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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #16
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My only complaints with my Alienware laptop (MJ12m 7700) are the weight, which makes it a desktop replacement NOT a conveniently portable laptop; the size, which means it won't fit into most off the shelf laptop cases (and the one it comes with is poor); the heat that blasts out of it is pretty intense and again means it ain't going on your lap for very long; the battery life is not great (it's got a lot of system to power!) and pretty much ties you to the mains; and finally the noise from the fan makes it a challenge to use in a quiet recording environment (I use it with DV-Rack when shooting interviews but I have to have it WAY back from the audio source because it sounds like air conditioning!)

Sounds like I have a ton of complaints - in fact my only real complaint is the noise from the fans. The other issues kinda go with the territory of having a BEAST of a machine that allows me to edit multiple tracks, with colour correction, sometimes even a chromakey going on, all in real time at preview or better quality. I wouldn't change it . . .

Ian . . .
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #17
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graphics for vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
First of all I just want to say WOW I didn't know I could get all of this info in a forum, you guys are great is greatly appreciated.

Jason---that system that you have look incredible the only thing I'm concern is about the graphic card is the one that you have good enought for vegas.

I was also considering extended warraty, what do u guys think about those.

The only thing that sony is a little bit better is because of the HDMI output ont he Ar systems, but they don't have a 7,200 RPM 8MB cache which is a big concern when running high demand programs like vegas.

I was also planning on buying a 32 inch LCD samsung so the display on the computer is not a concern. Jason you said that I can output my display through DVI right and do all the editing on my 32 inch TV.

Another thing will vegas run windows media center, the reason that I want windows media center is because of the TV tuner. Should I wait for Vista since is right around the corner and will vegas run on vista home premium.
because vegas is all software based, it doesn't matter how beefy of a graphics card you have. it won't help render any faster, it won't preview any faster, etc. Vegas is ALL based on CPU and software. Now they may change that with the next version of vegas (8), but until then, the graphics card just needs to be able to give you lots of 2D desktop pixels.

With a DVI-D output you can (assuming you can get DVI to HDMI converter or assuming your TV has DVI input) use your big TV as a display. With HDMI output you can go straight to your display, but i don't know of any systems that have HDMI out yet (speaking only of computer systems). I would edit on BOTH the big 32" display and the system screen so that you have even more real estate. I love using 2 displays and won't go back to single display editing unless I am on the road or doing a client demo.

as far as the HD is concerned, I have a RAID 0 (stripe) of two 7200RPM HDs and they are IDLE when rendering. All the bottle neck is the CPU. I would not worry about putting 5400RPM drives in a RAID. It if were just a single 5400RPM drive then I might be a bit more concerned. a small upgrade and you have 7200RPM drive. the capacity will be lower on 7200RPM drives than on 5400rpm drives (relatively new in the notebook form factor) or they will be significantly more expensive (up to $100 added to the price depending on storage size).

in my life before being a video editor I build custom computers, so this is my back yard. :-)

hope all that helps.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #18
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noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark
My only complaints with my Alienware laptop (MJ12m 7700) are the weight, which makes it a desktop replacement NOT a conveniently portable laptop; the size, which means it won't fit into most off the shelf laptop cases (and the one it comes with is poor); the heat that blasts out of it is pretty intense and again means it ain't going on your lap for very long; the battery life is not great (it's got a lot of system to power!) and pretty much ties you to the mains; and finally the noise from the fan makes it a challenge to use in a quiet recording environment (I use it with DV-Rack when shooting interviews but I have to have it WAY back from the audio source because it sounds like air conditioning!)

Sounds like I have a ton of complaints - in fact my only real complaint is the noise from the fans. The other issues kinda go with the territory of having a BEAST of a machine that allows me to edit multiple tracks, with colour correction, sometimes even a chromakey going on, all in real time at preview or better quality. I wouldn't change it . . .

Ian . . .

Oh yeah. that mj12-7700 is a noise bugger and heavy and hot. I mean... it has a P4 in it and two HDs... so I don't ever expect to put in on my lap. Especially with all the fans under it, i'm a little surprised that you try that. as far as the recording studio noise, i can completely agree. not the best for a studio environment (at least where it is in the same room).

jason
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #19
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How about vista. Is right around the corner should I wait for it on not. If I buy a windows xp sp2 can add a tv tuner. I just would love to have a tv tuner.


Yes the sony AR systems have DHMI output.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
I don't ever expect to put in on my lap. Especially with all the fans under it, i'm a little surprised that you try that.
Ha! No, I don't ever try that! I was kidding! Still, it's great for keeping a cup of coffee hot - just leave it six inches to the left of the laptop and it's good for a couple of hours . . .
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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #21
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Wich one should I get

Wich one is better for HD video editing.

