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Thread: 4K editing on Mid -high Range laptop?

  1. #1

    Default 4K editing on Mid -high Range laptop?

    I'm looking at some 17" Laptops with a i7 quad core & single gtx 1070 as a desktop replacement. Running external screens, speakers etc, but being mobile aswell.

    I keep reading comments about how a desktop setup is alot better, but does it really matter? And are these comments just exaggerated? (after all so many things are in the world of computers).
    i7 is considered good, single Xenon is better, dual Xenon is best. I read comments about desktop setups that just chew through the media, not sure what this really means.

    In PP CS6 what would the rough difference in export times be with a moderate complex 4K timeline with i7 quad core & dual Xenons?

    If your a film maker would it even matter what CPU? as long as the timeline runs smoothly. It takes a very long time to make a film & waiting 2 days for the export might not even matter.

    I have read how laptops can be unreliable & unstable due to heat, but people game on these so I'm hoping they are pretty reliable.

    Not sure what else to include, camera maybe? Looking at basic consumer -entry level cameras they look to record around 100-150Mb/s

    please give suggestions & help thanks

  2. #2
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    I use a Lenovo IdeaPad 510 with an i7 CPU, external monitors etc and edit 4k using proxies....

    In regards to heat, I bought a laptop stand to raise the base off the desk and make sure I get plenty of air flow around the laptop - no issues in the 10months I've had it.

    Oh, and regards to graphics card, depending what software you use, it'll be a waste. I know the Adobe suite (which I use) doesn't actually require much GPU for processing. Well, maybe After Effects would benefit, but if it's mainly Premiere Pro, it's all RAM and CPU

  3. #3

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    Not sure about PP CS6 but dual Xeon (Not Xenon) has practically no advantage over a good 10 core i7 for newer PP versions like CC2017.
    CPU however is an absolute must and GPU is totally irrelevant for PP so unless you are also planning to game intensively or do something with heavy 3D rendering you don't need a dedicated GPU at all (Saves you money).
    There are a few cons and pro's for both laptops and workstations and these will be up to you to weigh.

    To name a few pro's for a workstation:
    •Workstations are generally more performance for less money, especially when you build your own system.
    •Workstations are easier to upgrade which often means you can use them a little longer and more importantly you can add loads of internal storage to your system. (Storage is an absolute must, 10 hours of 4K footage can easily go far past the 100GB and when you are making films in 4K at a minimum of 100Mb/s you will soon run out of disk space on a laptop.)
    •You don't carry a workstation around so there is less risk of physical damage or loss. (You don't want to lose, brake or get robbed of your laptop with months/years of important project files and archival footage)

    The pro's for a laptop:
    •Portability
    •Space saver

    My personal solution for this dilemma is a homebuilt workstation and a very basic cheap laptop that I use as a remote desktop agent. For me the only downside is that you need a relatively good internet connection. The plus side is that you have all the benefits from the cheap efficient powerful workstation combined with the portability of a laptop, minus the risk of losing everything when you drop your laptop for example because your workstation is still safely at the office/home/bunker/datacenter.


    In regards to the camera that really depends on your wishes, uses and budget. To help you along in that field my advice would be to post a new thread and list specifically what you plan to film, what features you think you need and what your budget is. (Also ask yourself if you might want a second camera for B-roll filming etc. I always carry at least two film devices if I'm planning to shoot (admittedly sometimes the second device is a smartphone but still...)
    Last edited by Grapes; 09-02-2017 at 11:14 PM.
    The cats are watching us...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
    Not sure about PP CS6 but dual Xeon (Not Xenon) has practically no advantage over a good 10 core i7 for newer PP versions like CC2017.
    CPU however is an absolute must and GPU is totally irrelevant for PP so unless you are also planning to game intensively or do something with heavy 3D rendering you don't need a dedicated GPU at all (Saves you money).
    There are a few cons and pro's for both laptops and workstations and these will be up to you to weigh.

    To name a few pro's for a workstation:
    •Workstations are generally more performance for less money, especially when you build your own system.
    •Workstations are easier to upgrade which often means you can use them a little longer and more importantly you can add loads of internal storage to your system. (Storage is an absolute must, 10 hours of 4K footage can easily go far past the 100GB and when you are making films in 4K at a minimum of 100Mb/s you will soon run out of disk space on a laptop.)
    •You don't carry a workstation around so there is less risk of physical damage or loss. (You don't want to lose, brake or get robbed of your laptop with months/years of important project files and archival footage)

    The pro's for a laptop:
    •Portability
    •Space saver

    My personal solution for this dilemma is a homebuilt workstation and a very basic cheap laptop that I use as a remote desktop agent. For me the only downside is that you need a relatively good internet connection. The plus side is that you have all the benefits from the cheap efficient powerful workstation combined with the portability of a laptop, minus the risk of losing everything when you drop your laptop for example because your workstation is still safely at the office/home/bunker/datacenter.


