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Laptop or desktop to make movies?

Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 1:37am

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Plainly

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OK, I'll start of by saying that I have ZERO experience with laptops and doing things on them other than Word and the Internet.

Now, if I buy myself a laptop (my family's computer is so slow, it's drinving me insane...), would it be a good idea to make movies on it, or should I use my desktop? I don't know whether or not this is true, but it seems to me that such a little thing wouldn't be able to work as well with hi-tech stuff (HD video, etc. [OK, I think 'HD video' is more or less it.]) than a desktop.

Any comments/suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

PLainly

PS- The lapttop would probably be around $600 Canadian, aka £300, and pretty much $600 American.

PPS - my desktop is from 2003.
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 2:01am

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SilverDragon7

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Depends... Do you want to be in different places other then your desk to make your movies? That's the great thing about laptops, portablity.
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 2:29am

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Dead Iris

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600$ seems kinda cheap for a laptop. What are the specs?
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:04am

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A Pickle

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A $600 laptop of today will have, most likely, a Core 2 Duo or some modern processor that wasn't around in 2003, so it will probably be a superior video editing machine than your desktop.

I edit on a laptop every day. smile

Happy editing!
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:37am

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Plainly

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Well, I haven't really been doing any research (I want to get this question answered before I do smile), so $600 was just an estimate.

Yes, I'd love portability.

And all I really care for in a laptop is Word (which I know laptops can support, obviously), internet (that too), VisionLab and Sony Vegas. I was just asking to see if a laptop would have enough power to support all of that.

Thanks for the answers, smile

Plainly
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:53am

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Thrawn

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Well, $600 is a little cheap for a laptop. I mean, with that price range you could get a Dell laptop with a 80GB Hard Drive and 1GB of memory for $600, or you could get a desktop with 250GB hard drive and 2GBs of memory that includes a 20 inch display for around the same price. It just depends on how important portability means to you.

Last edited Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 4:07am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:57am

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Rockfilmers

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Well, $600 is a little cheap for a laptop. I mean, with that price range you could get a Dell laptop with 80 gigs of ram and 1GB of memory...
I think you mean 80 gigs of hard drive. just so no one gets confused. smile
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 4:07am

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Thrawn

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Oops... redface

Much thanks. It's Edited.
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 4:12am

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Plainly

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Thrawn wrote:

It just depends on how important portability means to you.
Yes, it's a lot about portability, so... I don't really need more than 100-ish hard drive (right now, I've got 30something, so, go figure!). I also don't really care that much for the size of the screen... It would be nice to have it HD, but it's not the end of the world if it isn't (HD so I can see the final product of movies I shoot in HD).

Anyways, I'm just looking around right now. Thanks for your answers! smile

EDIT: Hehe, I'm at 400 posts!
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 4:25am

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Atom

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Plainly wrote:

Thrawn wrote:

It just depends on how important portability means to you.
Yes, it's a lot about portability, so... I don't really need more than 100-ish hard drive (right now, I've got 30something, so, go figure!). I also don't really care that much for the size of the screen... It would be nice to have it HD, but it's not the end of the world if it isn't (HD so I can see the final product of movies I shoot in HD).
Really, any new computer is going to give you what would be considered an 'HD' screen. For me, while I absolutely love laptops/notebooks, I don't think they're right for editing. To me, I don't know if it's stability or durability or the complete lack of space, but I can never go back to notebook editing.

Photoshop and Word, I don't care if they're on a notebook. But, honestly, if you're wanting to get seriously into filmmaking or at least take that next step, as is evident through you seeing yourself 'watching the HD movies you make in HD', 100-gigs of space is just not enough. Even the most thrifty computer space-saver/conserver like myself will tell you, especially with HD footage, you're going to have headaches over managing your space and captures.

If you're going with a new laptop, I recommend at least 2GB of RAM and the largest hard-disk you can get. The space may add a minor expense, and yes you can buy an external one, but bulking up on space internally (on notebooks) really does help. Having enough RAM to pack an HD punch on a portable machine does, too. smile

(And yeah, screen size never really matters to me either)
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 8:55am

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Arktic

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Here's my opinion - don't get a new laptop, get a new desktop.

Last year I was sharing a house with four other guys, who all owned laptops and who did video editing and similar things on their machines. All of them have had problems with their laptops that required them to send their laptops off to be fixed (often resulting in long periods without their computer, and lost data).

I, however, have had never had to take my (desktop) computer in for repairs, nor have I had to fix any major issues with it, and it's probably five years old (or more!) now.

