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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #1
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dissapointing i7 laptop experience

Hi everyone,

I recently bought a new laptop

Dell Studio 15
i7 q720 1.60ghz
4 gb ram
w7 64
ATI mobility radeon 5470 1gb
HD 500gb 5400rpm

with the idea of being able to edit on the go or when my desktop is busy rendering, etc... I mostly use premiere cs4 and footage coming from Canon 7D and Sony EX1.
But i'm really dissapointed as premiere is barely capable of opening HD video and it chokes every time that you press play on the timeline. It might play for 10 secs but freezes as soon as there's a clip change.
Surely this laptop should be able to perform better than that? what am i doing wrong? is this it?

thanks in advance
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Old June 8th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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If you mean the 720QM, it's got roughly half the horsepower of the recommended i7 920 or 930 chip you'd put in a decent editing desktop machine. You're way low in RAM, your HDD is too slow and you've only got one of them, and your video card doesn't allow for the acceleration possible if you decide to upgrade to CS5.

There's a reason everyone says you won't be happy editing on a laptop. You'd need to pay many times what a good editing desktop would be for decent performance. Premiere is a well-known resource hog. CS5 is better than CS4. Vegas might give you a decent chance with that config. The timeline issue you describe points to the Hard Disk performance.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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Reduce the playback resolution to reduce the CPU overhead. If its still giving you problems, then its the hard drive, and editing from a single drive will give you problem no matter what.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:53 AM   #4
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Download and test Edius 5.5 for a month for free - you'll be shocked at the realtime capabilities - even with your somewhat underpowered processor - my old core duo 2ghz Vaio plays EX1 HD footage no problem with CC and other effects - but NOT with Premiere, no way.

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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:55 AM   #5
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Hey Paul, any update on your screen tearing problem?
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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The problem is CS4, not the laptop. That laptop is fine as long as you can keep the LCD screen from dying (I have a friend that has had his LCD screen on his Dell Studio XPS die twice in the few months he's owned it).

Things I would try:

1. Download the trial version of CS5. I'm running CS5 now and it's speed difference is amazing. Playback is similar to Edius now, and you get the added ability to actually have mainstream third party companies' plugins and Dynamic Link capability with After Effects, Photoshop, etc. I have both Edius and Premiere and I choose to edit on Premiere. The only thing I keep Edius for is Procoder Express, which does a fantastic job downscaling HD to SD DVD.

2. Make sure you are not editing footage off of your system drive or a slow USB drive. If you have access to a power supply where you are editing, I'd suggest editing off of an external eSATA drive. That laptop has the eSATA port built in. If you can't do that, then maybe think about upgrading your system drive to a very fast 256gb SSD and edit off of that.

3. Invest in Cineform Neoscene or NeoHD (FirstLight in NeoHD is REALLY cool).
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Note that the trial version of Premiere doesn't do any form of MPEG, so he can't try it out with HD material.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Coston View Post
The problem is CS4, not the laptop.
Yes, CS4 is so buggy that editing using that version of Premiere on even an overclocked desktop rig with a decent GPU is an exercise in frustration. Been there, done that. CS5 is significantly better, but the laptop is still a bit less than ideal for use with CS5 especially with AVCHD.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 03:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Hey Paul, any update on your screen tearing problem?
Hi Steve, I'm just having to live with it for now, I'm absolutely convinced its a 50hz/PAL issue, I don't think its possible to load 2 frame rate frequencies into one GPU card, so my GTX285 computer monitor output is set to the native of my Samsung computer monitor, which is 60Hz by default, the other output is "fixed" at 60Hz too, but is being fed with PAL at 50Hz, hence the tearing. Using a second card, a 9800, I can set the framerate output to 50Hz when driving an external 50Hz monitor, but it makes no difference at all to the tearing issue, as though the "system" can only accept one frame timebase.

I added a Grass Valley Spark card as well, this gives fabulous output quality from Edius, After Effects, Photoshop, Combustion.... but it's not designed to work with Premiere, I wish I was a good reverse engineer, the Spark would be such a great add on for PPro.

Paul
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Old June 15th, 2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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hi guys,

I'm starting to lose my patience and hope as i upgraded both the memory (8gb now) and the hard drive (7200 rpm now) and i think that the performance is even worse! Sometimes it wouldn't even load the project files. All this testing is being done while editing files stored in na eSata drive. I've tried changing the scratch disk location, the 'optimize for' option...you name it!
It's really annoying because I know people who have a not so powerful laptop and they can edit within Vegas for example with no problem whatsoever. I might have to migrate to Vegas or something else as i need to have the same software on both computers in order to run the same files at any single time.
I could also upgrade to Premiere CS5 but.....is it really that different? It's really frustrating, I',m wasting plenty of time and money and this thing doesn't work at all!

thanks
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Old June 15th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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People are having better luck with Vegas because they are using Vegas. As everyone has been saying for some time now, Premiere is huge and bloated and CS4 may be the worst version of all. More RAM isn't going to help that much as CS4 is a 32-bit app that can't use all your RAM.

Many threads here and elsewhere that say don't try to use Premiere on a laptop. Now you know why.

Try Cineform, as Craig suggested. They have a free fully functional trial that can transcode your media into something easier for your system to handle. Then try the free Vegas trial. Or try Edius, as others have suggested. But as Paul said, not CS4, no way.

CS5 is better than CS4 but I doubt it will fully solve your hardware issues.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #12
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In fact, I've been trying Vegas trial and it runs smoothly on my laptop, it's even capable of playing HD clips with a few effects on real-time, i was pleasantly surprised.
I don't understand how the performance can be so different! This might mean that I will be moving to Vegas altogether. It's a shame because I like premiere and the integration with AFX but can't afford to be struggling with the software everyday.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #13
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I have the bigbrother, Dell XPS Studio 16" , i7 720QM, 6gb mem, 256gb SSD

I can use Premiere Pro CS5 without any serious problems. I'm thinking about getting a USB3 expansion card and an external USB3 disk for more space.

I have reinstalled my laptop with a clean Win 7 x64 ultimate - all drivers are updated.

My machine gets 6.7 in Windows Experience Index.

// Lazze
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:29 AM   #14
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yep, i recently downloaded CS5 and the diference in performance is amazing. I can even play clips with real time effects applied to them! I might reconsider buying CS5. Vegas is great but it lacks a few features that i consider extremely important i.e.: sequences
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 12:15 AM   #15
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What resolution are you running your laptop at? I am looking into purchasing one but was unsure whether I can get around the minimum resolution requirements. I was thinking I could at least "trick" CS5 into installing if I hook up an external monitor and use it as my primary while I install.
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