Advice needed on laptop mainly for video editing

  indri 19:31 07 Nov 05
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I am looking for my first laptop to supplement an existing desktop. I don't play any games (except an occasional dip into Flight Sim) but need it primarily for video editing.
Have read many threads which suggest that. for video editing, a graphics card is not as important as memory (which needs to be at least 1 Gb) and an HDD with a speed of 7200. Also higher screen res (1680x1050) seems sensible. I guess most processors will hack it these days (my desktop was top of the range 3 years ago @ 1.6Ghz and it seems to cope). Are the above assumptions roughly right?

Have been looking at the Evesham c510 [Pentium M750 1.86Ghz; 1Gb RAM; 60Gb (7200 rpm) HDD; 15.4 Screen (1680x1050); 128MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 6600 PCI Express graphics]. My main pc has enough "off-line" disc space to back up the laptop's 60Gb once videos have been processed.

The Evesham gets excellent reviews in PCA etc. but comes in at £1,174 which is more than I was planning to spend. However, am getting v. confused as to what is the minimum spec I actually "need" for my requirements and whether for instance the Rock Quaddra 64 AMD 3400+ (at £941) will do the job adequately [AMD Athlon 64 3400+ Processor; 1Gb DDR400 RAM; 60GB 7200rpm HDD; 17.0" WXGA+ TFT Screen (1440 x 900); 128Mb ATI Radeon Mobility 9700 Graphics]

If anyone can give advice as to what sort of minimum spec I should be looking for, I would be v. grateful. Also anyone's views on Rock's after sales support etc. I have an Evesham shop nearby which might make it easier if anything goes wrong.

  ade.h 21:26 07 Nov 05

I put this to a pro video-editing buddy who does most of his work on location. He said that the Evesham spec should be up to the task. It's probably about what you'd need to spend for comfort.

The 7200rpm drive is exceptional for a notebook; I've not seen many with this speed, as 5400 or even 4200 are the norm. If you choose the Rock, you may find that the memory is not quite as quick as you'd like. DDR2 533 (PC2-4200) is best if you can get it. (Note that DDR2 is no faster than DDR, but is common in the latest notebooks because of its lower power consumption).

  indri 22:39 07 Nov 05

Thanks ade.h. V. helpful. If anyone else has any comments to guide a novice through the maze ....

  adihead 17:26 14 Nov 05

I was told by videoguys.com and by others that a video card with dedicated memory in a laptop has no real significance for video editing as long as you don't use 3D transitions. with desktop computers it is highly reccommended to use a seperate video card and not one that is attached to the motherboard (on-board card). but as i was told, in laptop world, all video cards are attached directly onto the motherboard and are in a way onboard video cards. so with laptop video editing, any videocard will be fine. as i said before, this is what i was told. i have no clue as to how accurate this is, but videoguys are supposed to be NLE experts.
if someone differs, i'd like to know. will be ordering laptop within a couple of days.
thanks

  Pamy 17:40 14 Nov 05

Having got your video onto your laptop and edited it etc. have you thought about how you are going to get it off? to where to what?

Pamy

  ade.h 19:23 14 Nov 05

Adihead has that about right; video-editing is essentially a 2D activity, albeit a very intensive one, so RAM (quantity and speed) and hard disk (capacity and speed) are more important. A large level 2 cache would be very advantageous as well, so it's lucky that Pentium Ms have 2MB of it.

  ade.h 19:24 14 Nov 05

The now-ubiquitous multi-format DVD writer should see to that. Or maybe a file-transfer through an ethernet cable.

  indri 20:09 14 Nov 05

Have opted for the Evesham - and from what you guys have said, and what they told me, it seems like a sound decision. So Time will tell! In terms of getting stuff off, as well as the DVD writer, I have a read/write camera, my main desktop with 200 Gb and an Iomega REV Drive at 35Gb per cartridge (well worth the investment if you want to hang on to your original DV edited files). Many thanks to you all for your help.

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