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Old April 22nd, 2006, 09:42 AM   #1
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Vegas w/ laptop

I am currently shopping for laptops, hoping to use it both for editing and other tasks (email, Word, etc.). I don't do any really intense editing, just short pieces with simple effects, maybe a wedding here and there. I found two systems within my budget that I was looking into, both from Dell:

1) 2GHz Pentium M w/ 533 FSB, 1GB Shared SDRAM, 60 BG 7200 rpm HDD, 14.1" screen

2) 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo w/ 667 FSB, 1 GB shared dual channel SDRAM, 60 GB 5400 RPM HDD, 15.4" WS display

Which one would be the better solution? Currently I don't plan on doing any HDV editing with it, but possibly some in the future. Thanks for the help.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 03:24 PM   #2
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I would choose #2 - Core Duo is a big advantage, bigger screen, 5400rpm drive should work fine.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 05:16 PM   #3
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I'd be reluctant to go with the 5400 rpm drive, especially since it will be doing double duty as the system drive and the render drive.
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 09:19 PM   #4
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Most of my editing will be done with an external Firewire drive which will be 7200 RPM, so I think I'll be ok with the 5400 internal. Any hopes of editing HDV w/ this system? Also, does it matter if I run XP Home or Media Center Edition?
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Old April 22nd, 2006, 11:23 PM   #5
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Whichever system you get, try to max out the ram. This will do wonders for editing capability. But I would definitely go with option #2.

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Old April 23rd, 2006, 05:51 AM   #6
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This free utility "HD Tune" is helpful for checking drive performance:
http://www.hdtune.com/
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 06:26 AM   #7
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The article below at Tom's Hardware is helpful too - notice that the write performance (last chart) of some 5400rpm drives is much closer to the 7200rpm drives - so it helps a lot to know what drive you are getting:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/...ase/page7.html
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 02:46 PM   #9
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Patrick - I saw that quote too. I think the challenge for laptop harddrives is that editing on the laptop means you need a large hard drive and the 5400rpm/160GB units are still pretty small compared to 3.5" drives today but they have way more capacity then their 7200rpm 2.5" counterparts. Certainly you get way better performance with 7200rpm/100GB drives but a big drop in storage capacity. Hopefully the 7200rpm drives will move up in capacity sometime soon.

As I understand it, the data density of a drive is also a factor in (write) performance as is the RPM (if the drives are otherwise equal, such as having the same # of platters). This explains to me why the Seagate 5400.3 is so close in performance to the Seagate 7200.1 - when you look at the write peformance on page 18 of the review you quoted from.

I'm sure that 7200rpm drives will continue to increase in capacity, but if they did not I would think that 5400rpm drives of much higher data density (say equal # of platters in the 200mb or 250mb range) would eventually outperform 7200rpm drives and I think it will certainly be true that future 5400rpm drives will outperform today's low capacity 7200rpm drives (such as the 60GB drives), which means that 5400rpm drives in the future will at some point have equivalent or better performance than todays 7200rpm drives. Having said that, I'm sure that everyone will still want the future 7200rpm drives because they will remain the speed kings. In short, there is more than just RPM that determines a drive's performance (which is why the Hitachi 7K100 7200rpm drive smokes all the other 7200rpm drives).
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Old April 24th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #10
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Mobile Desktops

Given your price points, I would consider RAM and CPU as the primary requirements. I use Vegas on my mobile system, but my mobile is not an average system. It is an Alienware with a 3HGz P4HT, 2.5GB of RAM, on a RAID0 array. Don't even ask how much this system cost. Ugh. It is part of the startup costs for my production company.

This system runs Vegas beautifully, except the keyboard is a pain in the butt. IT is a full size keyboard, but still odd ot use at times. An interesting fact is that this system only renders MPEG2 at 3% faster than my 4 year old Dual Athlon MP 1800+ system with 512MB RAM and also on a RAID0 array.

The ONE major difference is load times. On complex wedding projects with 10 tracks (video & audio) and hundreds of cuts, transitions, and titles, the Athlon system was a dog.... 5 minutes to load up the timeline and display it. Vegas on a system with lots of RAM is a dream to operate. One limitation is that a single instance of Vegas does not use any more than 1GB of RAM, even if it is available, so there must be an addressing or other logical limit to the software. This is where running multpile instances helps..... I run one to render the low res previews (not too much HD activity to slow down the system), and I run another instance to continue editing.

