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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old December 31st, 2002, 10:22 AM   #1
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Need recommendations for laptop for NLE

I want to get a little more mobile with my editing and am looking for a new/used laptop for that purpose. It doesn't need to be the latest or the fastest. P3 or 4/1Ghz should do with reasonable disk space, memory, nice bright screen with the all important firewire port.

Does anyone recommend a stable model or manuf. that I should be concentrating on.

I want to capture and edit, then transfer to my firewire drive and move to the 'mother ship' for DVD authoring etc.

Any ideas??

Tom
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Old December 31st, 2002, 01:02 PM   #2
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Whatever software you now use will probably run on a portable. A firewire card built into a PC card will give you the I/O you are looking for.

With the low prices of new laptops, I'd not buy a used one.

Another form factor to consider is the 'lugable' computer although they do tend to cost more, they have internal space for PCI cards.
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Old December 31st, 2002, 01:15 PM   #3
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Laptops in general

Running the risk of getting crucified for my opinion here we go......... <;~)

I've had 7 different laptops over the years (since my 8088 CPU in 1987), and I won't buy another one.

To me, it's like buying a expensive vehicle that you know you will never get your investment out of when it's outdated(in about 8-9 months). I personally think laptops are the biggest waste of money in today's PC market, although there are some types of shoots that have the need and can justify the cost. In my case, it's just 15-30lbs of equipment to carry into the field and potentially accelerate it's devaluation in the process.

If I was wanting to throw money away......I would throw it here(or find another one with specs close to this)
http://www.alienware.com/main/mobile_main.asp
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Old December 31st, 2002, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: Laptops in general

<<<-- Originally posted by RC Productions : Running the risk of getting crucified for my opinion here we go......... <;~)



To me, it's like buying a expensive vehicle that you know you will never get your investment out of when it's outdated(in about 8-9 months). -->>>

I don't see how that's any different than a regular computer. Except of course, you get less for what you pay. I'm not a big fan of laptops either, but I've never really needed one.
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Old December 31st, 2002, 09:58 PM   #5
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I would suggest looking at PCNirvana. They have some GREAT laptops.
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Old January 1st, 2003, 03:16 AM   #6
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Just be aware that the speed of the hard drive is important when transferring MiniDV from a digital camcorder to the computer. Many laptops come with drives that run at 4200 rpm to lower costs.

I don't know if it's a big deal nowadays with the faster ATA-100 hard drive interfaces built into the laptops but just be aware that it might be an issue. Generally most people use 5400 or 7200 rpm drives in their desktops for transferring MiniDV.

Here are the Dell laptop hard drive speeds;
http://www.dell.com/us/en/dhs/learnm...pn_details.htm
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Old January 1st, 2003, 07:57 AM   #7
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I tend to agree that buying new rather used is a better idea. Buy according to your NLE. I would think anything that has a PIII or better will work, though P4 would likely be better.

You should make sure what the drive's spindle speed is. I think most NLEs require a minimum of 5400 rpms with 7200 rpms preferred.

The other reason for buying new is to purchase a service contract. Laptops are notoriously expensive if they need repairs. I think it takes a minimum of 3 years to recoup the investment. The risk of having something go wrong in 3 years seems very real, and the first repair bill will likely recoup the service contract price.

Happy New Year's
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 01:01 PM   #8
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Re: Re: Laptops in general

I don't see how that's any different than a regular computer. Except of course, you get less for what you pay. I'm not a big fan of laptops either, but I've never really needed one. -->>>

Yea, I agree to some extent, but you can upgrade a PC's guts. That's the difference in my mind anyway.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 03:16 PM   #9
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i think the problem with most portables is CAPTURE ... most come with 36-4600 rpms drives .... i see some now have 5400rpm ...
i can tell you that my sony with a 3600rpm ?? doesn't capture ( old PII 366) ..

friends with portables that capture use a firewire drive on their portables ...

sonys now have OHCI built in ... they have a G?? 550 ..PIV 2.4 , 512 ram , 16.1 lcd screen , 30 gig hd ,... list 1999 but i see it advertised at 1799 / 1750 at best buys / compUSA ( rebates Jan 4-11
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Old January 11th, 2003, 03:39 AM   #10
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I have a laptop (P III - 1.2 ghz) with lots of ram, a large hard drive and a firewire connection. It does the job for small projects, but I sure wish it rendered in real time. I know that if the project were any longer than 20 minutes I'd go buggy waiting for transitions and effects to render, so if I wanted real time I'd have to go back to a desktop computer and install a $1000 to $3000 capture card, but there goes my moblity. I'm sure they'll come up with a laptop with a high end capture card built in, but you know when they do it going to cost... big time!
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Old January 11th, 2003, 11:12 AM   #11
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Lap top

One thing I would suggest (besides making sure that your system drive is 7200 RPM) is to use an external firewire drive for your media. This gives you redundancy(easily replaced if the drive fails), mobility(you can hot swap the drive onto any other system with a firewire port), and you can upgrade easily. I have a client who has a Mac Titanium running Avid xpress DV, and one of those drives.....its a miniaturised drive, I think its 60 gigs and can fit in his pocket, and runs at 7200 rpm.....even the full size drives are not that big, and are way cheap...I just saw a 60 gig external Maxstor for $149 a few days ago...this would give you a nice little portable system that you can fit in a briefcase...copy your project files onto the disc, and when you get home cable it to your desktop, and keep working...some people are doing this when working with video assist on film shoots; they can to quick "pre-edits" for the director with video assist footage right on the set...among many other things....."Video to Go"....if you can make money doing it, go for it!!
as far as CPU's, if you want to keep your clients from having to wait, get as powerful a cpu as you can afford...I personally like AMD's...they have a lot of bang for the buck...the "Thoroughbred" series is very fast, and pretty cheap.....make sure if you are going to run AVID that the mobile hardware you are going to use is AVID compatible...with everything built into the board on a laptop, you wont be able to make changes easily, like popping cards on a tower case...I have seen more than a few mystified people complain that when they start AVID, they immediatly get an error message that sez "can t find audio devices....continue without audio?"...after spending $400 on a nice professional audio card....
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Old January 12th, 2003, 03:38 PM   #12
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I'm a long-time laptop user, though not for video editing. There are a couple of things I'd recommend, though. As far as the drive situation goes, the external firewire drive makes a lot of sense, if you don't mind lugging it too and using plug in power (though there are some that will run off the computer power, if your battery is up to it).

But my main suggestion is to buy new. I keep my portables until they fall apart. I'm writing you on my second, which is about 8 yrs old. My first lasted over 10 (I'm primarily a writer, so keeping up with software and speed has not been a big issue, though it is for me now on my desktop for video). Used looks good if you don't need the latest speed level, but the real problem with laptops is that they are too expensive to fix when something dies. The something is usually a hard drive or, eventually, the battery. Batteries are quite expensive. I'm currently running this old box on plug in only, since a new battery would be $200, if I can find one, and I know as soon as I replaced it the hard drive would die. If you buy new, you get whatever support they offer or you are willing to pay for, plus you start off with new components, that if they do break, can still be replaced.

But laptops are great, if you like to shift your work environment, as I do, and can find one with a good screen. Mine, by the way, is a Micron, and has been fairly bulletproof so far. A screen mount broke after it was out of warranty (3yrs) and they fixed it for free anyway. I don't know if they are still this good. I've read some good service reviews for Sony, and their current laptops come with firewire, so they might be worth a look.

Good luck,
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