Need Video Editing Laptop for Travel - advice?

etheriumsky

Prominent
Mar 19, 2017
2
0
510
0
Hi there,
I'm a professional filmmaker always working on the go and needing to upgrade my equipment. In the past 5yrs i've used my HP Workstation (Elitebook 8560w i7 2.30Ghz 8GB RAM w/ Nvidia Quadro 2000M) - it's served me very well, though it's gotten so slow & laggy nowadays that it can barely handle a basic video edit any longer.

So i'm looking for a new machine but can't find the option that fits all my checkboxes:

* I primarily need to be able to run Adobe Premiere and Photoshop smoothly. My heaviest projects I will move to a stronger workstation but I MUST be able to smoothly edit 3~5 minute videos with basic color correction (MB Colorista/Looks) + some titles and occasionally some simple After Effects.
* I don't do much gaming, though really like to play Civ 5/6 from time to time - would be fantastic if my set up was good enough to support it.
* I travel ALL the time. I need something *lightweight* and durable. Cheap flimsy plastic won't do. My current machine is so heavy it maxes out my luggage allowance on every flight...
* I don't like Mac/Apple products - def. want a Windows laptop.
* I mostly work off of external hard drives, so internal drive space is not of major concern - as long as I have enough USB outlets to hook up my drives!
* I'd love an HDMI outlet or some other/good alternative.
* Budget is not of key concern - i'm willing to spend more money on a machine that would last me for good few years and save me time and frustrations of laggy video edits taking days instead of hours. That said i also don't want to blow cash on pointless gimmicks.
* This will be my primary machine for the next few months although down the road i plan to invest into a proper high-end desktop.

Few Machines I've been considering:
* MS Surface Pro 4/ Surface Book - looks great, solid & portable but only 1 USB port is very limiting. Tablet option even if not of huge importance is a great addition. But I'm not sure how these would perform with video edits..?
* HP Spectre x360 - has more USBs but i think the specs of the SP4 above are better for video. Also it's heavier/bulkier than SP4.
* https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0198K3NZG/?tag=constop-20 - Also found this one, has great specs but I never heard of this brand and it does seem quite plastic'y and perhaps bulky...
* I've also had great experiences with ASUS before - though can't find much from them in terms of what i need...

I'd greatly appreciate any advice! I'm well experienced with the creative/software part of my work but all these hardware specs just give me a headache!
Thanks!
Matt / EtheriumSky.com
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If you want to save time and avoid laggy video editing, then I recommend you avoid laptops with dual core CPUs like the Surface Pro 4 / Surface Book, and HP Spectre X360. Unless of course light weight is more important than performance.

I recommend you consider the Dell XPS 15 (9560) with a quad core i7-7700HQ which starts at $1,500 and 4lbs. Video editing is very CPU intensive so a dual core CPU can slow you down especially if you are doing 4k video. If the video editing software you use can make use of CUDA cores, then the GTX 1050 can provide a good performance boost.

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/xps-15-9560-laptop?ST=dell%20xps%2015%209560&dgc=ST&cid=297819&lid=5827323&acd=123098073120560&ven1=slfHXRcgQ&ven2=e&ven3=118103782704418359


Here's a review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLuGihoIgh8
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If you want to save time and avoid laggy video editing, then I recommend you avoid laptops with dual core CPUs like the Surface Pro 4 / Surface Book, and HP Spectre X360. Unless of course light weight is more important than performance.

I recommend you consider the Dell XPS 15 (9560) with a quad core i7-7700HQ which starts at $1,500 and 4lbs. Video editing is very CPU intensive so a dual core CPU can slow you down especially if you are doing 4k video. If the video editing software you use can make use of CUDA cores, then the GTX 1050 can provide a good performance boost.

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/xps-15-9560-laptop?ST=dell%20xps%2015%209560&dgc=ST&cid=297819&lid=5827323&acd=123098073120560&ven1=slfHXRcgQ&ven2=e&ven3=118103782704418359


Here's a review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLuGihoIgh8
 

etheriumsky

Prominent
Mar 19, 2017
2
0
510
0


Thanks a lot, I didn't consider that one before. I always thought of a dell as cheap/lower end brand. Do you think I could trust their machine to survive the next 4-5years?

Frankly - what's making me most confused is that looking at the specs alone, my current machine (Elitebook 8560w i7 2820QM 2.30Ghz 8GB RAM w/ Nvidia Quadro 2000M) should be stronger than any of these others, right? But well, it's not - is the fact that it's a few years old in itself a factor why it'd significantly slow down in performance?

One last question - what about the HP ZBook 15 or similiar HP workstation?
http://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/business-solutions/zbook-15-mobile-workstation#!
These seem similiar in specs to the Dell you mention?

Thank you much! Appreciate your time!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
The 7th gen i7-7700HQ is certainly more powerful than the older 2nd gen i7-2820QM. Sure, the clock speed may look similar, but each generation improves the architecture to allow the CPU to process more instructions per cycle (every 1Hz and is known as IPC). The higher the IPC per 1Hz, the more powerful the CPU is. That is why before AMD's new desktop Ryzen CPUs were originally launched a 2.5GHz Intel CPU could generally outperform a 4.0GHz AMD CPU.

GPUs in laptops have certainly advanced a lot over the years. Especially recently with nVidia's GTX 10xx series. Before nVidia (and AMD) had two different series of GPUs; one for desktops and one for laptops. Laptop GPUs have always lagged far behind the performance of desktop GPUs. For example, the mobile GTX 980m was considered a premium GPU for laptops, but it is only about as powerful as a desktop GTX 960. The GTX 10xx series changed that, there is basically now only 1 series of GPUs used for both desktops and laptops and performance is pretty close. The difference between a GTX 1060 in a desktop and laptop is probably about 10%.

Technology does not slow down over time, the i7-282QM is as powerful now as it was when it was new. What you want to do with changes over time and is more demanding. Back in 2012 I am pretty sure you were not editing 4k video which is a lot more demanding than editing 1080p video. Back then you were probably working with some version of the H.264 codec for your videos. Video codec technology has advance where H.265 HEVC is probably now the standard. H.265 HEVC generally provides equal if not better video quality than H.264 but uses less storage space. However, H.265 HEVC requires more processing power than H.264 to be encode video and also to decode the video so that people can watch it.

With regards to the HP ZBook you linked, it is certainly more powerful than your current laptop. Although it uses a 6th generation Xeon chip, the overall difference between a 6th and 7th generation Intel CPU is not that significant assuming the same clock speed.


As for Dell, there the XPS series is their premium brand and are pretty good laptops overall. I have a Dell Latitude 3540 from late 2013 that still works fine. Though I am considering replacing the 500GB Hard drive with a 2TB hard drive. I also have a 2016 Dell Inspiron 15 7559.
 

Travellin

Prominent
Jul 16, 2017
5
0
510
0
I'm also looking for a laptop for travel and media editing.. I also am really interested in the XPS 13 / 15 range, however after researching it appears to have quite bad coil whine issues.. Not sure if that's a deal-breaker but seems highly irritating on an expensive machine and is really putting me off purchasing it, which is a shame as it looks great in every other way.
 
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