laptop recommendation for home video/photo edit

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

HI

I am in the market to upgrade my home computer. The primary
application is to do digital photo edit with Photoshop or MiniDV home
video edits with some software. In addition it will be used for
regular web browsing, occasional word processing and video games. The
photo/video edits are for personal use. So I dont want to spend for a
professional level setup. Mobility is required only within the house.
I will need wireless network access for mobility within the house. Not
planning to do streaming video or watch DVD movies on it.

I am starting to look around the web and the newsgroups to get
information on related issues. It will be great if experiened netters
can provide their comments/views on the laptop selection, primarily
the following

Brand name
Processor Brand/speed
RAM requirement
HD requirement
CD/DVD drive capability
wireless capability
Video processing software/interface card

I will post a summary for everyones benefit.

-Dipu
9 answers Last reply
More about laptop recommendation home video photo edit
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Dipu wrote:
    > HI
    >
    > I am in the market to upgrade my home computer. The primary
    > application is to do digital photo edit with Photoshop or MiniDV home
    > video edits with some software. In addition it will be used for
    > regular web browsing, occasional word processing and video games. The
    > photo/video edits are for personal use. So I dont want to spend for a
    > professional level setup. Mobility is required only within the house.
    > I will need wireless network access for mobility within the house. Not
    > planning to do streaming video or watch DVD movies on it.
    >
    > I am starting to look around the web and the newsgroups to get
    > information on related issues. It will be great if experiened netters
    > can provide their comments/views on the laptop selection, primarily
    > the following
    >
    > Brand name
    > Processor Brand/speed
    > RAM requirement
    > HD requirement
    > CD/DVD drive capability
    > wireless capability
    > Video processing software/interface card
    >
    > I will post a summary for everyones benefit.
    >
    > -Dipu

    Video card = 128 MB Radeon Mobility 9X00 or whatever is the latest. Find
    a laptop with a 5400 rpm HD, 7200 Hitachi or Toshiba if possible.
    Processor ?? but the Intel Mobil Pentium M (I think that is the correct
    nomenclature, i.e., Centrino CPU) at 1.7Ghz - although there are some
    nicely priced P4 2.6-3.0 Ghz CPUs. Make sure you get DVD writer of some
    format. Nice bright 14+ inch 1280x1024 screen.

    Now research the majors - Toshiba, IBM, HP, Compaq, Fujitsu, Dell, Sony,
    whatever.

    Q
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Dipu wrote:
    > HI
    >
    > I am in the market to upgrade my home computer. The primary
    > application is to do digital photo edit with Photoshop or MiniDV home
    > video edits with some software. In addition it will be used for
    > regular web browsing, occasional word processing and video games. The
    > photo/video edits are for personal use. So I dont want to spend for a
    > professional level setup. Mobility is required only within the house.
    > I will need wireless network access for mobility within the house. Not
    > planning to do streaming video or watch DVD movies on it.
    >
    > I am starting to look around the web and the newsgroups to get
    > information on related issues. It will be great if experiened netters
    > can provide their comments/views on the laptop selection, primarily
    > the following
    >
    > Brand name
    > Processor Brand/speed
    > RAM requirement
    > HD requirement
    > CD/DVD drive capability
    > wireless capability
    > Video processing software/interface card
    >
    > I will post a summary for everyones benefit.
    >
    > -Dipu

    I have been editing photos and home DV successfully for the last three years
    using ......

    Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with Pentium III 900 processor
    512MB RAM
    30GB 5,400 rpm disk
    32MB nVidia Geforce2go video card
    Win XP Pro (Win Me initially)
    Firewire port for capture and replay.
    DVD ROM
    CD/RW

    so that would be an OK minimum spec.

    DV takes huge amounts of disk space ~ 12GB per hour so you can reckon on
    needing ~ 24GB just to capture 60 mins of DV and then producing an edited
    file of up to 60 mins afterwards. Then you need space for system files,
    other docs and music etc.. I scrape by with 30GB, partitioned as 5GB for
    system files, programs etc. and 25 GB for docs and video. Keeping separate
    partitions also really helps in keeping files (especially DV files)
    defragmented and that is important on slower laptop drives. Try to get 5,400
    rpm as a minimum - I'm not sure whether 4,200 rpm is even up to the task.
    The Hitachi 7K60 7,200 rpm 60GB drive would be a very nice choice. Another
    option would be to have two hard drives, either internally (my Inspiron
    could be so configured, but isn't) or using an external drive.

