14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 19, 2011 6:47 AM by Harm Millaard

    Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.

    Webshark2000 Level 1

      We're looking to add a mobile editing system.  We'd like to keep our cost under $1,500.  We'll be using PPro CS5.  These are the two websites we've been looking at:

       

      http://www.ibuypower.com

       

      http://www.powernotebooks.com

       

      What configuration we should go with for the best performance?  Or, does anyone recommend a different place to purchase a notebook for editing?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          You will not manage a 'best' laptop for $ 1500. For a 'best' version calculate at least $ 3K.

           

          Basic ingredients: i7-27xxM+ or higher, 16 GB RAM, nVidia GTX 560+M , 1920x1080 monitor, TWO internal 7200 RPM SATA disks, eSATA, USB3, etc.

           

          Have a look at Sager/Clevo and visit ADK. Your second link has Sager, but quickly configuring a Sager came out at nearly $ 4K.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
            Webshark2000 Level 1

            Harm Millaard wrote:

             

            You will not manage a 'best' laptop for $ 1500. For a 'best' version calculate at least $ 3K.

            Right.  What I meant was the best you could get for under $1,500.

             

            Harm Millaard wrote:

             

            TWO internal 7200 RPM SATA disks

            Is this essential and what configuration are you recommending?  Raid 0, Raid 1?  I was thinking this would be one place we might be able to save some money by going with a single 500GB 7,200 RPM w/ 4GB SSD Memory, which I've read gives very good performance.

             

            Since we won't be using this as our primary editor, just when we're on the road or as a backup, we don't need a huge amount of storage space on it.

             

            I was able to make a configuration for around $1,600 with 16GB RAM.  I'm wondering if we could get away with 8GB RAM.  How much of a performance hit do you think that would cause?

             

            Thanks Harm.

            • 3. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
              Colin Brougham Level 6

              What sort of material are you editing?

              • 4. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                >Is this essential (2 hard drives)

                 

                Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing
                .
                You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions
                .
                Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work
                .
                You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand
                .
                A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing
                .
                You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708?tstart=0 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything
                .
                I find that the three drives I use work very well for me, for editing AVCHD video... some people use a 4th drive, so video INPUT files are on drive three and all OUTPUT files are on drive four... I only bought a mid-tower case instead of a full tower case (my bad... but had to fit in the space available on my office desk!) so I use the three drives that will fit
                .
                Depending on your exact hardware (motherboard brand & model AND USB2 enclosure brand & model AND external hard drive brand & model) AND the type of video file, you may... or may NOT... be able to use an external USB2 hard drive for SD (Standard Definition) video editing
                .
                Steve Grisetti in the Premiere Elements forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856208?tstart=0 and Jim Simon in the Premiere Pro forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856433?tstart=0 use USB externals for editing
                .
                A USB3 hard drive connected to a motherboard with USB3 is supposed to be fast enough for video editing (I don't have such, so don't know) but eSata DOES have a fast enough data transfer for video editing... I have not used this eSata Dock... for reference only, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers
                .
                http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS/ref=cm_cmu_pg_ t

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  I was thinking this would be one place we might be able to save some money by going with a single 500GB 7,200 RPM w/ 4GB SSD Memory, which I've read gives very good performance.

                   

                  If you are talking about the Seagate Momentus, it has very disappointing performance and no, you can't save by skimping on disks. You need at least two and raid is out of the question.

                   

                  Your choices are 1 SSD and 1 7200 SATA disk or 2 7200 SATA disks. You can get away with only 8 GB, but that will slow the system significantly. Can't mention a %, because that depends completely on your workflow, source material and output.

                  • 6. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                    Webshark2000 Level 1

                    @Colin We will be mostly editing AVCHD clips.

                     

                     

                    Thanks guys for all your information and suggestions.  We will keep them all in mind when configuring a rig.

                     

                    Thanks again!

                    • 8. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      If you really must keep the cost down I would suggest looking at the ASUS G74SX series.  It comes with many different configurations and is readily upgradable.  The cost effective versions do not meet Harm's minimum CPU suggestion but that only means slower editing.experience.  Best Buy has a very low end model that is $1200.  For that you do get two 500 GB 7200 rpm disk drives, an i7-2630QM quad hyperthreaded processor, nVidia GTX 560M GPU, 8 GB of RAM but it has a very convenient trapdoor on the back where you can upgrade yourself to 16 GB.  It does not for that price have a 1920 x 1080 screen it is 1600 x 900.  I have in the past tried to provide a URL link to it but something is weird and what you have to do is go to the Best Buy site and search for the G74SX-BBK7.

