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Thread: Is my laptop adequate for SE?

  1. #1
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    Is my laptop adequate for SE?

    I've got a Toshiba laptop -- 2.53 GHz Pentium 4 with 750 MB Ram and for a graphics controller, a Trident CyberALADDiN-P4 v6.4612.22ICD_SE_NP. Max res is 1024x768. Should I even bother attempting to install SE on this baby? I'd like to avoid the hassle of porting the licence to another machine if this one is not up to snuff.

    Thanks
    Last edited by woollard; 12-21-2006 at 02:33 PM.
    Mark

  2. #2
    Registered User rbartlett's Avatar
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    While many laptops will fall short of having fantastic GPU performance. The Trident CyAl-P4 appears to not be quite a few generations behind being Directx9 compliant. On that basis I'd be very very doubtful.

    The Pentium-M almost makes it viable, but you'd need to understand what your cardbus options were for another gfx card. You might want a SATA controller to have a chance in the limited cardbus slots instead.

    The max res is higher if you go external, from what I've read on CyAl-P4.
    Can you see in the BIOS how much shared RAM can be assigned for the display adapter? I think that is where NewTek are coming from with the 64MB per display recommendation. Rather than implying that 64MB capable GPUs are worth having and anything else is too old.

    An Intel Mac Mini might struggle from video bandwidth perspective. I think that is where the specs are coming from. Somewhere between leading and bleeding edge - in the order of the overall performance of a machine that you'd be happy to put VT[4] on (if PCI slots and the right level of storage was available).

    Do you have any other NLE on this please Mark? How does it fair with SD-DV, HD stills and HDV right now? If you've tried it at all?

  3. #3
    Lil' TMG djdouglas's Avatar
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    The graphics card is very important. Your graphics card may be the only thing that would keep me from saying your laptop would be able to pull it off with a few minor upgrades. For this alone I would recommend not installing it on your laptop.

    A couple of things about working with notebooks...

    You need at least 1GB of ram, and that is borderline. I am currently running 1GB on my Macbook Pro with plans to upgrade. It does run fine on 1GB though. If your system can take it, pack it!

    Also, you need an external drive to capture to and edit from. I use the Lacie big disk and Firewire B for more storage and faster response. It will function on Firewire A and USB 2.0. Video Streaming, CG, and Pictures (JPG's, BMP's, TGA's) will work but they will be slow. Write speeds have been around 85MB's per sec on FW B, and 26MB's per sec on FW A, and USB 2. I have successfully captured, edited, and played back on my internal drive in my Macbook Pro in HDV. Most laptops however come with a slower speed internal drive (4200RPM) especially if you got the on the shelf special. I would not recommend using just an internal drive but I have been successful doing it when in a crunch.
    Last edited by djdouglas; 12-21-2006 at 04:09 PM.
    Chad Douglas
    Newtek Elite Partner, Oklahoma & Arkansas

    DAV Studios / Douglas Audio and Video

  4. #4
    Heck, I'm interested to see if it works, go for it!

    1024x768 will be cramped on any video editor though.

    That chipset does support DirectX9 shaders, but I'm not sure about the amount of installed video memory.

    If it has 64MB or more, try it and let me know how it works out.

    If it does not work on the default High Quality output, look in preferences and try the medium and low quality modes. Each needs progressively less GPU power and video RAM.

    You do need to restart SpeedEDIT after changing the output mode.
    John Perkins
    Software Engineer

    "No, it's my natural color..."

  5. #5
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    John,
    SE installed OK on the Toshiba laptop. But it would only play back a clip--I tried both DV and mpg2 (SD)--if as you suggested, I set video output to low quality in preferences and relaunched SE.

    Richard,
    I've had Vegas 7 on this laptop for awhile, but I don't do much editing on it. I use Vegas on my VT desktop for that. Comparing Vegas and SE on my laptop, and based on very limited experimentation tonight, I would say Vegas has much better preview/playback performance. Using "preview auto" quality setting in Vegas, which is much better than SE's "low quality", the video playback framerate was between 25 and 29 fps with the CPU running between 80 and 90%. SE doesn't report the playback framerate, but the CPU was running in the same range of 80 to 90%.
    Last edited by woollard; 12-21-2006 at 08:34 PM.
    Mark

  6. #6
    The African Savannah... kleima's Avatar
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    I installed it today on a Toshiba laptop with P4 3GHz, so I have more CPU power than you, but I have less memory (512MB). I was able to capture and playback HDV 720p without problems at the High quality setting. The GPU has 64mb. My screen resolution is 1440X900 (widescreen version). If I increased the size of the video output window, playback would grind to a halt, but if I kept the window relatively small, it was OK.
    However if I pushed to anything beyond capture and playback, and the program would freeze up. So, I obviously need to upgrade the RAM.