Sony---------------------------

17" WUXGA TFT with XBRITE Technology and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 GT
240GB (120GB x 2) SATA 5400rpm
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 with NTSC TV Tuner(will this work with vegas)
WIRELESS LAN 802.11 a/b/g w/ BT
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7600 / ICD 2.33 GHz
2 GB DDR-SDRAM (DDR2-533, 1 GBx2) Windows Vista Premium Ready

Price as configured: $3119.98

Alienware--------------------------

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7600 2.33GHz 4MB Cache 667MHz FSB
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2
Alienware® m5790 17" WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 LCD - Saucer Silver
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
200GB (100GB x 2) Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/ Software
256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1800

Price----$2,809.00
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Old January 20th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #22
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Windows Media Center?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
Wich one is better for HD video editing.

Sony---------------------------

17" WUXGA TFT with XBRITE Technology and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 GT
240GB (120GB x 2) SATA 5400rpm
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 with NTSC TV Tuner(will this work with vegas)
WIRELESS LAN 802.11 a/b/g w/ BT
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7600 / ICD 2.33 GHz
2 GB DDR-SDRAM (DDR2-533, 1 GBx2) Windows Vista Premium Ready

Price as configured: $3119.98

Alienware--------------------------

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7600 2.33GHz 4MB Cache 667MHz FSB
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2
Alienware® m5790 17" WideXGA+ 1440 x 900 LCD - Saucer Silver
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz - 2 x 1024MB
200GB (100GB x 2) Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ NCQ & 8MB Cache
8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/ Software
256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1800

Price----$2,809.00

First off, I would NEVER use Windows XP Home on a system that had anything to do with income, or a network (despite it being capable at both). It is just too hard to work with in a multi computer environment. If this system will not need to share files securely (and not just by a share level, i'm talking about on a user level), then XP Home might be OK. As a tech support person (I just spent 3 hours this morning installing a Router and network for a business) i have to fight with XP Home to get it to do what I want it to do.

After some quick research, it looks like Alienware is providing a free upgrade to Vista (when it comes out) if you upgrade to WinXp Pro (+$100).That might be something to consider.

Here are a few questions to answer regarding the hardware. Do you expect to be able to hold an entire project of HD footage (with out needing an intermediate render like cineform) on this system? IF so, you need at least 120GB of drive space (doesn't have to be RAID). If you intend to use an external storage device for most of your HD-DV storage, then you might be just find putting the extra $120 Alienware charges for RAID configuration into an external HD. Seagate (and others) have very good external 1394/USB2 storage systems that have 300+GB of space for the same cost as a 160GB RAID in the system.

CPU, the price upgrade difference is AMAZING..... they want $400 to go from 1.6GHz core 2 duo to 2.1GHz.... that is not a lot of CPU gain for a lot of $$$. And the want another $300 to go from 2.1GHz to 2.3GHz.... That (in my opinion) is a waste of $300. That will buy you 500GB of 1394/USB2 connected storage

Regarding the memory, I would not get your memory from Alienware. They charge an arm and a leg for it. 2GB of RAM costs you $270 over the 1GB that comes by default. Keep in mind that WindowsXP will ALWAYS reserve 1/2 of your ram for itself and then Vegas gets what is left. So even a system like mine with 2.5GB of RAM, I still have 1GB of RAM that sits unused unless I have 2 instances of Vegas open and DVDA open and Cinescore. Then I might have 256MB free. Go over to crucial.com and get your RAM. It is made 20 minutes away from me :-). a single 1GB stick of RAM from crucial costs 170 or a 1GB kit (2x512) is 160. Depending on the motherboard of your system (look up or fire off the sales group an email) you will have 2 or 4 SO-DIMM slots. The stock configuration is 2x512 so another 2x512 would MAX you out at 2GB.

As far as the display goes, if this system will be used for HD editing, then it wouldn't make sense to get a display that can only display 1440 x 900. You need at least 1920x1080 just in order to see all of the HD footage (unless you plan to use an external HD LCD display). That might be a good way to save some money on the laptop. BUT if this system will be the only system capable of displaying the HD footage, then go for the 1920 x 1200. It runs an extra $150.

As far as the Sony goes, I don't know what the resolution of that system is (full 1900x1200? or just x900?). I am not sure what good the Media Center OS will do if the machine is supposed to be for editing HD, but it might be a handy combination system.

