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Video Editing: Laptop Cluster

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#1 TDubbed


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Posted 23 May 2016 - 07:39 AM

I don't even know if this is in the right section, and I don't even know what it would take to make this a possibility.


My organization is just now embracing audio/visual technologies, and I happen to be at the helm of it. Unfortunately, I am in control of nothing but aging laptops (HP ProBook 6360b, ca. 2011), but I have been tasked with editing HD video.


I have been able to create some very nice videos in spite this aging hardware, but I am unable to see what I'm doing most of the time because the video preview in Premiere and Lightworks lags horribly. Adding transitions becomes a guessing game involving encoding a video just to see what the outcome is. Realtime adjustments have become impossible because the CPU is maxed.


I am wondering if it would be possible to share the resources of multiple laptops in order to increase processing power for editing videos more efficiently. I have many of these laptops on hand.


Could I create a cluster with multiple machines that would allow me to do this, or should I just drudge along until my organization finally decides to dedicate monetary resources to creating a real audio/visual department?


Thank you!

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#2 Fascist Nation

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 04:35 PM

Reatime previewing in Premiere and I assume Lightworks uses the video card (one of the few times the GPU matters in video editing).  So if you are stuck using old laptops I suspect you are stuck unless a model offered a AMD or nVidia gaming or workstation mobile GPU option. 

If you need to make the case...though it sounds like your video is currently not too complicated (not all applicable):


FAQ 6: How does video editing software use video cards?

Video editing software mainly relies on the CPU, and only uses your GPU for specific purposes. Those specific purposes include:

  • GPU-accelerated presets (Fast Blur in/out, Mosaic in/out, etc.)
  • GPU features (Blending Modes, Scaling, etc.)
  • Video effects (Brightness/Contrast, Color Balance, etc.)
  • Video transitions (Cross Dissolve, Dip to Black, etc.)
  • Lumetri looks (Cinematic, Temperature, etc.)






Edited by Fascist Nation, 23 May 2016 - 05:50 PM.

#3 Fascist Nation

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 05:11 PM

Based upon what I am seeing, use the fastest laptop available to you.  Max it to 16GB RAM.  SSD. 








I would update the BIOS to the latest revision since it provides a VBIOS update.

Note:  When I see warnings on older BIOS' that 'going past this point cannot be reversed' I usually update to that version if not there or already past that before updating to the latest.  I just seem to have fewer issues than doing a major jump. 

Version:F.20 Rev. (29 Sep 2011) and Version:F.50 Rev. A (9 Aug 2014) are two such updates.


Dedicate it by clean installing the OS and latest drivers.  Check firmware updates for drives too. 


Get any of the HP laptop app crap off of the startup folder.  And only a minimum of software save what you use.



You can upgrade one of the laptops to a faster CPU.  Not worth it if one of the laptops has a 2520M or 2540M CPU.




I am not optimistic about the ability to add a discrete graphics card.  Notice in the parts a lot of MB possibilities. The difference between the 6360b and the 6460b and 6560b was the addiiton of discrete graphics.  I can find nobody bragging about how they added a discrete graphics option to a 6360b so I suspect the MB(s) used never provide the slot needed for the upgrade.  You'd have to look.


Or spend the money towards a $850 editing box with IPS monitor and keyboard/mouse which makes a lot more sense to me. 

Edited by Fascist Nation, 23 May 2016 - 05:42 PM.

#4 MajesticFailure


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Posted 29 May 2016 - 07:37 PM

@ Fascist Nation, what do you think of using an eGPU card in this situation? Is it still dependent upon the internal PC hardware?

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