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Author Topic: Help Me Shop for a Computer  (Read 7770 times)

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WarrenPrice

« on: February 15, 2010, 18:30 »
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The Finance Minister has approved the purchase of a new computer.  We are preparing to venture into video processing. I'm looking for a good processing option that will travel with me.  I want to use a laptop with external hard drives rather than a home based desktop.    The new Sony VAIO seems a good option.  The one I've pretty much settled on has an intel core i7 processor.  I'm at this point:
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&categoryId=8198552921644691999

and customizing it, trying to stay below $1500.  My thoughts are that I don't really need the fastest or biggest hard drive; I do want the 1gb graphics card; save $300 by using the 720QM processor rather than the faster 820QM;

Do you think I can get by with 4gb RAM  -- maybe add some later?
Do I need the Blu-Ray play/burn or would a regular CD/DVD player/burner serve the purpose? 
Not sure about the 1920/1080 display (1gb graphics card)  The smaller 512mb, 1100/900 display save $150?
I selected Windows 7 Professional rather than the Ultimate version.

My total would be $1235.  Whatta ya think?
PS:  I'll negotiate a large monitor when the Finance Minister is in a good mood.   ;D


« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 01:46 »
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Why a laptop instead of a desktop for video processing Warren?  Video processing can be one of the most demanding on resources, so the more RAM and better video card is always helpful.  I have 12gb of RAM and a 1.8gb video card for photo processing and I'm happy with that.  I have the Intel i7 processor as well.

« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 01:55 »
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Don't buy Dell in any case.

« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 04:29 »
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I dont do video but my 2cents :)

I would go the desktop rather than laptop (then a cheap laptop for in field / away etc if desired).  If you go the laptop, buy an external monitor to go with it.

The hard drive is generally the slowest part of a pc, so 1st priority is get as fast as you can. The intel x-25 ssds seem to the fastest drives around at the moment but expensive, people are putting them into desktops as primary drive for the speed. Unfortunately they dont tell you which ssd it is (but over budget away). Away definetly get one one of the 7200rpm drives even if it means sacrificing something else.

personally I go the higher res screen, but think 512 for video card is fine (I'd look for reviews on how good the video card is)

I barely ever use cd / dvd in pc so wouldn't bother (my laptop doesnt have one :)) but comes down to what else you wish to do with it :)

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 10:44 »
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Apple store, Mac Pro...........................................>

WarrenPrice

« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 11:49 »
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Thanks all.  The answers are helping.

It HAS to be a laptop.  This will be my ONLY computer.  Our trips often extend into several weeks and even months.  This computer will be for EVERYTHING.   Video will be the most demanding part of the work but we are just getting started ... don't even have the camera yet.   :P

It can't be a Mac.  I do, however, wish that I had commited to a Mac long ago. 

FD ... about the Dell; is the lack of reliability or the lack of service that turned you off?
I've been very pleased with my HPs (plural) and almost bought a new one last week ... until the salesperson suggested waiting for the new Sony.  For this one, I'm sold on the Sony Vaio, for now.



ap

« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 12:11 »
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i have a sony vaio desktop. they're great on design, but not on speed. i'm sure you can get a faster laptop out there. but, like dogs, i think the pc chooses the owner... :D

« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 12:26 »
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Meh. For $1200 you can get such a kickass desktop system it sucks to be restricted to a laptop.

I built a Dell that is similar to that Sony that you built. The dell came out to be more expensive but had some better components come standard. For example, a 500gb 7200rpm hard drive vs the 320gb 5400rpm for the Sony. Also with the Dell you get a 9 cell battery. Not sure what the Sony gives you but you definitely want 9 cells if you are going to be using the battery power a lot.


I was looking at the 3rd one to the right:
http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/notebooks/laptop-studio-xps-16/pd.aspx?refid=laptop-studio-xps-16&s=dhs&cs=19

« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 13:04 »
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Hi Warren!

If you want good laptop and you wish to use it for photo/video editing it has to have PVA display - NOT IN ANY CASE TN display!

So, your choice is very small:

IBM/LENOVO
SONY
MAC
DELL - PRECISION SERIES!!!

Not any other manufacturer makes laptops with PVA (S-PVA in DELL case) display.

Good Luck!

[ADDED:] For example this one (but you are short for $1100):
http://www.dell.com/us/en/enterprise/notebooks/precision-m6500/pd.aspx?refid=precision-m6500&s=biz&cs=555
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 13:07 by Albert Martin »

« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 13:21 »
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I was in a similar situation to you when my old desktop crashed, I bought a laptop with the intention to get a desktop later on..  I am still using the laptop and put the desktop $$ toward a camera upgrade.

I have a few regrets, and some thank goodness i did this's..