Video editing is very taxing to a machine, and I personally just don't think that a laptop is rugged or robust enough to handle that kind of work AND to be lugged around from place to place. Plus, you'll get heaps more power for the same cost that you'd spend on a laptop.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 11:06am

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pdrg

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Frankly I'd spend your $600 on a new desktop machine dedicated to editing as you get more grunt per dollar (GPD index...) when form factor isn't an issue. That said, I edit SD on a 2+ year old (but good) laptop with Avid and it's super and well within capability. You're unlikely to have a monitor able to truly show HD though, and uncompressed true HD is big (like 150Megs a second which is way too much data to play on almost anything at full speed), so it'll always be a compromise!
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:51pm

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Plainly

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pdrg wrote:

You're unlikely to have a monitor able to truly show HD though
Well yeah, I know, but at least it's better than my current screen!

pdrg wrote:

and uncompressed true HD is big (like 150Megs a second which is way too much data to play on almost anything at full speed), so it'll always be a compromise!
I'm gonna compress it. But I'm starting to think I might go with a better SD camera instead. Anyways.

So, pdrg, you said that your laptop is good at editing SD footage. So do you think that I could pull of editing, let's say, 1200 x 720 (I forget the exact numbers, but basically 720p) on a laptop? It's not full HD, but it's still better than SD, IMO.

Oh and by the way, I'm not gonna buy a desktop, I've already got one! I'm just really asking whether or not it's a good idea to do editing/VisionLab-ing on it.

Atom wrote:

If you're going with a new laptop, I recommend at least 2GB of RAM and the largest hard-disk you can get. The space may add a minor expense, and yes you can buy an external one, but bulking up on space internally (on notebooks) really does help. Having enough RAM to pack an HD punch on a portable machine does, too.
Yes, a lot of RAM and hard-disk larginess are basically the two features that I'm looking for. Exactly for what you said they were good for! smile

THanks again to every answers! I'm gonna go search for good laptops on Google now (as I did last night when I started this topic).

PS- I'm surprised my posts actually make sense, I was falling asleep as I wrote them!
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 3:57pm

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Plainly

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Do you guys think it would be a good idea to go with the Dell Inspirion? You can get up to 500GB of hard-disk and 4GB of RAM!

Just a find that I thought better than the other laptops I saw! smile

EDIT: Here's the site, in case you'd like to know: http://configure.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=ca&CS=cadhs1&l=en&OC=N17202V_F_1E
Posted: Sat, 27th Oct 2007, 7:53pm

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RyanMichael

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Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 4:32am

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Plainly

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Worlds End Productions wrote:

Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.
Thanks, but no, cause I prefer Windows, and I already bought VisionLab for Windows anyways, which would basically be a waste of $500 if I now decide to go with Mac!

And just for the record, the Inspiron got a 4.6/5 (with people on the site voting), so I-- Well, does anyone else think that Dell sucks? (Just to get a second opinion on that smile)
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 1:03pm

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RyanMichael

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the very good thing about macs is that you can go through the steps to make your awesome movie. if you buy final cut express, it comes with soundtrack pro 1.5 and livetype(3-D title maker). these are very good editing sytems for ur music then movie, then the titles, then send it to fxhome to complete your movie. and everything just works and fits together perfectly. smile

www.apple.com/finalcutexpress
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 2:40pm

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Penguin

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Hmm, Worlds End, you don't seem to have read Plainly's post just above yours. I do like Macs better, but for $600 it might be hard to get a good one, and the dell you were talking about sounds pretty good.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 3:55pm

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Plainly

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For an NLE, I'm gonna buy Sony Vegas. For music, I record it myself. For titles, if I want them 3D, I could either make it in Blender or attempt at making it '3D' in Photoshop, but really, I don't really use 3D titles... Thanks anyways, Worlds End.

Darth Penguin: Yay! Is sounds pretty good! (Cause I really like it since it's so customisable. Also, it's by far the best I've found in the 'Commercial Links' in Google. Oh and also, it does actually start at around $600.)
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 5:15pm

