I'm sure this has been addressed in other threads but I need to purchase asap and thought this would be faster than searching through old posts. I'm using the cs5 production premium suite on an old duo core dell desktop and am finally ready to upgrade. I mainly use Premiere and After Effects and am mostly working with Canon DSLR footage. My budget is about $2,000. I'm looking at these configs:
Lenovo Thinkpad w520 $2,200
2.4ghz i7-2760QM quad core i7, 16GB 1333mhz ram, Nvidia Quadro 2 GB 2000m (192 CUDA cores), 1600x900 antiglare LED display, 500GB 7200rpm hard drive, DVD burner
Alienware m17x $2,299
2.4ghz i7-2760QM quad core i7, 16GB 1600mhz ram, Nvidia 1.5GB gtx 560m (192 CUDA cores), 1600x900 LED display, 1TB (2x500GB) RAID Hard drive, DVD burner
XPS 17 $1,899
2.4ghz i7-2760QM quad core i7, 16GB 1333mhz ram, Nvidia 3GB gt 555m (144 CUDA cores), 1920x1080 LED display, (2x500GB) RAID Hard drive, Blu Ray burner
So my concerns are:
With the thinkpad I love the graphics card and it is on the mercury playback engine supported list of cards, also it's MUCH lighter than the others and MUCH longer battery life, but the small hard drive and non RAID config (unless I ditch the DVD player), and the fact I've heard some reviews stating the USB 3.0 port doesn't work right makes me concerned.
With the Alienware it's got all the right specs but at 12lbs, I'm not sure if I want to carry a weight set around to a coffee shop. Also this GPU while the specs look good is not on the "supported list of cards" how important is that if it still has a decent amount of CUDA cores?
On the XPS it actually has the most features I like out of all three and at a lower price. Except again this GPU is not on "the list". I love that it has a blu ray burner, has full HD monitor with 3D capability (3D not a must have for work but might be fun). BUT I have heard people say that this being a more consumer build that I may have overheating issues and it's really not built to handle long renders like I'd throw at it.
I have considered others but here is my thoughts on why I haven't listed them. I didn't list Dell Precisions because they're out of my price range, I also didn't list HPs because I've heard they break down alot and ASUS is even worse (so I hear). I'm also not list Celsius or Clevo because I would like something that's common enough that repairs/maintenence won't be a problem. I also have not list the Macbook Pro (even though my wife works at Apple and I could get a 25% discount) because they max at 8GB ram and from what I understand I really want an Nvidia GPU and not the AMD Radeon they have.
Also, I haven't gone into SSDs because with my desire for upgraded processor and xtra memory, adding the SSD takes it out of my price range.
SO I would love to hear some feedback, suggestions, pros cons, things to consider. Thanks so much!