25 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2011 10:40 PM by Mavoz Australia

    Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?

    Mavoz_Aust Level 1

      Hi,

       

      I am planning to work on short documentary pieces in the coming 6 months to support various voluntary groups working with poor and disadvantaged people groups. This means I will be travelling and editing a bit while on the move...(but might be able to organise an editing base where a desktop is still an option.)

       

      I will be editing HDSLR footage.

      My current system has CS4, Win732bit, Intel Core( 2 Quad CPU    Q6600  @ 2.40GHz, 2394 Mhz, 4 Core, 4 Logical Processors with Graphics: NVIDIA 8800GT

       

      Key questions:

       

      1.) Is a newer laptop when combined with an upgrade to 64bit and CS5 sufficient to edit HDSLR footage? (Budget limited to about $2000 to $2500 US) )

       

      2.) Will this provide better performance and reliability than my current desktop with CS4?

       

      3.) I am open to buying any laptop....Mac or PC.....I would like something that takes full advantage of CS5's mercury engine etc.. I have access to pretty good deals to HP laptops via my current work. Is there a specific laptop from either HP or Mac that anyone can recommend that provides good bang for the buck?

       

      (ie. budget range of $1500 to $3400 US)

       

      Any advice/comments or thoughts greatly appreciated.

       

      I don't want to spend a lot of money on a laptop only to find it is not a useful or productive solution.

       

      Thank you!

       

       

       

       

       

      I

        • 1. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
          Mavoz_Aust Level 1

          Just an extra note re: options.

           

          These particular HP workstations are ones I have access to at a reasonably good price:

           

          http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/au/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-4307559-4307559.html

           

          But are they really good enough?

           

          The next tier of HP laptops are here:

           

          http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/au/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-3955549-3955549.html

           

          But they do jump a fair bit in price.

           

          Or maybe I should just make the shift to Apple!

          • 2. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Laptop Video Editing PC

            http://www.sagernotebook.com/
            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Like John said, Sager is about the only option you have, but your budget is too low. Start with a budget of $ 4+ K and you can find something.

               

              For the indicated budget all you will find are notebooks with specs below minimum requirements and no faster than your desktop. If you go for Apple you will be even more disappointed.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                Thanks for the replies...much appreciated..

                 

                So even a Sager laptop with specs listed below (+maybe one or two esata drives for video files) would struggle? It seemed highly specced...and comes in at around that $2 - 2.5K mark.

                 

                So basically when spending under $2.5K one is far better off investing in a good solid desktop?

                 

                And a mac is not the answer either?

                 

                Maybe I need to find a way to travel through Eastern Europe with a desktop in the suitcase!

                 

                Thanks for the replies...it isn't easy trying to nagivate through all of these specs...and marketing hype the pc companies tend to throw at us...

                 

                It sounds like buidling the best desktop I can for $2.5K might be a safer option.

                 

                 

                 

                SAGER NP8760-S1
                Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Mobile Processor
                GeForce GTX 460M GPU w/1.5GB GDDR5 Memory
                8GB Dual Channel DDR3 Memory at 1333MHz
                500GB (7200rpm) SATA 300 Hard Drive
                6X Blu-Ray Reader/8X DVD±R/RW/+DL Super-Multi drive
                • 5. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  The i7-840QM is too slow and the P55 mobo not suitable for editng HD material. 8 GB memory is cutting it extremely thin. A single disk is not enough, at least two 7200 RPM SATA disks are required, three is much better.

                   

                  Start with an i7-9xx CPU, not the mobile M version. Add 12 GB memory into the equation and the GTX 460M, which is quite good, plus at least 2 or 3 7200 RPM disks and you will be OK.

                  • 6. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                    Mavoz_Australia Level 1

                    Thanks for the great information Harm...your advice is greatly appreciated.

                     

                    I can see a crucial issue is that many of the manufacturers throw around words like 'mobile workstation', 'desktop replacement' etc.for their laptops...but these machines are just not up to the demands of hd editing.