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Lior

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Desktops would be the most accurate choice. The reason for this is proper monitoring. Sure some can argue to slap Dvrack on your laptop and your set; but this is not true. For true hd monitoring you would need a desktop with an SDI card, or use one ex: a Blackmagic card like Intensity Pro, or for real professional results get what I use, Blackmagic's Hdlink and Decklink there are other companies that have cards such as these; but this to me was the best deal. An HDMI monitor means nothing when it comes to monitoring. If you are doing just run and gun shoots then do what you will. For professional work always use a Desktop. I usually bring my pc (as ridiculous as it sounds) to the shoot. Remember either way you need a generator so an extra couple of wires won’t hurt. Remember if you have a hdv camera it is very crucial you get proper monitoring. If you have HD pro which I do, I can say, you still need it. Just take into mind. When you go into HD production it is not just buying a camera for it's upgrading your entire workflow (Hardware software etc...) and no matter what a sales person says HDMI is not SDI it’s the consumer's version of SDI. To me it looks like you are on a shoestring budget (I apologies if I am wrong); but if so the best setup is, get intensity pro by Blackmagic for monitoring. A blue ray recorder (I'd wait on the blue ray) and a good laptop with at least 3 gigs of ram(remember you are working with HD) a TB of hard drive storage (which is cheap now under a dollar a gig), a very good CPU etc... This whole production comes to under 2500 buxs if you can build it yourself, or a little more about over 3000. and invest allot in lighting because HD is a bitch and a light hog. for lighting HMIs would be the best but since their expensive I saw shoots done with china balls and other cheap lights for photography which cost like 300-400 bux on ebay with soft boxes. 3500.00 total package at worst. to real pro that can run you way over 100 grand (and this is a indi budget believe it or not). I have spent way over 70 grand and there is still so much I need. Didn’t get it over night; but spent time analyzing what I want to get out of the production. Much like everything in life, it’s an investment. Just remember to analyze everything and invest wisely. Just my two cents.
ps. don't want to start a Mac war. But in any production as time goes by you will need to upgrade your system. Pc let you drop into any store and replace the parts yourself which is very usful when it come to a production everything must be done within a time frame. With a mac you will have to wait a long time to pick up their custome made parts. I'm not putting the mac down; but in terms of working under a scedual you will be digging your own grave.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 5:49pm

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Garrison

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Worlds End Productions wrote:

... and livetype(3-D title maker).
Just to be accurate, Livetype is not a 3D title maker. It can use 3D animated titles from photoshop etc., but it cannot CREATE 3D titles.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 5:56pm

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Joshua Davies

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Worlds End Productions wrote:

Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.
Dells do not suck at all! Top end Mac laptops and top end Dell laptops have many of the same internals. A large difference is that Apple includes a fairly poor and underclocked graphics processor in the interest of making the MacBook Pro very thin, and giving longer battery life. Top end Dell laptops have very powerful graphics cards which are several times faster than the one in the MacBook Pro.

Plainly wants a PC and there is no way he is going to get a MacBook Pro for $600 and then spend $1000 on Final Cut Studio 2 and THEN rebuy VisionLab. Lets keep the Mac vs PC debate out of this, especially when it just based on incorrect information.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 6:30pm

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Atom

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schwar wrote:

Worlds End Productions wrote:

Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.
Dells do not suck at all! Top end Mac laptops and top end Dell laptops have many of the same internals.
I would whole-heartedly agree. As much grief as I've had with my old Dell notebook, the desktop I use is a Dell and it's been absolutely solid for 2-3 years now with 2GB of RAM and a 200GB HD. (Externals added, of course.) A great and affordable machine for how much punch it packs. And I love my editing workflow.

I'm not hating on Macs, but Plainly, I'd seriously look at Dell for notebooks and desktops. They are, for many things, the best computers out there. And unless you're going to sink some cash into an Alienware (like I might do smile) Dell is probably your best bet.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 6:44pm

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Jabooza

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Yeah, I like Macs better but besides them I'm pretty sure Dells are supposed to be the best kind of computer that runs Windows.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 6:50pm

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Serpent

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Jabooza wrote:

Yeah, I like Macs better but besides them I'm pretty sure Dells are supposed to be the best kind of computer that runs Windows.
I wouldn't go that far. Some crazier high end stuff like Alienware, Boxx, built computers, etc. are > than Dell. I know they are great prebuilt machines, but to say they are the best is stretching it.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 6:53pm

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Bryce007

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I would certainly rank the new HP systems over Dell any day. Especially the midrange desktops and laptops. Admitedly, Dell DOES own Alienware now, so it's no wonder the XPS systems are getting so good. But then again, they're $2 grand for a good one.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 7:33pm

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Plainly

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Wow, many comments to quote! So here it goes:

Lior: (I'm not actually gonna quote it cause it's too long wink) THanks for that great comment. I'll make sure to keep this in mind, and re-read it a couple of times!

schwar wrote:

Plainly wants a PC and there is no way he is going to get a MacBook Pro for $600 and then spend $1000 on Final Cut Studio 2 and THEN rebuy VisionLab.
Exactly. That would just be a bit... Well, let's just say that Lior was 100% right when he said that I've got a shoestring budget.

schwar wrote:

Dells do not suck at all!
I'm extremely happy you said that, because the Dell laptops I've seen are by far the best (in terms of RAM and HDD, which are basically the 2 most important things for me), and now I'm sure that I'll be making the right decision in buying a Dell laptop (which will probably happen!).

Atom wrote:

I'm not hating on Macs, but Plainly, I'd seriously look at Dell for notebooks and desktops
Well, that's pretty much what I'm doing! smile

schwar wrote:

Lets keep the Mac vs PC debate out of this, especially when it just based on incorrect information.
No kidding, especially since there is actually 0% chance that I'm buying a Mac.

