17 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2009 8:08 AM by fishging

    Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4

      Hey everyone...Newbie here!


      Will be getting my hands on the CS4 Master Collection next week.  I work for a local church, and we will be using the software...mostly Premiere Pro to edit videos no longer than our weekend service (1hr 30mins).  However, these edits will be extremely basic.  Bumpers at the beginning and end...maybe a couple of lower 3rds.


      The majority of my work will be confined to very short projects (5 mins or less)...to review missions work, community service projects, commercials and announcements for the above mentioned...


      So...with that little bit of back story...we have decided to purchase a laptop for me to spend the next 12 months getting my feet wet on the system.  We will then invest more finances into a more permanent desktop system.


      We don't want to skimp on the laptop either, though.  Below are a couple of options we are considering.  Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated!


      Macbook Pro

      17", 2.66Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3, 320GB 7200RPM HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M/9600 GT w/ 512MB


      HP HDX18t

      18.4" HD Screen, Intel Core 2 Quad 2.00Ghz, 8GB HDDR3, 640GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 130, Blu-Ray ROM


      Not trying to start a platform war...simply trying to make an informed decision based on the needs of CS4 and our uses.  Thanks again!



        • 1. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I would advise AGAINST a laptop, because for proper editing you need at least 3 hard disks, one for OS/programs, one for media and one for scratch/exports. Better go directly for the desktop you envisage. I would also suggest to go for an i7 CPU which is currently the "best bang for the buck".


          Sure, a laptop looks 'sexy', but do you need that in a church? How often does the church move? So why a laptop? Get a desktop. Boot disk around 150 GB and 2 1TB disks for media and scratch and you will save a lot of money and gain better performance than with a laptop.

          • 2. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
            Level 1

            Thanks for the quick reply!


            I completely agree that a desktop is the way to go.  My situation presents some challenges however.  I work from home 2-3 days a week...and I will need this computer to be with me.


            My only thought is that I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 that I've had for 3 years now...I guess I could use it for some of my mobile purposes...but that won't allow me to spend time learning the program while I am away from the office...or vice/versa if I'm away from the house.

            • 3. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I'm not familiar with the Dell 6400, but when using CS4 you have the possibility to install the software on two systems, as long as you don't use them at the same time, so that should not hinder you in any way. For editing I suggest the desktop, but for learning and getting acquainted with the program the Dell could be quite good.

              • 4. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                Level 1

                Okay...Just got done looking at my system specs...I don't even think CS4 will load on this dinosaur...  Only have a 30GB hard drive...1.6Ghz Processor and 1GB memory...


                So...would you recommend spending 700 or 800 on a laptop that can just get me familiar and then spending the real finances on the desktop?


                And the real question...is there a laptop at $700 or $800 that can run PrePRO CS4?

                • 5. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                  Andy Urtu Level 1

                  you can get a decent laptop for under $1,000   17" monitor, 4GB ram, dual core 2.4ghz


                  Look for one that can handle 2 internal drives.  This will make a BIG difference.


                  Or make sure it has a firewire port (1394) port so you can use a external firewire drive.

                  • 6. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    Personally I would forget about a laptop and spend the money on a good desktop, even if it means you cannot learn while on the road. You can try using your laptop with nearly empty projects for learning while on the road. It may work if you keep that machine mean and lean.

                    • 7. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                      Level 1

                      Okay...thanks guys...


                      Well...my total budget is around $3K...


                      Any recommendations on a desktop in the $2K range that will accompany the laptop.  Best bang for the buck?

                      • 8. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Dell has in general a good value for money performance, UNLESS you choose any options in addition to the basic configuration. Then they steal you blind. It is much better to choose a basic configuration and add any other components yourself. It will sane you quite a few $$$. Have a look at their site, choose a BASIC standard configuration within your budget and calculate the need to add additional hard drives and possibly memory at market prices (for convenience rate DELL prices at being about twofold marketprices).

                        • 9. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          If anyone really wants to have a Premiere Pro CS4 video editing capable laptop this is what it takes with a starting price of $4500 (USD).  They are quoting May delivery for this configure-to-order laptop i7 powered 3 disk drive plus BR recording laptop with an estimated battery life of one (yes that is correct) hour life.  See their site:  http://web.eurocom.com/EC/ec_model_config1(1,202,0)  This is what dreams are made of.