                    I'm actually finding it hard in Australia to find a laptop that has the necessary specs...and I'm not sure whether importing from the US is a realistic option.

                     

                    and all of this leaves me with a problem of what to do when it comes to wanting to travel and do some editing on the journey...and not really wanting to spend 4+K on a laptop...especially when it is a more temporary need...in the long term a dedicated desktop solution seems a better choice.

                     

                    thanks again for everyones help.

                    • 7. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                      Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                      After reading other threads here have come up with this Sager laptop...

                       

                      How does this look? It comes it a reasonable price of $3,084.00+ (only thing is shipping and tax cost I'll have on top to Australia.)

                       

                      Model: NP7280-S1

                       

                      Display17.3" Full HD LED Display with Super Glossy Surface (1920 x 1080)
                      Video & Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 470M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 Video Memory
                      CPU ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-950 Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 3.06GHz, 4.8GT/sec QPI )
                      Thermal CompoundIC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
                      Operating SystemGenuine MS Windows® 7 Home Premium 32/64-Bit Edition ( 64-Bit Preloaded )
                      Memory12GB Triple Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 3 X 4GB
                      RAID Storage Options InfoNon-RAID Storage
                      Primary Hard Disk Drive500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive
                      2nd Hard Disk Drive500GB 7200rpm SATA with 4GB SSD Secondary Hybrid Hard Drive [$90.00]
                      3rd Hard Disk Drive500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 3rd Hard Disk Drive [$85.00]
                      Optical Drive6X BD-R Blu-ray Burner/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software [$110.00]
                      Wireless Network CardIntel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
                      • 8. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        This makes the start of the New Year very nice. Hope the rest of the year will be as good for you.

                         

                        Nice price, nice components and specs. The only thing I would change is the OS. Change the Home Premium version for the 64 bit Professional version.

                         

                        Good to know that you can get a very good notebook for around $ 3 K.

                        • 9. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                          Daxman1965 Level 1

                          Hi,

                           

                          I have one of the 500 gig seagate hybrid drives with 4 gig ssd and it is slower than the normal seagate 500 gig 7200 2.5", so I would just go with 3 x 500 gig 7200 and save a few bucks.

                           

                          regards

                           

                          Darren

                          • 10. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                            Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                            Thanks for the very helpful replies Harm...and for the info re the 4gig ssd Darren...

                             

                            Final system specs I am looking at are:

                             

                            NP7280-S1

                             

                            Display17.3" Full HD LED Display with Super Glossy Surface (1920 x 1080)
                            Video & Graphics CardNvidia GeForce GTX 470M GPU with 1.5GB GDDR5 Video Memory
                            CPU ProcessorIntel® Core™ i7-950 Processor ( 8MB L3 Cache, 3.06GHz, 4.8GT/sec QPI )
                            Thermal CompoundIC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
                            Operating SystemGenuine MS Windows® 7 Professional 32/64-Bit Edition ( 64-Bit Preloaded ) [$60.00]
                            Memory12GB Triple Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 3 X 4GB
                            RAID Storage Options InfoNon-RAID Storage
                            Primary Hard Disk Drive500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive
                            2nd Hard Disk Drive750GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Secondary Hard Disk Drive [$55.00]
                            3rd Hard Disk Drive750GB 7200rpm SATA 300 3rd Hard Disk Drive [$125.00]
                            Optical Drive6X BD-R Blu-ray Burner/8X DVD±R/2.4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software [$110.00]
                            Wireless Network CardIntel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module

                            • 11. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              I look forward to seeing your results on the PPBM5 Benchmark

                               

                              With these specs you should be in good shape, with room to grow in the future.

                              • 12. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                                Just had a little complication added whilst figuring out the order....

                                 

                                the website has just dropped the Nvidia 470 card off...and now features a 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 485M GPU

                                 

                                The price has jumped up around $300 too...

