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Old November 17th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #1
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Basic-Laptop "system" for video editing

Newbie here....been searching, and searching but can't seem to find answer for this.

I need a laptop video editing system (budget ~$1500-2000) but I'm getting confused on what exactly I need outside CPU and memory. My main use is for video editing from Premiere and After Effects in SD and 1/3 in HD........2 (rarely 3) videos in a single timeline.

So, the main questions are: 1) what external video edit/playback component do I need? Matrox? Blackmagic? AJA? 2) I want to build an external eSATA raid 0/1/5 system.....is this advisable?

Finally, instead of trying to create a make-shift system, should I get a custom laptop like this?: ADK Video Editing - Video Editing Computers by ADK Video Editing
This isn't something I want to

I know I can build a desktop about the same size as a laptop but then I need a separate screen and a monitor, which is what I don't want. So, please help!!!!
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Old November 17th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #2
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I'd suggest looking into laptops made by Sager (Sager, sager notebooks, sager laptops, sager computers, sager electronics, sager np8890) if you're looking a for a decent system and pinch pennies. I just retired my Sager 5760 after 3 solid years of After Effects, Premiere Pro CS3, and 3ds Max, and it has performed quite well. I just replaced the Sager with a Lenovo w700ds because I was looking for more horsepower, and because my Sager was starting to show its age.

Both of these laptops were great for editing DV and to a slightly lesser extent, HDV due to their firewire inputs and easy access to upgrade internal hard drives and whatnot. I don't have an external playback/input device or anything like that, but I've never needed one. Also, having the external stuff completely destroys any semblance of portability, but that's just my opinion.

I've seen a few of these slick, customized video editing laptops sold from various boutiques and whatnot, but frankly, I don't think you'll be happy with what you get with your budget. I think you're better off checking out the systems I mentioned above, or looking at laptops designed for gaming, since they'll have the speedier hardware.

For RAID setups, I've been ogling some G-RAID products that are sold through Videoguys.com 800 323-2325 we are the video editing and production experts . They're relatively compact, and I've heard mostly good things about G-RAID stuff.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #3
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HP has some great deals right now on their i7 quad-core laptops. Their dv8t is an 18" laptop with 2 hard drive slots so you can run them in Raid 0 for better speed and portability. I have been looking at the HP's recently and HP has the best deals on the new i7 powered laptops. HP also has a sale on upgrading the ram to 8GB (2 x 4GB) for $250 which is great because a single 4GB stick runs $300 and up. The screen is 1920x1080 and its possibly LED backlit.

Its rather amazing that you can get a fully loaded i7 laptop with 18" LCD for half the cost of a base 17" macbook pro.

Just google "HP coupon" and the first couple of sites have the same deals/coupons.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn McCalip View Post
I'd suggest looking into laptops made by Sager (Sager, sager notebooks, sager laptops, sager computers, sager electronics, sager np8890) if you're looking a for a decent system and pinch pennies. I just retired my Sager 5760 after 3 solid years of After Effects, Premiere Pro CS3, and 3ds Max, and it has performed quite well. I just replaced the Sager with a Lenovo w700ds because I was looking for more horsepower, and because my Sager was starting to show its age.

Both of these laptops were great for editing DV and to a slightly lesser extent, HDV due to their firewire inputs and easy access to upgrade internal hard drives and whatnot. I don't have an external playback/input device or anything like that, but I've never needed one. Also, having the external stuff completely destroys any semblance of portability, but that's just my opinion.

I've seen a few of these slick, customized video editing laptops sold from various boutiques and whatnot, but frankly, I don't think you'll be happy with what you get with your budget. I think you're better off checking out the systems I mentioned above, or looking at laptops designed for gaming, since they'll have the speedier hardware.

For RAID setups, I've been ogling some G-RAID products that are sold through Videoguys.com 800 323-2325 we are the video editing and production experts . They're relatively compact, and I've heard mostly good things about G-RAID stuff.
I did look a Sager notebooks but they are quite expensive. So, basically, I either need to suck it up or expect to pay a lot more? What about an external Matrox card? Will this help?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
HP has some great deals right now on their i7 quad-core laptops. Their dv8t is an 18" laptop with 2 hard drive slots so you can run them in Raid 0 for better speed and portability. I have been looking at the HP's recently and HP has the best deals on the new i7 powered laptops. HP also has a sale on upgrading the ram to 8GB (2 x 4GB) for $250 which is great because a single 4GB stick runs $300 and up. The screen is 1920x1080 and its possibly LED backlit.

Its rather amazing that you can get a fully loaded i7 laptop with 18" LCD for half the cost of a base 17" macbook pro.

Just google "HP coupon" and the first couple of sites have the same deals/coupons.

Steve, I checked out the HP but have a question: Which is better? a slowr i7 processor or a faster Quad core? I see that the HP dv8t has a 1.6 GHz processor, but how will this compare to a 2.4 GHz Quad core processor?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 03:57 PM   #6
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The i7 is far better than any Qxxxx CPU, despite clock speed.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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Like Harm said, the i7 chips are much better than the Core2 chips, but you will pay extra for them.

So, what exactly are you looking at a laptop for? Would you lug it around with you and edit anywhere- or are you looking for a desktop replacement that will really just sit in one general area? Also, when you were looking at the Sagers, were you looking at the 17-inch models? I know there are one or two there that would work for you while staying within your $2000 budget. Keep in mind though that with a budget of $2000, you WILL have to make some compromises. Those i7 processors sure are cool- but can you forgo the cutting edge and save a few hundred by going with a slightly slower, Core2 Duo? The thing I liked about my Sager was that it was upgrade-friendly. I was able to switch out my processor, RAM, and hard drive for better ones some time after I bought it.

These external video capture devices made by Matrox or Black Magic will add costs while detracting from your portability. If this machine is just going to sit in one place, that's fine (although then I would just recommend a desktop, since you can get a LOT more bang for your buck), but if you need to carry this thing around, you'll start suffering the "Octopus Effect" from all the extra dongles and cables and accessories hanging off your machine.

What kind of video formats would you need to work with? BetaSP or Panasonic P2 or XDCAM or DV? If you're only dealing with DV or HDV, you should be able to use the firewire port and not worry about extra adapters and boxes and whatnot.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 07:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your responses...I really appreciate your help.

I want a laptop because I am constantly moving from one of three locations and having a desktop just doesn't work out well. Essentially, I want a slim desktop with an attached monitor but that doesn't seem possible. I don't mind the octopus effect if a Matrox card actually helps.....but not if adds minimal value.

Shawn - I like you Sager idea, but unless I get an i7 CPU, I will be limited with my upgrade options correct? If I get a slow i7 with high RAM capability, then maybe that's the best bet. Or should I just give up on this idea and just buy multiple $1k desktops with i5's?

BTW - I am only working on DV and HDV formats.

Thanks again for you help.
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