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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #1
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Laptop solution for Adobe CS5

I got a quote on a Win7 laptop for use to edit AVCHD video using Premiere CS5. The specs are below. I already own a G-Raid 500GB eSata external drive for video storage and playback and a Matrox MXO2 mini for HDMI monitoring (ExpressCard connection).

The basic system specs are:

Dell Mobile Precision M4500
- Intel Core i7-620M Dual Core 2.66GHz 4MB
- 8.0GB, DDR3-1066 SDRAM
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800M Graphics with 1GB dedicated memory
- 250GB 7200rpm System Hard Drive
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED Display
- Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- 8X DVD+/-RW

Thoughts? Changes? Thanks!
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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #2
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At the risk of being branded a repetitive naysayer, the words "Laptop," "Solution" and "Adobe" do not go together unless you buy a very expensive gaming laptop in the $4000+ range, especially when you are talking about AVCHD. Your chip has about half the horsepower necessary for a pleasant HD experience and your graphics card can't take advantage of Premiere's GPU acceleration.

There's an off chance you might get by, but the overwhelming odds are you will join the legion of those who have ignored the vast majority of evidence and are very unhappy trying to edit HD of any flavor with Premiere on a laptop.

Countless threads on this already. Take heed of those who have tried this and are very unhappy. SD DV with Vegas? Sure. HD with Premiere? Not so much. You could improve the experience if you are willing to shell out another $500 or so for Neo HD from Cineform -- that will take some of the burden off your CPU at the expense of hugely expanded file sizes and consequently the need for really big, really fast RAIDs.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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"Naysayer, naysayer, naysayer" <-- repetitive naysayer (Sorry, had to do it!)

Adam, I DO appreciate your thoughts. I do a lot of travelling and am looking for a system to complement, not replace, my desktop. I have an i&-970 based system, with GTX 285 video card, 12 GB RAM and tons of HD space on the desktop. I like to tweak, composite, effect, finish, etc. on this machine. The MPE acceleration works great there (at least with the trial version of CS5). On the road, I want to be able to offload the video from my cards onto the RAID. I want to also be able to do a basic edit, basic transitions, rough cut on location. I also want to be able to transfer this cut to the desktop, when all is said and done, and finish without having to go between CS4 & CS5 or Vegas and Adobe, or anything else resembling that. This will not be the sole editing system!

Now I agree that the chip I was quoted is rather lacking and have asked for other options. Gotta look at the "bang for my buck" situation. Now, your suggestion of using Cineform as an intermediate is not necessarily a bad idea. File size "should" not be a problem. (Note the quotes around should). But why did you suggest NeoHD vs. Neoscene? First Light? Just curious.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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Neoscene might be fine for your needs. I'm not up on all the differences between all the versions.

Sounds like you know all the pitfalls already and if you need a portable solution then that's what you need. I think Perrone Ford is using a pretty beefy laptop and seems happy with its capabilities; you might search through his posts and see if you can glean what his specs are. I think there are some other threads about some pretty fast laptops for this. Your Dell won't be one of them but their Alienware line might have some realistic offerings. And if I recall correctly, the name Sager has come up with regard to laptops that are fast enough for AVCHD editing.

Also check out the Hardware sub-forum in the Adobe Premiere forums at Adobe.

EDIT: Just checked the Sager and Alienware websites; Sager has a nice unit for this at about $3,700. Alienware has one about the same price but it lacks the second HDD and the nVidia card that the Sager includes.

Seems the old adage applies: Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two. Laptops are inherently poor bang for the buck because they have other priorities: namely size and portability.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #5
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Bob,

I personally think that machine will be more than fine with CS5. I have decided to stay away from Dell lately due to numerous bad experiences I've ran into with people I have suggested Dell machines to. One of them is an XPS i7 laptop that had the upgraded screen. The screen has gone out twice and the motherboard also had issues. This is on an editing machine that handles Canon 5D MKII footage.

If you really want to test it out, maybe look at ordering from Costco? You could get a decently spec'd system for much less, and if it doesn't work you can simply return it within their return period, no questions asked. I personally am going to try this with an i5 system and NeoHD when I get a chance, as I am looking for a system to do just rough cutting and basic editing, opting to do the horsepower work on the desktop machine later. Keep in mind the battery life of a beast of a laptop like the one you spec'd. You might want to scale it back if you can get away with it.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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Thanks, gents! Great thoughts to consider. I do like what I've seen with CS5 and, at least, how the trial version screamed on my desktop system. (I feel a little like Veruca Salt.. "but, Daddy, I want it NOW!!!")

I've started to consider sticking with CS4 and invest in Necscene or NeoHD from Cineform instead of going CS5 all over. I've tested out the trial and it works a charm with some AVCHD footage I tested as well as footage from my T2i. The big thing I worry about is cost, of course. I've budgeted for the CS5 upgrade and the new laptop, but if I stick with CS4, I can reroute the bucks into something in the more reliable range.

This is one reason I like posting here. Y'all force me to THINK!
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Old June 18th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #7
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I'd actually recommend upgrading to CS5 rather than sticking with CS4. You see, not only would CS4 not be able to use more than about 3GB of installed system RAM, it is so bloated and buggy that using CS4 to edit on even an overclocked full-sized i7 desktop system would be (relatively speaking) sluggish and choppy (with sometimes severe playback lag issues on all HD content no matter what). Thus, if you think laptops are slow on CS5, they are even worse on CS4. Likewise, if CS4 is sluggish on a i7-9xx desktop, it is even slower on a laptop.