                       

                      There are many other sites that have other configurations TigerDirect has a model with the 1920 x 1080 full HD screen, it comes with 12 GB installed but only one disk drive installed for $1500, you should be able to get a second disk drive installed, it may require an adapter to do so.  NewEgg has 3 versions which run from $1400 to $1870.  You can also get custom configured version from XoticPC and AVAdirect but these generally cost more than off-the-shelf units

                       

                      Keep in mind this is a very low end suggestion

                      • 9. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                        JFPhoton Level 3

                        Hello Webshark,

                         

                        As someone who has been using an Asus G73JW successfully, I can guess their newer models would "smoke" my  "old" model from last year...you should be able to crush my results on the video benchmarking site, PPBM5, with the faster CPU than my i7 740QM.

                         

                        My benchmark was faster using one SSD in each of the two bays,( Corsair F 120's) because they have good read AND write speeds of over 200MB/sec on SATA II. The results were slower using a Seagate Momentus 500GB disk in the second HDD bay as the project drive.

                         

                        Esp. with AVCHD, CPU speed is king....the newer Sandy Bridge not only are much faster, but, ESP. IN A LAPTOP, you can take advantage of the SATA III speed and use new SSDs that get over 500MB /sec read and write speeds.

                         

                        So, you may want to wait for Sandy Bridge E...coming soon...and YOU MUST max out the memory....at least 16GB...then 2 fast SATA SSDs, NVidia only , ( DDR5) video card of over 1GB memory and ,finally, an external hi-speed port, ( USB 3 or eSATA), to attach a third drive or box. I have the USB 3 port and am unsure just how fast it is...HD Tune Pro reports read speed topped at 105MB/sec with an SSD connected via a USB3 external dock,but, windows shows data transfering at over 200 MB/sec...who knows? It has been reported that once all drives are over 200MB / sec, the " bottleneck" is mostly removed from drive speed...unless really taxing it with more than four video tracks of heavy material.

                         

                        It was easy to add the extra memory myself and also the second drive with the access panel....well worth it. Check out the results on the PPBM5 website for laptops and you will see one rendering the timeline with the Sandy Bridge in 6 seconds!! I am not sure where these Asuses are made...( probably in China), but, they are significantly less costly than other makes...with much of the same components. Tiger has specials every now and then...price near your goal when on sale and adding your own upgrades. Get the big screen, 1920x 1080, at least 17.3 inches....you will need it to see what you are doing and to display the entire workspace.

                         

                        I would wait for Sandy Bridge E, from what I am reading...it should be another leap in performance and possibly even will remove some of the existing negatives in the current Sandy Bridge systems.

                         

                              JFPhoton

                        • 10. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                          JFPhoton Level 3

                          ......should have read " then 2 fast SATA III SSDs"...  JFPhoton

                          • 11. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                            Webshark2000 Level 1

                            Thank you guys for that additional information.  We've got a job coming up where we will be on the road for several days and we don't want to lose that precious editing time for other clients.  I think I'm going to be able to convience the boss to push it up to around $1,700 which will allow us to get pretty much all of the components Harm recommend in his response. 

                             

                            http://powernotebooks.com has a Sager model (NP8170) that's 17.3" 1920x1080 and for $1,643.18 (after 3% cash discount) we can get it with a Core i7-2760QM, 16GB DDR3/1333, nVIDIA GTX 560M w/ 1.5GB GDDR5, 500GB SATA II 7,200 HDD, 750GB SATA II 7,200 HDD and Win7 Premium 64-bit.

                             

                            Seems like the best deal I've found.

                            • 12. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                              I concur and that is a very nice price. It looks like great BFTB.

                              • 13. Re: Need some advice on best laptop to purchase for editing.
                                JFPhoton Level 3

                                .....make sure you look at the PPBM5 benchmark results for laptops first....to get an idea of how your configuration will work. With that CPU, it should be OK....keep in mind the speed difference between SATA II HDDs, ( around 100MB/sec), and the new SATA III SSDs, ( 500MB/sec).... may affect your experience, depending on what codecs you are editing.

                                 

                                 

                                JFPhoton