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A list of CS5.x optimized laptops

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Alex Gerulaitis
A list of CS5.x optimized laptops
on Jul 7, 2011 at 5:09:40 am

(warning: this post is long, boring and full of numbers and acronyms)

This question seem to be asked quite a bit, what's the best laptop for editing, and specifically, for MPE in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.x.

Would it be useful to have a list of popular laptops in one place where you don't have to spend hours digging into specs and configurations, to see the approximate "nicely configured" price point, concise specs and the GPU used? If so, what's the best format of such a list?

Say, we configure them as similarly as possible (the big differentiator is the GPU) and post them side-by-side?

So here goes. With more or less similar specs (i7-2720QM, Win7 Pro 64, 8GB RAM to start with, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 1080p display, USB 3.0 and eSATA, DVD Burner, 3-yr warranty) here are some laptops that generally satisfy system requirements recommendations for Premiere Pro CS5.x and have officially supported GPUs:

- Lenovo W520 - $2,268.00 with Quadro 2000M 2GB DDR3 Graphics
- HP 8760w XU100UT - $2,999 with Quadro 3000M 2GB
- HP 8740w XT910UT - $2,999 with Quadro FX 3800M 1GB

With GPUs that aren't officially supported yet will work for MPE hardware acceleration:

- Toshiba Qosmio X775-3DV78 - $1900 with GeForce GTX 560M 1.5GB
- Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q8104X - $1900 with GeForce GTX 460M 1.5GB
- Dell XPS 17 - $1,893.99 (YMMV) with GeForce GT 555M 3GB
- Dell XPS 15 - $1,769.99 (YMMV) with GeForce GT 540M 2GB
- Dell Alienware M17x - $2,913.00 (YMMV) GeForce GT 460M 1.5GB

(Full list with specs and links is here: - feedback and typo reports appreciated :))

From that list, Lenovo W520 (thanks Alex) is clearly the value and performance leader among those with officially supported GPUs; it lacks a larger screen option however, and doesn't seem to offer an internal Blu-Ray reader or burner.

Among not-oficially-supported laptops, XPS 15 and 17 are the value leaders, although Toshibas do pack a punch as for about the same price as XPS models, they include dual drives.

The XPS 15 (thanks Chris Knight) is a fantastic deal starting at just $899 with the GeForceĀ® GT 540M 2GB graphics.

Did I miss anything? Are there any other Tier 1 laptops that should be added to that list?


Alex (DV411)

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