Computer advice please - will this sony laptop be good enough for video editing? - HotUKDeals
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Computer advice please - will this sony laptop be good enough for video editing?

Flake99 Avatar
7y, 10m agoPosted 7 years, 10 months ago
Hi. Long time member, posted a fair few deals in my time, but never used the misc section before. If anyone with any knowledge has a moment to give me some advice, it would be appreciated.

I no longer have space for a desktop at home and need a new computer. I am looking for a laptop that will be needed for basic web, wordprocessing, and database work but also for uploading and editing many mini dv videos, and photo editing too.

I have seen this sony laptop fw21e on offer for £699 in a local shop and wanted to know if it would be suitable.

link to the full specs in first reply:



Any opinions appreciated.
Flake99 Avatar
7y, 10m agoPosted 7 years, 10 months ago
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1 Like #2
depends on what video software you use, I wouldn't trust it with large file sizes using something like Avid. Anything under that should be fine.
1 Like #3
laptops are the worst thing you can get for video editing, constant work on the cpu will cause it to get hot and go into low power mode the hdd's are comparably slow, expect to pay %30 more for %30 less performance than equivalent desktop.
consider getting a htpc wired to telly or use above guide for specs ie if software states u need a 2ghz processor on a lappy u will need a 2.5 and insist on at least one 7200 hard disk or 2 in raid would be better, depends on how long you want lappy to spend rendering frames and not being used.
#4
Thanks for the advice people.

I don't expect to use any major software. Probably just windows movie maker. I have used that before and was surprised to find it was very good. I have maybe 30 hours of video to upload and edit. As it had literally taken an age to do anything on my old desktop, I thought I would make sure I bought the new computer with that in mind.

I guessed that a laptop wouldn't be ideal but I didn't realise it would be such a problem. Thanks for the advice on this. Is it practical to work directly on a higher speed external hard drive? I see very few laptops with anything above 5400 speed.
1 Like #5
Flake99
Thanks for the advice people.

I don't expect to use any major software. Probably just windows movie maker. I have used that before and was surprised to find it was very good. I have maybe 30 hours of video to upload and edit. As it had literally taken an age to do anything on my old desktop, I thought I would make sure I bought the new computer with that in mind.

I guessed that a laptop wouldn't be ideal but I didn't realise it would be such a problem. Thanks for the advice on this. Is it practical to work directly on a higher speed external hard drive? I see very few laptops with anything above 5400 speed.


7200rpm drives are an option on Dell systems, adding an extra £20 to the price. Regarding external drives, it depends. USB tends to peak at around 30MB/s, although it'll realistically give you little more than 20MB/s. This is far slower than even a 5200rpm harddisk, probably around half the speed. Firewire isn't much faster. eSATA might be good, though.

With regards to overall performance, laptops aren't great for it. Video editing, particularly HD editing and encoding what you've created afterwards, can require oodles of CPU procesing power and for £700, you could be running a 2.8GHz Core2Quad rather than a 2.2Ghz Core2Duo. If you're just doing light stuff though, a laptop will be fine. Best way to judge what you need is to try what you want to do on what you've got now. Does it crawl at a painfully slow speed? Because if it doesn't, there's probably not much point going crazy on the spending.
#6
dxx
7200rpm drives are an option on Dell systems, adding an extra £20 to the price. Regarding external drives, it depends. USB tends to peak at around 30MB/s, although it'll realistically give you little more than 20MB/s. This is far slower than even a 5200rpm harddisk, probably around half the speed. Firewire isn't much faster. eSATA might be good, though.

With regards to overall performance, laptops aren't great for it. Video editing, particularly HD editing and encoding what you've created afterwards, can require oodles of CPU procesing power and for £700, you could be running a 2.8GHz Core2Quad rather than a 2.2Ghz Core2Duo. If you're just doing light stuff though, a laptop will be fine. Best way to judge what you need is to try what you want to do on what you've got now. Does it crawl at a painfully slow speed? Because if it doesn't, there's probably not much point going crazy on the spending.


I will take a look at Dell's site then.

