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Needing to buy a new laptop for Video Editing

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Aimes Ruffo
Needing to buy a new laptop for Video Editing
on Mar 7, 2016 at 12:47:18 pm

I am a video editor and I am needing a new laptop asap. I have been using a Thinkpad W520 for the last 4 - 5 years. It has 16gb ram, Quadro 2000M Graphics and i7-2920XM. I love my laptop but it really lacks in video playback especially while editing in Premiere Pro CC. It will not play the timeline smoothly especially when a bunch of effects have been applied. My budget for my next laptop is $4000 or less. Accidental damage protection is a big thing for me which is why I love Lenovo so much. I have been looking at the Thinkpad P50 and the P70. Couple of quick questions:

1. Is a 4k display worth getting on a 17 inch laptop

2. Is the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor good enough or is it worth upgrading to the Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5

3. The big thing for me is the graphics card. I am worried that the NVIDIA Quadro M2000M 4GB will give me the same problem I am having currently. Is it worth getting the larger P70 and NVIDIA Quadro M3000M. I dont know too much about graphics cards, but I know both are CUDA compatible. It is crucial that this card will be powerful enough to playback 4k footage on a timeline flawlessly with effects applied. Should I try and avoid the quadro series all together and look for a computer with geforce card instead?

I would appreciate any help or suggestions you may have.

PS I would prefer a smaller 5.6 inch P50 size over the P70 but the M3000M only comes in the larger P70


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Chris Evans
Re: Needing to buy a new laptop for Video Editing
on Mar 7, 2016 at 6:32:44 pm

At normal viewing distance, you might have a hard time seeing 4k at 17 inches, but it will give you some more room to work as I believe elements of the UI will be smaller (could be wrong there, I've never used more than HD monitors).

If you're fine spending up to almost $4k for this laptop, you should be able to easily afford all of those upgrades. I'd say the biggest thing is you hard drive setup. I'd reccomend getting the second HD on any of those and make sure it's the 7200rpm one not the 5400rpm one, even though it's smaller and put your footage and projects on there, offloading it to an external when you're done with the project, leaving your programs and operating system on the SSD.

I don't know how much of a help the CPU upgrade would help honestly, it doesn't seem like it would be because the turbo of the i7 goes up to 3.5Ghz and the Xeon is 3.7, but the i7 only gets there with turbo and I'm honestly not sure what difference that makes. If it were me, I wouldn't make the upgrade, I think the i7 will get you where you need.

The GPU upgrade is nice, but from my understanding, the GPU doesn't do a ton for the actual rendering of video in Premiere, but since your having problems with your current setup, the upgrade might be worth it, you might even consider the 4000 or the 5000.

Again, if you're fine spending up to $4k on this, go all the way. Pricing the P70 on their website with the 4k screen (which comes with the color sensor for accurate color), 32GB ECC RAM, Quadro 5000, default 256GB SSD and 500GB 7200rpm HDD, and the Xeon processor takes it just below $4000 with the current 10% off promotion their having. Save $500 and a few weeks by going with the Quadro 4000 instead.

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David Lindblom
Re: Needing to buy a new laptop for Video Editing
on Aug 7, 2016 at 1:21:18 am


I am in the same position as you were; I am contemplating the Lenovo p50 or 70 with either the FHD or UHD screen. Which one did you buy? Are you happy with it? I too am a professional editor.

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Matt Dun
Re: Needing to buy a new laptop for Video Editing
on May 31, 2017 at 7:58:14 pm

I'm in the same boat. My fully loaded W520 isn't holding up as well as it used to. I've started looking at the P71 17" with 4K.
Is it worth getting the XEON and the top Nvidia upgrades? Will that money actually translate to shorter render times and smoother preview?


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