Bryce007 wrote:

I would certainly rank the new HP systems over Dell any day.
I've looked at them (on the Internet, so maybe there are some better in the actual stores out there), and, speaking or RAM and HDD only, they were just OK, I'd say.

So thank you to everyone who answered! smile

- Plainly

EDIT: But, Bryce, I will be looking into the HPs a bit.
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 8:31pm

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Spike 2006

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If you want advice from an MCSE guy (me) I would say:
Update your family PC
With $600 you can buy more Ram (www.crucial.com)
If you upgrade to a gig, I'm guessing it'll cost about $50-100
then, run some system cleanups, maybe a graphics card and possibly a screen (maybe not enough budget) In this way, your PC will be quicker, and there should be more speed. If it was made in 2003, and you update it, it should last until about 2012 as a good PC. And it should run FXhome.
Just a thought...
Posted: Sun, 28th Oct 2007, 8:43pm

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Lior

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I say overall nothing comes even close to a custom built machine. You know what you are getting. I built my pc because i pretty much had it with dells and macs.Plus I love a machine that I can upgrade on the fly and not have to sent out due to keeping my warentee. I agree with bryce hp is one of the best manufacturers. Dells have poor airflow which pretty much kills chips eventualy. check their forums and see the complaints not to mention horrible customer service. I build my pc with the the best parts out this year ofcorse the rate its going in another year it will be crap or not the best thats where upgrading on the fly comes to have an advantage. My laptop is hp. No that is not why i am voting for hp. I owned dells and have a old Mac laptop from three years ago enouph to know what real quality is. Everything has it's advantages and dis advantages. I say if you can built it, it will be the best above all because you know what your getting. Now if you want to go retail go for hp; which has incredible no nonsense customer suppot and real pc parts like maxtor, western digital, etc... Most of the competitors have generic parts which they slap their lables on. Hp also tops in airflow which to me and any other pc geek out there is the most important aspect above all in terms of how long it can last. I have seen gtx on a dell run on 85-92c which is redicoulusly insane compaired to the 55 range i get. Your choice.
Posted: Mon, 29th Oct 2007, 1:20am

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RyanMichael

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Bryce007 wrote:

I would certainly rank the new HP systems over Dell any day. Especially the midrange desktops and laptops. Admitedly, Dell DOES own Alienware now, so it's no wonder the XPS systems are getting so good. But then again, they're $2 grand for a good one.
me too hps r my 2nd choice and i have a 3000 dollar desktop one.
Posted: Mon, 29th Oct 2007, 1:39am

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Hybrid-Halo

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The big, big joke is that it doesn't matter what you use to edit and work on your projects. Be it a Mac or a PC, A desktop or a Laptop. It's all massively irrelevant.

Now, I'm not accusing anyone of thinking that if you get the tools, you'll suddenly be able to produce superior work though that is definitely a mindset I see often amongst people new either to film making or getting a machine to work with, mostly Mac users unfortunately, And it's silly. smile

Anyway, moving swiftly to the question at hand : Would you like an extremely fast machine to work with, or one a little slower than you can pick up and take to a friends house for feedback.

This should make choosing between the two very, very easy. I've always gone for customizing my own desktop PC though that's very much because it suits my working needs. People send me material to work on and through my web resources and website I am able to easily work ways of getting the feedback I need. You simply need to find what will meet your needs and go for that.

If you can't put together your own PC, then simply don't smile Although it will cost you extra money Dell are indeed a good manufacturer of both Desktops and Laptops. My first machine many years ago was a Dell and it was with that machine that I learnt how to build my own.

-Hybrid.

p.s. Sorry if I'm jumping in late Plainly, Good luck with your new machine!
Posted: Mon, 29th Oct 2007, 2:07am

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DaFlea

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Atom wrote:

I'm not hating on Macs, but Plainly, I'd seriously look at Dell for notebooks and desktops. They are, for many things, the best computers out there. And unless you're going to sink some cash into an Alienware (like I might do smile) Dell is probably your best bet.
In case your not aware or anyone else for that matter Dell purchased Alienware back in 06.

If you are looking into a Dell laptop purchase a business line model not a home version... Precision or Latitude series are money well spent...

I'm not much of an Apple fan, it seem they spend more time making it look like a piece of art. At one time Apple was king of the hill for graphic and video, but in all fairness Apple vs PC days are over. A PC can do just the same hands down. I know Apple owners will disagree but thats just the nature of the beast.