    In regards to the camera that really depends on your wishes, uses and budget. To help you along in that field my advice would be to post a new thread and list specifically what you plan to film, what features you think you need and what your budget is. (Also ask yourself if you might want a second camera for B-roll filming etc. I always carry at least two film devices if I'm planning to shoot (admittedly sometimes the second device is a smartphone but still...)

    Thanks for reply.

    The biggest risk with laptops it seems is heat build up & instability if your doing long hours of work & big renders. But no way of knowing i guess.

    My research on adobe AE is a good GPU is very useful & also on renders in media encoder where the output is downscaled say from 4K to 1080. Also some horse power to run external screens.

    I just assume for one movie you would wan't 3-4TB of storage what with all the multiply takes. And use a smaller SSD drive for what ever is being edited. Laptops now offer 2-4 SSD drives up to 1TB.

  5. #5

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    Most modern day laptops shouldn't suffer too much from the heat and instability. A laptop stand like RandomlySet mentioned will do wonders and in a few cases you can even increase the airflow by drilling holes in the chassis (I did this once with a laptop that suffered from overheating a few years ago and it worked wonders. It does depend on the chassis design though, some simply have poor airflow design.)

    AE does utilise the GPU though still mostly on effect rendering. In my personal experience my i7 with Intel® HD Graphics renders just as fast as the one I occasionally use at a client who has the same build but has a dedicated GPU for 3D stuff. In case you are planning to do loads of effects then yes a GPU may increase performance, otherwise I personally wouldn't bother too much. You can also let it depend on the profit you'll expect to make from the film though I suppose and/or the available production budget.

    Yes for one film a few TB will do. Laptops with large storage capacities are still much more expensive then home built workstations. Though if money isn't too much of an issue and you're not too concerned with having your laptop stolen in transit or braking it beyond recovery then I would surely opt for a laptop. Most important thing I reckon is that you've weighed up all the possibilities so you come to a suitable solution. I'm a bit frugal and careful which led to a workstation + cheap ultrabook solution. That doesn't mean it's the way to go for everyone else as well though
    The cats are watching us...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
    Most modern day laptops shouldn't suffer too much from the heat and instability. A laptop stand like RandomlySet mentioned will do wonders and in a few cases you can even increase the airflow by drilling holes in the chassis (I did this once with a laptop that suffered from overheating a few years ago and it worked wonders. It does depend on the chassis design though, some simply have poor airflow design.)

    AE does utilise the GPU though still mostly on effect rendering. In my personal experience my i7 with Intel® HD Graphics renders just as fast as the one I occasionally use at a client who has the same build but has a dedicated GPU for 3D stuff. In case you are planning to do loads of effects then yes a GPU may increase performance, otherwise I personally wouldn't bother too much. You can also let it depend on the profit you'll expect to make from the film though I suppose and/or the available production budget.

    Yes for one film a few TB will do. Laptops with large storage capacities are still much more expensive then home built workstations. Though if money isn't too much of an issue and you're not too concerned with having your laptop stolen in transit or braking it beyond recovery then I would surely opt for a laptop. Most important thing I reckon is that you've weighed up all the possibilities so you come to a suitable solution. I'm a bit frugal and careful which led to a workstation + cheap ultrabook solution. That doesn't mean it's the way to go for everyone else as well though
    Thanks for the info.

  7. Default

    Specs-wise, I think any decent new-ish multi-core processor with a decent GPU should get you going. As mentioned, desktops are easier and cheaper to put together, but there are many well built laptops with high-end specs that should work the same.



    In college (10 years ago) I was using a 17” HP laptop for design work. I didn't edit video back then but I was doing heavy Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. The laptop never skipped a beat and the Mac desktops at school did not feel any faster. When I needed an upgrade I simply bought another HP laptop and used that as a portable desktop for years doing professional design work after college. So in my experience a good laptop is not inferior to a desktop and should operate exactly as the specs indicate.


    My current desktop for video: Ryzen 7 + Nvidia 1070 + SSD OS drive. I just started editing 4K having bought my first 4K camera about 6 weeks ago. With or without shadow files most of the time I'm doing stuff in real time with maybe a moment's delay between clicks. Unless I'm using a heavy layers of effects/adjustments, my exports seems to be around the same pace as real time.



    A bit more context: I do think the Nvidia 1070 helps a lot. My video editor (PowerDirector) supports Nvidia-assisted preview render, which I think is what's making it feel snappy to work in real time. I also tried Davinci Resolve briefly and it felt even snappier to edit and preview (very smooth.)



