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Laptop for HD Video Editing - £400 ($650) budget

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Last response: in Systems
April 29, 2012 5:32:40 PM


I have recently got a couple of HD camera, one being a GoPro and i am starting to get into video creation/editing as a hobby (not a pro).

My old Acer laptop crumbles when trying to do anything with HD video, its specs are:
-Acer 7720G
-Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 (2.0GHz,667 MHz FSB, 2MB L2 Cache), got no idea what any of that means apart from 2GHz speed.
-4 GB Ram DDR2
-upto 1535MB Nvidia GeForce 9300M B Turbocache

My computer has a fault with the graphics card which i have known about for some time. Nowadays i could be watching a video file of something on youtube/BBC iplayer and everything slows down, goes glitchy etc to the point that it is unwatchable and the laptop overheats. I am no expert but i guess this is due to the CPU overheating as it tries to do 2 jobs by compensating for the graphics card not working?

My first question is if i upgraded the graphics card in my current laptop, would my current spec be good enough for HD video editing without long lags? A small lag would be OK as i am not a pro and will not be editing every day.

My 2nd question is what exactly do i need for HD video editing? Ive researched for weeks on the internet and have generally found people recommending core i5 processor, min 4GB Ram, decent HD size. Recently i have found people recommending a dedicated graphics card aswell, can anyone tell me how important this is?

My budget is £400 and i am comfortable with a refurb/outlet machine for this price. I have found a Dell ex-display model which should be good as new. Its specs are;

-Intel core i5-2410m
-6GB Ram
-500GB HD (Would prefer bigger but i cant have everything for my budget)
-1 GB nVidia GeForce GT 525M
-I assume the Intel HD 3000 inbuilt graphics would come as standard aswell, so the computer would switch between the 2 for power saving purposes.

I can get this laptop within my £400 budget. Is it a good buy? Does anyone have any other recommendations?

Thank you so much for your help and apologies for the essay of a question.

More about : laptop video editing 400 650 budget

a b D Laptop
April 29, 2012 5:49:18 PM

"if i upgraded the graphics card in my current laptop" typically impossible, part is soldered in.

"has a fault with the graphics card" typically this is driver problems. Uninstall and then reinstall drivers. If this doesn't fix go to laptop makers site and install drivers they have.

"and the laptop overheats. I am no expert but i guess this is due to the CPU overheating " Get a can of compressed air ($5 at an office store) blow the dust out of the heatsink by blowing IN from the OUTLET with the laptop off. Do this a few times cycling blowing, followed by turn on an laptop blows other way, turn off you blow in reverse direction.

"I can get this laptop within my £400 budget" Laptop is a poor choice for video edit. (1) latop has trouble dumping heat. Video edit is very CPU intensive so lots of heat (2) latop CPU are optimized for power nto throughput. The I5 on the laptop has 2 cores. The i5 on a desktop has 4 cores. They are not the same part. The forums are recommending the desktop part.
(3) some video edit software can use the graphics card to do number crunching. This is really fast, and really heat intensive. Bad for laptop. Again, laptop part numbers are not the same parts as desktops.

For £400 you should be able to get a nice desktop and monitor. Keep the laptop for when you want to be portable. If you really want a laptop look for a heavyweight with an I7 CPU -- that's closer to an i5 desktop cpu.