laptops to edit camcorder movies on

  casper69 08:36 12 Sep 2007


just wondering if anyone uses a laptop to edit any movies they have from camcorders, i just really wont to know if there's any running problems with programs etc on certain laptops, as im looking to buy a laptop about a 12.2-14.4 inch screen size (for space saving, traveling) but ive been told the smaller laptop sizes will not run the programs properly because it will start generating to much heat.

all ideas welcome and if possible spec


  holme 09:15 12 Sep 2007

"... ive been told the smaller laptop sizes will not run the programs properly because it will start generating to much heat"

What you've been told sounds to me like the proverbial load of codswollop... Sounds like an attempt to excuse poor cooling design. :-(

For info, our 4-year-old Toshiba Satellite laptop has always been used for considerable video editing, without the slightest problems. Originally that was under Windows XP and with 'only' 500MB RAM.

We recently upgraded it to Vista. No significant difference; possibly a tad slower but hardly noticeable.

We then put a second 500MB RAM card in, making - er - 1GB in all. This significantly improved performance specifically for video editing by about 30% (noticeably less disc thrashing and use of virtual memory) but made negligible difference to other activities such as DTP.

In all cases, that's using Windows Movie Maker and, latterly, Ulead's VideoStudio (v9 or later).

Contrary to what some people say, graphics card performance has *no* significant bearing on video editing performance. Performance for video editing depends primarily on the processor power (VideoStudio supports dual-core processors; few other video edit progs do as yet), secondly RAM.

So in general, any modern laptop with reasonably powerful processor and graphics card (nothing fancy required) should do the job. Recommend 1GB RAM, specifically for video editing. Assuming Vista, I recommend a Home Premium machine which will most likely come with 1GB RAM anyway and also supports 'Media Centre' applications. It may even come with Ulead's VideoStudio bundled (our last Media Centre purchase did), plus something like Nero for disc-burning.

Make sure it has a Firewire socket for connecting a digital camcorder. HTH.

  casper69 09:28 12 Sep 2007

thanks holme is there any small laptops that you know of that may be good for what i need (just editing, playing dvds, burning dvd, and photo editing) my budgets about £800


  Ginge1980 09:58 12 Sep 2007

With £800 you can get a good spec machine, personally I would be looking at a core duo CPU, along with 2GB RAM and a reasonable GPU.
Personal choice where to shop but some idea of what you can get for your money....

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  holme 10:23 12 Sep 2007

" ... what i need (just editing ... burning dvd)"

"just" is an understatement! In personal computer terms (and apart from games), you've picked the two most demanding tasks!! :-)

I fully agree with Ginge1980's recommendations. But just to mention that 2GB RAM is by no means essential however. If you're planning to edit some *very* large files, e.g. a 1-hour tape to full DVD standards, then it would help. 1GB would do it perfectly satisfactorily, but just take 10-20% longer to crumch all the trillions of numbers.

  scotty 11:00 12 Sep 2007

One point to note (and it grieves me to say this) is that Intel processors generally perform better than AMD processors for video processing.

I presume the laptop you buy will have a IEEE1394 (firewire) link to allow capture direct from camcorder (most camcorders use firewire).

To put the work load into perspective, until recently I was editing on a 1GHz Athlon with 512MB RAM. This was perfectly usable although rendering was slow and generally done overnight. Any modern laptop will be far more powerful than that pc!

Finally, you will need a large hard drive. 1 hour of captured video will take up 13GB. Edited files will add ~50% to this. You should be able to use an external hard drive if a large internal one is not an option.

  casper69 14:09 12 Sep 2007

cheers all

i will be using firewire but all my files and movies i will save to a small external harddrive to stop the laptop from running slow all that will be on it will be mainly the programs

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