And don't forget that Dell has some good 17" displays on their high end mobile workstations. Prices will be lower than Alienware / Sony but you won't get a RAID (not too big a deal).

I think either one would be good. Here is what would push me one way or the other..... software annoyances. That is why I went Alienware. No anoying bundles of loads of useless trial software and other crap. Just a clean OS install with no extras. Download OpenOffice.org 2.0.0.1 (the latest one). It is free and can read any MS Office Doc except the 2007 / vista versions.

In the end, what matters is how much is financially responsible to push towards a single system. Neither of those prices included any extended warranty. I put an extra ~$300 into the 2 year warranty and have used the warranty (in the first year) twice. Once when my backlight LED driver board fizzled out and once when the DVD drive quit reading DVDs. So don't forget to add that into the cost of ownership. I added this system specifically on to my homeowners policy and that cost me $30 / yr but is well worth it.

Have fun drooling over the hardware, but remember it is just a tool to get the job done. Don't go too crazy. :-)

jason
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Old January 20th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
First off, I would NEVER use Windows XP Home on a system that had anything to do with income, or a network (despite it being capable at both). It is just too hard to work with in a multi computer environment. If this system will not need to share files securely (and not just by a share level, i'm talking about on a user level), then XP Home might be OK. As a tech support person (I just spent 3 hours this morning installing a Router and network for a business) i have to fight with XP Home to get it to do what I want it to do.

After some quick research, it looks like Alienware is providing a free upgrade to Vista (when it comes out) if you upgrade to WinXp Pro (+$100).That might be something to consider.

Here are a few questions to answer regarding the hardware. Do you expect to be able to hold an entire project of HD footage (with out needing an intermediate render like cineform) on this system? IF so, you need at least 120GB of drive space (doesn't have to be RAID). If you intend to use an external storage device for most of your HD-DV storage, then you might be just find putting the extra $120 Alienware charges for RAID configuration into an external HD. Seagate (and others) have very good external 1394/USB2 storage systems that have 300+GB of space for the same cost as a 160GB RAID in the system.

CPU, the price upgrade difference is AMAZING..... they want $400 to go from 1.6GHz core 2 duo to 2.1GHz.... that is not a lot of CPU gain for a lot of $$$. And the want another $300 to go from 2.1GHz to 2.3GHz.... That (in my opinion) is a waste of $300. That will buy you 500GB of 1394/USB2 connected storage

Regarding the memory, I would not get your memory from Alienware. They charge an arm and a leg for it. 2GB of RAM costs you $270 over the 1GB that comes by default. Keep in mind that WindowsXP will ALWAYS reserve 1/2 of your ram for itself and then Vegas gets what is left. So even a system like mine with 2.5GB of RAM, I still have 1GB of RAM that sits unused unless I have 2 instances of Vegas open and DVDA open and Cinescore. Then I might have 256MB free. Go over to crucial.com and get your RAM. It is made 20 minutes away from me :-). a single 1GB stick of RAM from crucial costs 170 or a 1GB kit (2x512) is 160. Depending on the motherboard of your system (look up or fire off the sales group an email) you will have 2 or 4 SO-DIMM slots. The stock configuration is 2x512 so another 2x512 would MAX you out at 2GB.

As far as the display goes, if this system will be used for HD editing, then it wouldn't make sense to get a display that can only display 1440 x 900. You need at least 1920x1080 just in order to see all of the HD footage (unless you plan to use an external HD LCD display). That might be a good way to save some money on the laptop. BUT if this system will be the only system capable of displaying the HD footage, then go for the 1920 x 1200. It runs an extra $150.

As far as the Sony goes, I don't know what the resolution of that system is (full 1900x1200? or just x900?). I am not sure what good the Media Center OS will do if the machine is supposed to be for editing HD, but it might be a handy combination system.

And don't forget that Dell has some good 17" displays on their high end mobile workstations. Prices will be lower than Alienware / Sony but you won't get a RAID (not too big a deal).

I think either one would be good. Here is what would push me one way or the other..... software annoyances. That is why I went Alienware. No anoying bundles of loads of useless trial software and other crap. Just a clean OS install with no extras. Download OpenOffice.org 2.0.0.1 (the latest one). It is free and can read any MS Office Doc except the 2007 / vista versions.

In the end, what matters is how much is financially responsible to push towards a single system. Neither of those prices included any extended warranty. I put an extra ~$300 into the 2 year warranty and have used the warranty (in the first year) twice. Once when my backlight LED driver board fizzled out and once when the DVD drive quit reading DVDs. So don't forget to add that into the cost of ownership. I added this system specifically on to my homeowners policy and that cost me $30 / yr but is well worth it.