Last edited Mon, 29th Oct 2007, 2:15am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 29th Oct 2007, 2:15am

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Atom

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DaFlea wrote:

In case your not aware of it Dell purchased Alienware back in 06.
Fully aware. Alienware is still a higher-end high-graphics/processing-specific PC company, though. Whereas the Dell lineup isn't really.
Posted: Tue, 30th Oct 2007, 12:34am

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Plainly

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

p.s. Sorry if I'm jumping in late Plainly, Good luck with your new machine!
Haha, it's OK! smile New opinions are always great.

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

The big, big joke is that it doesn't matter what you use to edit and work on your projects. Be it a Mac or a PC, A desktop or a Laptop. It's all massively irrelevant.

Now, I'm not accusing anyone of thinking that if you get the tools, you'll suddenly be able to produce superior work though that is definitely a mindset I see often amongst people new either to film making or getting a machine to work with, mostly Mac users unfortunately, And it's silly. smile
So you basically think that I should go with the one that fits me, point? If the answer to that is yes, that'd be awesome, and you would be my new temporary (and cyber) best friend. (wink)

the same person as before, whose name I'm tired of writing cause my hands hurt since I just finished practicing my violin wrote:

Anyway, moving swiftly to the question at hand : Would you like an extremely fast machine to work with, or one a little slower than you can pick up and take to a friends house for feedback.
Well, for the fast-or-not-extremely-fast question, I have to say that I don't need a super-fast machine. Basically, if it's able to work fast enough with video (possibly HDV in the near-enough future), I'm fine. Also, I write a LOT (for fun but my dream is to get that 'novel' published one day smile), and actually around a third of the time I'd spend on my laptop would be writing, on Word. The other third would probably be homework, Fxhome.com and Harry Potter fan sites, and the third third (third third third third third - hehe) would be making movies. And I don't remember why I said all that stuff*, but my point is, I'm probably going with 2 GB of RAM. And yes, laptop that I can take to my friends' (not that I have much of a social life, except if you count reading books as 'social' (wink)), even if that means that it'll be slower.
*Oh! I remember now! It's to show that, be a very writy person, it would be great to be able to take it anywhere, to write anywhere!

H-H wrote:

This should make choosing between the two very, very easy.
Certainly has. Thanks for that!

H-H wrote:

I've always gone for customizing my own desktop PC though that's very much because it suits my working needs. People send me material to work on and through my web resources and website I am able to easily work ways of getting the feedback I need. You simply need to find what will meet your needs and go for that.
Well, you can customize the Dell Inspiron (a lot), which is one of the reasons I'm leaning for that.

H-H wrote:

If you can't put together your own PC, then simply don't smile Although it will cost you extra money Dell are indeed a good manufacturer of both Desktops and Laptops. My first machine many years ago was a Dell and it was with that machine that I learnt how to build my own.
Yay! (because you said they're a good manifacturer, making me a bit more certain about my decision smile)

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Anyway, moving swiftly to the question at hand

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

moving swiftly to the question

Hybrid-Halo wrote:

moving swiftly
Wow, very dramatic choice of adverb! smile

- Plainly

PS- If I used a fan, would that add to the circulation of the Dell? (wink)
Posted: Tue, 30th Oct 2007, 1:08am

Post 35 of 52

Hybrid-Halo

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Assuming that there's space to fit an extra fan in, it could do. Though generally speaking a machine that arrives will already be catered for in regard to cooling. It's only when you want to over clock or install notoriously hot graphics cards that you need to give your airflow another look.

Sometimes the ability to upgrade isn't as useful as you might think. I always seem to upgrade the whole thing in one go when I need to which means replacing everything anyway. Though I suppose I have saved money at some stage. Just a thought.

From what you've told me, it sounds like a laptop would be a good choice. If you're planning on writing then being able to easily change your surroundings could well be invaluable. smile

And yes, of course you should go with the option that fits you the best. To do so for any other reason would be rather silly. I think.

-Hybrid.
Posted: Tue, 30th Oct 2007, 9:52pm

Post 36 of 52

Plainly

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When I said that I could use a fan, I meant a real fan, not the ones in computers. (And it was a joke/silly comment - that's why I put a '(wink)')

And no, I'm not gonna have 'notoriously hot graphic cards'. Just the basic ones (well, the ones that come with the PC, really).

And I am now conviced, I'm gonna do my post-production on my (still non-existent) laptop. And the writing too, for sure. (That's actually the main reason for which I want a laptop in the first place.)

- Plainly
Posted: Tue, 30th Oct 2007, 11:25pm

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cinemafreak

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Worlds End Productions wrote:

Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.
Only if you have the budget for a mac. And btw, Dells don't suck. There is no such thing as one brand being worse than another. It's all about the specs and how much money you want to fork over.
Posted: Wed, 26th Dec 2007, 9:55pm

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Plainly

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Hey there everyone!