    The Ryzen 7 feels faster than my previous Intel i7 earlier generation processor from 4-5 years ago, but for most day-to-day software it doesn't feel several times faster. It is when doing heavy tasks like video export that the multi-core processor really shows its class.



    Also, my previous setup was the i7 with the Intel 4000 HD Graphics from 4-5 years ago, and the difference when editing video is truly massive. Pressed to guess, I'd say my Ryzen 7 + Nvidia 1070 setup feels about 7-10 times faster specifically for editing and exporting video. Video editing went from being a 'crashy' pain to a joy even at a higher res.

  8. Default

    Hi,

    Coming from an IT background and having build PC's for a decade i can give you my 2 cents on this topic.

    If you want to use a laptop for editing the first question your should ask yourself is: "do i really need a laptop?"

    If portability is a must for you and if you want to carry a 17" laptop with you, then sure - get a laptop. If it is not, then always, always, always get a desktop.

    By getting a laptop for video editing you are sacrificing a LOT by also paying a LOT more compared to a desktop.

    • Laptops have mobile version CPUs and are in general 20% slower then their desktop versions (same model).
    • Laptops have mobile version GPU's and are in general 20% slower then their desktop versions (same model).
    • While rendering your laptop will max out CPU usage and therefore get very hot and in some cases bottleneck (even with 2017 laptops).
    • Heat shortens the lifespan of the laptops components by a lot. You can expect a 2017 laptop to lose about 20% - 30% of it's performance within 6 months if you will use it for editing / rendering no matter the brand you go with or what other people tell you.
    • You are paying a premium price for high end laptops. Expect to pay 600-1000 USD more compared to a desktop with the same components.


    The second most important question is - what is your budget?

    Reading the specs you mentioned it looks like somewhere in the 2000 - 3000 USD range?!



    1. The most important thing you need is the CPU. get only something with at least 7th GEN i7 ( something like a i7-7700HQ or 7820HK )
    2. The second most important thing for editing/rendering is RAM. Don't get anything lower then 24 GB of RAM. You will regret getting 16, trust me.
    3. It has to have an SSD in it. 256 GB or 512 GB if you have the budget.


    About the GPU. i would not get anything less then a GTX 1070. If someone tells you that the video card is not important for editing / rendering, then they don't know how editing software works.
    ESPECIALLY if you plan to connect your laptop to a desktop monitor.

    I would definitely not recommend AMD components for editing/rendering, the performance is not there and most video editing software works better with Intel and nVidia.


    In your price range i would recommend the Asus ROG 17" laptops, you can also check out Alienware 17" and Acer Predator 17"


    If you don't 100% need a laptop, get a workstation desktop. It will blow the laptop away with better performance for a better price and it will stay fast for much longer compared to a laptop.


    Hope this helps.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    I would definitely not recommend AMD components for editing/rendering, the performance is not there and most video editing software works better with Intel and nVidia.
    Quick question about your AMD statement: what's your basis for that? Most of the charts I've seen put the AMD Ryzen ahead of same-era Intel processors if for nothing else by virtue of having more cores.

    Also, I'm on AMD Ryzen and my video workflow is real time. How can you go faster than no delay?

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jochicago View Post
    Quick question about your AMD statement: what's your basis for that? Most of the charts I've seen put the AMD Ryzen ahead of same-era Intel processors if for nothing else by virtue of having more cores.
    Quote Originally Posted by jochicago View Post

    Also, I'm on AMD Ryzen and my video workflow is real time. How can you go faster than no delay?


    Hey jochicago,

    The basis for my statement about AMD is every single test done by any reputable tech tester. Sure, Ryzen was doing OK vs last (7th) gen Intel cpu's because Intel did not take AMD serious AT ALL the previous 10 years.
    But now compare the new 8th gen Intel (a direct response to Ryzen).

    The new i7 8700K and even as low as a i5 8400 KILLS anything from Ryzen when it comes to productivity benchmarks. You cant even compare them.
    And when it comes to price - the i5 8400 is $182 and the i7 8700K is $359

    Check out the Adobe Media Encoder Export times benchmark for a sample project.

    • i7 8700K - 5.38 min
    • i5 8400 - 7:21 min
    • Ryzen 1700X - 10.00 min


    Here is the proof - https://youtu.be/EJOnwF8mgXc

    That is a 2 times faster render speed comparing the i7 and best Ryzen (other then the Threadripper).

    At this point, how can anyone justify buying a Ryzen over an 8th gen Intel cpu.


    Also, it is not just about a workflow without lagging while you playback your footage. It's about exporting times. That is a huge difference if you have to wait 60min to export a video or only 30min !

    *Edited a typo
    Last edited by RL_Sensei; 10-14-2017 at 08:27 AM.

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