Have fun drooling over the hardware, but remember it is just a tool to get the job done. Don't go too crazy. :-)

jason
Wow jason Great Help thanks A lot. I just got a few more question

1. You tell me to get WinXp Pro but don't I need xp sp2 to edit HD thats what the recommendations says.

2. You are telling me to purchase ram from another place. I'm a novice to hardware is it hard to put ram into a laptop, will this void the warranty.

3. Pleased talk to me in a novice level because I did'nt understood a thing u said in the first paragraph about "multi computer environment" Basically this computer will be used for extreme hd video editing like 60 minutes of HD video at a time and transfer back to DV since blue ray is too expensive right now.

4. If I record HD video with an HD camcorder and edit in hd with vegas into a DV an I able to transfer that back into DV in HD quality. (Was that clear)

5. You say that alienware charge too much for the 2.3Ghz core, but don't I need that to get the best performance in vegas, what is the lowest Ghz that I can get and still be able to run vegas fluently with out a glitch.

6. What do you mean by this "Do you expect to be able to hold an entire project of HD footage (with out needing an intermediate render like cineform) on this system?" (What is render.)

7. About the ram alienware tells me that is I get 1GB they will put 2 512 ram and the system only has 2 slots so all of them will be use. So if I want more like 2 GB I will have to buy two 1 GB pieces of ram remove the ones that allready come in the system and replace them right.

8. The reason I wanted a media center edition was because of the integrated tv tuner. Because if I buy xp pro I would have to buy an external tuner. Anyways this in not a big concern because my priority is HD video editing

9. This is what the computer be in use for---- most of the time for surfing the net,e-mail,multitasking like being on the web and listening to music at the same time, and of course for the purpose that I'm buying the system in the first place to edit HD videos

10. I know alienware has an option to buy the system overclocked to 2.6Gh is this a good idea. What are the negative effects that overclocking have.

Finally I thing right now I'm going towards the alienware because of the clean OS. Can anybody configure a system for me that will do what I want. Does not necessary have to be an alienware please confired one that u feel that will work the best for me.

Man I did'nt know this was going to be so complicated.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
1. You tell me to get WinXp Pro but don't I need xp sp2 to edit HD thats what the recommendations says.
WinXP Pro has SP2 on it as well. SP2 is just a service pack that is applied to both WinXP Home and WinXP Pro. If this system will not be used networked with other computers, then WinXP Home would probably be just fine. That is more of a personal preference on my part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
2. You are telling me to purchase ram from another place. I'm a novice to hardware is it hard to put ram into a laptop, will this void the warranty.
RAM replacement / upgrade is possibly the easiest upgrade, but if the system only has 2 slots, and if you haven't done it before, then i'd get it straight from the company. It will cost about ~$100 to go that route, but will save you the trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
5. You say that alienware charge too much for the 2.3Ghz core, but don't I need that to get the best performance in vegas, what is the lowest Ghz that I can get and still be able to run vegas fluently with out a glitch.
the performance difference between 2.1GHz and 2.6 is pretty small. I doubt you would notice the speed difference. Render times over 5 hours might be noticable but only different by a few minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
8. The reason I wanted a media center edition was because of the integrated tv tuner. Because if I buy xp pro I would have to buy an external tuner. Anyways this in not a big concern because my priority is HD video editing
Good idea. It should work well for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
Finally I thing right now I'm going towards the alienware because of the clean OS. Can anybody configure a system for me that will do what I want. Does not necessary have to be an alienware please confired one that u feel that will work the best for me.
I'm out of time today (have to get to working on a photo montage for wedding next weekend). Don't buy it just yet (if you can wait). I'll get back with you on Monday.

jason
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson
WinXP Pro has SP2 on it as well. SP2 is just a service pack that is applied to both WinXP Home and WinXP Pro. If this system will not be used networked with other computers, then WinXP Home would probably be just fine. That is more of a personal preference on my part.



RAM replacement / upgrade is possibly the easiest upgrade, but if the system only has 2 slots, and if you haven't done it before, then i'd get it straight from the company. It will cost about ~$100 to go that route, but will save you the trouble.



the performance difference between 2.1GHz and 2.6 is pretty small. I doubt you would notice the speed difference. Render times over 5 hours might be noticable but only different by a few minutes.



Good idea. It should work well for that.



I'm out of time today (have to get to working on a photo montage for wedding next weekend). Don't buy it just yet (if you can wait). I'll get back with you on Monday.

jason
Yes I can wait till monday.

Dude you have been a great help Thank you So much. I would of done so many mistakes if it werent for you.

