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Old May 24th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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Location: Denver, Colorado
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Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing


I'm considering purchasing a Laptop computer for video editing and am wondering what the trade-offs/compromises are with going this route instead of using a desktop computer.

The laptop I'm considering has the following specs:

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Intel Core I7 Quad Core 2.30 GHZ 8M cache with turbo boost technology 2.0

8.0 GB DDR3 1600 MHZ SDRAM,

NVIDIA Quadro 1000m with 2GB GDDR3 video Card

500 GB 7200 RPM Primary Drive.

DVD Burner

I will need to add external drives for my second and third hard drives.

I plan on running the latest 64 Bit version of Sony Vegas and occassionally using After Effects and Photoshop.

This machine is going to be purchased through my work and because of a contract with Dell, the laptop is about $1,500 less than a similarly equipped desktop.

Thanks in advance for your comments and feedback.
Jerry Neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24th, 2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing

That's pretty much the specs I'm editing with (a Dell Studio XPS16.) It works fine, but man that laptop gets hot.
Chris Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing

Same here I have a Dell Studio 1749, i7Core 720QM, 8Gig DDR3, 4650 1Gig ATI Video card, 2-500Gig 7200 Hds..
Works great with all my HD camera footage in Vegas 10d, I do lots of multicam shoots and the laptop handles all the footage easily, the laptop can get a little warm thats why I keep it on a cooler when editing....
David Wayne Groves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 24th, 2011, 02:07 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
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Re: Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing

if SSD is out of the budgetI would suggest you to get hybrid hard drives
Momentus XT | 7200 RPM | Seagate
i have those on all my laptops, compare to regular 7200rpm it's at least 50% faster
I love this place!
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Old May 24th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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Re: Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing

I recently bought laptop for editing. So far so good. I've been hammering the system for a few days to see if it can do the job I need it to. It's been able to handle general editing easily although I rendered a very heavy and long edit on it and the temps went to high for my taste (~190F). I negated the situation by throttling the CPU @ 95% and the temps dropped considerably, it took 7 hours to render.

I beefed up the system a little since it's purpose is for editing and to give me a place to empty my CF cards on-location.


i7 2630QM (2ghz + 0.9ghz boost)
12g RAM
Dual internal 256G SATA3 SSD's (Crucial)
GT 540M - 17.3" 16:9 HD+ (1600x900)/Full HD (1920x1080)
Win7 x64
Vegas 10c

The 2630QM is fast, it rips though my .M2T files on a typical multi-cam print to .MP4. The preview is adequate and accurate. I can also easily print to the external USB3 HDD (the spinny drive that came with machine).

Oddly the laptop didn't come as spec'd but I knew that when I bought it. The 2x 320g HDD's were actually a single 640g 5400, the BIOS needed to be flashed to even recognize the 2nd drive bay. It also came with 1x 2g and 1x 4g of RAM and the third SODIMM was empty.

After doing some monitoring of the system under render I've come to the conclusion that it's not a problem to have the input/temp/output files on the OS drive with these SSD's (Although I'm still more comfortable with 2x internal drives). When working from the 2nd drive alone there seems to be a bottle neck I haven't been able to nail down yet, the CPU isn't near maxed and the read/write is low for the SSD's ability. I think I may put a 750g 7200 HDD into the 2nd bay and move the 2nd SSD into my dualcore lappy.

I wish it had video input (firewire or HDMI) but it doesn't. I guess that has to wait until the next lappy. In short SandyBridge CPU and SSD's will remove a number of concerns from the gate.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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Re: Using a Laptop for Vegas Editing

One thing in a laptop that isn't always obvious is whether or not they are using the mobile version of their chip set. Lots of manufacturers save money by using desktop chips in laptops. I avoid these at all costs. A desktop processor generates too much heat in the small confined space available in a laptop. My current laptop uses a mobile core2duo chip and it's fine. My previous laptop had a P4 desktop processor that was always making the computer hot to the touch. Us video editors aren't doing "typical use". Of all people, we need the lower operating temperatures of the mobile chips during renders. Unless you don't mind carrying a fan around to keep your laptop cool, find one with a mobile chipset.
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply

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