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11-21-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
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Buying a new notebook, need your advice.

Hello

I edit RAW-files in Lightroom or PPL and then do the remaining post-processing in Paint Shop Pro X.

I don't play games. I surf the net and send emails.

It's time to buy a new notebook and I am not sure how much CPU power I need.
Is Intel i3 + Intel GMA (integrated GPU) enough or do I need an i5 + dedicated GPU? I heard that for photo editing most people will not discover a difference at all between i3 and i5, but that i5 is recommended when editing videos (which I don't).

I know that a notebook is really not a good idea for photo editing, but I am fed up with desktops. If the notebook's LED-display is too bad for serious work I will just connect my Eizo 23" to it.

Edit: One last question: For 1366 x 768 resolution....would you get a notebook with 14" or 15" display?

Kind regards
.lars


Last edited by Recercare; 11-21-2010 at 05:46 PM.
11-21-2010, 06:38 PM   #2
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I just built a new desktop computer. I used an i3 processor and no separate graphics card (just using the intel graphics on the processor)
I am using Windows 7 64 bit version with 4 Gb of ram.

I must say, Lightroom runs heaps faster on this than on my six year old pc. I am very happy with the speed.

I also do some video encoding (such as converting DVD movie to iPhone format). On my old computer the process to convert a full length movie took around 6 hours! On the new machine it takes 20 minutes.

So ... I'm happy with the i3 processor!
11-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Why are you fed up with desktops?
11-21-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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Samsung - Laptop / Intel® Core™ i5 Processor / 14" Display / 4GB Memory / 640GB Hard Drive - Aluminum - QX410-J01

check out this 14", very good performer, Core i5 and dedicated GPU...

11-21-2010, 08:39 PM   #5
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As a computer professional...

As a computer professional, I think the amount of RAM is more important in this situation than the processor..either processor should serve you well, but strongly suggest at least 4GB of RAM.

As for 1366 x 768 resolution, I would use a high quality external monitor. In my opinion, images and especially text would be mighty small at that resolution, if the laptop even supports that resolution.

Although it seems that you are intent on using a laptop, I would urge considering a desktop with at least 4GB of RAM using Windows 7 and a reasonable graphics card.

I would be very interested in knowing what has "turned you off" from using a desktop. I have used every operating system that Microsoft has released since DOS 5.0, and must say that Windows 7 (which I am currently using) is robust, quick and very stable, even on this three year old laptop with 2GB of RAM that I use as my surf machine. Of course, this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Regardless of your choice, best of luck!

Steve
11-21-2010, 09:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveN5938 Quote
As a computer professional, I think the amount of RAM is more important in this situation than the processor..either processor should serve you well, but strongly suggest at least 4GB of RAM.

As for 1366 x 768 resolution, I would use a high quality external monitor. In my opinion, images and especially text would be mighty small at that resolution, if the laptop even supports that resolution.

Although it seems that you are intent on using a laptop, I would urge considering a desktop with at least 4GB of RAM using Windows 7 and a reasonable graphics card.

I would be very interested in knowing what has "turned you off" from using a desktop. I have used every operating system that Microsoft has released since DOS 5.0, and must say that Windows 7 (which I am currently using) is robust, quick and very stable, even on this three year old laptop with 2GB of RAM that I use as my surf machine. Of course, this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Regardless of your choice, best of luck!

Steve
Agreed. I doubled the RAM in my laptop and the difference was incredible. The other piece I would suggest is a large hard drive and an external hard drive to back up your photos. I filled up my hard drive when I went to Hawaii within the first 4-5 days.
11-22-2010, 06:10 AM   #7
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by johngs Quote
I just built a new desktop computer. I used an i3 processor and no separate graphics card (just using the intel graphics on the processor)
I am using Windows 7 64 bit version with 4 Gb of ram.

I must say, Lightroom runs heaps faster on this than on my six year old pc. I am very happy with the speed.

I also do some video encoding (such as converting DVD movie to iPhone format). On my old computer the process to convert a full length movie took around 6 hours! On the new machine it takes 20 minutes.

So ... I'm happy with the i3 processor!
Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Kind regards
.lars
11-22-2010, 06:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Why are you fed up with desktops?
Because I want to work at different locations and I hate sitting in a separate room at home to pp. I have a desktop that is fast enough, but I don't use it. Sure, I could move the desktop into the living room, but it really doesn't fit in there.

Kind regards
.lars

11-22-2010, 06:24 AM   #9
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by SteveN5938 Quote
As a computer professional, I think the amount of RAM is more important in this situation than the processor..either processor should serve you well, but strongly suggest at least 4GB of RAM.

As for 1366 x 768 resolution, I would use a high quality external monitor. In my opinion, images and especially text would be mighty small at that resolution, if the laptop even supports that resolution.

Although it seems that you are intent on using a laptop, I would urge considering a desktop with at least 4GB of RAM using Windows 7 and a reasonable graphics card.

I would be very interested in knowing what has "turned you off" from using a desktop. I have used every operating system that Microsoft has released since DOS 5.0, and must say that Windows 7 (which I am currently using) is robust, quick and very stable, even on this three year old laptop with 2GB of RAM that I use as my surf machine. Of course, this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Regardless of your choice, best of luck!