                                 

                                Will this card be compatible with CS5? Does anyone know anything about this card?

                                 

                                Am I better of going with the 460? Or do I see if I can still get a 470? Or is it worth making the jump up to this 485M (assuming it is a jump up!)?

                                • 13. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                  I would opt for the 460. The early results of the mobile version are not altogether good. OTOH, there is only a small difference between the 460 and the 470 and the 460 is not as loud as the 470 and consumes much less power and - not to be neglected - will save you some money.

                                  • 14. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                    Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                                    Thanks for that Harm...there certainly is a fair price saving...

                                     

                                    Does the 460 work ok with CS5 Mercury engine? I need to 'hack' it...is that right?

                                    • 16. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      Harm,

                                       

                                      With prices falling on higher-end components, there are some "bargains" from Sager. I'm spec'ing out the new version of my 4+ YO Sager, and going for their top-of-line offerings, just like I did back when. The price of a comparable laptop now is ~ $1000 less than what I paid, and the performance enhancements are great, so it's more (and updated) for less. A pleasant surprise to me!

                                       

                                      The Sagers are still not "cheap," by any standard, but mine has proved to be a stout performer. Were it not for the 4GB limit on the MoBo, and the now smallish 200GB HDD's, I'd just wipe and install Win7-64, as it runs just fine, and with the limitation of the 17" monitor, edits SD video great, and as quickly as my workstation with much better I/O. Oh, and those large, dual monitors! Had to learn how to close up and dock panels on the laptop. Still have not gotten comfortable with PS, as I had not minimized, or docked a Palette in a decade.

                                       

                                      To the OP - good luck, and if your Sager is half as good as mine has been, you will just love it.

                                       

                                      Hunt

                                      • 17. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                        Intercostal Level 1

                                        I've been following this thread for a possible alternative to a new desktop. What does "hacking" a CS5 Mercury engine to accomodate the 460 card involve?

                                        • 18. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                          literally_figurative Level 1

                                          It pretty much involves editing a text file as I was told by a friend. So you should be fine ha.

                                          • 19. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                                            As L_F said, it's just a text file edit, and I have to admit that the word "hack" makes it sound a bit sinister.

                                             

                                            Good luck,

                                             

                                            Hunt

                                            • 20. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                              literally_figurative Level 1

                                              You need mad notepad skillz to perform the hack.

                                              • 21. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                                Intercostal Level 1

                                                Thanks, Harm and LF.

                                                 

                                                Hopefully what needs to be typed is posted somewhere should I go that route.

                                                .

                                                • 22. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                                  Mavoz_Aust Level 1

                                                  Ok...I am just about to submit the order....have had geat  correspondence from Brett at Xotic Pcs for my Sager..they are also  cheaper with shipping than the Sager website itself..am just hoping I  can get it built, shipped and through customs to Australia by my fly out  date Feb 28.

                                                   

                                                  One last question that concerns me is the sheer size  of this machine...it does look massive! (Especially when I'm trying to  transport my camera gear on planes with carry on as well.)

                                                   

                                                  This vid...while not a review...does give an idea of the size of these machines...

                                                   

                                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xkwWxM0Gc

                                                   

                                                  XoticPC do a much better review at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8ugfPdc2Yg

                                                   

                                                  The  impression I get though is you really need the extra size to accomodate  all the hd's etc they pack into these things! A smaller 15" laptop may  just not cope with CS5.

                                                   

                                                  I also was a little concerned about the word 'hack' for the 460 video card  as it certainly does convey 'dark side of the Internet' type  behaviour...I certainly want to be very legal in all this! (One link I found here Intercostal on how to do it http://www.indiev.org/?p=308)

                                                   

                                                  Anyway here is my final list of specs...I haven't gone for RAID or SSD for the HD's...added $40 for IC Diamond Thermal Compound..I guess extra cooling benefit might be useful.

                                                   

                                                  Any final comments...before I order and reach that point of no  return? Let me know if you think this 'baby' is just going to be too big  to take on a plane!

