Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
Laptop recommendation

 


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Jan 8, 2014, 2:58 AM
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Am looking to get a laptop and wondering what others are using to edit video...

I normally use a desktop to edit on (2008 era, Core 2 Quad CPU + 4GB RAM) and am wondering what specs I should be looking at in a laptop to be able to edit HD video from GoPro, CX100, etc.
I am trying to make it as cheap as possible. :)
It doesn't need to be the fastest thing out there, just needs to be able to do it without shitting itself.

Is there a bare minimum I should be looking at in terms of CPU? - Core i5 or i7?


Zlew  (D 21616)

Jan 8, 2014, 7:06 AM
Post #2 of 16 (2807 views)
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If you are looking at bare minimum, i5 with decent ram should work for you. The i5 should out perform you crore2.

In a very stripped down way- For video render speed the things you want are processor power (and/or #cores), enough ram (might consider 64 bit OS to get you beyond the 4gig limit), and enough drive space to read/write.


freakflyer9999  (D 99999)

Jan 8, 2014, 8:54 AM
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I bought an I7 with 16GB of ram, but didn't think about the hard drive. The drive that came with it is slower. Now I'm looking to upgrade the drive probably to solid state. I tried a solid state hybrid drive but then discovered that the fine print in the documentation doesn't recommend it for video editing (though there are some other advantages to the SSHD).
I noticed that the video editing software doesn't really take advantage of the large amount of RAM that I have so I used some of the excess to create a RAM drive. This works fairly well, but of course at some point I still have to copy the video to another drive for storage. It also somewhat limits the size of the video file that I work on but for skydiving videos this generally isn't an issue.
I still have some testing to do before I determine my optimum setup, but I think it will end up being a SSD possibly utilizing the RAM drive as well and copying the finished product to external storage.
With all that said, I only do video for my own enjoyment. I'm not trying to shoot and edit video for tandem customers on the fly at the moment.


(This post was edited by freakflyer9999 on Jan 8, 2014, 8:54 AM)


BMFin

Jan 8, 2014, 12:17 PM
Post #4 of 16 (2681 views)
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Dont forget a good display.

I have a 13 inch macbook pro retina.

I love it. The 2560x1600 retina display is just magnificent for editing photos or video. The 13 inch is very portable, but when you get home you can hook it up with 2 external 2,5k displays.

I think this is the best laptop at the market right now.


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Jan 8, 2014, 1:37 PM
Post #5 of 16 (2657 views)
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Thanks all, that's helpful. :)

So - SSDs are fine for video editing (I'd presume with a secondary drive for storage) but the SSHDs have issues?

I'm aware that with FAT32 formatting you can't have files over 4GB, is it something like that?


freakflyer9999  (D 99999)

Jan 9, 2014, 7:01 AM
Post #6 of 16 (2540 views)
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johnmatrix wrote:
Thanks all, that's helpful. :)

So - SSDs are fine for video editing (I'd presume with a secondary drive for storage) but the SSHDs have issues?

I'm aware that with FAT32 formatting you can't have files over 4GB, is it something like that?

From my research the vendor literature recommends SSDs for video editing. The SSHD on the other hand specifically has a disclaimer in their documentation stating that video editing isn't recommended. The issue with the SSHD is that video editing doesn't take advantage of the solid state storage built in to it and therefore the task is relegated to the much slower 5400 rpm drive. The hybrid drive has an algorithm that selects frequently used data (I assume at the sector level) to place on the limited (8gb) solid state portion of the drive. Large sequential file handling is done on the hard drive.
This morning I did discover a Western Digital drive that combines a 120GB SSD with a 1TB hard drive into one unit. It installs as two separate volumes with the OS, etc on the SSD portion. Not sure how much space would be available to perform video editing, but it should be doable. Of course there wouldn't be enough space to keep the final results there, but it would be simple to move it to the hard drive when done. I like this solution, but wish that the SSD drive were larger.


(This post was edited by freakflyer9999 on Jan 9, 2014, 7:03 AM)


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Jan 9, 2014, 1:07 PM
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Thanks, that's interesting. :)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jan 10, 2014, 8:19 AM
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The hybrid is all but useless for large file block processing by comparison.
Although I'm a Mac user, I'm not a fan of Apple for video editing unless forced to use it by a client or producer. That said, having been dumb enough to order a hybrid (kept for about two weeks) the way that allocations are made makes it exceptionally slow for editing.Unsure


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Jan 11, 2014, 6:09 AM
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When your saying hybrid are you referring to sshd?


