4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2009 8:39 AM by maggar

    Contemplating a notebook for editing?

    Harm Millaard Level 7

      If you consider a notebook for editing, you may find these results interesting:


      Notebook specs: Sony Vaio VGN-FW-31ZJ, CPU Intel T9550 (Core2Duo) @ 2.66 GHZ, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HD, ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 with 512 MB, Vista Home Premium 64, BR burner, 1920x1080 display 16.4".


      Comparison system: My 'middle-of-the-road' workstation.



      Notes: The Sony Vaio is not a bad system. It has not been optimized for video editing (it is only used for Office applications) and runs with the basic ingredients that Sony supplies these systems with. The workstation has been optimized for NLE work.


      When running the PassMark test I found these striking differences (Green is notebook, Red is workstation):



      A Core2Duo is way slower than the i7 (314% difference on the CPU mark)

      ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 is no measure for an ATI Radeon HD4870 (160% difference in 2 D and 1038% in 3D)

      The memory tests show a distinct advantage of DDR3 over DDR2 (+ 399%)


      but the most telling result is the difference in Disk Mark scores. Sure, my 'middle-of-the-road' workstation is not a norm in editing, but a difference in performance of nearly 7500% over a single disk notebook is the message I want to get across to you.


      If you contemplate a notebook for editing, because of portability, ease of use, no need for a second system, etc. please reconsider. A notebook is a very handy tool, but it can NEVER measure up to a dedicated workstation for editing.


      To summarize, a Sony Vaio FW31ZJ is a very decent system, but with a PassMark of 790 it pales in comparison to a workstation with a PassMark of 4734. Disk performance is the large culprit here, as well as a Core2Duo in comparison to a HT Quad Core.


      A lot of people here have often expressed that for proper editing you need at least 3 7200 RPM disks and the above results show you the difference in performance. So, think again about notebooks. Do you need the portability or the speed of a stationary system?

        • 1. Re: Contemplating a notebook for editing?
          TL2121 Level 1



          Where was this info in 2006 when I bought an inspiron 9400- Windows XP Pro 1.66 core duo 2GB RAM Nvidia 7900 Geforce GS? OK system, but I still regret making that purchase. It worked well for CS2 prod premium but with CS4 prod prem. playback is very dicey. I wish I had a better processor that a desktop at the time would have offered me for the same price as the laptop. Of course, still no camparison to the newer i7 processors of '09. Anyways, you think It's worth it to wait for Windows 7 in a year or get  windows vista 64 now to run this beast (Premiere Pro CS4)?


          Thanks for this report


          I concur- Desktops are the way to go- more Ram, beefier processors, multiple hdd configurations, and better airflow among others.

          • 2. Re: Contemplating a notebook for editing?
            the_wine_snob Level 9



            Thanks for the report (review?).


            The disk issue was one of the main reasons that I went with the Sager and 3x 200GB SATA II's. While it has a newer processor, than my workstation, it still falls behind in overall editing, though not by all that much. For me, screen real estate, or lack thereof, is MY biggest issue.


            With the 17" monitor and the 3x HDD's, it is "movable," but I'd not want to run through airports with it under my arm, especially with a couple of 2TB FW-800 externals! Still, if I am doing location work (apart from sitting by the pool), I'm usually in the Landcruiser, or something similar from the rental agency. I'm not backpacking into the Outback. Also, I'd not consider using it in my lap. Even with all of its fans, it can get very warm.


            Hope the Sony does all that you wish of it.


            Appreciate the report,



            • 4. Re: Contemplating a notebook for editing?

              Yea so a notebook is a little slower than a desktop and thats cool. But the i7 would be the best one to get for doing editing on a laptop period.