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Is the super expen$ive SSD worth putting in a laptop for video editing purposes?


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#1 Deli Worker

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:12 PM

If no one answers this question then I'll understand because my gut tells me this question might be more for an all-world computer genius, a superstar in the world of computer hardware components. Also, we have to keep in mind that solid state drives are expensive which is one reason why this question might go unanswered. You see I'm thinking that SSD's are not a dime a dozen the way hard discs are, right? And that's because they make a big dent in the average working slaves wallet. Which is the perfect lead in for my next train of thought:

I live from paycheck to paycheck. I understand that if you buy a laptop for editing videos it would behoove a person to buy the top of the line I7 processor. I get that, I understand that wisdom and I'm good with that idea. A top of the line high end I7 will tack on an extra two or three hundred dollars (maybe more). Luckily I can sort of afford the extra cost, and so when the time comes I'll go ahead and configure a laptop with the best, most expensive I7 that Intel has to offer.

On the other hand an SSD will tack on another three hundred dollars (and maybe more) and wow the idea of that hurts for people like me who are just starting out in affiliate marketing and are just getting by, living from paycheck to paycheck, and eating Top Ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And so I was wondering if an SSD would greatly speed up the rendering process when editing videos. I wonder if an SSD would have much of an impact on the life of a person who edits videos? Can you answer this question by giving a percentage figure, please do. For example, would an SSD enhance the rendering process a feeble 2% (with no real impact, a total waste of money)? Or would it be somewhere around 75% (a huge impact, you'd be a dumb fool not to opt for an SSD)? That's what I was wondering and again this question may not be easy to answer for the reasons mentioned above including timing: I don't think SSD's are really prevalent in our generation the way microwave ovens, cell phones, German shepherds, and sunglasses are, in other words this question might be a lot easier to answer in 2020 when the price of an SSD comes down, if they ever come down :)

Edited by Deli Worker, 26 March 2012 - 06:14 PM.


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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

Ive never used one, though I can see there would be a noticeable speed improvement, I would imagine the best part of the SSD is the fact theyre hardier-which on a laptop would be a nice feature seeing as they get moved a lot. On the other hand, people have been doing video editing on a lot less then a i7 or a SSD, I do a lot of my editing (granted I dont do much) on a AMD dual core desktop, or on a single core AMD laptop. so if you cant afford the SSD, I don't imagine it would be a show stopper-sure it would definetly be a nice feature, but unless your using it as your primary source of income, I dont see it as a necessity.

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#3 mutex7

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:49 PM

I don't know if I'm supposed to post here because I'm not a Bleeping Computer volunteer but I thought I would give you my 2 cents worth. I don't do video editing but I put a 160 gig SSD in my laptop about 4 months ago. I got a great deal (if you wait for sales you should be able to get one for less than a dollar a gigabyte). I have an 18.4 inch laptop with an i7 processor that came with a 500 gig spinning drive but also has a 2nd hard drive bay. I now use the SSD as my boot drive and the spinning drive for storage.

The other option I considered was the OCZ Synapse caching drive (I've seen these for as little as $100 on eBay). I still think this is a good option for some people but you do need the 2nd hard drive bay.

I think the SSD speed difference is extremely noticeable...particularly when loading large files. I would recommend that people on a budget buy a small SSD as a boot drive and then use a 2nd spinning drive for storage (either internal or external). If you get an external hard drive for storage make sure you get either a USB 3 or eSATA drive. My external eSATA drive is just as fast as my internal SATA drive.

It's hard to tell other people how to spend their money but I think you would be wise to go the SSD route. They are so much better than spinning drives (especially in laptops) that in 5 to 10 years I don't think they will even be making spinning drives. They are that MUCH better!

#4 James Litten

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 06:54 PM

Hi

I'm certainly no expert and most of my 'sitting around waiting forever to render' experience is with static models (I do some computer art).

It would seem to me that the only time the hard drive would be the bottleneck in the process is when you are using an external drive and working with uncompressed video. Otherwise, I don't think you'd notice the difference in rendering time between a good internal platter drive and an expensive internal SSD drive unless you had an incredible CPU/GPU combination. Even at that, I'm not sure how much that Sony product would utilize the GPU for rendering calculations.

I think a CPU with lots of cores and as much fast RAM as possible will make a bigger difference than an SSD.

Hope this helps
James

#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:18 AM

The number of processors and memory helps only if the software can use multiple cores and needs large amounts of RAM

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#6 rotor123

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

I'll preface this by saying I only use SSDs for boot drives these days. But for holding video for editing? nope.

I'll put it this way a laptop with all of the compromises inherent in the design is not the best way to go for video editing.

Most especially the cooling system will be marginal when you are rendering video.
Laptops are not a good solution for Gaming, Video editing, or anything else that is CPU or GPU intensive.


Would I use SSDs for editing? If I were running a top of the line Desktop with a I7-3960X CPU.

In a laptop you'll do better finding a model that can hold two hard drives so you can read from one and save to the other. Or use a SSD boot drive (120Gb) and a 1TB data drive, Western Digital for example makes a laptop 1Tb.
The bigger the screen for editing the better.

Get one with eSATA and or USB3 ports.

Since I have a feeling that using a laptop for video editing will lead you to be back after the heat sink starts to get clogged asking why does my laptop keep shutting off. They are not easy to clean on most models compared to a desktop Heat sink assembly either.

Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 March 2012 - 02:11 PM.

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#7 James Litten

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

I didn't notice that this was about a laptop. Rendering for anything big will overheat most laptops.

Roger makes some great points.

Rendering takes place in the CPU/GPU and RAM and creates a lot of heat. Also, many of my own static rendering jobs take almost a day on a very high end setup. That means that you would be looking at running your laptop at its peak for many hours at a time.

James

#8 rotor123

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

James, Thank You for the kind words.

A couple more quick thoughts:

A laptop I7 runs slower than a Desktop I7

I render/edit/encode from one drive as source and output to a different drive on My I7 Desktop.
On a laptop with only one drive maybe, maybe a SSD would help. Mostly loading the video into the editor, not with the encoding. Encoding is CPU bound not Input / output bound. I have been doing encodes to .mp4 for my media player from a internal drive to a USB3 external and they go quickly. So spend on the CPU not the hard drive IMO.

Cheers
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 27 March 2012 - 03:59 PM.

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