Zlew  (D 21616)

Jan 11, 2014, 11:52 AM
Post #10 of 16 (2146 views)
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http://www.newegg.com/...Item=N82E16822178380


One of these guys. They are kinda new... the idea is a standard hard drive that has a small-ish flash memory potion that intelligently leans what you use most often. So things like your os and common programs get cached on the flash memory. The idea is that it will boot up and load programs with near ssd speed, but you have standard HD space. Best of both worlds is the selling point. I hear very mixed results. I'm currently using a raid 0 ssd c drive with o's and programs, and have standard hard drives for my storage.


freefalljason  (D 26672)

Jan 11, 2014, 3:05 PM
Post #11 of 16 (2104 views)
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I've got an HP i7 laptop that renders and burns just as fast as my custom built editing machine with a 6 core AMD processor.

Here are a couple of good deals that i found with a quick search:

http://www.staples.com/...t_49556#revs_content
edit* this price expires today : (


http://www.bestbuy.com/...9#tab=specifications

hope this helps. Blue Skies,
Jason


(This post was edited by freefalljason on Jan 11, 2014, 3:07 PM)


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Jan 12, 2014, 7:35 AM
Post #12 of 16 (2004 views)
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So would a regular hard drive be better than the hybrid?


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Jan 12, 2014, 1:24 PM
Post #13 of 16 (1933 views)
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Thanks!
I'm surprised at the amount of RAM in these things now. I know it's cheap, but 12GB?? I would have thought half that would be sufficient for almost anything.


freakflyer9999  (D 99999)

Jan 13, 2014, 5:18 AM
Post #14 of 16 (1849 views)
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DBCOOPER wrote:
So would a regular hard drive be better than the hybrid?

Yes and no. The hybrid drive from Seagate has a slower hard drive. The documentation with the drive specifically states that it isn't recommended for video editing.

Bottomline is that it wouldn't be any worse than a regular slower hard drive unless the algorithm they use slows up access even further when doing large sequential writes.


freakflyer9999  (D 99999)

Jan 13, 2014, 5:20 AM
Post #15 of 16 (1848 views)
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johnmatrix wrote:
Thanks!
I'm surprised at the amount of RAM in these things now. I know it's cheap, but 12GB?? I would have thought half that would be sufficient for almost anything.

Thinking more is better and with the cheap memory available I ordered my laptop with 16GB. Unfortunately, the software really doesn't take advantage of it. When running video editing software, memory usage rarely goes above 3GB on my system.


goobersnuftda  (D License)

Feb 4, 2014, 8:03 PM
Post #16 of 16 (1466 views)
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#1 rule, if you absolutely need a laptop to video edit do NOT be a cheap ass. Desktops rock and have unlimited power to draw from, portable laptops do not. There is need, then there is want. The $$$ separates the men from the boys.

I bought my unit 2 years ago and it is so powerful that not only does it do video editing but way beyond that it has done some awesome Adobe After Effects projects while at the boogies. A real good AE project at home may take 5 hours to render but this machine can do it in 7 (overnight who cares).

Clicky

They key is to stay with true blue Intel. Get rid of that AMD optimized for power consumption CPU. I3 (garbage), I5 (still crap) go all out and get the I7. Next up get as much RAM as possible. Lastly get rid of those things that are power wasters namely spinning disks around (hard drive and DVD drive).

That Toshiba Protege only has a SSD and man that puppy rocks. HDMI out and USB 3.0 for fast file transfers. The fingerprint lock is 100% accurate and works every single time. Tired of the students standing around watching the password being used. Also has a security port to lock it down with a cable.

Adobe CS5 (Premiere Pro, After Effects etc.) and even with some rocking AE plugins (Element 3D, Trapcode, Knoll Light Factory...) I am amazed at what this small insanely light unit can do.

Only draw back is that the battery is not removable. I use it to watch movies on for those stupidly long flights over seas.

I now see they have come out with a Z930 with 8GB ram and a bigger SSD. Top end i7 business model still tops out at around $2,000. Wow, after all that I am real curious to see who really "needs" a laptop to render :)
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