Gaming Laptops vs Workstation Laptops - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-05-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there a difference between "gaming" laptops and video "workstation" laptops?

I've bought a lot of computers, including ones that ran MSDOS and never saw any windows. Now, I'm trying to find one that is better equipped for video editing. My current computer has a slower drive, an i5 chip, 8 GB memory and no video card. I may be getting Premier Pro and want it to work well.

Adobe's requirements aren't very high. They include:
-Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II processor; 64-bit support required
-Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (64 bit)
-4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
-7200 RPM hard drive (multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured, recommended)
-Optional: Adobe-certified GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance

It seems that if there is an i7 processor, lots of RAM, a 7200 RPM HDD and a GPU, it is marketed as a "gamer's" machine and there are lots of them. Searching for "laptop video workstations" there are only a few, and they are expensive.

People that post about building their own video computers put together some amazing combinations of components in towers. I travel too much for that.

What am I missing? Any suggestions for specific makes and models?

Thanks.

Bill
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-05-2012, 10:34 AM
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I believe that 'gamer' laptops generally means that it has a dedicated graphics chip (as opposed to integrated) and usually a bigger screen.

Unless you are using Premier Pro which uses the mercury engine to take advantage of high end nvidia CUDA processing you might not get much more performance than a fast Ivy Bridge chip with integrated graphics. You should also strive to get a large, fast hard drive. SSD is not considered the best solution for video editing.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-06-2012, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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It is Premier Pro that I am interested in.

Thanks for the tip. Although, I had heard the term "Ivy Bridge", I didn't make the connection. Googling "Ivy Bridge Laptops", I learned that it means third generation quad core. "Sandy Bridge" means 2nd generation. Ivy Bridge laptops are only now appearing. Making it more confusing there can be i3, i5 or i7 and all be "Ivy Bridge".

At Best Buy yesterday I found an ASUS with a Sandy Bridge, an Nivida graphics chip, 12 GB of memory and two 500GB drives. But the drives were 5400 RPM, not the Adobe suggested 7200.

I seem to shop for computers about every 5 years. It takes a few weeks to catch up on what's what.

Bill
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-07-2012, 07:35 AM
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SSD is really the ONLY way to video edit now. RAID arrays are dead, defunct, NADA now ! I have been using a SSD for 8 months now - there is no going back !

I has a custom laptop built up for me to my specs, based on the CLEVO P150 15" chassis:

512GB MICRON / CRUCIAL M4/C400 SSD
i7 2960 XM (has hyper threading - ie 8 virtual cores) (SANDYBRIDGE)
Gforce GTX580M GPU
16GB 1600MHz RAM - you will need all this ram for rendering previews
2x USB 3 ports
DVI monitor port & a separate HDMI port
anti glare matt screen 87% RGB gamut
Blu-ray burner
Wifi & Blutooth

There are at least 20 custom lappy builders using this chassis. eg SAGER

Why all this horse power ? My work flow de-noises the clip in Adobe After Effects 5.5 or Premier Pro 5.5 using the NEAT VIDEO plugin and save to incompressed upscaled 32bit (huuuge) file prior to other effexts, eg STABILIZING. With my GPU over-clocked about 20% and on the verge of crashing, this denoising is about 7.5 fps, is still not exactly realtime. My friend has severly overclocked desktop i7960 and he manages 12 fps for the same denoising. I understand that the i7 3960 XM (IVY BRIDGE) is about 7% faster.

My lappy can render upto 7x simple PP or AE effects in real time ! - use the HDMI and watch it on my TV in real time.

A much cheaper option would be to buy the fastest Dell or Toshiba lappy you can, with a CUDA GPU (any GForce GPU with 1GB of RAM, ie the GTx 460 or better) and have a SSD installed by the supplier. I currently recommend the Samsung 512GB 830 Series Internal 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/845683-REG/Samsung_MZ_7PC512B_WW_512GB_SSD_830_SERIES_INTERNAL.html - fast read and write. Beware that a regular lappy is not designed for continuous 100% loading, but the CLEVO based lappys are. The Alienware (DELL) are worth looking @ too.

Why an SSD ? your editing software reads, processes, then writes. With a mecanical HDD, the last thing you want to do is read and write to the same physical HDD (partitions mean nothing) - the heads vibrate like mad, and after a while there is no sound, and trust me, that is not good at all ! With a SSD, I read a and write to the same drive all the time - is fantasticaly liberating ! Group all you project files in the same place - makes life easy. And SSDs are lighter ina laptop, and only use about 5W max - ie, longer battery life.

Many laptops do not have a DVI monitor output, only HDMI. When video editing, I have a 30" Dell (calibrated & 100% RGB gamut) plugged in to the DVI - this lets me run the 1080p preview clip in a window without scaling, and my common tool bars areastill visible. I can also have my TV connected the HDMI to preview the clip on the TV - best of both worlds ! I definitly think 1x 30" monitor + TV is better than 2x 24" monitors.

Cheers
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-07-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Pepster

On Amazon there is an Asus G75VW-DS72 that seem to have almost everything on your list. Asus Laptop

17.3" Full HD (1920*1080)
Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz), which I think is 3rd generation Ivy Bridge
16GB DDR3
Nvidia GTX 670M 3G GDDR5
750GB 7200RPM
256G SSD
Blu-ray writer enabled DVD±RW/CD-RW
Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)/802.11BGN
HDMI
4 USB 3.0
Mini Displayport, what ever that is

The marketing suggests it's a "gamer", but the specs suggest it would edit video pretty well. And it is nice that it has a BD writer. Of course, the only thing wrong is that it is $2k price.

Bill
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