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Evaluate laptop for video and graphic work


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#1 mikeysp

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 09:42 PM

Can you offer me a sanity check on the laptop I am considering or offer a better alternative?

 

My current laptop is a Dell Precision M4600 and the screen is fluttering and it lags when utilizing my art tablet.

Software/Demands:
Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. I also use Lightwave.

I currently own Adobe CS5 and will very likely switch to Adobe Creative Cloud in the next 12 months.
Hardware Lag: I use a Wacom Untuos PRO 3 tablet to digitally paint 300dpi 3000 x 5000 pixel images in Photoshop, so I would like to continue to do this yet without the lag problems I'm currently facing on my Dell Precision M4600.

Budget: $500 is greatly desired, but if a little more money means a lot more computer, I would be willing to do so.

 

I have a Samsung SSD so I do not need the laptop to come with one.

Candidate Laptop I found:

Lenovo W530
Intel Core i7-CPU 3740QM (Quad Core) Base Frequency @2.70 GHz; Turbo Frequency @3.70 GHz
16GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 2GB (GDDR5) Dedicated Video RAM
15.6 Inch | LED | FHD | Full HD Display - 1920 X 1080 Resolution Ultra High Resolution with Vivid Colors | Anti-glare Finish
1TB HDD
Win 10 64bit

 

Thank you. -Mike



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:54 AM

Specs/Performance On Current System

 

Certainly...better altenatives exist today...but I doubt if $500 will cover the cost of such systems.

 

I don't know anything about laptops...but it seems to me that buying a used/refurbished laptop to replace the one currently owned...is not the direction in which I would head.

 

Louis



#3 Booh-kitty

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 04:52 PM

If your laptop doesn't need to come with you, I would consider a desktop.

 

I use CAD, image editing and 3D software. I have a laptop, but if I had to choose, I would pick a desktop over a laptop every time. The main reason for me is that components can be replaced/upgraded without buying an entirely new computer, which is cheaper. Also, I can't possibly imagine having to do design work on a 15" screen! Especially photo editing!

 

No matter what you buy, these are some of the things you need to consider in a new system, lap top or desktop.

 

Display (screen and graphics card/graphics processing unit or GPU) and CPU

These are the first things I would consider when addressing your lag time issue. I'm assuming this is primarily a problem with Lightwave, and depending on the complexity of the renderings.

 

Because photo editing and design software is so memory demanding, definitely get best processor you can afford. Unfortunately, this does mean one of if not the most expensive. However, a top of the line CPU won't necessarily solve the lag time issues. If the lag time is a problem particularly with 3D design work, you're laptop probably doesn't have the graphics card and/or display screen you need that can handle those demands.

 

Display:

 

Resolution needs to be at least 1920 by 1200. 

Response rate at least 6ms, the lower the better

Contrast ratio at least 80,000:1

Compatible with industry color standards

Color gamut, the highest you can get

Custom color adjustment for photo editing

 

 

Graphics card/ Graphics Processing Unit (GPU):

This is the biggest thing to consider, after the CPU, if you want to eliminate the lag you refer to

 

Should have it's own RAM

DO NOT get an integrated one!!!

RAM Bandwidth, the more the better ( The more complicated your 3D renderings are, the more you need) Bandwidth is roughly equated to how fast images can be processed. If you are moving around in 3D space on you computer, this is important!! If it's too low, you have lag time.

 

There's a lot more to consider in a GPU, but IMO, as a designer, these are the most important and the first things I consider. As for the rest of it, it depends on how much technology you want to take advantage of. Because of gamers, graphics technology is improving faster and faster. I just stumbled on G-sync, some new technology developed by Nvidia. My current GPU isn't up to par. My monitor I'm about to buy will be. If I want to take advantage of this new, better technology, I have to upgrade my GPU. But a new GPU will be far less expensive than buying an entirely new system to stay on top of the latest technology.

 

The best advice anyone ever gave me about buying a PC for my work is to look at what gamers are using. I've found that it's best to build your own system or start with something you can add on to or upgrade. If you do, start out with the best MOBO, processor and power supply you can get. Everything else is cheaper and easier to upgrade later. If one component needs to be replaced, it's also typically going to cost a lot less than a new system.  And get a good monitor.


Edited by Booh-kitty, 04 November 2018 - 04:54 PM.

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#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 05:50 PM

If you are into serious work as a professional, a laptop, no matter how expensive or powerful, is not going to cut it. You will not be able to find anything out there for $500 that will give you anything better than what you presently have. Even laps that advertise themselves as "gaming" status will not come close to a dedicated graphics desktop.

Trust me, I have done graphics as part of my job description in the past, and everything Booh-kitty said above is gospel.


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#5 mikeysp

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 06:20 PM

We have a very powerful desktop and it is certainly more capable than the M4600 and M4700 we use. However, with the M4600 we had great success for most work we do and it is very convenient to have a  very mobile platform. The M4600 had only 8GB Ram and still did wonders, however, to upgrade the RAM and fix the screen would have been in excess of $200 and it had significant wear and tear. Bottom line, the laptop has worked very well for us and now we have a more capable platform. 

 

I think I did not do a sufficient job to describe our situation, and if I ask a question in the future, I will try to do better at that, since people are left to make assumptions without the facts of a particular situation. 

 

For better or worse, we took action and found a Dell Precision 7510 with 2 SSD's (256 stock for the software and brand new very fast M.2 500 GB for storage), as well as 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 for about $680 total.  It is in very good condition, and will be significant enough. On top of this, we will get a few dollars for selling the M4600 for parts, as will as taking the Samsung 256GB and slapping it into the M4700 so it will have better performance (currently no SSD in the M4700).

 

Thank all of you who chimed in and I am grateful for your taking your time to try and help a stranger. 

 

 

 

Thought I should share this since you folks were kind enough to chime in. 






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