Steve
I am going to be a bit more specific. The models are:
1. Lenovo L412, i3 370M, 4GB RAM, Intel GMA, 14" display
2. Lenovo L412, i5 560M, 4GB RAM, Intel GMA, 14" display
3. Asus B43, i3 370M, 4GB RAM Intel GMA, 14" display
4. Asus B53, i3,370M 4GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 5470, 15" display.

All of these models will work fine with my Eizo 23" monitor (if needed).
It seems like option 2 or 4 are most powerful. I wonder if the dedicated GPU in option 4 will compensate for the i5 CPU in option 2.
A friend told me.....save money and get the i3, then swap the HDD with a fast SSD.

Kind regards
.lars

Last edited by Recercare; 11-22-2010 at 06:29 AM.
11-22-2010, 07:16 AM   #10
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I've been looking as well my old laptop finally died, I replaced it a year back with a desktop as 90% of the time i was using it like a desktop in any case (hooked up to an external monitor) i5-750 8gb ram separate video card with 1 gb ram and a 1 tb drive - Win 7, my only complaint was in running bootleg Adobe but i bit the bullet and bought Lightroom as it covers 90% of my needs and I have paintshop pro x3 and DXO software for the rest
I agree with a couple of the comments above get as much Ram as possible/affordable and get an external drive (at this point I have a few, one is archival for photos, one is music, and one is a working drive and a 4th just for travel)
As for quality of screen it does vary, however you can colour correct your laptop using one of the spider products (or take it to a lab that offers the service) at the same time you should calibrate the printer profile.
unlike everyone above for my laptop I'm likely to go the apple route as ultimately I want to move systems completely (I took the desktop in Win as the price/Features was far below the Apple system - same holds true for laptops but I'd like to have both at the moment)
The Apple offers an Hi Res antiglare matte screen which seems to be absent with everyone else but there is a bump for this option (only on 15 and 17" though)
11-22-2010, 07:41 AM   #11
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SSD vs platter based hard drives

Solid State Drives (SSD) are VERY fast but EXPENSIVE for the $$$ spent-and they do have their "issues". You can certainly get MUCH more storage for you're money buying an external hard drive in the 1TB range-they are typically running around $100 on my favorite website. (I'd stay away from the 2TB for the moment).

SSD are running anywhere from $500- $1000+ for 250GB, 1/4th the storage space of an external at 5x+ the price.

Again, just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Regards,

Steve
11-22-2010, 08:01 AM   #12
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I would go for something with a nice display, 4-8G of memory (the fastest kind with a reasonable price) and a "basic" 64-bit CPU (>= 2 cores). It is essential to have a 64-bit OS (in practice, this means Windows 7 64-bit for most) to make use of all that memory. The basic chipset GPU should be fine (in theory the high end GPUs are great, speedy graphics processors but to make use of the one would need tailored software to support them, and, the current multi-core chips are very fast anyway). As for hard disk, by all means get the largest and fastest internal one you can but be prepared to supplement it with external (USB) drives for capacity. With this in mind having USB3 would be very desirable for a faster interface in the - hopefully - near future. Being able to connect to an external display is somewhat of a must (means having a DVI/HDMI connector, but these are almost universal).

Apple notebooks are certainly worth consideration if price class is ~ US$ 1000-2000. Build quality is very good and in practical terms hardware is more or less on par with the similarily priced Windows offerings. Combined with Apple's OS I believe these to be less of a hassle in use once one gets over the transition (which is painful, no doubt). The key factor in this choice is the application software to be used; Adobes current offerings work, which solves this for most as far as photo applications are concerned.
11-22-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote

Apple notebooks are certainly worth consideration if price class is ~ US$ 1000-2000. Build quality is very good and in practical terms hardware is more or less on par with the similarily priced Windows offerings. Combined with Apple's OS I believe these to be less of a hassle in use once one gets over the transition (which is painful, no doubt). The key factor in this choice is the application software to be used; Adobes current offerings work, which solves this for most as far as photo applications are concerned.
Adobe is very supportive of Apple OS, Apple really is an Imaging professional platform, of the large number of friends i have who do various types of graphic work (photographers, videographers, artists, graphic artists) 80 % use apple, I'm one of the few amongst my friends who doesn't actually and that was a decision made years ago for compatibility at work, no longer and issue since apple can emulate windows if need be)
As well I have heard a lot of good things about apple's aperture from people who use it for anyone who wants to avoid adobe for whatever reason
11-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #14
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Thanks for the Apple info!

Thanks for the Apple info. I have nothing against Apple-I just have no exposure to them. In 33 years of being in the computer biz, and doing numerous corporate installations/upgrades, I have only come across Apple products once, and that was 2 machines in a graphics department-and my boss did the software upgrade.

Regards,

Steve
11-22-2010, 11:07 AM   #15
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I knew them only though friends who had them or through managing people who sold them when i was in retail. truly they are good product but the monopoly keeps the prices high by feature comparison. and the lack of viruses targeting mac is slowly becoming a myth as market share expands, they aren't invulnerable (as a matter of fact the recent os patch was the largest ever put out by anyone including ms - -though likely it's because they only release them rarely as opposed to ms doing it almost daily at points)
they have the neat all solid state machines like the air but i lean toward the macbook pros with more memory and hard drive for a lesser price
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