I am very happy to announce my new ownership-ness of a Dell Inspiron laptop. Yay! Here are some specs:

    - Dell Inspiron 1520
    - 15.4" screen
    - Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor
    - 2 GB of RAM
    - 32-bit WIndows Vista
    - 160 GB HD
    - French (Even though all the software I installed is bilingual, which is good)
    - Blue*


I'm EXTREMELLY happy with it so far! It's SO fast, and overall great!

Before, I was about to get a 250 GB HD. Here's why I changed my mind:

To update from 160 GB to 250 GB - aka 90 GBs more -, the cost was of 90$.

However, to buy a 500 GB external HD, the cost is of around $150.

So, I'm going to buy an external hard drive, once I need it.

*It's really nice, actually, even though it sounds kinda strange to have a blue laptop. Cause it's not a very vibrant blue; on the contrary, it's a kinda grey-ish blue... Here's a picture that shows very well the colour:



So, again, thanks for all of your help, everyone!

- A Very Happy Plainly (Whoah, that rhymes like major amount!)
Posted: Wed, 26th Dec 2007, 10:14pm

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pdrg

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Woohoo! Congratulations smile

Good choice not going for the bigger hard drive - once you've filled up 160Gb the 500Gig external will probably be even cheaper! For what it's worth, my lappy has only 60 Gigs internal disk, and that's still plenty most of the time (how often do you need to edit a whole feature in one go? More likely you'll cut a scene or two on the road, or cut shorts, etc).
Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 12:21am

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A Pickle

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Awesome!

A couple of tips, Dell is fast-becoming the "industry leader" as far as not pre-loading bloatware... but they still pre-install bloatware pretty badly. You'll want to remove a lot of that (and I'd be happy to help out with that, if you'd like).

Also, Dell can be... peace of mind. I bought an Alienware laptop because it was literally the only laptop on the market at the time that had what I wanted, but it has been a royal pain in the ass whenever something goes wrong with it. The laptop itself is great, but in my opinion, the computer itself is half the purchase -- the other half is the company standing behind it.

Dell can be exemplary when it comes to speed of service, as well as quality of service... and they can be downright terrible. Did you purchase a warranty with Dell's Accidental Damage Coverage (CompleteCare)?
Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 12:40pm

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JornLavoll

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bah, all computer parts (mac and pc) are made in the same factories in china.

i just built myself a quad monster with 4 gigs of ram and 4 internal hard disks and lots of lovely things, supercheap. the best computer in the world smile because i built it myself, hehe.

and to add my useless 0.2 to this discussion. i use both a desktop (3) and a laptop (1 pc and 1 mac) and i have them networked, so that when one computer is rendering, i can continue working on another. I havent been able to set up vegas network rendering to work properly, but this way works well for me.
Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 10:29pm

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Plainly

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I'm so glad that you think I made the right decisoin, pdrg! I was kinda scared that I didn't, you see. smile

A Pickle: What's bloatware?

Thanks for the responses,

- Plainly (I've actually JUST got Internet on my laptop. Yay!)
Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 10:29pm

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DVStudio

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I have multiple desktops and a laptop. The desktop is the best at editing movies thoguh. However, I like the freedom a laptop gives by moving aroiund and being on set, ect. My laptop is comperable to most desktops.I would say to look for a laptop that has at leats a intel duo core and a 250gb hard drive (also look for one with a lot of RAM (2-3gb). Let us know how you work out!

Edit:
OOPS! Sorry, didn't see that you ought one already. Good choice. That is very similar to the one I have!

Last edited Wed, 3rd Sep 2008, 4:19pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 10:35pm

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DVStudio

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Worlds End Productions wrote:
Just to say that dells suck. Macs r the best to get if you want serious editing. and they have great performance. check um out.


No actually Dells are one of the best brands (other than maybe HP) out there. Macs, I think, are the ones that 'suck'. You can't do much of anything on a Mac (games for example)

Last edited Wed, 3rd Sep 2008, 4:15pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 27th Dec 2007, 11:06pm

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pdrg

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Plainly - 160 gigs is many many hours of storage (like best part of 100 hours if the whole thing was DV), so ignoring program files, Windows, etc for the sake of demonstration you have like 4 days continuous playing DV video!!

Worlds End and DV Studio - both of you stop this right now! The only real differences between Mac and PC now are the price and the pretty box - just the same Intel architecture with different OS's running. Some people feel happier with Macs, others with PCs and you both just look silly arguing over it. Macs and PCs will both edit video just fine with different software running on them, and both will run the same version of Avid (Xpress Pro) with an identical interface and literally nothing to choose between them technically these days.
Posted: Fri, 28th Dec 2007, 5:32am

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Dead Iris

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Crapola, I was a tad late.