    I don't find the CD/RW suitable for saving the finished product as either
    the quality is too poor or the time is too limited (very hard to fit 12GB
    onto a 700MB disc) so really a DVD writer is essential if you want to output
    to disc. That's something I'd like to have but will have to wait until I
    purchase my next laptop.

    I also have a wireless home network, using a Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL
    router and a 3Com PCMCIA card. This also supports my girfriend's Acer
    Ferrari, an old Inspiron 7000 and a hard-wired Xbox.

    If you have any specific questions then post back and I'll try to answer.

    --
    Please remove leading underscore to reply by email.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Tiny Tim" <_tim_dodd@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<jAiqc.5581$NK4.553963@stones.force9.net>...
    >
    > I have been editing photos and home DV successfully for the last three years
    > using ......
    >
    > Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with Pentium III 900 processor
    > 512MB RAM
    > 30GB 5,400 rpm disk
    > 32MB nVidia Geforce2go video card
    > Win XP Pro (Win Me initially)
    > Firewire port for capture and replay.
    > DVD ROM
    > CD/RW


    Thanks a lot for your comments. I have a couple of questions:

    1. What is the impact of the video card brand/memory on video editing.
    I know it is important for 3D games but not sure what it implies for
    video editing.
    2. Do I need to have to Firewire port or the DVD burner built into the
    laptop? Can I add them as add ons later? I am more used to adding
    interface card to desktops. I am not sure how that works in laptops.
    3. How do you compress the video for 700 MB CDs? Is it in VCD format?
    What tools do you use?

    Thanks.

    -Dipu


    >
    > so that would be an OK minimum spec.
    >
    > DV takes huge amounts of disk space ~ 12GB per hour so you can reckon on
    > needing ~ 24GB just to capture 60 mins of DV and then producing an edited
    > file of up to 60 mins afterwards. Then you need space for system files,
    > other docs and music etc.. I scrape by with 30GB, partitioned as 5GB for
    > system files, programs etc. and 25 GB for docs and video. Keeping separate
    > partitions also really helps in keeping files (especially DV files)
    > defragmented and that is important on slower laptop drives. Try to get 5,400
    > rpm as a minimum - I'm not sure whether 4,200 rpm is even up to the task.
    > The Hitachi 7K60 7,200 rpm 60GB drive would be a very nice choice. Another
    > option would be to have two hard drives, either internally (my Inspiron
    > could be so configured, but isn't) or using an external drive.
    >
    > I don't find the CD/RW suitable for saving the finished product as either
    > the quality is too poor or the time is too limited (very hard to fit 12GB
    > onto a 700MB disc) so really a DVD writer is essential if you want to output
    > to disc. That's something I'd like to have but will have to wait until I
    > purchase my next laptop.
    >
    > I also have a wireless home network, using a Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL
    > router and a 3Com PCMCIA card. This also supports my girfriend's Acer
    > Ferrari, an old Inspiron 7000 and a hard-wired Xbox.
    >
    > If you have any specific questions then post back and I'll try to answer.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Video editing has nothing to do with the video card.