Last edited by Randall Leong; June 19th, 2010 at 02:34 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #8
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CS4 with NeoScene STILL sucks. Go CS5. I promise you'll thank us later. If I didn't need my CS4 packaging for proof of purchase/serial number, I'd take it out back and light it on fire just for personal satisfaction.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #9
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Something that no one has mentioned is that you can reduce the playback resolution so it decreases the load on the CPU. Therefore, I don't see ANY problem using a laptop with an i7-m. Furthermore, I would look for a laptop with a nvidia GPU and 896MB of video ram (or more) so you can use the 'patch' to get MPE hardware acceleration. I think nvidia released a 470m recently and I do know there is a GT330m w/1GB that comes with HP's higher end laptops.

As far as reliability goes, at least 10 people (friends & family) I know have a Dell laptop and no one has any reliability issues (I would know because I am the only person they call for computer problems). The only brands I would stay away from are Gateway/Acer/eMachines and Lenevo. SquareTrade released stats from 30,000+ laptops for which they sold warranties and Dell was #2 or #3 behind ASUS and maybe Sony but AHEAD of Apple.

I don't know your budget but a 17-18" laptop with i7 / 8GB / nvidia GPU w/896MB+ / 2 internal hard drives / 1920x1080 - should run about $2000 from Dell or HP.

Remember to search for coupons. I commonly google "HP coupons" and "Dell coupons". Quite often, Dell has 15-25% off laptops over $1200-1400; so, if you can wait and watch for deals, this is the way to go.

About CS5 vs CS4 - I totally agree that CS5 is worth every penny. (However, CS4 is no where near sluggish or choppy on a dual-hexacore workstation. I know since I have an HP Z800 with dual 6 core CPUs and 24GB of ram)
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Old June 19th, 2010, 02:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
About CS5 vs CS4 - I totally agree that CS5 is worth every penny. (However, CS4 is no where near sluggish or choppy on a dual-hexacore workstation. I know since I have an HP Z800 with dual 6 core CPUs and 24GB of ram)
What I meant in my post is that everything is relative. If CS4 proves sluggish on my overclocked i7-920 desktop even with 12GB of RAM, I wouldn't trust it at all for HD video editing on a laptop.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
EDIT: Just checked the Sager and Alienware websites; Sager has a nice unit for this at about $3,700. Alienware has one about the same price but it lacks the second HDD and the nVidia card that the Sager includes.
I use a Sager NP9262 myself, and I can recommend Sager. I bought mine to replace an old desktop.
Since you will use the laptop in addition to the desktop, I would look into both the 15" and 17".

Alienware is more towards gamers, and at least when I bought mine 2 years ago, Alienware cost more for lower spec hardware.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:25 AM   #12
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I recently bought a laptop (i7, 8gb RAM DDR3, 7200rpm), tried CS4 for a couple of days and I ended up buying Sony Vegas. Best decision ever. Vegas flies on the laptop, awful with Premiere
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guillermo Ibanez View Post
...tried CS4 for a couple of days...
This thread is about CS5, not CS4 and not Vegas. Since you have other difficulties with your new laptop besides which software you choose, probably just as well to work on those issues in your other active thread:
eSata vs USB - weird
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Old July 4th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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i use my laptop for both power director and ppro cs5.
i use a sager 8690 with an i7 720qm, nvidia 280m , 4 gig ram, 500gb hdd.
i regularly edit my 720p avchd underwater videos with these two programs and ive had very little problems, mostly brought about by my slow hardrive.
ive also tried editing some 1080p video and have not encountered major stalls or crashes with both programs.
your 620 i7 is good enough to handle cs5 and your quadro will help accelerate hd video and supported effects.
you can use the adobe nvidia hack to get cs5 support for your gpu if its not natively supported.
also cs5 is so much more optimized than cs4, and as others have suggester, just lower resolution a bit when playback gets a little choppy.
your laptop will be more than fine.

my only suggestions are:
1. get an internal ssd instead of an hdd, if budget permits, since cs5 accesses the disk a lot. you could also check the new seagate momentus xt which is a hybrid drive that is both an hdd and ssd combined.
2. get a more powerful mobile gpu if possible, maybe something with 128 strams instead of the 72 your chosen card has. but then again its no so imprtant for cs5 since rendering is not gpu accelerated. for power director however, the gpu helps shorten rendering by a big factor.

well just my 2 cents. good luck.
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Old July 18th, 2010, 01:55 AM   #15
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I was searching for the fastest laptop that carries the new nVidia GeForce GTX 480M and came across Sager. Oh my goodness, these guys rock! Here is the config I feel is suitable for AVCHD editing on the road using Premiere Pro CS5.

Customized Sager NP8850
custom gaming laptops - Welcome to Sager Notebooks

Display 17.3" Full HD LED Display with Super Glossy Surface (1920 x 1080)
Video & Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M Graphics with 2GB GDDR5 Video Memory
CPU Processor Intel® Core™ i7-840QM Processor ( 45nm, 8MB L3 Cache, 1.86GHz ) [$380.00]
Thermal Compound Stock Standard Thermal Compound
Operating System Genuine MS Windows® 7 Home Premium 32/64-Bit Edition
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 2 X 4GB [$215.00]
RAID Storage Options Non-RAID Storage
Primary Hard Disk Drive 500GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive [$20.00]
Optical Drive 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
Wireless Network Card Internal 802.11 B+G+N Wireless LAN Module
Bluetooth Internal Bluetooth V2.1 Module
Primary Battery Smart Li-Polymer Battery Pack
Integrated Security Device Fingerprint Reader
Warranty Sager 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty
Carrying Bag Standard Carrying Bag
Total: $2,812.27 shipping included

This unit even comes with one USB3.0 port... The only question I have is whether this is a reliable brand to go with.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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