2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 2, 2011 5:56 PM by JFPhoton

    Best CS5 laptop for $2k


      Hey everyone,

      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!

        • 1. Re: Best CS5 laptop for $2k
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Some ideas for a Laptop Video Editing PC



          http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=637440&csid=ITD &recordsPerPage=10#

          -NOTE only 1 hard drive in above, so you will need to add a 2nd drive or use eSata for video files

          -or Google "ASUS G74SX-BBK7" (without the quote "" marks)

          -or another brand laptop with the following features

          -the newer sandy bridge 2720 or 2820 quad processor

          -and nvidia graphics preferably the 460m, 485m is a bit much

          -1280x900 display with OpenGL 2.0-compatible graphics card

          -and 8 or 16 gig ram and Win7 64bit Pro

          -and 2 internal 7200 HDDs minimum

          • 2. Re: Best CS5 laptop for $2k
            JFPhoton Level 3

            ....don't write off the Asus .....been using last years G73jw model editing Canon DSLR footage and AVCHD with good success....learned much on this forum site from the very knowledgable contributors and tried to apply it to my situation, because of constant travel, I HAD to have a mobile rig without spending a fortune.

            So, unless you are like me, with the travel, you should get a DESKTOP PC....a laptop, no matter how well you configure it cannot match what a properly configured desktop can do.....see the PPBM5 website to find out what configurations perform best. Read Harm Millards many articles and posts...esp. about HDD configurations.


            Basically, you may activate any NVidia cuda card that has 1GB video memory or more with a simple "hack" ...you can easily find a website that has a mini program to do it for you in about 2 seconds....the card with the Asus is powerful. On the PPBM5 website you can look at the benchmark results for laptops alone,or, compare them with desktops....I strongly suggest that you look there first before buying to see the performance of these units.


            Make sure you have:


            An NVidia CUDA card,of course, with at least 1GB of DDR5 video memory,( not DDR3)


            at least 16GB of matched memory installed


            A display which can do 1920x1080


            at least two7200rpm hard drives in the machine....you could put the supplied drive in bay #2 of the Asus and get a Corsair F120GB SATA III SSD for bay #1 to be your boot drive with OS and programs only on it.

            ( that Corsair is now on sale for $169 at TD...although not recommended by Harm, my machine scored faster with a second SSD in bay #2 instead of a conventional 7200rpm HDD.....I would expect with 2 SSDs reading and writing at SATA III speeds, your machine would do great). Of course, you may have to clone the image of the original stock HDD onto the boot SSD to achieve this configuration in the cheapest manner.



            Lastly,you can attach to the Asus a cheap "super-speed" USB 3 dock to allow convenient plugging in and out of various HDDs for either backing up, or, assigning for exported files to make a 3 drive rig...( see Harm Millards chart on how to configure hard drives for PPro).


            A  laptop with eSATA may provide a better solution for external drive(s)....depending on the controller....(.what MB/sec speed it will actually allow).....if fast enough, you could attach a RAID solution to eSATA.


            The Asus HDMI output allows connecting to a Hi-Def TV, and you can use that TV to view your timeline to get an idea of what your project will look like on a TV vs. computer, if necessary.


            If using DSLR footage, you may want to be careful about which version of PPro to use....I am using 5.03 with all the updates for that, but, have seen many postings from people with 5.5 having trouble scrubbing Nikon DSLR footage on the timeline, ( but not with earlier versions), and some other types of AVCHD.....I do not know if Canon file types are affected by this. Canons generate the pesky Quicktime .MOV wrapper, but the file inside this wrapper is some type of AVC-Intra file....there has been much debate whether or not these MOVs trigger a slow 32 bit Quicktime process, but, I think Adobe has taken care of this issue for Canon files and features presets for them. In any case, I think you should be able to get a better, faster machine than I have for even less money now!!