    dk


    "Dipu" <dipumisc@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:d074680d.0405181006.74d75256@posting.google.com...
    > "Tiny Tim" <_tim_dodd@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:<jAiqc.5581$NK4.553963@stones.force9.net>...
    > >
    > > I have been editing photos and home DV successfully for the last three
    years
    > > using ......
    > >
    > > Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with Pentium III 900 processor
    > > 512MB RAM
    > > 30GB 5,400 rpm disk
    > > 32MB nVidia Geforce2go video card
    > > Win XP Pro (Win Me initially)
    > > Firewire port for capture and replay.
    > > DVD ROM
    > > CD/RW
    >
    >
    > Thanks a lot for your comments. I have a couple of questions:
    >
    > 1. What is the impact of the video card brand/memory on video editing.
    > I know it is important for 3D games but not sure what it implies for
    > video editing.
    > 2. Do I need to have to Firewire port or the DVD burner built into the
    > laptop? Can I add them as add ons later? I am more used to adding
    > interface card to desktops. I am not sure how that works in laptops.
    > 3. How do you compress the video for 700 MB CDs? Is it in VCD format?
    > What tools do you use?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > -Dipu
    >
    >
    > >
    > > so that would be an OK minimum spec.
    > >
    > > DV takes huge amounts of disk space ~ 12GB per hour so you can reckon on
    > > needing ~ 24GB just to capture 60 mins of DV and then producing an
    edited
    > > file of up to 60 mins afterwards. Then you need space for system files,
    > > other docs and music etc.. I scrape by with 30GB, partitioned as 5GB for
    > > system files, programs etc. and 25 GB for docs and video. Keeping
    separate
    > > partitions also really helps in keeping files (especially DV files)
    > > defragmented and that is important on slower laptop drives. Try to get
    5,400
    > > rpm as a minimum - I'm not sure whether 4,200 rpm is even up to the
    task.
    > > The Hitachi 7K60 7,200 rpm 60GB drive would be a very nice choice.
    Another
    > > option would be to have two hard drives, either internally (my Inspiron
    > > could be so configured, but isn't) or using an external drive.
    > >
    > > I don't find the CD/RW suitable for saving the finished product as
    either
    > > the quality is too poor or the time is too limited (very hard to fit
    12GB
    > > onto a 700MB disc) so really a DVD writer is essential if you want to
    output
    > > to disc. That's something I'd like to have but will have to wait until I
    > > purchase my next laptop.
    > >
    > > I also have a wireless home network, using a Netgear DG834G wireless
    ADSL
    > > router and a 3Com PCMCIA card. This also supports my girfriend's Acer
    > > Ferrari, an old Inspiron 7000 and a hard-wired Xbox.
    > >
    > > If you have any specific questions then post back and I'll try to
    answer.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    "Dan Koren" <dankoren@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<40aa5baf@news.meer.net>...
    > Video editing has nothing to do with the video card.
    >
    >
    >
    > dk
    >


    Does any video card provide hardware acceleration for the DV
    decompression? How about MPEG2 compression acceleration in case I want
    to create a DVD out of the home video. I guess the DVD creation speed
    is not critical for home video, but just curious.

    -Dipu
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Dipu wrote:
    > "Tiny Tim" <_tim_dodd@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:<jAiqc.5581$NK4.553963@stones.force9.net>...
    >>
    >> I have been editing photos and home DV successfully for the last
    >> three years using ......
    >>
    >> Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with Pentium III 900 processor
    >> 512MB RAM
    >> 30GB 5,400 rpm disk
    >> 32MB nVidia Geforce2go video card
    >> Win XP Pro (Win Me initially)
    >> Firewire port for capture and replay.
    >> DVD ROM
    >> CD/RW
    >
    >
    > Thanks a lot for your comments. I have a couple of questions:
    >
    > 1. What is the impact of the video card brand/memory on video editing.
    > I know it is important for 3D games but not sure what it implies for
    > video editing.
    > 2. Do I need to have to Firewire port or the DVD burner built into the
    > laptop? Can I add them as add ons later? I am more used to adding
    > interface card to desktops. I am not sure how that works in laptops.
    > 3. How do you compress the video for 700 MB CDs? Is it in VCD format?
    > What tools do you use?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > -Dipu

    As I understand it (and I'm happy to be corrected).....

    1. The video card is really not an issue for DV editing as it is not used to
    generate complicated lighting/shadow/texture/fog effects, anti-aliasing etc.
    etc in real time. All the work is done in the editing software and it is the
    CPU that gets loaded with the job of creating your edited output. Thus a
    fast CPU would be useful!! Having said that, I used to use MGI Videowave,
    which had a number of usability faults in V4 release (like no timeline!),
    but had a neat feature called "smart rendering" or something like that. This
    basically meant that when you were just cutting and splicing sections of DV
    without actually adding effects or changing the audio then there were no
    calculations required and no rendering. The software just extracted the
    relevant bits from the file source file(s) and joined them together for
    final output. In this situation the limiting factor was disk speed (would be
    aided by having separate disks for source and target data). However, other
    software, like Microsoft Movie Maker 2, seems to insist on re-endering every
    single frame, whether it has been edited or not. This approach is painfully
    slow with my little PIII 900.

    Remember that for games playing the video frames must be calculated for
    display in real time, and at high enough frame rates to make the video
    watchable. With video editing, unless you want to see the effects of video
    generated in real time for instant viewing (you need a dedicated custom
    video capture/rendering card for that (I think)) then there is no need for
    out and out video performance. Even if the editing process only generates
    one frame per second (unwatchable) it will nonetheless eventually yield the
    final edited file that can then be played back/watched in real time after it
    is generated.

    2. You don't need them to be built in, as both can be added through PCMCIA
    andor USB 2 adapters, but it keeps things much neater and avoids hardware
    conflicts/incompatibilities if the laptop already comes with them. I believe
    that in some cases USB2 is replacing Firewire for capture and newer
    camcorders have USB2 connections (I don't know whether that is instead of or
    in addition to Firewire).

