have only 1366x768 pixels resolution on the screen which is below the minimum for Premiere Pro which is

            slightly below 1280 x 800 display for minimum requirements.  Possibly usable but might cause some User Interface complications.


            You can get no GPU hardware acceleration from the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 512 MB.


            What version of Premiere Pro?

            • 3. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
              Misior Level 1

              Hello Bill,

              Resolution is 1600x900. I started using Premiere Pro CC. I regularly use Gopro Studio and 1080p resolution doesn't cause much problem. If external disk would help, what would you suggest from the options I listed in my first post?

              • 4. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                I sort of doubt that a USB3 express card would give you full USB3 speeds.  I could be wrong but you rarely see any express card usage any more..


                I have several 128 GB PNY Turbo USB3 Flash drives that work great with >180 MB/second read speeds on my laptop.  They are only $50 and if you were to buy this as an experiment and it were not satisfactory you would always be able to use it later. 


                Apparently you might have an eSATA port on that laptop or was that to be an express card addition also?  If express card, that express card interface again might be your bottleneck.


                Please check your laptop specifcations and see if it is "The ExpressCard 2.0 standard was introduced on March 4, 2009 at CeBIT in Hannover. It provides a single PCIe 1.0 2.5 Gbit/s lane (optionally PCIe 2.0 with 5 Gbit/s) and a USB 3.0 "SuperSpeed" link with a raw transfer speed of 5 Gbit/s (effective transfer speed up to 400 MB/s)".[

                • 5. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
                  Misior Level 1

                  I have simillar feeling about that express card. It is a 34 mm express card.

                  I have eSATA (originally built in - NOT express card addition). So maybe a drive with eSATA?

                  If yes: SSD, or 7200 rpm HDD? Or should I drop this idea, since it would not give much benefit for my laptop configuration?

                  • 6. Re: Laptop upgrade - low budget disk setup
                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                    Since your laptop is about 6-years old it at the best has only SATA II so putting a SSD on it will not get the true performance out of the SSD, but a top end SSD like a Samsung 850 Pro or 840 Pro is going to be valuable for a good number of years and can be used on other systems.  It will not improve performance your real problem of course is the very weak CPU and only 4 GB of RAM