help choosing a pc laptop - PIV 3.2 GHZ vs Centrino 1.6 GHz at

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Old January 24th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #1
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help choosing a pc laptop - PIV 3.2 GHZ vs Centrino 1.6 GHz


I'm trying to pick up a laptop to do NLE (with Video Vegas, After Effects) as well a music production (Reason 2.5, Cubase SX) and have a few models in mind. There is a HP Pavillion model (zd 7000 series) which has a nice 17" screen, fast P4 3.2 Ghz processor, but it's also quite large and heavy (almost 10 pounds!), and with a short battery life (around 2 hours). I've also been looking into the Dell Inspiron 8600 series or the Dell Latitude D800 series, which use the centrino processer at up to 1.7 Ghz. They are lighter at around 7 pounds and also thinner with longer battery lives of around 4.5 hours and 3.5 hours respectively. The guy at circuit city told me that a 1.7 Ghz centrino is equivalent to around a 2.4 Ghz P4. I don't know if there are any other features beyond the speed that would make one chipset a better choice than the other. The circuit city guy also made it seem like the centrino chips have more as far as onboard L2 cache, though I haven't confirmed this... I don't know if any of you have any advice regarding:

1) centrino vs P4

2) particular laptop models for video editing/sound production

3) other parameters I should be looking at regarding laptop choice (e.g. specific video cards, etc...)

Great, thanks for any adivce or words of wisdom!

Khenu Singh
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Old January 24th, 2004, 04:11 PM   #2
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For Vegas, the CPU plays the biggest role is determining how long your renders are. However, that's as long as you aren't limited by other factors like storage and battery power. You are probably going to be more productive with a longer battery life than raw speed, but that depends a lot on what you do. Vegas has decent real-time previews so you can preview stuff and then render it later.

For video editing, the video card isn't that important. Dual monitors is a nice feature to have, but obviously requires two monitors.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 04:27 PM   #3
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The salesman was actually somewhat correct. He actually understated a bit. Most reviews suggest that a 1.3 Centrino matches up somewhat with a 2.4 P4. I have a 1.3 Centrino for a laptop, and use a variety of different speed desktops, and I'd say from a real-world feel, it very much feels about right.

That said, a few things of note... First, having a centrino laptop as opposed to a p4 laptop is like strapping on a double battery on your laptop. Centrino systems are very efficient and make the most out of your battery. I can easily watch a full DVD movie on a plane and still have decent juice left over before and after. My laptop is pretty lightweight and is very slim (Acer Travelmate 800).

As far as for editing, I think you should be more concerned about the speed of the drive in your laptop and the amount of RAM you have. Processor should be the 3rd thing you look at, though it's still very important. I don't believe that they make any Centrino CPUs that match up with a 3.2 P4 CPU; but I haven't checked the latest specs yet.

Also, of course, you gotta make sure you have that all powerful firewire port. I can't believe some manufacturers still sell laptops without firewire.

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Old January 25th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #4
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The salesman was right telling you for the L2 cache. In fact it's double the normal P4 (which is 512Kb). Centrino and P4 extreme edition have 1024 hence the higher performace of lower clocked Centrino vs. mobile P4. I read somewhere C 1.5 coresponds to 2.6 P4 but as Zaidi pointed out check the HDD and the memory.

Many factory made laptops come with the cheaper 4200rpm drives. If you have the chance to configure it by yourself (Dell make such options for online orders) chose 5400rpm. There are even 2.5 inch 7200rpm drives but the performance increase is unexistant.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 10:33 PM   #5
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are you planning to edit where you have no power source?

i have a 2 sony laptops. 3lbs and 8lbs i have yet to edit on either running on batts. i only use the larger for editing as i prefer a 16" screen over 12" ...
i don't edit on airplanes. i edit on the train but they have power.
i edit in hotels rooms .. when i bought it i was concerned about battery power - even bought extra batts but i never use batts power and leave the extra at home. so for editing purposes i use the laptop becuase it fits in the suitcase and the desktop doesn't.

the HP w17inch screen does not have Hyper threading .. the toshiba w17inch screen does have HT ...
i'll take a 10lb w17" screen over a 6lb w15" screen anyday.
for my use the SCREEN is far more important then batt life.
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