    I use my laptop on the coffee table in the living room and do not have a
    dedicated "workstation" area. Thus it is bad enough to have a power lead.
    Adding a cable to connect the fully charged camcorder is an acceptable
    constraint but I would not want wires and power supplies all over the place
    on my coffee table. Apart from that it is probably cheaper to buy a laptop
    with the features built in than to add them separately at a later date.

    3. I don't bother compressing video for CD. I've tried VCD and that is just
    unwatchable - pixelated beyond belief when watching on a TV screen. I've
    also tried SVCD but I'm also unhappy with that as well. It's nearly bearable
    but you only get about 20 minutes on a CD and it isn;t quite good enough
    IMHO to bother. I guess DIVX would give good results as it certainly does
    with DVD rips but having read up on the subject it looks to be a very drawn
    out process and I simply couldn't be bothered. It would be far easier (and
    better quality and more compatible) to burn to DVD instead of CD.

    Up till now I have saved all my final cuts to s-VHS tape for easy home
    viewing. Once I get a DVD burner then I shall re-capture from s-VHS and burn
    to DVD and will obviously master to DVD in the future.

    I would add that I only do DV editing occasionally, of home movies, and only
    for basic titles and cut/splice so I can get away with the system I have. If
    I was doing this professionally or frequently or adding lots of effects
    then I would need a lot more disk space and a much faster processor. Indeed,
    if that was the case I would probably abandon the laptop idea and have a
    proper workspace and a PC more suited to the task with some big fat 7,200
    rpm drives and an Athlon XP 64 or P4 3.0GHz+ processor etc. etc. I could
    then have a lower spec laptop that would be fine for mobile internet, email
    and Word/Excel.

    HTH,
    Tim.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    >
    > As I understand it (and I'm happy to be corrected).....
    >
    > 1. The video card is really not an issue for DV editing as it is not used to
    > generate complicated lighting/shadow/texture/fog effects, anti-aliasing etc.
    > etc in real time. All the work is done in the editing software and it is the
    > CPU that gets loaded with the job of creating your edited output. Thus a
    snip.. snip...

    Tiny Tim,

    Thanks again for your detailed comments. I am slowly getting educated
    on this topic :-) I think I will be mostly doing simple frame
    cut/splice. Don't see myself doing too much special affects. Maybe
    some title and audio dub as you have been doing. I was just wondering
    if the video card provided any hardware support for the
    decompression/compression of the DV or compression when I want to
    create a DVD or VCD.

    >
    > 3. I don't bother compressing video for CD. I've tried VCD and that is just
    > unwatchable - pixelated beyond belief when watching on a TV screen. I've
    > also tried SVCD but I'm also unhappy with that as well. It's nearly bearable
    >> HTH,

    I was looking at VCD because I will need to send the edited video's to
    my friends and family in India. VCD is the more popular choice there.
    Also from what I understand a VCD authoring tool will allow me to do
    it either PAL or NTSC. I need it in PAL for sending it to India. If I
    do it in VHS, I have to again get it converted to PAL. For my own
    use/archiving here in US, I would definitely look for creating DVDs.

    Thanks.

    -Dipu
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    ANY current production laptop (or even not-so-current) is fine for photo
    editing.

    On the other hand, while it can be done, in my view NO laptop is well
    suited to video editing. But if you insist, get the fastest possible
    CPU and the largest possible hard drive (not less than 60 gigs), and at
    least 512 megs of memory. Video editing is really almost beyond the
    capabilities of a laptop, largely due to issues relating to the hard
    drive. I do video editing on my desktop, with a 200 gig drive, and I've
    run out of disk space at times. However, you can't get anywhere near
    200 gigs with any laptop's internal drive.


    Dipu wrote:

    > HI
    >
    > I am in the market to upgrade my home computer. The primary
    > application is to do digital photo edit with Photoshop or MiniDV home
    > video edits with some software. In addition it will be used for
    > regular web browsing, occasional word processing and video games. The
    > photo/video edits are for personal use. So I dont want to spend for a
    > professional level setup. Mobility is required only within the house.
    > I will need wireless network access for mobility within the house. Not
    > planning to do streaming video or watch DVD movies on it.
    >
    > I am starting to look around the web and the newsgroups to get
    > information on related issues. It will be great if experiened netters
    > can provide their comments/views on the laptop selection, primarily
    > the following
    >
    > Brand name
    > Processor Brand/speed
    > RAM requirement
    > HD requirement
    > CD/DVD drive capability
    > wireless capability
    > Video processing software/interface card
    >
    > I will post a summary for everyones benefit.
    >
    > -Dipu
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    With respect to video editing, the video card is not terribly important,
    actually. You are just dumping bitmaps to the card, the card is not
    "rendering" the image, in most cases.

