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Old June 28th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #1
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Mobile solution for editing

I"m in need of a portable solution to do my editing but I"m not so sure how a laptop will hold up against 8 hour edits. I have posted this question in the wedding section because I know there are a lot of "same day" editors in here that might give me some tips :)

I plan to buy a dell studio 17 with a i5-520M, 4g of memory, win7, 2x500gb drives and a 1g HD 5650 card.
I will use edius pro on it with canopus hq files as I plan to work with dslr footage as well.

I"m not so sure about the stability side, from the people I know that own desktops my impression always was that laptops are not that stable with sometimes strange behavior like sudden shut downs.
Must say that all those laptops were entry level machines but I'm afraid that editing on a "medium" machine will stress it too much as well.

Would overheating not be a issue if you start to render a project? I will be using canopus hq avi files which should take some stress of the processor.

I was also thinking about editing with a external drive through a esata port, dell has something like a combined usb2.0/esata connector so I"m not sure how that goes for speed but should that also not cause problems? It would be a big time saver as I could plugin the esata drive to my main editing machine later when I finish a project to continue from there. Also if my laptop would die and has to be send in for service I can still move my project easily to another editing machine.

Also would a i5-520M be up to the task, I don't know with which desktop system to compare it with, I currently still use a older Q6600 machine, would the i5-520M be somewhat the same speed?

Any laptop users in here that would share experiences?
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Old June 28th, 2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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I think the biggest problem with laptops is heat - you will need good fans to put under the laptop to take that heat away.

why save on i5 cpu when you can get i7 which will handle the editing better and longer? Also external SATA Raid drive would be needed to handle the HD without hiccups. But all that extra power means less portable setup. Unless you'll always have access to power source (i.e. power inverter in the car).
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Old June 28th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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Fast Dual Core!

Just from my personal experience, a faster dual core (ie i5 w/ turbo boost to ~2.9GHz) is much more useful than a quadcore.
Why?

Simply because the program (in my case, Sony Vegas) cant utilize all 4 cores at once. (went from a quadcore to my current desktop w/ an i5.)

For my SDE, i am currently still using a Dell Vostro with a Core 2 Duo @ 2.5GHz. Plenty fast for editing, too bad the 6cell battery only last ~2hrs.
-------

Your choice in the 'dell studio 17 with a i5-520M, 4g of memory, win7, 2x500gb drives and a 1g HD 5650 card' is perfect. (although im not sure if you need 2x500gb).

If i had the dough for a new laptop, id get a 15" i5 with a 32GB SSD for all my programs (night and day performance, especially for loading programs!)

For storage, i like to temporarily keep my SDE files on a 32GB Sandisk CF card (using an expresscard|54 adapter). [essentially adding additional space for storage]
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Old June 29th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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I do everyday editing as well as SDE's on a quad core laptop running Edius 5.5. It cuts through AVCHD just like DV. Footage from DSLRs will slow it down. If you have a lot of DSLR footage it may be faster to go ahead and transcode it, depending on your CPU, RAM, etc.

As long as you are using Edius 5.5, you do not need an external raid setup. I do everday editing on the internal video drive(I have two 500gb drives, non-raided) as well as single eSATA drives with no problems at all.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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Since the Studio 17 will support two internal drives, I'd use those for editing and use the eSATA drive for offline storage. I have a Studio XPS 16 with an i7 processor. When I'm rendering, that puppy heats up like a space heater. You definitely don't want to have it sitting on your lap!

I've never had any random shutdowns or weird behavior. If I were you, I'd look at an i7 processor instead of the i5. My laptop is definitely faster than my Q6600 desktop. Also, check out the Dell Outlet, you'll save a lot of money.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Tran View Post
Just from my personal experience, a faster dual core (ie i5 w/ turbo boost to ~2.9GHz) is much more useful than a quadcore.
Why?

Simply because the program (in my case, Sony Vegas) cant utilize all 4 cores at once. (went from a quadcore to my current desktop w/ an i5.)
That isn't true. Vegas will happily use as many cores as you have (at least up to 8). The number of cores that is actually used is dependent on the codec that you use. If it doesn't utilize multi-cores, then you may observe that all cores aren't used, but that's a codec issue, not Vegas.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 10:25 PM   #7
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I've always edited on a laptop with no issues using FCP. I can edit all day and render over night without any problems. The fan gets loud sometimes, but I've never had it just shut down on me (knock on wood).
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Old June 30th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #8
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I just went from an HP 2.0ghz Dual Core laptop to a i7 920 desktop, the first desktop I have had in 10 years. I got a sweet 24" Dell monitor, wireless keyboard, monitor speaker, and have my external drives and printers wired up as needed.

I love it, faster than the laptop by light years. It's great and it is everything I want. The only BUT about it, it is anything BUT portable. There's a power cable for the monitor, one for the CPU and another for the speakers. If you go with headphones, you can eliminate one wire and the speakers.

IMO, just for the sake of portability, I'd look at an i7 laptop for what you want to do. I have used my laptop in the field for capture, and the issues I have had have mostly been self inflicted.

For quite some time I used a laptop bag with printer section, as a gear and laptop combo bag. Recently, I have just slid the laptop in my Kata bag along side the DVX, and gone that route.

They do make laptops that are called "Desktop Replacements" which run out about 15-18# or so, but you can get far more desktop like function and upgrade from those, than a conventional laptop, if you need more.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #9
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thx all for the replies so far, will have to think it over some more. Especially reg processor choice.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Snow View Post
That isn't true. Vegas will happily use as many cores as you have (at least up to 8). The number of cores that is actually used is dependent on the codec that you use. If it doesn't utilize multi-cores, then you may observe that all cores aren't used, but that's a codec issue, not Vegas.
Didnt realize that.
Learnt something new today.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 11:32 PM   #11
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try to get more RAM. At least 8GB. That'll speed up your edits and rendering a bit. Laptops are good as long as they have good service records and a fast turn around time for support. Also, have a secure back up plan in case it fails.
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