So to review.... CPU and RAM. CPU is crucial for previewing the video effects, transitions, color corrections, etc in real time. Slow CPU means horrible preview abilities.

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Old April 24th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. For what I need it for, I think the CPU and RAM I posted will be fine. My main concern is the hard drive speed, whether to go with 5400 or 7200 rpm. All my media will be stored on a dedicated external 7200 rpm firewire drive so I think the 5400 rpm system drive will be ok? Would HDV need a faster system drive? Also, as far as I know Vegas doesn't take advantage of graphics accelerators, so it wouldn't make sense to go crazy upgrading the graphics card correct?

BTW, I'm coming from a 1.7Ghz Celeron desktop w/ 384 mb ram and a 4200 rpm system drive, so pretty much anything I buy new will be an upgrade. I just plan on doing some more editing and possibly getting into HDV so I want to make sure I'll be ok.

Thanks again for the help.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #12
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Dell Inspiron 9300

I've got this model (title) running the Nvidia 6800. Dell negotiates when you order by phone also. ;-)

$1,500, and they also upgraded my drive to 60gig 7200rpm drive free.

I capture to USB 2.0 external 300mb drive without dropped frames. That's 7200 rpm also. Live record to DV rack 100% successful.

I can preview out to external monitor via svideo at full quality and full screen preview at almost perfect playback while editing.

The computer has a 17" monitor and like 1400x900 resolution. It's hot and I've been using it for 18 months daily, and most of my editing is done on it now.

I see you are in Bristol, we're practically neighbors.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #13
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System Drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Munn
Thanks for the advice. For what I need it for, I think the CPU and RAM I posted will be fine. My main concern is the hard drive speed, whether to go with 5400 or 7200 rpm. All my media will be stored on a dedicated external 7200 rpm firewire drive so I think the 5400 rpm system drive will be ok? Would HDV need a faster system drive? Also, as far as I know Vegas doesn't take advantage of graphics accelerators, so it wouldn't make sense to go crazy upgrading the graphics card correct?

BTW, I'm coming from a 1.7Ghz Celeron desktop w/ 384 mb ram and a 4200 rpm system drive, so pretty much anything I buy new will be an upgrade. I just plan on doing some more editing and possibly getting into HDV so I want to make sure I'll be ok.

Thanks again for the help.
The 5400RPM system drive will limit your abilities a little bit. Remember that any time Windows feels like it need the space, it will store data on the swap file which is written to the hard drive. The slower the HD the slower the access to / from the swap file. Also, Vegas creates some temp storage for some of its functionality. This is also stored on the system drive, so unless you plan to wteak these settings a lot, then yoru slower system drive may start to affect performance. The 7200 rpm lap top drives are relatively new, but not unheard of. They do up the price a little, but their main draw back is battery performance.

jason
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Old May 14th, 2006, 06:33 AM   #14
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I have two laptops I edit on. One has a 5400 drive and the other has two 7200 drives. On the 5400 machine there is also an external drive. The 5400 is noticably slower.

Now here's the interesting thing: I can capture fine to the 5400 drive. On the other laptop, I cannot capture to drive C 7200 but CAN capture to drive D 7200. (And, yes, DMA is active on both - not sure what happens but after about 20 minutes the drive light comes on solid and shortly after it dies.)
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Old May 15th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #15
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Heat issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Troxel
I have two laptops I edit on. One has a 5400 drive and the other has two 7200 drives. On the 5400 machine there is also an external drive. The 5400 is noticably slower.

Now here's the interesting thing: I can capture fine to the 5400 drive. On the other laptop, I cannot capture to drive C 7200 but CAN capture to drive D 7200. (And, yes, DMA is active on both - not sure what happens but after about 20 minutes the drive light comes on solid and shortly after it dies.)

That sounds like a heat issue affecting the BOIS or other internal components. if a 7200RPM drive is pounding away for a sustained period that might generate too much heat for a notebook to dissapate. Desktops are better equipped to deal with excess heat, but laptop systems are restricted by their very nature. Some notebooks simply aren't designed to pump away that much heat.

jason

Last edited by Jason Robinson; May 15th, 2006 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Incorrect title
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