Laptop upgrade for video editing – low budget disk setup?

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    • #82011

      Hi Everyone,


      I have read many great posts in this forum and feel quite motivated to editing my amateur videos.


      I am seeking advice on upgrading my laptop in order to start using Premiere Pro and After Effects. My laptop is quite old and weak (maybe too weak) for Premiere Pro/After Effects in terms of usability. Before I start investing in new PC, I would like to give my current laptop a try. I am wondering if proper disk setup (scratch disk) would make a difference.

      My budget would allow me to choose one of the below options:

      a)one external ~128 GB SSD drive (USB 3 or eSATA),

      b)one 7200 rpm external HDD (USB 3 or eSATA), eventually TWO

      c)other disk setup suggestions within such budget?

      d)other non-disk setup related suggestions?


      I produce 1080p videos, up to ~5 minutes duration in Gopro studio 2.0.


      My current laptop specs:

      Dell Studio 1555

      Processor: Core 2 Duo 2,4 GHz

      RAM: 4GB

      1 HDD: 500 GB 7200 rpm 16 mb cache sata

      1 external 1TB 5200 rpm HDD USB 3 (I use it for backup at the moment)

      ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 512 MB


      USB 3 (will use a epxress card with USB 3)


      Thanks in advance for your suggestions,

    • #211350

      I am also considering a similar decision.  I've been leaning towards what you indicate is your (a) consideration.  I tried Premier and After Effects but It wasn't on a laptop, it was on a desktop with similar specs as ur laptop: processor (2.4Ghz/duo-core), slightly more RAM (8 GB) and a 1 TB 7200 HD etc etc..


      I personally wasn't too enamored if you want to hear the truth.  I was using it on X64 architecture machine in Win 7, if that matters at all, and the bottom line is I still noticed lags.  What I found out was that this was to be expected unless/until I upgraded to a premium level video card, which- if you are familiar with- usually requires upgrading an existing stock power supply unit- typically either a 200W, 250W, or 300W (watts) to at least 400W or 500W and in some cases as high as 600W, and that's not an exaggeration.


      In a nutshell, for true high-caliber, all-out video production you must have the necessary support hardware —- not just at the bare minimums where the software doesn't refuse to install at all (it does install) and it does come on and it does work,,, to a point…


      You are already editing,, so you are familiar with "rendering output speed"..  It's a real thorn in your side if after you invested time to edit your footage then have to wait for what seems like forever and a day for a final edit rendering to complete.


      If you are expecting to produce outputs rendered in actual 1920 X 1080P I will tell you RIGHT NOW that unless you have a pretty good video card even a little 5 minute video can take a longass time to render (like 30 to 45 minutes) and the more plug-ins you use or FX you use (which causes the encoder to use larger & more complex algorhythms) stuff like decreasing the clip speed from original speed to 80% for a slightly slow-motion effect… even simple little touches like that you WILL see a noticable performance impact…


      Check your motherboard specs and video swapout compatibility THOROUGHLY…

      and see IF YOU EVEN CAN update your video card capability before you invest in other areas of concern.   Not all laptops (some do some don't) are built where you can access or upgrade your laptop's video card graphics capability.. You might have a model where your stuck with whatever video card came built-in and that's it (no upgrade oppty possible)..


      I shared this with you because that's what I went through about a year ago, and why I decided, that if I was going to get into higher-end video edit software (I already use stuff like Magix, and Corel MotionStudio 3D, etc etc, which are convenient and okay for small projects but don't have the array & selection of possible plug-ins and add-ons as Adobe does cuz everyone is on the Adobe bandwagon and that's who they're coding most of their stuff for, at least that's what it seems like to me..) I am not going to kid myself that my laptop is even close up to task for that kind of jobs..


      Don't take it lightly… seriously… you need a really good video card and a strong power supply.. think about what you're asking you're system to do… I can tell by your post ur not stupid….   but we all sometimes can get in a hurry and look for a "shortcut"…. don't fall for it this time… save up your $$ a little more if that's what it takes… you'll be patting urself on the shoulder later.. that much I know as fact…

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