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Thread: Laptop Advise Please

  1. Default Laptop Advise Please

    My 3 year old HP Pavilion seems to be slowly starting to die part by part.
    My current HP DV6920es 'entertainment series' has these specs. In short:
    15" screen
    Intel Duo 2Ghz (2MB Level 2 cache)
    3Gb Ram (no idea what kind - probably DDR2)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS (256mb)
    250 GB (5400 rpm) hard drive

    I'm going to pre-empt its demise by getting a new laptop now. However, I'm on a small European island. The choice is rubbish, and the prices are over-inflated. Buying on the Net is not really an option: Most retailers don't deliver here, if they do it takes weeks, and I usually get hit with an additional 20% tax and a 50 local delivery charge on top of what I've already paid. Considering there's a 5% probability of having to return a faulty product, it just isn't worth the risk.

    So I'm looking at two from local shops:

    Asus N73SV V2G (TY479V) Acer AS5755G (2638G75MN)
    17" 15"
    Intel i7 2630M Quad 2Ghz (6mb Level3 cache) Intel i7 2630M Quad 2Ghz (6mb Level3 cache)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT540 (2Gb) NVIDIA GeForce GT540 (2Gb)
    2x 500Gb (5400rpm) Hard drives 1x 750Gb (5400rpm)
    999 ( 857 ) 899 ( 772 )
    CONS 3.5 hour battery life.
    Keyboard flexes vertically.
    Bad wi-fi chip.
    Headphone socket on right side, where mouse is.
    Drives are not Raid 0 configuration.
    Runs quite hot.
    Don't know what else - no reviews.

    The nearest review I could find of the Asus was this one. Although the spec is lower (i5, 4Gb Ram, 500Gb disc, 1Gb Nvidia graphic card) it will have the same screen, wi-fi chip, keyboard, etc. The Asus propaganda for the exact model is here, except again, they state 1GB Nvidia card whereas the model I've seen has 2Gb.

    The Acer website is rubbish, and I can't actually find the model there. The nearest review is here, again a model beneath the one I've seen, but it will be more-or-less the same pros and cons.

    Q1: Is this a good upgrade compared to my current laptop in real terms? In other words, will I see and feel a difference when using Sony Vegas? Eg. Instead of taking 4 hours to render a 15 minute 6mbps video, will I be able to do it in, say, 30mins or an hour? Eg. When I insert and preview transitions and effects, will I actually be able to see what I'm doing clearly (at the moment the preview just freezes and skips over the transitions/effects, so I can only guess)?

    Q2: Will the two disk drives in the Asus help much? Or will it not be much better than one 750Gb drive? Does it matter that they are not able to be configured as RAID?

    Q3: Is there going to be a real-life difference between the 1Gb and 2Gb graphic cards? A difference that I will see/feel?

    Q4: Would you personally pay an extra 100 for a larger screen and two drives? If not, that would actually widen the choice a bit, because I could then also look more closely at Sony Viao, Toshiba Satellite, and LG, as well as others in the Acer range.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Last edited by -Anti-; 10-01-2011 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2


    First off, I'd go with Asus rather than Acer, Just a better brand.

    Q1: Yes, Going from a dual core processor to an I7 with quad core will make a difference. The new Sandy-Bridge processors are awesome!

    Q2: You'll be better off with a 300GB 7400rpm drive than massive 5400 RPM drives. See if you can fix that, In this day and age having a 5400 rpm drive in a high spec laptop should be considered a criminal offense by the supplier For video editing 7200rpm is a MINIMUM standard you must adhere to due to the data transfer rates of DV video.

    Q3: Honestly no, You'd do better buying a GPU with more cores to process the video instead of buying more video memory, 1GB of Vram is fine and plenty. I've driven presentation computers that only have 256 512 of GPU ram

    Q4: 17inch screen means a larger body, Which may mean easier to cool and will last longer BUT it might be heavier and more cumbersome for you to carry around. I personally would rather buy a 120GB SSD drive and us an external device for my "dump" storage.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply.
    I checked the shelves today - it appears there are no 7400rpm drives in any of the laptops on this island!
    Or at least, I haven't seen one yet.

    So is having two 5400rpm drives the next best thing to having one 7400rpm drive?

    Also, should I aim for the i7 2Ghz CPU over,say, an i5 2.3Ghz?
    Most laptops here have various i5 CPUs, so it would widen the choice if the i7 CPU wasn't a huge factor.

    BTW, just for clarity, this laptop is for home video editing, rather than for any professional work.

    Thanks for any further info/advice.
    Last edited by -Anti-; 10-02-2011 at 12:09 AM.

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