    DVD burner? Video editing does not automatically imply DVD authoring.
    That is a different requirement, an additional requirement. But if you
    want to burn video DVDs, you need a DVD burner. It can be external (USB
    2.0 or Firewire). Similarly, in most cases, you will need a Firewire
    port to do video capture from a digital camcorder, if that's on your "to
    do" list. This can be internal, or it can be a (Cardbus, 32-bit) PC
    Card add-on.

    A DVD authoring package can, in most cases, make any of the following:

    -VCD (lower quality)
    -Super VCD (DVD Quality MPEG2 on CD, but only about 20 minutes)
    -DVD

    You can also get software to make a "Divx" disc, which gives about 2
    hours of DVD quality on a CD, but it won't play on most DVD Players
    (although it will play on some).

    In all 4 of the above cases, it's a capability that needs to be
    supported in you "authoring" software, which may not be the same as your
    video editing software (although many of the packages do both editing
    and authoring).

    Also, you CD/DVD burning software (Nero or Roxio) may be capable of
    converting the edited video into a "player ready" form of media.

    The compression of uncompressed video (typically AVI of some flavor) to
    MPEG2 is done by the authoring software. This can take a LONG time,
    I've had instances with a slow PC (1.6 GHz Pentium 4) where it took 14
    hours to encode a one-hour DVD. (hence the emphasis on getting a fast CPU).


    Dipu wrote:

    > "Tiny Tim" <_tim_dodd@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<jAiqc.5581$NK4.553963@stones.force9.net>...
    >
    >>I have been editing photos and home DV successfully for the last three years
    >>using ......
    >>
    >>Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop with Pentium III 900 processor
    >>512MB RAM
    >>30GB 5,400 rpm disk
    >>32MB nVidia Geforce2go video card
    >>Win XP Pro (Win Me initially)
    >>Firewire port for capture and replay.
    >>DVD ROM
    >>CD/RW
    >
    >
    >
    > Thanks a lot for your comments. I have a couple of questions:
    >
    > 1. What is the impact of the video card brand/memory on video editing.
    > I know it is important for 3D games but not sure what it implies for
    > video editing.
    > 2. Do I need to have to Firewire port or the DVD burner built into the
    > laptop? Can I add them as add ons later? I am more used to adding
    > interface card to desktops. I am not sure how that works in laptops.
    > 3. How do you compress the video for 700 MB CDs? Is it in VCD format?
    > What tools do you use?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > -Dipu
    >
    >
    >
    >>so that would be an OK minimum spec.
    >>
    >>DV takes huge amounts of disk space ~ 12GB per hour so you can reckon on
    >>needing ~ 24GB just to capture 60 mins of DV and then producing an edited
    >>file of up to 60 mins afterwards. Then you need space for system files,
    >>other docs and music etc.. I scrape by with 30GB, partitioned as 5GB for
    >>system files, programs etc. and 25 GB for docs and video. Keeping separate
    >>partitions also really helps in keeping files (especially DV files)
    >>defragmented and that is important on slower laptop drives. Try to get 5,400
    >>rpm as a minimum - I'm not sure whether 4,200 rpm is even up to the task.
    >>The Hitachi 7K60 7,200 rpm 60GB drive would be a very nice choice. Another
    >>option would be to have two hard drives, either internally (my Inspiron
    >>could be so configured, but isn't) or using an external drive.
    >>
    >>I don't find the CD/RW suitable for saving the finished product as either
    >>the quality is too poor or the time is too limited (very hard to fit 12GB
    >>onto a 700MB disc) so really a DVD writer is essential if you want to output
    >>to disc. That's something I'd like to have but will have to wait until I
    >>purchase my next laptop.
    >>
    >>I also have a wireless home network, using a Netgear DG834G wireless ADSL
    >>router and a 3Com PCMCIA card. This also supports my girfriend's Acer
    >>Ferrari, an old Inspiron 7000 and a hard-wired Xbox.
    >>
    >>If you have any specific questions then post back and I'll try to answer.
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