But for anyone else, heres a good place to buy PCs. They're pretty dern cheap and I've been recommended this website quite frequently.

http://www.ibuypower.com/
Posted: Fri, 28th Dec 2007, 10:26am

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ashman

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I use a Macbook Pro to edit from. This is purely for portability. I'm always out and about, when I'm away from home I take it with me so I can continue with my writing or make cuts, work on effect shots. It works great for my needs including cutting HD footage, so I'm happy. For me, this way I'm using my time effectively and can constantly work no matter where I am. It's a great piece of kit to have on set as well, to have an editor to start labeling shots and cutting straight away.

When money allows I'll definitely have a desktop as a solid base to work from home. I don't regret for one minute buying a laptop, even if at first I was slightly worried.

At the end of the day it's all about your needs and work flow.

All the Best
Ash
Posted: Fri, 28th Dec 2007, 12:12pm

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petet2

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You really need a CRT monitor to correctly colour balance and grade your finished work. Even if you edit on the move you really need to be fixed to a big heavy tv at some point!
Posted: Sun, 30th Dec 2007, 9:04pm

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cdolsen

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A desktop is more flexible. You can upgrade all components as you get the cash without problems. ie You can't add additional internal hard disks, or upgrade a video card.
Posted: Mon, 31st Dec 2007, 3:57am

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Horror Maker

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Well I'm getting a laptop because alot of times, I'm not at my house and I want to be able to edit anywhere
Posted: Mon, 31st Dec 2007, 6:33am

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Thrawn

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ashman wrote:

I use a Macbook Pro to edit from. This is purely for portability. I'm always out and about, when I'm away from home I take it with me so I can continue with my writing or make cuts, work on effect shots. It works great for my needs including cutting HD footage, so I'm happy. For me, this way I'm using my time effectively and can constantly work no matter where I am. It's a great piece of kit to have on set as well, to have an editor to start labeling shots and cutting straight away.

When money allows I'll definitely have a desktop as a solid base to work from home. I don't regret for one minute buying a laptop, even if at first I was slightly worried.

At the end of the day it's all about your needs and work flow.

All the Best
Ash
This is exactly what I plan on doing. Thanks for the post, ashman.
Posted: Mon, 31st Dec 2007, 9:53am

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A Pickle

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Plainly wrote:

A Pickle: What's bloatware?
All of that crappy, pre-installed software that comes on your machine. Stuff like... trial versions of Microsoft Office, CyberLink PowerDVD, MyWebSearch Toolbar... do you think you could give us a screenshot of your Add/Remove Programs list?

DVStudio wrote:

No actually Dells are the best brand (other than alien ware) out there.
If you had any idea what you're talking about, you would never have said that. I genuinely miss my Dell. Don't get me wrong -- I love my Alienware laptop. It's a good piece of hardware... but it wasn't built nearly as well as my Dell, nor is it REMOTELY supported as well as my Dell. In my mind, the computer itself is only half of your purchase (ESPECIALLY when it comes to laptops) -- the other half is the company behind that laptop. If that company won't stand behind you when the feces hits the fan, you've been had.

Give you an example.

The other day, I decided I wanted to re-format my hard drive and re-install my operating system which happened to be Windows Vista Ultimate. I looked and looked and looked for the disks that came with my computer, but to no avail. I couldn't find them. Then I though, "Aha! I can just call Alienware, because they'll send me new disks free of charge like Dell! After all, after having paid nearly $4,000 for a new computer, I should be treated like a customer they'd want to keep, right?"

Well, an ordinarily logical person would think so. But no, replacing my disks from Alienware would... actually... be a $20 fee. Mind you, I asked the same thing of Dell perhaps three times in one month -- and they NEVER asked me for money and my CD's were on my doorstep the day after the phone call. Unparalleled service.

Then there was the time I spilled water on my Alienware. Needless to say, after this event, it didn't boot. So we called Alienware, and they said they'd fix it, free of charge -- as I had paid for a 2-year warranty. I must've done half the work, though, because they had me check each and every component in my Alienware. Yes, they had me remove EVERYTHING from my Alienware, by myself.

...do they EXPECT all of their customers to just so happen to call Alienware while standing on a grounding pad with an anti-static wrist strap on?

Anyways. After fully disassembling and then re-assembling my laptop (probably about an hour of my time), they had ME find a box to package it in (fortunately, I still had the original packaging) and then they had ME... leave the battery and hard drives in. I was like, "What? But Dell has me take the hard drives out -- that way I won't lose any data. Why the hell do you need MY hard drives for anyways? You don't have any 2.5-inch hard drives at the repair center?"

"No sir, we don't." Yes. He actually said that. On the phone. Then he said, "Please remove the password protection from your operating system, and backup any data you need, there is a 50% chance we may format the hard drives." I was appalled. Had he not been listening the ENTIRE time? I HAD SPILLED WATER ON MY LAPTOP. IT NO LONGER TURNED ON. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO REMOVE THE OS PASSWORD AND BACKUP DATA?

