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I'd vote no on the Lenovo impulse "great deal". You don't mention all of the detailed specs of the w520 model, but getting the best bang for the buck laptop is tricky for CS5/CS5.5 and the details of the build are ALL important, and generally with a laptop, not upgradeable later.
If I had to build a laptop it would have:
- Sandy Bridge quad core
- 16GB RAM
- 2 or three internal drives w/ RAID 0
- 1920x1200 resolution (available in high-end 15.4" and 17" models)
- GTX 460M video (right sized; not to fast - and too hot, and not too slow - works well with MPE hardware acceleration)
If anyhone thinks that they can just grab a "great deal" on a laptop and have it work well in ALL ways for DSLR footage, just check out this forum and PPBM5 results to better grasp all of the subtle details and compromises involved.
Finally, if you are building a "budget" system, don't even think about SSDs in you laptop. The killer SSDs are large and fast, but would tend to work against the goals for a system built to perform best on a budget.
Thanks for the suggestion. what is available is: i7 2760 2.4 (second gen sandy bridge) 8 gb ram (will upgrade to 16 nVidia Quadro 1000m 2gb ram 1080p 15.6 inch 95 percent gamut and option for 2 hd's in raid or without it. and option for another mSATA hd. all this for around 1300 sounds like a decent deal. Just wanted to know whats a cheap yet managable edit setup. I basically want a smooth experience on the timeline, and am willing to compromise on final render times. Is that doable on this setup? would also greatly appreciate if I could have an idea of how this coud be setup. the laptop either has to be ordered with RAID or it will not be enabled later. Much thanks in advance.
Definitely without raid. It is always a bad idea to aid0 your boot disk. Mirrored is OK for a boot disk, but you simply don't have sufficient disk drives in a laptop to do that. It looks like a nice enough system with a second internal disk and some external eSATA disks.
How to setup your drives: Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup
Thanks for that reply Harm! Was also dreading raid 0 because of lots of warnings on lots of forums.
Could I setup RAID 0 on 2 disks while installing an 80 gb or so mSATA for boot? I am not really that excited about opening apps much quicker. I'd rather the apps work much faster *after* being opened.
Could I just have one normal HD for boot and installations and use the other one for the rest of the stuff? Would that setup of be any use. Just wanted to add again that I am most likely not going to be dealing with more than Canon DSLR's footage.
Also, is there any way of buying a cheapo Quad Core sandy bridge with only intel internal graphics because then I could buy a smaller laptop and simply add CUDA processing power through
Only catch is, there are not many laptops with 4 RAM slots that are also cheap.
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Go for it it sounds great to me. If you go to PPBM5 and select the "Computer Type" tab and the under it click on "Laptops" you will see that the two best scoring (CS5.0) laptops are Lenovo W520's. If that does indeed come with a 2.4 GHz processor and you upgrade to 16 GB you should set a new record with it. Also notice that the first unit has used the external SATA port for a two disk onboard RAID controller and has achieved a very good Disk I/O benchmark score even with lousy green disk drives.
I just took a look at Lenovo configuration and to get two internal drives you have to give up the internal DVD drive. What I would do is specify the RAID option to get the two internal drives and as soon as you get the unit make sure that you get the media disks with it and break the RAID and load the OS and your applications on the first drive.
In fact I did check that out Bill. Was very happy to see that as well. But its news, and very good news to me that the guy did it with an eSATA port RAID, which means I can buy the laptop for cheap now and figure out HD's later. I really do not want to buy HD's at this time, prices are skyrocketing.
Overall, I really like the Lenovo W520 because of its proven rock solid stability, and, to another extent, its great keyboad. I would obviously prefer a desktop over a laptop any day, but I will be working in an environment where power blackouts are the norm. Add in a UPS capable of supporting a powerful i7 desktop, and that costs more than a good laptop any day.
Also, I wish AMD would also step up its game, as nVidia are really getting the most out of charging us for CUDA and Optimus. My guess is nVidia will launch Optimus on desktop this next gen, when new cards are launched. Desktop GPU's use too much power even when idle.
Once again, I'd like to thank you guys, especially Harm and Bill, for being so helpful!
Just saw your edit Bill. Lenovo forces the buyer to buy 2 drives from it for RAID, at outrageous prices. Lenovo has the DVD drive in an Ultrabay. Which is basically a HD-caddy-ish contraption which allows for easy swapping between optical drive and disk drive (atleast thats what I saw during research). Id just rather get it with a 500 gig HD now and buy the other drive from newegg once they are cheap. I think that would be a cheaper method? Please correct me if I am wrong.
You have done more reseach on the Lenovo than I have my response was after just a few minutes as I was under pressure to finish my "honey do list". As long as you can accomplish the end result that is great.