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Best way to upgrade laptop performance for video editing/rendering?


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#1 adiwalsh

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:20 AM

Hi, I have a Compaq Presario CQ56 with 2GB of DDR3, an AMD v140 processor and a 250GB 5400 RPM hard drive. I do quite a lot of video recording and editing on the laptop but it is really slow and 5-6 minute videos can take 4 hours to render, I can't use the computer for other things while videos are rendering either. I've been thinking about upgrading to an AMD Mobile Phenom II N970 Quad 2.2GHz processor, 4GB of RAM (Maybe 8GB) and a 250GB SSD, I have never upgraded a laptop before so I don't really know if it will make a big difference in performance.

 

The laptop is running Windows 7 64 Bit.

 

Do you think the processor and RAM upgrades will make a big difference and allow me to render videos faster and use the internet while a video is rendering? Also, are there any other processors or recconmendations you can give me to make the computer faster in general?

 

EDIT: I've never replaced a processor so I don't really know which are compatible, could I put an i3 or i5 in there? Or is there a list of compatible ones I can see?

 

Any help much appreciated. Thanks

 

Adi


Edited by adiwalsh, 15 May 2013 - 09:30 AM.


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#2 GreenGiant117

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

the processor will fit in the same spot as your current one, as far as RAM goes I cannot find any more detailed information about it so Im not sure if the laptop can handle 8, though the fact that it comes with 64-bit leads me to believe it can.

 

i3 and i5 are completely out, both brands have different sockets for the CPU, and different lines have different sockets in the same brand (ie gen 1 i5 socket wont necc fit a gen 2 i5)

here is a list of compatible CPUs with yours.

 

honestly though you arent going to see that much performance increase, yes you may be able to do other things (slowly) while it compiles, but its still going to take a LONG time, even with my current rig (8 core 3.1GHz CPU, and 16GB of RAM) it slows things down and takes quite some time.



#3 adiwalsh

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:04 PM

Hi, thank you for the reply and helpful information, Ive been looking at compatible CPUs from the link you gave and narrowed it down to these three:

 

AMD Phenom II Quad-Core Mobile N970 (£49.99)

AMD Phenom II Quad-Core Mobile N930 (£38.49) AMD Phenom II Triple-Core Mobile N870  (£29.99)

 

I'm assuming the most expensive one will give better performance, if so, will there be a big difference in performance between the 2 quad cores and the triple core? I mean like in general when not video rendering will the difference be noticable? If there isn't going to be a big difference then I will go for the N870 or the N930

 

Also, I checked and my laptop does support up to 8GB RAM, I bouught 6GB for now though.



#4 hamluis

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:35 PM

In my experience...there are 4 considerations:

 

CPU, the faster/more powerful the CPU...generally rendering times will be better.

 

RAM, 4GB is better than 2GB

 

Hard drive used by video-editor should have chkdsk /r and defrag performed routinely

 

Program...whatever is listed as "minimum requirements" for CPU/RAM...should be interpreted as "minimal performance."  It's important to use programs that you like, not just buy something because it has a rep for being "the best."  Capture cards will also include software, which generally is fine for captures but not so good (IMO) for editing.

 

I had a link for video performance by CPUs....this may be it, http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=434 .

 

IMO...generally speaking, the Intel will show better stats than the AMD processors...but if one considers price/performance, the AMD processors come out ahead.

 

Like everything else, it's a matter of what is important for the user.

 

Louis



#5 adiwalsh

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 07:35 PM

Hi Louis, thank you for the informative post, was very interesting to read.

 

Earlier today I bought 6GB of RAM so that will be installed within 3-4 days.

I have decided to go with the AMD Phenom II Quad-Core Mobile N970 (£49.99).

I use Sony Vegas Pro 12 video editing software for all my video work, for video capture I am having to use a not so good software because the software that came with my device (Roxio) requires a better processor than what I currently have.

I often defragment my hard drive so there should be no problem there.

 

I am not really sure what type of performance difference I can expect to see with these new RAM and Processor, do you have any idea how much render time will be reduced by? a 6-7 minute video can take up to 4 hours with my current set up.



#6 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:50 AM

Hi

 

CPU compatibility is not only determined by the socket number. The BIOS should recognize the new processor and at the same time CPU core voltage section should support the voltage and wattage of the new CPU.