Here is some more info: most likely I'll be buying an external hard drive so I don't need a huge one inside the computer as long as it runs on 7200 rpms. Right now alienware comes with a 256MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7600 graphics card is it a smart move to upgrade to 256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1800 for 150 more. I need vegas doesnt depend on graphic cards right now, but for future prove.

You have said this before "gigabit network (must have gigabit for transfering 80GB of video) need gigabit switch and card on other system)" What is that? HOw do I get it?

am I correct on this I was checking the alienware website and is I buy the three year insurance the OS dvd is included is that correct.

I was doing some major research online and I can across this.

Format ---- Data rate (Mbps) ---- GB per hour of video Uncompressed 10-bit formats

1280 x 720/24p 4:2:0 -- 332 -- 146
1280 x 720/60p 4:2:0 -- 818 --- 364

Thats a lot most of the time I will be editing about 1 or 2 hours of hd video at max. Even though I will be buying a 750GB external hard drive (I got it cheap at compusa for 315.00) can I edit the video if it's store on the external hard drive and vegas is install on the internal hard drive if not how many GB of storage do I need as internal hard drive to edit about an hour to 2 hours of hd video.

Last edited by Martin King; January 21st, 2007 at 01:17 PM.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
Right now alienware comes with a 256MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7600 graphics card is it a smart move to upgrade to 256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1800 for 150 more. I need vegas doesnt depend on graphic cards right now, but for future prove.
I don't know that vegas has any plans to ever switch from their software only model. An entirely SW driven program makes it easier to program, instead of relying on hardware functionality (which means the driver version might mess up the software).

I don't think the extra $150 is all that important. Go hit up TomsHardware or some of the other sites if you want to see functionality comparison's between the two graphics chip sets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
You have said this before "gigabit network (must have gigabit for transfering 80GB of video) need gigabit switch and card on other system)" What is that? HOw do I get it?
This only matters if you will be using several different computers to render your final output. Since you will only have one system, don't worry about this at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin King
am I correct on this I was checking the alienware website and is I buy the three year insurance the OS dvd is included is that correct.
I haven't looked at their site for that info, but in any case the $20 for the respawn CD is worth its weight in GOLD as far as saving frustrations. A MUST have in my book.

The external HD will be a great asset for your work and since you won't be holding more than an hr or so of raw footage an internal HD of about 100GB should be plenty.

jason
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 12:08 PM   #27
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little more research

>>I basically want a laptop just cause of the space saver.

I just noticed this comment you made a while ago in this thread. If you don't expect to need to move your system to different locations, then you will definantly be able to get more performance for less money out of a desktop.

I have to move me system to client locations for demos, etc so I needed a mobile system. But if you will be editing from a fixed location (like most people) then consider simplifying your system (and don't get an alienware desktop, they are horribly overpriced)

If you have your heart set on a mobile system, then go for it. I did and enjoyed it. But I could have gotten better performance for abut $1000 less if I went with a desktop tower solution. I probably would have built my own system using Dual Core 2 Duos (yes that means 4 processor cores) 4GB of RAM and a Matrox graphics card so I could do quad monitors.

But like i mentioned before, i'm not hesitant to buy a computer piece by piece and you mentioned that you haven't done that. That being the case, something like this might be a good option. Dual Core Xeon (4MB cache instead of the Core 2 Duo which has 2MB cache).

Customize it to the specs you like and see if the trade off in size vs a laptop is what you would like.

jason
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 12:40 PM   #28
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worksatation

For example, I just went to HP.com and configured an xw6400. These are NICE systems. An of HP workstations are going to last a long time. I worked at HP for 4 years and we were still using the first generation Dual PII systems with Win2K because they are still powerful and well built.

Just another piece of food for thought.

jason
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 01:30 PM   #29
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CPU comparison

Here is a good processor comparison chart from Toms Hardware.

The executive summary:
the shorter the time needed to turn raw footage into encoded HDV, the better. Core 2 Extreme wins by a nose, but Core 2 duo is next followed closely by athlon FX-62 (10 seconds behind). but the Quad core intel (Core 2 QX6700) is a full minute faster than anything else. But you will need about $500 to buy just the CPU.

in almost all the graphics encoding, converting, rendering, etc benchmarks, the quad core is first or second (Divx, Xvid, MPEG, Mp3, WMV, etc etc).

Essentially, buy a core 2 duo for best performance with out going crazy. If you want to go crazy, get the new quad core for the absolute fastest video rendering.

jason
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 01:44 PM   #30
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How about using a laptop as a field monitor? What attributes should be considered? I have a 720p camera.
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