Only very recently have laptops been available that have all that it takes to run CS5 well for compressed HD. If you can spend between $1500 and $200 your can get a laptop plus and external attached additional storage device:
- Intel Sandy Bridge CPU - i7-2630QM (or better, but will be more expensive)
- GeForce GTX 460M preferred, GT 540M could work as well
- 16GB RAM (8GB would do everything well except encode DVDs)
- external eSATA RAID 0 drive (G-Tech, Lacie, RocStor, etc.)
Manfacturers of this class of really fast, pretty heavy, large screened laptop include but may not be limited to:
- Asus (ie G73SW) - some models available at Best Buy
- Alienware (i.e. M17x) - Dell Gamer's line
- Toshiba Qosmio line
- Clevo (i.e. W170HN)
While Clevo and Sager are not name brands that may sound recognizable, they are possibly the strongest players in this "monster class" laptop league.
Also, check out "ADK video" if you want to buy a well configured turnkey laptop system; it will cost you a bit more, but setting up a CS5 PC to work well with HD is not trivial and these guys are good.
I tried an Asus G73jw gaming laptop because at the time,last fall, it appeared to be cheaper than the really expensive Sagers....I thought maybe I could get close to the performance of of a Sager if I maxxed out the ram , used SSDs and maybe even try a little overclock on the CPU....like some gamers are doing. I think I would have been better off waiting, and studying this forum and the PPBM5 test results even more before buying. I probably spent the same if I had just gone with a Sager, by the time I was done.
The equipment changes so fast, not to mention ANOTHER release of CS5...(5.5) which may offer even more improvements for working with laptops with some type of feature that may let more graphics cards use the Mercury Playback Engine.....who knows? The newer laptops have SATA III speed for wicked fast SATA III SSDs, so, paired with a higher clock speed Sandy Bridge CPU, you may fly way faster than me, chugging on an i7 740qm!!! Check out Sager, Asus, and this "Xcotic PC" company that mods Sager and Asus laptops for high performance....I think you can get more bang for the buck now, than I did.
My results have not been posted yet on PPBM5, but, I managed to get a total score of around 370 using a Corsair F120 SSD in each bay, and installing more memory, up to 14GB. As has been said, although you would think the snappy speed of each SSD, reading and writing around 250MB / sec internally would make a big difference...NOOO!!....only a little. The biggest factor is the clock speed of the i7 chip with all cores running and having a killer NVidia graphics card,( i have the 460m), and even its 192 CUDA cores are bettered by some other NVidia mobile cards today.Right now, with all cores running on the CPU, my clockspeed gets limited by Windows.....I think Sandy Bridge may have a much higher clock speed under load.
Sager appears to have some killer units with 3 drive bays, fastest processors, and faster GPUs......on the PPBM5 results you will see two Sagers with a decent position on the list .However, just looking at those test results shows that no laptop will approach the performance of a tricked out desktop, yet.
As of now, you must have an Nvidia card,( no ATI), with at least 1GB of video memory to use the mercury playback feature....CS5.5 may alter that,I don't know.
Good Luck!! JFPhoton
I'll second the Sager units. I will soon be ordering my second one, to take advantage of more power, more RAM, more HDD space in the 3x internals, and a newer nVidia, all for less than I paid for my tricked out existing model, that is going strong after 4 years of hard work, with the hiccup being that the O key broke a spring.