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Shopping for a video editing laptop (desktop replacement). Budget: $1500

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adi headShopping for a video editing laptop (desktop replacement). Budget: $1500
by on Jul 28, 2016 at 9:22:03 pm

Hi. I'm shopping for a new laptop which will primarily be used for video and audio editing. I'm having a hard time deciding which laptop I should get — what would be not enough and what would be overshoot...
I need a bit of advice.

What will I be running?
Mostly will be using Adobe CC software (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, etc)
No gaming, no 3d, no VR

My budget?
Hoping to stay under $1500

Why laptop and not desktop?
Throughout the year I work from at least two different locations (in different states). So think of it as a desktop replacement, rather than a "on-the-go" type of laptop. I won't be lugging it out to cafes and such to work in. It'll be stationary for the most part.

What have I read and been told?
- get an i7 (6th gen) processor
- get at least 16GB or RAM
- Adobe likes nVidia cards. Get one with at least 4GB of VRAM (some have said I'll be fine with 2GB)
- get an IPS screen
- about the drives: arrange to have a system drive dedicated only to the OS and programs. Ideally this should be an SSD. For the system drive SATA III connection will suffice. Data and media should be on a separate drive - ideally a PCIe-NVMe
SSD. Some have told me that 128GB will okay for system drive. Others have don't get less than 256GB for system drive.
- airflow and cooling is key in laptops. Get a laptop that is designed well as far as airflow, fans and vents.

What size?
Would love it to be a 15.6" but maybe it has to be a17.3". A 15.6" laptop is ideal for me as far as the space I have for it. I'll be hooking it up to a 2nd external monitor anyways. The only reason I would opt for a 17.3" is because I've been told: larger chassis = more room = better airflow = less thermal throttling. If I end up going with a 17-inch, It just means I'll need to mount my studio monitors on the wall. Probably not a very big deal... but questions is if it's really worth the trouble. Also for some MSI models I read somewhere that the 15-inch is IPS, while the 17-inch is not. Read several conflicting reviews/comments about this and some advertisements online conflict with what customers have written in their reviews... so I don't know if this is true or not.
Weight isn't really an issue for me, since as I said, I won't be lugging it around often.

Candidates so far:
15-inch
  • MSI 15.6" GS60 Ghost Gaming Notebook
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1213136-REG/msi_gs60_ghost_242_15_6_g...
  • ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VT-DS74
    https://www.amazon.com/GL502VT-DS74-Gaming-Laptop-NVIDIA-GTX970M/dp/B01FFRD...
  • GIGABYTE P Series P35Wv5-SLH

  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834233143

    If I go 17-inch:
  • MSI GT Series GT72S Dominator Pro G-037
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834154268&cm_re=msi_g...
  • MSI 17.3" GE72 Apache Pro-070
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1213133-REG/msi_17_3_ge72_apache_pro_...
  • ASUS ROG G752VL-UH71T
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G43VFBY/ref=twister_B01G96JHZC?_encoding=UTF8&...

    Regarding ASUS - I've heard only good things. I'm not one to care much how my laptop looks. Really, aesthetics is the lowest issue on my priority list, but these ASUS ROG laptops... just hard for me to stomach the over-the-top skins on these machines : O The only negative I've read is flimsier build compared to MSI.

    Regarding MSI - Great reviews overall, but there is a very consistent issue with their fans. Something about them spinning at full speed for now apparent reason The issue mostly seems to occur when hooking up the laptop to external monitors (via dock) or when shutting the laptop lid. Also read several comments and posts by people who complain about the bevel pressing against the screen panel and creating horrible light leaks at the corners. Clearly a design flaw.

    Looking forward to your input.
    If you happen to have a recommendation for a particular make/model that is not in the list above, please feel free to let me know.

    Thanks!

    OS:
    Windows 8
    HP ENVY 15t
    4th generation Intel i7-4710HQ Quad Core Processor + Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
    8GB DDR3L System Memory (1 Dimm)

    Mac Mini (Late 2014)
    Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5
    2.6 GHz, Intel Core i5
    16GB, 600 MHz DDR3
    Intel Iris 1536 MB


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    Alan LloydRe: Shopping for a video editing laptop (desktop replacement). Budget: $1500
    by on Jul 31, 2016 at 1:20:05 am
    Last Edited By Alan Lloyd on Jul 31, 2016 at 1:21:12 am

    I have an Asus ROG that has been incredibly reliable and I've worked with it from coast to coast.

    Plenty of grunt, good screen, nice GeForce display.

    Up the memory to 24 GB, thank me later.

    ETA: They are heavy. Especially with the power supply brick - and the Wacom and external drive I normally haul around along with it.


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