Need laptop advice for editing on the go

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    • #40505
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi All,

      I am looking for a good laptop for editing HD videos on the go. Here are some of my criteria:

      Run Pinnacle Stuido version 10 or higher, efficiently.

      Ideally a smaller laptop for increased portability (screen size is not really important)

      Budget of around $500.

      What kind of processor should I go with, Intel or AMD? Do I need dual core? How much RAMshould I target? Does an integrated card with maxed out memory work ok, or should I fork up more money and get a laptop with a dedicated card? Any brand names I should gravitate towards, or stay away from? 32 bit or 64 bit OS? Is it worthwhile getting a Windows 7 laptop, or should I take advantage of sales on Vista based systems?

      Any practical suggestions that you can share would be greatly appreciated!

      Thx,

      -BTS

    • #173825
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey, you definitely want dual core because it will add stability to the labor-intensive programs such as editing. Intel or AMD is usually a matter of personal preference, I would look to see which gives you the most bang for your buck. I have found AMD to be more stable, but intel is typically faster. That being said, I prefer the stability for my rigs. Unless you are trying to run every application for pinnacle at once, you should be ok with an integrated card, but if you are using (or planning to) HD, you will want the dedicated. I say go for the 64-bit because more and more programs are coming out with compatibility with each passing day. Every computer bought between a few months ago and a few months from now (I don’t know the actual dates, I think it’s something like from april till the end of the year) comes with a free windows seven upgrade, so take advantage of the discount to vista machines and make the switch before you even touch vista. As for brand names, I have always liked HP and Gateway, but I don’t have any loyalties because it all comes down to cold-hard figures.

      Hope this helps.

    • #173826
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      It does, thanks! I’m editing HD, and my old laptop can’t handle it, hence the new investment. I will keep an eye open for a 64 bit system with a dedicated card and a dual-core processor.

      What about open box or refurbished laptops? Should I stay away from those? Is there a higher risk for quality problems due to the portable nature ofa laptop and the possibility of them getting beaten up pretty easily?

    • #173827
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      BTS,

      I won’t rehash the good info TD gave you. Concerning a refurb’d rig… eh… it depends on how broke you are. I mean if you’re really strapped into your budget a refurb might be okay. If you don’t want to go with a pricey pre-built from one of the brand names, my suggestion is a built-to-order laptop. Off the top of my head, Tiger Direct’s Systemax line of B2O’s are inexpensive and well made for the money. Plus since they are intended as a workstation-style computer, they won’t have all of that goofy bundled software and trial crap loaded in. Figure out the size of the screen you want (15″ or better for editing) and the kind of input/outputs you need (i.e. USB, firewire, eSATA, LAN, etc.) Definitely go with 64-bit and pack as big a harddrive and as much RAM in it as you can afford (or it will hold.)

      If you’re just trying to get the work done, worrying about what brand symbol sits proudly atop your rig shouldn’t be a concern. Unfortunately, laptops are notoriously good for a max 3 years before the technology becomes obsolete or the unit fails. Spend only that which you need so that a) the unit will pay for itself quickly and b) when it becomes obsolete you won’t lament over having to ‘can’ it.

    • #173828
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks composite1, good advice! I’ve been browsing the refurbs at new egg and tiger direct, and it looks like there are some good deals on nice machines that would save me upwards of $250. It’s not as much of a question of being strapped for cash as it is your summary: best bang for the buck and no regrets when the unit eventually craps out.

      Any other outlets you’d recommend besides tiger direct and new egg? Will I regret going with integrated grahics? It seems like the choice of dedicated card machines is limited, at best…

      Thanks again! Appreciate the help.

    • #173829
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      “Any other outlets you’d recommend besides tiger direct and new egg? Will I regret going with integrated grahics?”

      BTS,

      There are many other outlets that make B2O network grade laptops. I recommended TD because I’ve use their Systemax line and have had zero problems. If you’re into all of that ‘buyer’s experience’ like with Mac, HP or Dell, don’t go down this road. B20’s are plain workhorses that are just there to get the job done. Definitely get a GPU. Integrated graphics are not designed to handle the demands of NLE or animation software will make upon them.

      Besides, you really want to have a desktop as your main editor and a laptop as field editor. Your field editor should be capable of doing baseline edits and some motion graphics. Save the hardcore rendering and FX generating for the desktop. No matter what brand of laptop you get, it will not be as robust as a desktop. So the harder you push it in the field the more likely it will fail.

      Other outfits you can look at are; falcon-nw.com & alienware.com. Those are the only ones outside of the Systemax line I’ve heard good reviews about or put hands on one of their units. Be advised: Alienware is pricey and last time I checked you couldn’t get Vista Biz on one of their units. It may be the same with Win 7. Unless you plan on using your laptop as a media center, don’t waste the cash on Ultimate. The Win Pro versions always have stripped down software and computer controls you would expect a pro OS to have. That and they’re always cheaper than the ‘whiz bang’ version.

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