 

In case of desktop, we can check the CPU compatibility in manufacturer's site. In case of laptop generally CPU compatibility list are not available.. It may work but if it is not  , you will ended up in loosing the money.

 

Since your main purpose is video editing, you will also need a good graphic card which is not upgradable in a laptop.  It is better to buy a high end laptop model than upgrading this one.

 

If you don't want mobility, i strongly recommend a desktop with i5 CPU and Nvidia quadro card.

 

Read the upgrade consideration in the same link carefully.

 

Other upgrade considerations:

  • Be careful when upgrading to CPU with higher TDP. If you have weak fan/heatsink then you may end up with a system, that automatically shuts down during heavy workloads. 

 

 

Video rendering is one of the most CPU consuming process and definitely your CPU temperature will shoot up high. Your current CPU is 25W TDP and the Phenom will draw around 45W TDP in peak load. This a risk in my opinion.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 16 May 2013 - 09:00 AM.


#7 hamluis

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

Well...I just want to take exception to one comment by Anshad...re video card/chip requirements.

 

IMO, this is the least most important item mentioned, I've been rendering/editing video for years now...just using the onboard video chips in various boards.  Rendering video is not like working in 3D or even graphics-editing...the work with video is done by RAM/CPU with the video chip/card coming into play only for vieweing the product.

 

Insofar as CPU temp is concerned...I see no reason to be concerned with that, as long as the CPU/system have typical/adequate cooling measures in place.  I've never seen a complaint where a system overheats because of rendering...the processor was made for such tasks, the cooling was designed with all the capabilities of the CPU in mind.

 

<< a 6-7 minute video can take up to 4 hours with my current set up.>>

 

Seemingly...render time varies by output specified.

 

I don't do HD ouput, MPEG2/DVD quality is fine for me...so to assess performance....we would really have know output.

 

http://hddv.net/showthread.php?29459-Average-HD-render-time-ratio

 

But...I think that your previous times were abominable...and probably attributable to the amount of RAM you had installed...and the software. 

 

Since you Sony Vegas...I would check with one of their forums about what can be expected.

 

I don't want to pretend that I'm any sort of expert on this...but I have been playing with editing video on systems with AMD processors for at least 10 years now.

 

Louis



#8 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

Hi

 

I did some search in internet to make sure Phenom is compatible with this model. Good news is, there are reports that Phenom works in CQ 56 model without much problems. So my assumption was wrong.

 

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-PCs-Pavilions-Presario/Compaq-Presario-CQ56-Processor-Upgrade/td-p/5817429

 

Here is the service manual with instructions on how to properly disassemble this model -

 

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/CoreRedirect.jsp?redirectReason=DocIndexPDF&prodSeriesId=4247498&targetPage=http%3A%2F%2Fbizsupport2.austin.hp.com%2Fbc%2Fdocs%2Fsupport%2FSupportManual%2Fc02657369%2Fc02657369.pdf

 

 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 16 May 2013 - 02:13 PM.


#9 adiwalsh

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:32 PM

Thanks alot, you've all been very helpful. My 6GB of RAM should be here tomorrow so I will see what kind of difference that makes with rendering times. I am very happy to hear the processor is compatible with my model so I will order that within a week or so.

 

Thanks again

 

Adi



#10 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:09 PM

Hi

Yes, you can upgrade the CPU. Processor and RAM upgrade will definitely  improve the rendering capacity of your laptop. If you do a lot of video rendering, i suggest save some money and buy a desktop with a good graphics card. A discreet GPU will greatly reduce the rendering time. Almost all new video editing software including your "Sony Vegas" supports GPU accelerated rendering. Graphics cards not just for gaming. 

 

To know how it improves rendering process, read the detailed explanation in below link. Graphic card acceleration is highly recommended by Sony itself.

 

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/GPU_power_in_Vegas_Pro_11

 

http://www.videoguys.com/Guide/E/Videoguys+System+recommendations+for+Video+Editing/0x4aebb06ba071d2b6a2cd784ce243a6c6.aspx

 

 

One thing to remember is, consumer Graphics like "Nvidia Geforce" series won't make a big difference. They are designed to play games. For video rendering one should use "Nvidia Quadro" series cards. They are specially designed for these type of uses.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 16 May 2013 - 11:17 PM.





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