Slow notebook?

Hey there,

I just got a Dell Inspiron 5100 with an Intel P4 2.66 GHz processor and 512MB RAM. I am mostly editiing digital video with it and I am shocked at how slow it is! The "previews" in Premier are worthless since they jump around and the sound is completely out of sync with the video. I suspect this is due to the 5400 RPM drive (as opposed to my 7200 RPM drive on my desktop which works fine)? Would getting an external 7200RPM firewire HD make any difference? Any other suggestions?

So I have to save the video as MPG and then watch the movie with another program, problem is it takes like 30 min to save a 5 minute video! Then go back and HOPEFULLY correct what is wrong with it before resaving and viewing it again! Is this normal? I guess I was just expecting a bit more out of this machine...

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  1. It might be making a difference, but I doubt it. You only need 3.6 Meg per second for uncompressed DV and a 5400 drive can easily do that. I can get jumpy at 3.0 GHz with real time transitions, but not normal previews. Maybe it is the video card limiting you?
  2. i assume you have xp installed? if so, get 2k on it, you'll see what it means to be at the "cutting" adge of "tahnoladgy" and at what cost, gg

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
  3. Interesting. I was told that the big bottle neck in editing digital video on a laptop was the hard drive speed... hence 5400 would be worse than 7200. I also heard that the video card doesn't really have much to do with the actual editing, only with the capturing. Perhaps I was misinformed...

    One strange thing is that when I play the timeline in the Monitor window I get jumpy, crappy video. When I double click the individual clips and play them in the monitor they are oh so fresh and so clean, but the audio tracks are missing and none of the video effects are there. I guess it takes a lot of SOMETHING to put it all together, I would have thought it was the processor... but that is no where near maxed out at this point.

    So I guess my only option is to do a "Preview" wait 15-30 minutes, watch the video and then try to edit what I don't like? Seems kinda lame...
  4. Yes, I am using XP. I don't understand this post... I assume it is sarcastic? Isn't xp supposed to be MUCH better than 2k for this sort of thing? If not, I will surely switch over... but please don't jerk me around... tell me the truth...
  5. One more thing that leads me to believe it is my HD data transfer rate...

    The first minute or so of video and audio from the timeline plays just fine in the Monitor, then it gets progressively jumpy and crappy, until after about 3 minutes it is jumbled mess of useless noise and crap.... CPU is still only at ~30% at this point and RAM is ~300MB out of 512MB.
  6. Well, the first thing to remember when you compare your hard drive, is that it IS a notebook HDD. i.e. A 5400rpm notebook HDD will not perform as well as a 5400rpm desktop hard drive, because its surface area is so much smaller. Typically, a 7200rpm notebook HDD should perform about the same as a 5400rpm desktop HDD, maybe a bit better.

    But your Hard Drive is not the problem. I am using a 40GB 5400rpm HDD on my Latitude, and the Video Editing programs I use (Ulead, Adobe Premiere, Pinacle Studio 8 etc...) don't have the problem that you have described.
    -Unless, of course, you are trying to use insanely big/ high resolution video files.

    The first thing I would do if I was in your shoes, would be to download's SpeedSwitch XP, and make sure that your Pentium 4 is actually running at 2.66GHz. If it is, then the only thing I can suggest is reloading your Operating System - and don't use 2000, It has its advantages, but a lot of Video Editing programs suffer compatability problems (besides the difference is hardly noticable).

    (Oh, and you are right about the Video card, makes no difference to the editing of the video, except when you are doing transitions and stuff real-time, but your CPU is fast enough to cancel out any differences)

    If you do decide to format your pc, make sure you keep your disk as empty as possible, and install your Video Editing software as soon as possible. The fastest area of your HDD is the outer tracks, the more video you can store here, the faster it can be accessed.

    I would definitely say that the most likely cause of the problem is software related.


    Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
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