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Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?

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Joseph W. Bourke
Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:44:47 pm

I've checked out all the other posts on this issue, so I'm going to be very specific with the model I'm talking about:

ThinkPad W520 42762QU Notebook

Processor Type:
Core i7

Processor Model:
i7-2720QM

Processor Speed:
2.20 GHz – 3.30GHz (with Turbo Boost 2.0)

Processor Core:
Quad-core

Cache:
6 MB

Memory
Standard Memory:
4 GB x 1 pre-installed; still have 3 204-pin SO-DIMM sockets available

Maximum Memory:
16 GB - I PLAN ON MAXING OUT THE MEMORY TO 16GB

Memory Technology:
DDR3 SDRAM

Memory Standard:
DDR3-1333/PC3-10600

Number of Total Memory Slots:
4

Memory Card Support:
· MultiMediaCard (MMC)
· Secure Digital (SD) Card
· Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
· Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)

Storage
Hard Drive Capacity:
500 GB Serial ATA/300 7200rpm

Display & Graphics
Screen Size:
15.6"

Display Screen Type:
Active Matrix TFT Color FHD (1920x1080) color, anti-glare, LED backlight,

270 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, 500:1 contrast ratio, 95% Gamut

· nVidia Quadro 2000M (The best video card in ThinkPad workstation)

Graphics Memory Capacity:
2 GB Video Memory

Graphics Memory Technology:
DDR3 SDRAM

Network & Communication
Wi-Fi:
Yes

Ethernet Technology:
Gigabit Ethernet

Bluetooth:
Yes

Bluetooth Standard:
Bluetooth 3.0


I/O Expansions
Expansion Bay Type:
Ultrabay Enhanced

Expansion Slot Type:
ExpressCard/34

Sorry for all the details, but I figure more is better than less. I'm guessing I might be able to hook up a RAID array to this pup as well, for use in house. Thanks.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:45:34 pm

By the way, I mean CS5 Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Soundbooth. I will also be upgrading to 5.5. Thanks

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:54:20 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?"

Yes, as long as it meets the system requirements [link].

The ThinkPad mobile workstation line has always been very nice. They are well-designed, rugged, and reliable. That said, you pay for portability. You'd get better performance for the same money from a workstation. It's all a matter of prioritizing your needs.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:25:09 pm

Thanks Walter -

You answered my question below on a z800 workstation, and it was very helpful - I'm doing just what you suggest - weighing the laptop against the workstation, and trying to decide which will better serve my needs, at a price I can afford. I can get that laptop today for 2000 bucks, and the z800 I want is more in the 4 - 6 thousand range, probably not including the Nvidia card I need for 3DS Max 2011 and Terragen 2.

I had checked out the Adobe specs, of course, but "can run" and "runs so I can actually get some work done" are often worlds apart. I'm mainly going to use the laptop for field work (capture at shoots) and meetings that need a demo shown (sales calls to sell my services). It's a tough call, because I could actually be getting some work done while I'm being held at bay by a potential client who doesn't respect my time. Just kidding -there are none of those...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:52:24 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] ""can run" and "runs so I can actually get some work done" are often worlds apart."

Agreed!

I've got an 8-core Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM in my office, and an 17" i7 MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM for the road. There is no comparison. I can and do run After Effects and C4D on my laptop, but the render times are much longer than my workstation, and I miss my high-speed RAID array, AJA video card, and Matrox H.264 accelerator. I really depend on my workstation and I couldn't get by with just the laptop.

If you must get only one with both power and portability, check out Boxx Technologies -- I just got a mailing the other day about a laptop they've got running desktop chips.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 6:59:26 pm

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for Walter: what do you use your AJA card for?
I'm curious. I know it used to be used to accelerate things in Premiere and you can use it to capture video, but with the advent of digital storage in-camera and the Mercury Playback Engine in Premiere I would think such things would go the way of the dodo bird.
We have computers here with AJA cards in them, but the AJA part of the system has often given us trouble and I found that using Premiere timelines with Mercury enabled were much smoother and faster than AJA timelines.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:17:20 pm

One reason to use a capture card is to record to an HD tape deck.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:24:11 pm

Hi Dave -

So....what's tape?

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 7:42:32 pm

Good point, Joe -- more and more people don't even bother with tape anymore.

But to answer your question, it's that stuff that remains the most efficient way to store video on a cost-per-gigabyte basis. And when you work at a TV station like me, you see it every day.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:06:56 pm

Yeah Dave -

After fourteen years as art director at an ABC affiliate (up until 2 years ago), tape had a big place - though not a dear one - in my life. And as you say, it's still one of the cheapest and most reliable archival mediums around. We had a huge morgue full of 3/4, 1 inch, and beta SP, and it's sure cheaper to keep a couple of decks alive than to transfer that all to the AVID Unity.

I have a friend in the industry who always reminds me that the only REAL valid archival medium is 35mm film. His point is that all the archives on 3/4", 2 Inch Quad, One Inch, and the list goes on, are no longer valid if there's nothing to play them back on. And in many cases there IS nothing to play them back on. Which horse do you bet on? I sure don't know.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 25, 2011 at 2:25:49 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for Walter: what do you use your AJA card for?"

As Dave and Joe mentioned, ingest from and output to tape is one reason -- though my tape decks don't see much use anymore. I don't think I've had tape come through since last August.

I use my video I/O card primarily for output over HD-SDI to my color-accurate FSI monitor. Neither FCP (which I use) nor PPro (which it sounds like you use) are color-managed, so color-critical work requires video I/O and a proper video monitor. Computer monitors and calibrators need not apply.

I'm actually running a BMD Decklink HD Extreme 3D card in my primary workstation at the moment, as required by DaVinci Resolve. The AJA is currently in my older machine.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Can a laptop "workstation" run cs5?
on Apr 25, 2011 at 8:42:42 pm

Ah, tape. As I suspected. I have the same never-see-tapes-anymore issue. Thus I haven't moved the AJA card from the old machine to my brand-new one. We're keeping the old machine anyway. This new one is primarily for me to do C4D and AE stuff on. Thanks for the confirmation.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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