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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #1
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Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Hi guys,

I have a small budget for a decent laptop that will act as my secondary editing machine (I have a good desktop to take care of the heavy work), and I'm hoping you guys can help me out

I've narrowed my choices to these two laptops (they're both Dell Vostro's...don't shoot me for being cheap,hehe):

1) Intel 3rd gen i5-3230M with nVidia Geforce GT 630M
2) Intel 3rd gen i7-3632QM with AMD Radeon 7670M (unfortunately no nVidia option)

Given that I can "hack" the 630M to work with GPU acceleration (or so I've read...please correct me if I'm wrong), which option would be better for using Premiere? I have yet to use Adobe Premiere so I don't really know how much GPU acceleration will benefit me.

Price is of course a factor, and the i7 is of course more expensive. However, with the price difference (about $200), I would upgrade the i5 machine to get an SSD and up the RAM to 8GB. The i7 model already has 8GB but no SSD.

Thanks in advance for your inputs.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

I would be tempted by the i5 with the Nvidia card but both will struggle really badly but if you are only doing rough cutting on there might be okay for that.

If you find a laptop with a expresscard port you have the option to use external GPUs.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Thanks for your input, David. Yes, I will at most be only doing rough cutting. So if Premiere will edit quickly with 1080p footage (DSLR footage) then I should be good. :)
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Old February 20th, 2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Make sure you find a quick SSD, SATA3 is a must!
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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:10 PM   #5
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Chris,

To be honest, I would pick neither of those two. The i5 would be limited by both the CPU (which, like all other mobile i5s, has only two physical cores - and even with hyperthreading and turbo boost, no dual-core CPU performs as fast as even a mediocre-performing quad-core CPU when it comes to performance in Premiere Pro CS6, the current version) and the GPU (which is not a true Kepler GPU, but is instead a renamed Fermi derivative with only 96 CUDA cores). The i7 does have four physical cores with Hyperthreading, but is restricted to only AMD GPUs, and therefore Premiere's MPE is permanently locked into the software-only mode. As equipped, both of those machines would probably fall below the bottom 10% (D1) in rankings when tested with Harm Millaard's and Bill Gehrke's PPBM5 benchmark tests (or simply put, the overall performance of either machine would be in the "hopeless" range).

As such, the lack of decent available options at your low price point makes this an extremely tall order for anything more complex than simple HDV or SD DV work (or put it this way, both laptops are a waste of money for video editing). Hence, the only way to fix that would be to spend more (and probably much more) money up front.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:36 AM   #6
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

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Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
Chris,

To be honest, I would pick neither of those two. The i5 would be limited by both the CPU (which, like all other mobile i5s, has only two physical cores - and even with hyperthreading and turbo boost, no dual-core CPU performs as fast as even a mediocre-performing quad-core CPU when it comes to performance in Premiere Pro CS6, the current version) and the GPU (which is not a true Kepler GPU, but is instead a renamed Fermi derivative with only 96 CUDA cores). The i7 does have four physical cores with Hyperthreading, but is restricted to only AMD GPUs, and therefore Premiere's MPE is permanently locked into the software-only mode. As equipped, both of those machines would probably fall below the bottom 10% (D1) in rankings when tested with Harm Millaard's and Bill Gehrke's PPBM5 benchmark tests (or simply put, the overall performance of either machine would be in the "hopeless" range).

As such, the lack of decent available options at your low price point makes this an extremely tall order for anything more complex than simple HDV or SD DV work (or put it this way, both laptops are a waste of money for video editing). Hence, the only way to fix that would be to spend more (and probably much more) money up front.
Randall, thanks for your helpful advice.

So if I can find an i7 laptop with an nVidia GPU, it would be the way to go? Unfortunately Dell doesn't have any of those offerings (at least not within my budget), but I'm seeing some laptops along the likes of Acer, Asus, and Lenovo (if I spring a little extra for that brand) that have that configuration.

I shall keep looking...
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Old February 21st, 2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

You don't mention what your budget is, exactly, so would something like this work for you?

