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The problem, as you correctly identified it, is the AMD video card and since your source material is HD and your delivery is often DVD, there is a lot of scaling going on, which is one of the things that are accelerated when using a nVidia card with at least 1 GB VRAM. The rest of the specs are OK for your purposes. If you can find an ASUS or similar notebook with about the same specs as this HP, but with a nVidia card, you are in for a good notebook.
Thanks for the reply.... The problem is that I just bought the notebook (ATI card and all) a few months ago and I really can't afford to buy another machine for at least another year or so (especially if I drop $450 on the teachers edition of Production Premium). Is not having a NVIDIA card a complete deal breaker?
I would not call it a deal breaker, but if you had had the choice, it would have been the obvious one. Since that is not the case, just accept it and live with the longer export times. You don't have clients impatiently waiting for the end result, do you?
The only client I have is my wife, who wants DVDs to send to her relatives.
I can wait for longer exports. I was just concerned, after reading horor stories on the forum, that the program might choke up completely and not work at all without CUDA.
Just tell the Chief Financial Director that her relatives will get the results tomorrow.
>shot in 1080p with my Canon DSLR
Do a test... shoot an hour in that, and create a DVD... making careful note of the exact time it takes to transcode and write the DVD
Then do the same in 1080i and compare times and DVD quality
I have a Canon Vixia that records in AVCHD and I always shoot in 1080i and get great quality DVD output