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-   -   best laptop for avid xpress dv (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/avid-editing-family/7142-best-laptop-avid-xpress-dv.html)

Skye Giebink February 22nd, 2003 02:57 PM

best laptop for avid xpress dv
What is the best performance in a laptop for Avid Xpress DV? Also, what is the best bang for your buck? My choices (that I'm aware of, open to suggestions) are:

(All laptops I would max out the RAM and choose the fastest clock speed of each model...)

Alienware Area-51m

Sony Vaio GRZ-600p6
(their website is currently down, please check out sonystyle.com and then grz series in notebooks)

Dell Inspiron 8200

Gateway 600XL

There are also Toshiba, Compaq, etc. that (if you think are the best) I hope you will point me to. I like the Area-51m because it has a good graphics card and video memory, I like the Vaio because it has a built in DVD-RW burner, but not as good of a graphics card and video memory (but it is pretty cheap). Please let me know what you think or point me to some reviews or comparisons on the web. Thanks in advance!

Richard Alvarez February 22nd, 2003 05:38 PM

I use XpressDv on a desktop turnkey, so I can't speak from experience. But there are plenty of people on the Avid Forun who use laptops. Seems to me getting the right firewire card is crucial, but other folks can update you on that.



Jeff Donald February 22nd, 2003 07:33 PM

I'm not a big fan of editing on laptops. I guess I'm just too comfortable with my dual screen desktop. I've tried logging and editing on laptops for almost 10 years. The screen is just too small. Well, I'm biting the laptop bullet again, but this time with a 17 inch screen. I also like the idea of a built in DVD burner.

Rob Lohman February 23rd, 2003 06:37 AM

I have a 15.1 inch screen on my laptop (Dell Latitude) and it
provides me with 1400x1050 pixels. I must say that editing is
pretty sweet on this machine.

The only gripes that I have is that since I'm running Windows 2000
professional (and I like that very much) it does not support
multiple monitors on a single videocard (which the Dell should
be able to handle). XP might and I know Windows 98 does for

I'm thinking about upgrading to XP after some projects from work
cool down a bit. The system needs a clean install anyway. And
if dual out on this laptop does not work with XP I'll go back to
Windows 2000.

On my previous laptop (which was a Compaq) I had a monitor
hooked up and could use dual screen with my Windows 98.
Which was great for my professional programming job. Help and
other information on one screen and my code on the other.

Skye Giebink February 23rd, 2003 12:47 PM

Thanks, guys! Well, besides screen size, has anyone had good luck with certain notebooks or the ones I mentioned? Will I need to modify them in any way (ie graphics card, FW card, anything)? If so, what's the best choice?

Jeff Donald February 23rd, 2003 01:27 PM

I would max out the ram on whatever laptop you get. Video editing is not graphics card intensive. I would spend extra money on ram, bigger hard drive, external firewire hard drive (FireWire 800 if you're preparing for the future), and external monitor. I would only upgrade the video card if the stock one does not support dual monitors. Some laptops don't support dual monitors (they mirror the laptop monitor). So if that is an important feature double check to be sure your choice supports it.

Mike Rehmus February 23rd, 2003 01:31 PM

Doesn't AVID still specify exactly which manufacturer and model of laptop is approved for use with their software? In the beginning, Dell was the only approved laptop.

Will AVID provide support if you don't use approved hardware to host their software? Or if they do, are you leaving yourself open to a lot of finger pointing?

I have no experience with AVID so I don't know first hand what their support policies are.

Jeff Donald February 23rd, 2003 01:45 PM

Avid support has changed over the years as the market has changed. It used to be that the whole work station had to come from a VAR (of course Avid approved) or there was no support. But with Avid going after lower end markets they have had to shift their focus and change their policies. However, if the product is not on their list of certified hardware, you may be left with little or no support. Higher end products may still require specific hardware and vendors.

Rob Lohman February 23rd, 2003 06:07 PM

To answer your question, my DELL Latitude works fine with NLE.
It has a built in firewire connector and I'm running Windows 2000
Professional on it off an NTFS internal drive. As suggested I would
get enough ram (at least 512 mb) and enough drive space. Since
you are probably using a firewire port to connect your camera
another firewire harddisk might not be an option? I also hear there
are firewire drives to which you can connect your camera, so
then it is no problem (I don't know for sure, since I've never
used such products. Perhaps someone else will verify this or
put me at my place). There are also firewire cases available
in which you can house a standard IDE harddisk. This will be a
lot cheaper than the small harddisks that go into a laptop!

Resolution is another thing that is nice to have much off. Do
make sure if you want dual monitor support that you actually
see this working (as I pointed out earlier, to my knowledge this
is impossible to do with Windows 2000 on a laptop).

Skye Giebink February 23rd, 2003 06:21 PM

Well, yes I use FW to connect my Sony DCR-TRV140 Digital-8 camcorder and I already have a 7200rpm 80GB external FW hard drive, which I use to store all of my projects and media. Is 512MB of RAM really enough to take full advantage of Avid Xpress DV's real-time effects? With FCP, more RAM opens up more real-time editing opportunities. There seem to be a couple of good contenders for laptops: the Toshiba Satellite 2455 and the Sony Vaio GRZ600p6. Both have DVD-RW/CD-RW burners built-in, both are $2100, the Satellite has a 60GB hard drive (although it's 4200rpm) and the Vaio has a 40GB hard drive in it (it doesn't say what the rpm is on it). Another difference is the graphics cards. The Toshiba has an NVIDIA Geforce4 420 Go/32MB video RAM, and the Vaio has an ATI RADEON 7500C/32MB video RAM. I'm not even sure if they are compatible with Avid Xpress DV, but (if they are) which one looks like the best bet? Thanks!

Richard Alvarez February 23rd, 2003 07:53 PM


512 megs of ddram is good, a gig is better.

Like I said, I have a desktop turnkey, Dual Athlons, 40 gig system drive, DUAL 120 gig hard drives for media, ads pyro card, Pioneer a04 super drive, Matrox 550, Canopus advc100 for my analogue conversions... Along with the Avid XpressDv powerpack (And all the goodies) the whole thing was 5 grand... ready to rock and roll out of the box.

Are you sure a "laptop" is necessary, once you start adding exterior drives and extra monitors..., it doesn't all fit on your lap does it?

(Or hey, maybe it will.. I'm not passing judgement here!)

Skye Giebink February 23rd, 2003 09:51 PM

Haha no harm done. I don't really *need* a laptop but it would certainly be handy to be able to bring my computer anywhere, if not even doing extensive editing. The extra monitor would be just for my desk and the hard drive... well, like I said, I'm not always editing...

Don Berube February 23rd, 2003 10:51 PM

Try and get one that has a *6-pin* IEEE1394 port, rather than just a 4-pin port. That will save you a lot of hassle when trying to run anything that requires power from the port - a 4-pin port will NOT pass power to the DV device.

In any case, the AMS drive case
from FireWire Depot (fwdepot.com) is very handy. The case itself has the Rockford 911 chipset, which is what you want.
I just outfitted mine with a Hitachi 60gb drive from transIntl.com.

- don

Rob Lohman February 24th, 2003 04:51 PM

I can tell you that my laptop has a 4 (FOUR) pin connector and
not a 6. I cannot remember seeing laptops that carry 6 pin
connectors. This might be an important thing indeed if you want
to hook up firewire drives!

Don Berube February 24th, 2003 05:01 PM

Well, don't forget that all iBooks and PowerBooks (since the Pismo) have standard 6-pin FireWire ports as standard. :o)

- don

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