In response to your other points, to be honest I don't know what qualifies as light stuff. My video is all standard definition.Just counted them and I have 21 mini dv tapes to upload. I would then want to edit these down and output to about 5 dvds. Every 4 or so hours of original footage down to about an hour dvd. I did this with my current desktop before it gave up the ghost. It wasn't really able to cope though. That said we are taking a five year old XP system with 1.4 GHz processor, 256 mb ram.
#7
Although laptops aren't ideal, for the kind of workload you're talking about I really can't see you running into any problems and it will still be a big step up compared to your old system.
#8
Rep added all around for the advice. It's much appreciated.
#9
I can seriously vouch for Vaio reliability wise... only issue is with hard disks really... I think it has firewire port so if you got a WD Studio or Studio Passport fw / 400/800 drive you would be flying.

Firewire 800 is much much faster...... 800 Mbits per sec translates to roughly 100MB a sec.
#10
Xiwt
I can seriously vouch for Vaio reliability wise... only issue is with hard disks really... I think it has firewire port so if you got a WD Studio or Studio Passport fw / 400/800 drive you would be flying.

Firewire 800 is much much faster...... 800 Mbits per sec translates to roughly 100MB a sec.


You've lost me a little bit now. The Vaio has a firewire port. I presumed I would use this to upload the video from the camcorder. I suppose that I then have the choice of using the internal hard drive to be uploading to, or an external hard drive, but that would have to be via usb as the firewire port would be in use. I suppose at the rendering stage of a final video at optimum quality I could then use the firewire port to connect a hard drive. Is that what you mean? Sorry but betraying my ignorance here.
#11
No no hang on I think if there is such a thing it might be worth you investing in a firewire hub if they are cheap and if they exist...lemme have a look...!
#12
I found this ...but it seems quite expensive...

http://www.lindy.co.uk/3-port-firewire-800-repeater-hub/32911.html
1 Like #13
Yeah there seems plenty of cheaper repeater hubs that can handle up to fw 400 (about 50MB a sec) devices (800 can also do 400 but not vice versa) so I think yeah you would have to keep plugging / unplugging if you want 800Mbit speed unless you get an expensive hub... I'm told these Fw800 drives are really quite amazing...I'm looking to get one myself because they aren't too bad price wise (given the speed) I think around £125-£130 for 500gb.
1 Like #14
A few years back I did mini-DV video editing on a Pentium-m 1.5Ghz machine with a 5400rpm 80GB drive - as it was over firewire it worked fine with no dropped frames. The machine you've linked to is considerably more powerful and will be able to encode far quicker.

John
banned#15
Johnmcl7
A few years back I did mini-DV video editing on a Pentium-m 1.5Ghz machine with a 5400rpm 80GB drive - as it was over firewire it worked fine with no dropped frames. The machine you've linked to is considerably more powerful and will be able to encode far quicker.



Likewise.

I spent a fortune on a top of the range (at the time) Athon 1.4GHz, 2 40GB HDs fitted with an Anaolgue Miro 300 capture card. (Still got the beastie - in a full tower 6 CD bay case!)

That worked fine. The hard drives were just about fast enough. Modern drives are at least 5 times faster than those ones - and transfer over Firewire much less troublesome.

If that old rec is good enough for analogue capture, even base spec machines are good enough for digital capture.

However, the one thing to add...... When using editing software such as Premiere, not having seperate drives for capturing, projects and scratch disc (ie rendering) will slow the processes down. Then again, maybe not that big an issue now - but certainly was!
1 Like #16
having just seen this thread I have the FW21L and using it for sony vegas and after effects for video editing, not to mention, photoshop, autocad and maya, had 1 problem rendering a movie to date and thats becuase it was a 6600 square pixal image (v.big)

anything your doing in windows movie maker should be fine.
#17
I'm following you now Xwit. Thanks for looking into the firewire hub idea as well.

JohnMcl7, thanks for sharing your experiences.

Likewise Guv. It sounds more and more from all your experiences that this will do the job. I might look a bit more into the second drive issue though.

Finally, MinstrelMan, thank you for your post. It is great to get the benefit of someone who has used a similar model.

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