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Well, how much power you need depends on what type of video you plan to edit, Pat. For standard DV, a dual-core 2 ghz processor with 3 gigs of RAM and Vista 32 would be fine. For editing HDV or, especially, AVCHD video, you may want to look at a quad core.
I also generally recommend against editing video on laptops -- although many people do it. For one thing, laptops are built for portability, not power, so you'll pay more and get less speed than you would with a desktop. For another, even a 1440x900 screen is barely enough room for Premiere Elements interface. I use a dual monitor set-up, with each monitor set to 1280x1024, and it's barely enough room to get to every panel without doing some scrolling around. But that's up to you and your comfort level. But, at the very least, I'd go for the larger screen.
As for 64-bit Vista, that one's the million dollar question. Even the latest version of Premiere Elements isn't built to run on a 64-bit operating system. And, although some people have done so, others have reported buggy behavior.
Remember, then, that even if it does work, it will be operating in 32-bit mode, so you won't get full use of that 64-bit power. But maybe next generation of the software will support it.
I've been doing more and more NLE work on my laptop. I had this one built with both Photoshop and Premiere in mind. Other than the problem of having only the one monitor (I'm used to dual 21" on my workstation), the little beast has been very good. I also have been editing to/from 2TB externals via FireWire 800 fed from an ExpressCard with dual controller chips. So far, so good. Note: I'm still only editing SD material, no HDV yet.
As for your questions:
1.) though all of my systems are XP-Pro SP3 32-bit, I think I would go with Vista 64, if I were buying now. I had to "pull strings" to get XP-Pro on my laptop. For me, CS4 is now certified for Vista 64, even though it is still a 32-bit app. My next workstation will definitely be Vista 64 (maybe they'll be up to SP2 by then).
2.) I've got the nVidia GF 8800m GTX 512MB and it does a nice job. If I go to CS4, I'll be looking for a graphics card with CUDA built in, but that will be for my workstation, as I doubt we'll see much CUDA for laptops for a year, or two.
3.) For a laptop, I'd go with the highest clock-speed Quad processor available. You WILL see improvements in the Rendering department. Also, Adobe tests on Intel processors. I have seen some problems, that appear to be specific to Adobe products and AMD's, but I also think that these were older AMD's. I just stick to Intel, as I always have. As heat buildup and dissipation are a problem in any laptop, I'd not recommend over-clocking either the CPU or GPU. Too much risk, IMO.
4.) Because I have been spoiled, I still think that bigger is better. I have had to learn how to manipulate my Panels and Palattes, when working with just one display. My workstation is set up to work with dual monitors, and I can have almost everything open and where I want it. In Premiere, I have three Panels arranged on the second display and can cycle through them as needed: Titler, Project and Monitor. On my laptop, it's open, work, close, for Titler and expand/contract for my Project Panel and my Monitor. This gets old. I cannot imagine working on less than a 17" screen, but that is my personal observation.
Below is a link to the laptop that I got:
http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_customed.php?pid=29175&action=customize (watch for the line break, if you Copy/Paste)
I went with 3x 200GB SATA II's. Now, I'd bet that they offer 500GB's or maybe even 1TB SATA II's. I filled the laptop with all 3 HDDs, and have them setup for editing, though I've been doing more work on the externals, with 0 problems to date. Still, the more physical HDDs that you can offer an NLE, the better.
Last note, final density and color correction are very hard on any LCD screen. Even with software calibration, the best that you can get is an approximation. You have to sort of "wing it," and correct from experience, rather than from a control, calibrated CRT. Viewing angle is horribly critical.
One caveat: my laptop is very portable, though large and heavy. I usually do not go running through airports with it on my shoulder. Yes, I wish that it was smaller and lighter, but then I couldn't edit anything on it. There IS a trade-off.
Back to the FireWire 800s for a moment. I name each external in all of my OS's to the same drive letter. Every time that I plug in, say Y:\, it shows as Y:\ on all of my machines (set in each machine's OS>Disk Management). This allows me to migrate Projects from the laptop to the workstations. All Project files are on the external, a copy of all Assets are on the external and all Scratch Disks point to the Project folder structure, etc. This makes taking the Project up to a more powerful machine with dual monitors easy. I can then do my final color grading, density correction and then author to DVD (my final output for 99% of my Projects). If you go with FW-800 (or eSATA, which is even faster), you want a controller with as many separate chips/buses as you can get. Though you can daisy-chain FW-800, it is less than optimum. I have done some work with FW-400, but was never happy, as it was always lagging. I found USB 2 to be impossible to edit with and frought with read/write problems - some fatal. This will limit one in their choice of externals, as not all offer a FW-800 (IEEE1394b) connection. Be sure to check that out. If you are buying all new, look to eSATA with an eSATA ExpressCard for the laptop. That will give you the greatest speed for now. Next quarter? Maybe the new USB 3, or eSATA III or even FW-1600, but for now eSATA II is still the fastest.
<Pat_Bauer@adobeforums.com> wrote in message<br />news:email@example.comNXanI<br />> I am planning to buy a new laptop and want one with good<br />> support for my Premiere projects.<br /><br />Laptop editing video, whoops! ;-)<br /><br />> I currently own PE 4<br />> but may well upgarde to PE7 or even possibly Pro (I<br />> expect to use this new laptop for several years).<br /><br />Got a reason other than keeping up with the Joneses?<br /><br />> I use an external hard drive for storage, so am not so<br />> concerned with large amounts of hard drive capacity.<br /><br />Hmmmm. Lots of RAM and a very fast processor are very nice.<br /><br />> 1. Is Vista 64 bit and 4GB memory worth investing in for<br />> future?<br /><br />You can always upgrade in the future.<br /><br />> 2. What about graphics/video card--Intel X3100 or x4500<br />> or Invidia GeForce? I am not a gamer and do not watch<br />> movies on my laptop--video creation is my main purpose.<br /><br />Editing video is not graphics card intensive.<br /><br />> 3. What about processor--looking at T5800/8300/8400 with<br />> 3 GB (or 4 if 64 bit).<br /><br />Can't have too fast of a CPU these days.<br /><br />> 4. I'm looking at 15.4 screen. Would go to 17 if a big<br />> advantage. Pixel counts look like 1280 x 800--Dell has<br />> 1440 x 900 upgrade. Suggestions?<br /><br />Big screens are more convenient for editing. I use a 24 inch with 1920 x <br />1200.<br /><br />> My videocamera is not HD. It's possible I'll want to<br />> upgrade to HD within the lifetime of this laptop. How<br />> would that change my selections now?<br /><br />You can upgrade just about anything relevant but the CPU in the future.
I appreciate the input--lots to study and compare. I should probably have made clearer that video editing (hobby stuff) is only one thing I do on the laptop--but it's the most resource-demanding activity. I bought a basic laptop a year ago to allow me to spend more of my online time in a favorite desk-nook with a mountain view (doesn't accomodate a desktop with multiple monitors) and have found that I use it now almost exclusively for all of my computer activities. I'm giving the current laptop to my parents and want an upgrade that will handle Premiere Elements better.
That is exactly why I went with a laptop to do the basic NLE and PS work. The workstations are in an enclosed edit-suite, and I can sit by the pool on the laptop, watching the golfers go by and the sun on the mountains. When I have to go inside, it's not so bad, after that!