                                                   

                                                  Thanks again Harm, and all the others who have made  such valuable contributions in this thread....even though we are all  'strangers' in one sense...it is fantastic to have a great community here that is so helpful...thank you!

                                                   

                                                  Sager NP7280 Custom Laptop (Built on the Clevo X7200)
                                                  -  17.3" FHD 16:9 "Glare Type" Super Clear Ultra Bright LED Glossy Screen (1920x1080)-
                                                  -  Intel® Core™ i7-950 (3.06-3.33GHz) 8MB L3 Cache, 4.8 GT/sec QPI, LGA 1366
                                                  -  - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU
                                                  -  nVidia GeForce GTX 460M 1,536MB PCI-Express GDDR5 DX11
                                                  -  ~ 12,288MB DDR3 1066MHz Memory (3 SODIMMS)
                                                  -  ~ 6X Blue-Ray Burner/Reader / 8X DVDRW Super Multi Combo Drive
                                                  -  ~ 500GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)
                                                  -  ~ 750GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)
                                                  -  ~ 750GB 7200RPM (Serial-ATA II 300 - 16MB Cache)
                                                  -  HDD Raid Settings - OFF
                                                  - -  Internal 3-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS)
                                                  -  Internal Bluetooth + EDR
                                                  -  Intel® Ultimate-N 6300 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
                                                  -  Integrated Digital Video Camera
                                                  -  Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio - Included
                                                  -  Targus XL Backpack (Fits up to 17")
                                                  -  ~Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit Installed (64&32-Bit CD Included)

                                                   

                                                  Sub-Total: $2,994.00

                                                  (+  shipping UPS Global Express $219 and then 10% gst + other customs  charges to Australia + a bit of worry that hopefully it arrives on  time!)

                                                  • 23. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                    With airlines getting more paranoid each day, it can be beneficial to avoid carry-on luggage as much as possible, specially with cameras.

                                                     

                                                    A friend of mine, who travels quite a lot, solved his problem by getting a large Pelican case and screwing a tripod mounting plate to the bottom of the case. Just attach the camera as if you were mounting it on a tripod and it is rock steady. Pack your other video and audio gear in the same box and you can have it checked in as hold luggage, instead of carry-on. He does this with large cameras, like the Sony PDW-F355 and similar and the Pelican case can handle maltreatment with relative ease. Especially on transit flights this is far easier than carry-on.

                                                    • 24. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                                      Mavoz Australia Level 1

                                                      Just wanted to provide an update to this thread....I received my Sager 7280 from XOTIC PC...excellent delivery and service...and this machine absolutely flies compared to my old desktop.

                                                       

                                                      The Mercury Playback Engine certainly works well with the 460M video card...(changing the text file to allow it to work was a very simple procedure)

                                                       

                                                      The benchmark results are shown under the name Sager Laptop at http://ppbm5.com/Benchmark5.html

                                                       

                                                      ...given that this was a laptop that came in at under $3K US I'm very happy with the result....(not that I am an expert on what the benchmarks figures all mean)..but it seems quite ok.

                                                       

                                                      Sager NP7280Med   348.0Med      305.1Med   128.0Q1      102.0Med  105.0Q1        13.0Med   126.0Med   13.0  9.7 XInteli7 9503.0614125.03GTX 460MWin7 64SATA5007,200SATA7507,200SATA7507,200None

                                                       

                                                      While it is a large laptop...it is not so large that it cannot be transported on an airplane.

                                                       

                                                      Thanks very much Harm and every one else who contributed, I really value having a functional portable workstation...that seems to cope easily so far with HD DSLR footage (something not all laptops can claim).

                                                       

                                                      Thank you!

                                                      • 25. Re: Laptop/Desktop..what should I do?
                                                        literally_figurative Level 1

                                                        Greato to hear you are happy with your results! My parts for my desktop will be arriving soon, I hope to share your sentiment on my build