ASUS R500VM-MS71 15.6" Notebook - Newegg.com

ASUS refurb for $680
ASUS R500VM-MS71 Notebook Intel Core i7 3610QM(2.30GHz)
15.6" screen
8GB Memory
750GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (2GB dedicated DDR3 RAM)

If you're willing to get Windows 8, your options would expand more...
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Old February 21st, 2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
You don't mention what your budget is, exactly, so would something like this work for you?

ASUS R500VM-MS71 15.6" Notebook - Newegg.com

ASUS refurb for $680
ASUS R500VM-MS71 Notebook Intel Core i7 3610QM(2.30GHz)
15.6" screen
8GB Memory
750GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M (2GB dedicated DDR3 RAM)

If you're willing to get Windows 8, your options would expand more...
My budget isn't much to be honest, around $750 if it has the right specs. I know that's extremely low for something to edit video with but again, it's a secondary machine to just do basic cuts while I leave the heavy-duty stuff for the desktop to crunch.

The ASUS laptop you mention is great! I realize that with my budget that I can only keep 2 of 3 things important to me: processor, graphics, and screen resolution. I can always plug an external monitor if it bothers me that bad, and I'll just be either at home or in an office (not like I need to edit on a plane or hotel).
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Look at the Toshiba Qosmio - I have an older model with i7, 2 harddisks and Nvidia and it works great with premiere. Don't know how the prices are in the US. Both disk are switched to SSD's so no problems here.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

I would agree. Don't get either of those two. I also would look at saving up enough money to get what is needed. I have liked using my Lenovo 520. But it's more than twice what you want to spend. And nVidea is the only way to go. The CUDA core engine is superb and worth getting the right card to drive.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 10:17 PM   #11
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

The good news for all of you is that I've decided against the Dell Vostro's. I've upped my budget to around $1000 and just a couple hundred bucks will get me something much better with no regrets down the road.

So far I've been eyeing these laptops:

Lenovo Y580, i7-3630QM, nVidia GTX 660M, 15.6" display (1366x768 version @ $899, or 1080p version @ $1099)

Asus R500 (as mentioned earlier), i7-3610QM, 15.6" @ 1366x768, nVidia GT 630M - $689

And if I can find a REALLY good deal on a used Asus G-series laptop (approx. $1000), I'll be all over that!
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 04:23 AM   #12
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Estrella View Post
Thanks for your input, David. Yes, I will at most be only doing rough cutting. So if Premiere will edit quickly with 1080p footage (DSLR footage) then I should be good. :)
Chris, you dont need an all singing all dancing laptop to edit DSLR footage. I purchased a laptop a few months ago, to use in the same way as you describe. I now use it daily. It is an Acer with quad core i5, 8gb ram, and simple intel graphics. It cost me 400. Hard drives are WD 1Gb, USB2, nothing fancy. I run Prem 6.5 and Edius 6.5 on it without problems. Multicam with 2 cams run fine, even 1080/50p. for everyday rough cuts, and a whole lot more demanding work, something like this would be ideal.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Colin,

I can imagine that, when you use an era old version of Premiere 6.5, a 32 bit application. There have been numerous versions since then, Premiere 7.0, Premiere Pro 1.0, 1.5, and all the CS versions in between. I understood from the OP he was not interested in that antique version, but the current day version of 64 bit Premiere PRO CS6.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM   #14
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

Sorry Harm my mistake, Its CS6, must have been thinking of Edius 6.5 when I typed. (senior moment)
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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Re: Laptop: i5 + nVidia or i7 without nVidia?

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Originally Posted by Colin Rowe View Post
Sorry Harm my mistake, Its CS6, must have been thinking of Edius 6.5 when I typed. (senior moment)
In your case, you must have gotten a rare laptop that is equipped with a desktop i5 CPU. Only desktop versions of the i5 are quad-core. All mobile versions of the i5 (yes, that includes the very latest Ivy Bridge offerings) are only dual-core with hyperthreading.
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