Fortunately, three weeks later, I had my laptop back and my data hadn't been formatted. Of course, I checked my Alienware account, and there was a little charge of $206.51 for a "m5750 Motherboard Replacement." Interesting indeed, considering... they said that I wouldn't be charged.

I love how they treat their customers, especially customers who've made a fairly large first-time purchase. To date, Alienware has yet to update their drivers for my Mobility Radeon X1900 graphics card. I have since found a way to do it myself (and those of you with ATI mobility graphics in their laptops, who want to know how to use the latest desktop drivers in their laptops, feel free to ask)

Of course, the Dell side of that experience was twice as good. I'm sorry -- my mistake. The Dell side of that experience was four-hundred and eleven times as good. My grandmother spilled a martini in my then-former E1705 (which I had sold to my parents prior to Basic Training). Despite this, the computer still worked -- so my parents COULD have removed the OS password and backed up their data -- had they needed to.

Apparently Dell, unlike Alienware, has a stock of diagnosis hard drives in the repair facility, and so they asked my mother to remove the hard drive and the battery from her laptop -- and that was it. The next day, a DHL pre-paid shipping box was at our doorstep -- and the laptop was off to Dell. Eight days later, a brand new, totally replaced and fully-functioning Inspiron E1705 running Windows Vista Home Premium was sitting on our doorstep.

Wait a minute, though. My mom had removed the battery and hard drive as per Dell's instructions... so... this laptop... had it's own... hard drive and battery... which means Dell, not only replaced the laptop free-of-charge, but also gave us a free battery AND 80 GB 7200 RPM laptop hard drive (which now, thanks to a Vantec 2.5" enclosure, serves as a portable external hard drive).

I'm sorry. Alienware does not begin to compare to the quality that you get from Dell. Nowhere even close.

Mequellios wrote:

Crapola, I was a tad late.

But for anyone else, heres a good place to buy PCs. They're pretty dern cheap and I've been recommended this website quite frequently.

http://www.ibuypower.com/
On second thought, if Alienware is at least a TAD better than anyone, it's them. Sorry, IBuyPower is a terrible company.

Where do I go to get drivers? Maybe it's on that tiny-as-hell, gray "Service" link at the very bottom of the page against a slightly lighter-grey background... but I can't find it, because when I click that link, it takes me to a paragraph that tells me just how great IBuyPower's customer service is.

Wait, wait... I found it. It's under the "Technical Support" link to the right of the self-praising paragraph. I just select whether or not it's a desktop or a laptop... select the model... and... I can download the "driver" for my laptop!

Wow. That's awesome. IBuyPower offers ONE driver for an ENTIRE SYSTEM. That makes sense. Especially since I definitely won't upgrade. Hmm. I'm gonna click that "Download Driver" button...

erjt...

...what the...

...now I'm at Compal's website. Hmm. I'm going to dissuade any thoughts in my mind that IBuyPower just linked me to the ACTUAL manufacturer of the laptop and... so I'll just click this folder.... whup. Subfolders. Okay... now I'll click "Driver"...

That was just one model of notebook I tried searching for drivers for. I randomly tried searching for drivers for the "G600" notebook, whatever that is... and I got send to ECS's homepage. No... uh.... no drivers. Whatsoever. I've been taken to ECS's homepage. Where... uh... where do I go from there?

Yeah. No. IBuyPower is lame beyond all means of comprehension. It's just scary.

cdolsen wrote:

A desktop is more flexible. You can upgrade all components as you get the cash without problems. ie You can't add additional internal hard disks, or upgrade a video card.
Uh... wrong. The only things you can't *traditionally* add to a laptop would be the video card or the LCD. To say that you flat-out can't upgrade them -- wrong.

Everything else? Cakewalk. Hard drives? Easy. All notebooks manufactured by companies expecting to be taken seriously, use industry standard 2.5" hard drives. I have two such drives in my notebook, and I can set them up as a RAID 0 striped volume, a JBOD array, or a RAID 1 mirrored volume. Given current technology, I could have a total of 640 GB in my notebook.

Optical drives? Cake. Again, industry standard slimline optical drives.

RAM? Duh. That's an easy one.

Anything else? Use the hot-swappable ExpressCard or PCMCIA slots. I know what you're thinking, "But no one uses ExpressCard! There's nothing out there for it!" And you're wrong. ExpressCard, using PCI-Express and having the bandwidth of a PCIe x1 slot provides us with a full-duplex, bidirectional 250 MB/sec bandwidth. CardBus/PCMCIA had a MAXIMUM throughput of 132 MB/sec, and that was only operating in something known as DWord mode.