    BTW, the grapics chip on mine is an nVidia GeForce FX Go 5200.
    Last edited by kleima; 12-21-2006 at 08:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Visually Developed Monkey cholo's Avatar
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    Try getting Vegas to do a full resolution HD video window I have a dual 24" setup here and I can get SpeedEdit to display a full res video window smoothly. Vegas needs a RAM preview to achieve this. IMHO SpeedEdit leaves vegas in the dust. SpeedEdit also emulates fielding, so you can detect incorrect field errors that Vegas doesn't. In my experience, you need to tweak SpeedEdit to get the most out of an outdated system, but it's still doable. I managed to get it to run on a lowly vaio pentium M 1.6 with 512 MB ram and 32 MB video memory radeon 9200 and it plays back HDV! (although the video window has to remain tiny)
    Last edited by cholo; 12-21-2006 at 09:13 PM.

  8. #8
    woollard:
    I'm beginning to think that we misnamed the output window options, they seem misunderstood.

    What this setting actually does is remove features from the output window in order to use a lesser video card.

    The rendering however, is still full quality.

    Compare them at full quality instead of auto and you will appreciate how fast SpeedEDIT really is.

    That said, I'm not convinced that this notebook is showing what SpeedEDIT is capable of.

    Just a few posts ago we had serious doubts that it would function at all


    kleima:
    From what we've seen, even though (most of) the Nvidia FX 5xxx cards seem to work at High Quality, the shaders aren't very fast.

    Try Medium and I suspect that you will see a marked improvement in your realtime playback capabilities, especially at full screen. The visible change is that the brightness/contrast will be disabled, however internally it is using less advanced features of the video card.


    cholo:
    What part of "system requirements" don't you understand?

    Man, you will be floored when you get the rest of the studio set up!
    John Perkins
    Software Engineer

    "No, it's my natural color..."

  9. #9
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    John, thanks for the info. However I did understand that the "low quality" setting was only affecting the preview/playback, not final rendering.

    I also knew from the start that my laptop would be marginal at best for doing any serious editing. That's why I have rarely edited with Vegas on it. I'm not planning to buy a new laptop for a while, so I'll contact customer service to port the license to my long-in-the-tooth desktop (2.8 dual xeon, 2Gigger with nVidia 6800).
    Mark

  10. #10
    XDCAM HD production ScorpioProd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woollard
    port the license to my long-in-the-tooth desktop (2.8 dual xeon, 2Gigger with nVidia 6800).
    I'm happy with SpeedEDIT on my dual-Xeon 2.8GHz 1GB of RAMBUS system with nVidia 6600GT.

    The same 4 to 5 streams of DV in real-time, like VT[4].

    And one stream of HDV in real-time. BG rendering handles the rest.

    This is a four year old system that was beyond top-of-the-line when I built it, so I have no complaints.

    I am looking at new hardware, though. Maybe a Kentsfield quad system. I don't think I really need a dual-quad Xeon.
    Eugene
    Scorpio Productions

  11. #11
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    With SE now on the desktop, I did a quick comparison of Vegas and SE in playing a 1080i HDV clip (native m2t).

    I had to shrink the SE preview window down to 754x424 to get it to play in real time with no audio or video stutters. Any larger and audio and video stuttered.

    The same window size in Vegas using a 'Best, Full' setting gives me only 18-20 fps video playback, but with no audio stutters. (Sidenote: Vegas gives priority to audio, dropping the video framerate as required to maintain smooth audio.)

    In short, by tapping the GPU and probably some other magic, SE wins.

    Thanks for the great Christmas present.
    Mark

  12. #12
    Hmm, I would have expected better than that actually.

    My 3.0 P4 notebook (800Mhz RAM) will play full screen 1080i.

    Do you have 800Mhz RAM or the 533Mhz? RAM speed is one of the biggest bottlenecks for HD playback with any software.

    What AGP speed? You will want AGP 8X or PCI-E for full screen 1080i.
    John Perkins
    Software Engineer

    "No, it's my natural color..."

  13. #13
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    Not sure what the RAM speed is but the Supermicro board has a 533 FSB so I assume that limits the RAM.

    The AGP slot is 8x/4x and the nVidia 6800 GS card itself is rated 8x, so I assume I'm getting that speed.

    I'm running a SATA Raid 0 which disktest rates at about 68 Mb/s.
    Mark

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