1. make sure you check your video processing software's required specifications for -processing to determine what you need and try to exceed the minimum..my laptop video card has  just enough ram to process some video - I wished i had purchased the more powerful card dont skimp on video card processing.

2. make sure your laptop has hdmi output  I connect a 24" external monitor via the hdmi to dvi with an adapter cable it really is a charm.

3. as was mentioned above get the fastest hard drive you can mine is 7200 rpm and its ok - but my laptop has an esata drive so i capture to it

4 get an external drive so you can back up your entire system - i use windows home server and back up automatically - this may not be your ideal situation traveling but definately plan for disastor recovery.

5 Make sure your laptop has the correct inputs that match your cameras video output

6. if you cant afford to start off with more than 4 gb of ram make sure your laptop is at least capable of expansion - if you have to make a sacrifice i suggest less ram to start ,smaller hard drive and then add on an external esata drive,

7. bells and wistles - I love my backlit keyboard and bluetooth capability.

hope that helps,

oh ps I got mine from Dell my whole family shops d
dell and thier service has been exceptional for us.


Thanks all.  The answers are helping.

It HAS to be a laptop.  This will be my ONLY computer.  Our trips often extend into several weeks and even months.  This computer will be for EVERYTHING.   Video will be the most demanding part of the work but we are just getting started ... don't even have the camera yet.   :P





« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2010, 13:30 »
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If you want good laptop and you wish to use it for photo/video editing it has to have PVA display - NOT IN ANY CASE TN display!

Why is PVA such a necessity? I appreciate it is supposed to have the best contrast and widest viewing angle, etc but when I walk around a computer store I can't say I notice much difference between different screens.

To me photo editing on a laptop is such a massive compromise on so many levels, even with the best displays available up until now, that I have never actually done so. However I am planning on spending extended periods away from home in future so I don't have much choice but to use a laptop if I want to work whilst I'm away. The idea is to do lots of photo shoots whilst at home and then do some of the processing whilst away.

Do many people use a laptop for editing and submitting to microstock? My biggest concern, from my trips to the computer stores, it that when you tilt a laptop display then the contrast/brightness/colours vary according to the angle of view __ all of them. How can you ever have confidence that what you're seeing is what the reviewers/customers will also see?

« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 13:46 »
0

If you want good laptop and you wish to use it for photo/video editing it has to have PVA display - NOT IN ANY CASE TN display!

Why is PVA such a necessity? I appreciate it is supposed to have the best contrast and widest viewing angle, etc but when I walk around a computer store I can't say I notice much difference between different screens.

To me photo editing on a laptop is such a massive compromise on so many levels, even with the best displays available up until now, that I have never actually done so. However I am planning on spending extended periods away from home in future so I don't have much choice but to use a laptop if I want to work whilst I'm away. The idea is to do lots of photo shoots whilst at home and then do some of the processing whilst away.

Do many people use a laptop for editing and submitting to microstock? My biggest concern, from my trips to the computer stores, it that when you tilt a laptop display then the contrast/brightness/colours vary according to the angle of view __ all of them. How can you ever have confidence that what you're seeing is what the reviewers/customers will also see?

PVA has near-true (or should I say the best) colors/saturation possible to find on flat displays. There are also some exceptions in TN version but any PVA is better than best TN.
Also, if you didn't noticed TN (especially laptop versions) have reflective coating on them so you can't see clear what you need to see even in complete dark room! In video editing it is crucial for you to see what you are doing. Any distraction like ghosting from reflection on TN display will just make your eyes harder to see details as well you'll always have impression that image there isn't good enough. Not to mention that you will get tired in just half an hour of working in front of that reflective coated display. I won't tell you how I felt trying to edit potograph on such display. I gave up on editing and used that laptop just as storage and preview device. No serious work can be done with such displays!

As on any display there is calibration what you need to do if you wish to get optimal results in colors/contrast. So, you also must have feel on your viewing angle of your eyes regarding display as well your eyes distance from display to get best results.

« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 14:29 »
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FD ... about the Dell; is the lack of reliability or the lack of service that turned you off?
No I just found that post. It's not mine. I had a Dell laptop, their best then, from work 10 years ago. It never worked properly after 2 months: processor overheating, bad ventilation.

« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 14:32 »
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Thanks Albert, very much appreciated. I'll certainly be taking your advice when buying the laptop in a month or two. Any preference over Sony, Dell or IBM?

« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 08:38 »
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Thanks Albert, very much appreciated. I'll certainly be taking your advice when buying the laptop in a month or two. Any preference over Sony, Dell or IBM?

Look what is most expensive, and then go for next less expensive solution. That way you won't overpay for something what is overpriced.
They all are good enough to use them on PRO level. It is just questionable if you wish to pay extra for brand or to effectively spend your money on tool which will do the job as it is meant to be.


 

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