                          EUROCOM   D900F Panther   $4,496 USD
                          System and DisplayEUROCOM D900F PHANTOM-i7; 17-inch;   Widescreen; WUXGA 1920-by-1200 pixels; UltraSharp with Glossy Surface; Black   Chassis
                          VGA Technology1GB GDDR3 Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M;   16x PCIe; DX10; MXM 3.0b; N10E-GTX1
                          Upgradeable Processor2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 Processor   I7-920; 8MB L3 cache; 4.8GT/s; LGA1366; 45nm; 130W
                          Memory Configuration6GB; 3x 2GB; DDR3-1066; PC-8500;   CL-7; 512M x 64; 204-pin - 3 SODIMMs
                          Hard Drive: Choose   Regular, Hybrid or Solid State Drive(s)250GB; G-Force Protection; SATA-3= 00   NCQ; 7,200rpm; 3Gb/s; 16MB cache; ST9250421ASG
                          2nd Hard Drive500GB; G-Force Protection; SATA-3= 00   NCQ; 7,200rpm; 3Gb/s; 16MB cache; ST9500420ASG
                          3rd Hard Drive500GB; G-Force Protection; SATA-3= 00   NCQ; 7,200rpm; 3Gb/s; 16MB cache; ST9500420ASG
                          Operating System(s)English; Microsoft Windows VISTA   BUSINESS; 64-bit; OEM Edition; DVD
                          Optical Drive2x Blu Ray WRITER & 8x DVD   WRITER; Tray-based; Panasonic UJ-230; SATA; w/ software
                          Standard Battery   (internal)12-cells Smart Li-Ion battery
                          Standard AC Adapter220W AC Adapter; 100-240V;   Auto-switching
                          Choose Warranty Plan1 Year Return to Factory Depot wi= th 1   Year of Tech Support
                          • 10. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                            Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                            A laptop could be a great idea (example). We have successfully used one with an E-Sata port in conjunction with an external Seagate 1.5 TB drive (E-Sata connected to the laptop). We have no issues whatsoever using this setup to edit Panasonic P2 files in Premiere CS4. Your success will depend of course upon what Hi-def type file you will need to edit.

                            • 11. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                              Level 1

                              Thanks for the input!


                              Actually won't be editing any Hi-Def stuff for at least another 12-18 

                              months...should be able to get a desktop by then.  Also...already 

                              purchased a 1TB Western Digital eSATA hardrive to run alongside new 



                              Good to hear it will work!!  Thanks again

                              • 12. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                I just hope that your new WD eSATA drive is not one of the new "Green" drives.  As I reported earlier the way that WD and Seagate are making them "green" is to slow down the drives, this means slower transfer rates and longer access times!  I just checked the WD site for information on what BestBuy and Newegg have listed in this category and is listed as WDH1CS10000N.  No where including on the WD site does anyone list the rotational speed of this drive.  Buyer beware you are getting what you think you are getting!

                                • 13. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                                  Thrill Media Level 2

                                  While I prefer a desktop for editing, I have had great success with my HP zd7000 laptop when working with SD footage.  I have never tried HD on it because it is now too old and CS4 will not run on it while CS3 works great.  It has been a great laptop over the years even if it is now my web/email machine.


                                  I once flew across the country and did a shoot, capturing the footage with OL and then edited the show on the plane on the way back that evening.  We transferred everything to my desktop the next day and I added the open, lower thirds and close along with some audio sweetening and cc and I handed the client a master DVD that evening.  I never saw a client smile so big!


                                  I highly recommend the HP laptop based on my experiences.

                                  • 14. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    If you do decide on the portability of a "laptop," check out Sager. Though their units are built around serious gaming, most of what they offer translates well to video editing. I've been using one of their high-end units, and it has been great. Then, the limit was 3x 200GB SATAII drives, but I'll bet that they are now up to ~ 3x500GB HDD's. Only problem that I have had was a faulty multi-drive, and it was replaced under warranty in 3 days.


                                    Only downsides are: single 17" monitor, but one can add an additional display, and battery life, but I run on AC, instead of battery. Well-made, and has worked perfectly for almost 1.5 years.


                                    Good luck,



                                    • 15. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4
                                      Level 1

                                      Thanks...I'll check 'em out!

                                      • 16. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4

                                        I say don't rule out a laptop if that's what you need - and it sounds like it is. Just make sure you have a lot of RAM and a fast processor.

                                        • 17. Re: Laptop Recommendations for Premiere Pro CS4

                                          I am currently doing exactly what you are looking at doing.  My church won the Master Collection CS4 and after upgrading my RAM and HD, put it on my MacBook (2 GHz, 4GB, 500 Gig).  Lots of people would say never do this, but it works.


                                          I have rendered 2-5 min. After Effects comps, just make sure your output settings are right, then go find something else to do.  I also have just begun producing video messages (sermons) (30-40min).  Again, it defintely takes some time, but is do-able.  A MacBook Pro would be my vote, but I am Mac-Biased. 


                                          All that being said, we are going to buy a Mac Pro this week.  The extra time spent using a slower system is killing me because I wear more hats than just 'video producer'.  I will still keep After Effects and Premiere Pro on my laptop to use at home, but major editing/design will be done at church.   


                                          Just my .02 from someone who knows what you are trying to do.