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Laptop advice needed

sunnycharlie Avatar
9y, 1m agoPosted 9 years, 1 month ago
Can anyone out there help me?
I have a Sanyo Xacti cg65 camera that records video in MPEG4 AVC/H.264. I am thinking of buying a laptop (with windows vista) and need to know what spec I need to play these files smoothly.

Is a dedicated graphics card needed? If so, which ones? If not, is it the chip or the RAM that is important? Or do I need a decent set of everything!

Some advice would be really welcome.
Thankyou in advance!!
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sunnycharlie Avatar
9y, 1m agoPosted 9 years, 1 month ago
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#1
Is there anyone out there who can advise me?

I know if I ask in a shop they will probably try and sell me the most expensive laptop they can! I need to know what I actually need.

Please....
#2
i will speak to my other half when hes home from work, this is his field. And i will Pm you then okies:)
#3
In my opinion, a fast processor is the most important thing when recording something. A graphics card isn't that important and most integrated boards these days are up to the job, but any dedicated board is a bonus as an integrated graphics card uses more ram to complete the job.

RAM is always a bonus, but is only really important for multi-tasking with many programs open at once.

These days, i'd go for something that has a dual processor with about 1-1.5gb of ram (or add more yourself).
#4
These days I wouldn't say the graphics card is too important, although dedicated graphics cards can offer some decode support integrated graphics cards are quite reasonable now. At worst, a basic dedicated graphics card such as a 6200/7300 would be fine as it contains dedicated hardware decode, advanced 3D capabilities are not going to be used.

As you are choosing Vista, I would go for 2GB without hesitation - while Vista will run on 1GB, I find it's noticeably better with 2GB. I think you'd be fine with playback at 2GB, I've been doing HDV capture and editing on a 2GB Vista machine without any ram issues.

Processor choice is a little more tricky as I'm not familiar with that camcorder so I don't know how much cpu power it uses. I have a Canon HV10, the XPS 2 (Pentium-m 2Ghz, XP) had no trouble playing the raw captured HD files nor the WMV-HD versions. The XPS M1710 with a Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz has no issues either, I've just tried running a 720p WMV-HD clip on a Vaio UX (Vista business, Core Solo 1.33Ghz ULV, 1GB) could play it fine. Basically I think if you had anything along the lines of a Core Duo/Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz+ you'd have no issues at all.

If there's any way you could transfer a short file to me (using something like http://www.yousendit.com) I could try it out on a couple of configurations to see what cpu is needed.

John
#5
Thankyou all for your replies!

I have a link here to a review of my camera that includes some sample videos.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=121651&forum_id=27

This forum has discussed lots of issues including the fact that the H.264 codec needs quite a powerful computer. I haven't seen any specific references that answer my question.

Thanks again!
#6
I've tried downloading a couple of the clips (many seem to be dead), they're a little tricky to judge performance as they're short with little motion. The first clip I tried showed the camera being zoomed into some cars and the second a close up of some sort of stuffed toy.

I first tried it on a Pentium 1.7ghz with 1GB ram and Win2k, there looked to be two slight skips on the zoom sample but they occurred in the same place each time so I think they were part of the clip. It looked smooth on the stuffed toy sample.

On the Core Solo 1.33Ghz, 1GB and Vista Business it was noticeably skipping - I'd say this setup is just below the requirements for playing this type of file.

I should have a Core Duo 1.8Ghz machine with 1GB ram and Vista Enterprise but I can't quite lay my hands on it at the moment, will have a look for it properly tomorrow. I reckon it will play the clips back fine, although it's only 100Mhz faster than the P-m, it has a faster FSB and also benefits from having the additional core even for single threaded tasks.

John
#7
Thankyou so much, John, for taking the time to try the clips out.

It sounds as though an up-to-date laptop would certainly do the trick. I have been browsing ones with core 2 duo chips and Turion 64x 2. If I buy one with a decent chip is the speed of it important? Do your laptops have graphics cards? Or do you still think a dedicated card is unimportant? Obviously, a dedicated graphics card adds a lot to the price.

Thanks again!
#8
I don't think you need anything amazingly fast so even the lower clocked ones would be fine, around 1.8Ghz should be good. I'm having a busy day so I've not been able to dig up the Core Duo 1.8Ghz, if I could see the clips running on that smoothly then I'd feel more comfortable recommending that configuration.

The laptops I've tested it on have no dedicated graphics card, the P-m 1.7Ghz is using an Intel GMA 915 and the Core Solo 1.33Ghz an Intel GMA 950. I honestly don't think you're going to need a dedicated graphics card for playing back files of this type although if you're working with high resolution HD footage (1080p) you may need some decode assist from the graphics card.

John

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