Do you like editing videos on the go without being stuck to a desktop computer? Laptops are becoming powerful enough for video production work. However, there are numerous models and brands to choose from. Beware, the most expensive brand does not mean the best. When it comes to video editing, speed and memory matter. So in this post we address the 3 most important questions to ask before buying a laptop for video editing.
1. Should I buy an i5 or i7 laptop?
2. Which GPU is best for video editing?
3. Should I get 2GB or 4GB or 8GB RAM?
Should I buy an i5 or i7 laptop?
This is the question I ask myself all the time. The salesman always tell me that the i5 model is the latest model and runs faster than the current i7 model.
Let’s hear from the experience of other users.
What is the difference between i5 and i7?
“Intel’s high-end processor line is the Core i7. Many users who are looking for a high-performance part end up considering both i5 and i7 products. The i5 is quick, but the i7 promises to be faster…”
“…significant performance difference is how the Core i7 and Core i5 products will be handling hyper-threading. Hyper-threading is a technology used by Intel to simulate more cores than actually exist on the processor. While Core i7 products have all been quad-cores, they appear in Windows as having eight cores. This further improves performance when using programs that make good use of multi-threading. All Core i5 processors have hyper-threading disabled…”
“I love the 8 core CPU action to rock my High Def video renders in Sony Vegas. What used to take 2 hours to render was reduced to 20 minutes. It changed the way Booya produces videos. I used to have to finish the whole video edit, and pray that it turned out ok less I’d have to re-render. But with the core i7, I’ll render a damn video 2-3 times and end up with the perfection I was seeking in far less time!”
Speed matters. Get an i7 laptop to complete your video editing faster.
Which GPU is best for video editing?
Popular video editing software like Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere now boast a new feature that will significantly speed up video editing to almost no waiting time by utilizing the GPU. The GPU or Graphics Processing Unit exists in every computer and its job is to generate the display on the monitor screen.
I mentioned this my Sony Vegas Pro 11 Review.
Sony Vegas Pro 11
“…Vegas Pro 11 leverages GPU acceleration for video FX, transitions, compositing, pan/crop, track motion and encoding, providing a significantly faster workflow. The addition of GPU acceleration streamlines the video editing experience in Vegas Po 11 by providing playback performance gains and faster rendering times, ideal for industry professionals who work on tight deadlines where every second counts…”
“…Vegas Pro 11 accelerates both video playback and rendering, providing improved performance results from start to finish. .. Over 45 effects, transitions, generators and compositors are GPU-accelerated in Vegas Pro 11, as well as a substantial amount of built-in video processing such as crossfades, fades, alpha compositing, framerate resampling, interlace processing, pan/crop, track motion, opacity, fade-to-color, and multicamera display.”
Supported cards for GPU-acceleration on Sony Vegas Pro 11:
- Requires a CUDA-enabled GPU and driver 270.xx or later. GeForce GPUs:
- GeForce GTX 4xx Series or higher (or GeForce GT 2xx Series or higher with driver 285.62 or later).
Quadro GPUs: Quadro 600 or higher (or Quadro FX 1700 or higher with driver 285.62 or later).
- NVIDIA recommends NVIDIA Quadro for professional applications and recommends use of the latest boards based on the Fermi architecture.
- Requires an OpenCL-enabled GPU and Catalyst driver 11.7 or later with a Radeon HD 57xx or higher GPU. If using a FirePro GPU, FirePro unified driver 8.85 or later is required.
For more information on supported NVIDIA or ATI cards for GPU-acceleration, please see the Sony Vegas Pro GPU acceleration page.”
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5
“Speed up your creative workflow by seeing the results of many effects without having to render them first, thanks to GPU acceleration and the enhanced 64-bit Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, now on workstations and laptops…”
Supported NVIDIA graphics cards for GPU acceleration on Adobe Premiere Pro:
- GeForce GTX 285 (Windows and Mac OS)
- GeForce GTX 470 (Windows)
- GeForce GTX 570 (Windows)
- GeForce GTX 580 (Windows)
- NVIDIA Tesla C2075 card (Windows)/Maximus configuration
- Quadro FX 3700M (Windows)
- Quadro FX 3800 (Windows)
- Quadro FX 3800M (Windows)
- Quadro FX 4800 (Windows and Mac OS)
- Quadro FX 5800 (Windows)
- Quadro 2000 (Windows)
- Quadro 2000D (Windows)
- Quadro 2000M (Windows)
- Quadro 3000M (Windows)
- Quadro 4000 (Windows and Mac OS)
- Quadro 4000M (Windows)
- Quadro 5000 (Windows)
- Quadro 5000M (Windows)
- Quadro 5010M (Windows)
- Quadro 6000 (Windows)
- Quadro CX (Windows)
The list of graphics cards that are compatible with Adobe Premiere® Pro CS5 is updated on a regular basis. Visit http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html for the latest list of supported cards.
Speed matter again. Get a laptop fitted with one of the GPU’s listed above.
Should I get 2GB or 4GB or 8GB RAM?
What is RAM and what is it for?
“RAM is an acronym for Random Access Memory. It is a type of computer memory akin to a person’s short-term memory. Data that must be accessed quickly is kept in RAM, such as running applications and open files. When a computer does not have enough RAM, it is forced to allocate part of the hard disk in place of the missing RAM, which hurts performance.”
“…image editing applications like Photoshop, video/audio editing applications, or virtual machines like VirtualBox or VMware will use as much RAM as you can spare. On my desktop with 8GB of RAM, I’m able to run all of the above at the same time, without showing any signs of slowdown when switching from one application to another.”
Speed speed speed. If you do heavy audio/video/image editing, you should consider upgrading with as much RAM as you can afford. (You may need a 64-bit version of Windows to take advantage of it all, but that’s another story)
When it comes to video editing, speed and memory matter. So now you know the 3 important elements to look for before buying a laptop for video editing. Get a laptop with an i7 processor, a powerful GPU and upgrade the RAM as much as you can afford.
Happy editing on the roads!
Videography and Web Video Production Trainer
PS: The above information may be good only for the next 3 months, because technology is advancing at breakneck speed. Keep yourself updated on videography and web video production by subscribing to http://VideoLane.com.