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11-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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Laptop specs for running LR3

I have to buy a new laptop for my personal use, running LR3 is probably the most demanding thing I will throw at it.

My work laptop is a DELL XPS15 with i7-2720QM 8GB + dedicated Nvidia GT540M - 2GB? GPU which is err.....more than adequate. The problem is that the new overlords that have taken over think that having LR3 on my machine is a security risk so I've got to get it off.

I'm not going to buy some thing as powerful or as heavy(3kg!) or expensive as my work machine.
I have'nt done a lot of PP just single images here & there (not batches) so I don't know what is really necessary.

What I'm intending to get is a smaller portable machine for travel and do all processing at home hooked up to my montor (23" IPS) and storage external drive - (w/ USB 3.0).

What I was thinking was:
i5-2430 with 4GB (might expand to 8GB as ram is cheap)
HDD - don't care - using external storage.
USB 3.0 definitely
screen - don't care as long as I can read it, a 12-13" would be OK.
light-ish <2kg for carrying around
<$900 for a small light one, under <$700 if it's heavy 15.6" generally cheaper.


There's heaps that would work, Acer,Asus,Dell,hp,Lenovo,Samsung,$ony,Toshi (I'm not getting a Mac though)


2 questions:

Do I need a dedicated GPU? - Is an inbuilt like Intel HD3000 reasonable or do I need a separate GPU like a nvidia GT540 or an AMD6750. These I believe are needed for gaming and 3D graphics processing but are they needed for PP? In smaller laptops I heard they get really hot and then throttle performance.
Is it needed for running a second monitor?

i7 processor? a lot more costly, but is it going to be significantly faster over an i5?


I realise more is better, but it's not a contest to see who can PP the highest .
Thanks for any help.

Cheers
Steve

11-19-2011, 09:32 AM   #2
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Look at the Asus laptops, they are the best value by far. You will want a separate GPU, something small with 512mb of dedicated memory is fine. 4 gigs of RAM is fine but 8 won't hurt and will only cost 20$ more. If battery life means anything to you, just get an i3 dual core. i7s will give you an hour or two of battery life which really sucks, but my i3 laptop gives me 6 solid hours.

look at ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Notebooks- ASUS U36JC

I'd suggest newegg.com to easily sort laptops with the specs you desire
11-19-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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AMD processors will run Lightroom just fine as will the onboard ATI/AMD graphics. I'm running it on a desktop with an AMD X3 and a laptop with an AMD X2 Phenom. Memory is more of an issue - look for 8gig or add it to whatever you buy. While 4 gig is ok, you will find it begins to slow down with heavy work.
11-19-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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If you're working in LR with RAW files and plan on working with large catalogs:

The more power, the better. Dedicated GPU is a definite plus.

The more memory, the better. LR will use a lot if available. Even with 8 GB, I feel it could use more.

The faster the hard drive, the better. If you're keeping your cache on the C: drive, you definitely should look to get at least a 7200 RPM drive. For external storage, and again, if you're working with RAW, you will want an eSata connection for the best performance.


Second monitor has nothing to do with whether the GPU is dedicated or not. All laptops can run their internal monitor plus an external. With a real docking station if available (not a USB docking station), you can run two external monitors instead.


i5 versus i7 - depends on which processor you get. There are low and high end i5 and i7 CPUs. Match up a high end i5 and a low end i7 and you might not notice a huge performance difference.

11-20-2011, 03:22 AM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
Look at the Asus laptops, they are the best value by far. You will want a separate GPU, something small with 512mb of dedicated memory is fine. 4 gigs of RAM is fine but 8 won't hurt and will only cost 20$ more. If battery life means anything to you, just get an i3 dual core. i7s will give you an hour or two of battery life which really sucks, but my i3 laptop gives me 6 solid hours.

look at ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Notebooks- ASUS U36JC

I'd suggest newegg.com to easily sort laptops with the specs you desire
Kind of the thing i'm looking for, I have read somewhere that the ASUS U36JC gets really hot .
The ASUS U36SD is on my list ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Notebooks- ASUS U36SD it has the "sandy bridge" processor and is the full voltage version not the low voltage (slower) one. Appearently this has a hybrid GPU whereby you can switch off the dedicated nvidia GT540 and use the intel one to save the battery. It also has re-designed cooling ducts.

...or there's ASUS U46SV more ram, same price, but bigger

also AcerTimelineX , HP DV4-3029, Dell Inspiron 13z or 14R

I can't buy from newegg.com, but thanks its helpful for sorting.
11-20-2011, 04:55 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
screen - don't care as long as I can read it, a 12-13" would be OK.
A good screen could help with first "on the road" edits. It may also allow a dual monitor setup at home.
Only a few laptops have really good IPS screens, though. ThinkPads had them and some HP laptop have them.

QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
Do I need a dedicated GPU? - Is an inbuilt like Intel HD3000 reasonable or do I need a separate GPU like a nvidia GT540 or an AMD6750.
Adobe says -- contrary to many statements made in this thread -- that an on board graphics adapter is just fine. They don't use a GPU much (for some cursors they do but the on board graphics adapters can handle this easily). Certainly no special 3D capabilities are required and even the most basic on board adapter will not represent a bottleneck.

QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
In smaller laptops I heard they get really hot and then throttle performance.
Makes sense, if they manage to heat up the main CPU as well. The latter will then typically step down in speed to help cooling the overall system down.

The main problem is Lightroom itself (sub-par programming). The hardware usually isn't the limiting factor.

Last edited by Class A; 11-22-2011 at 03:33 PM.
11-20-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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I use a cheap dell i3 with 4gb ram. PS5 will stop without processing sometimes but a simple reboot fixes that. I am going to up it to 8gb ram. Other than that it is fine. 500 bucks
11-20-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
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$750 gets you a nice Asus for LR

QuoteOriginally posted by ironlionzion Quote
look at the asus laptops, they are the best value by far. You will want a separate gpu, something small with 512mb of dedicated memory is fine. 4 gigs of ram is fine but 8 won't hurt and will only cost 20$ more. If battery life means anything to you, just get an i3 dual core. I7s will give you an hour or two of battery life which really sucks, but my i3 laptop gives me 6 solid hours.

Look at asustek computer inc. - notebooks- asus u36jc

i'd suggest newegg.com to easily sort laptops with the specs you desire
+1

.

11-22-2011, 12:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Only a few laptops have really good IPS screens, though. Apples (you can run Windows on them) and HPs are among them.
As much as I wish Apple used IPS, they do not. The last generation of iMac did use IPS, but the latest generation ditched that, too. Even so, the displays Apple uses have continued to improve.

Got a link to those HPs? Last time I looked for a laptop with IPS, all I could find was a discontinued ThinkPad. I ended up deciding to stick with my 2007 MacBook Pro at least until the next generation is out.
11-22-2011, 12:07 AM   #10
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On the topic at hand, I think the original proposed laptop specs sound fine, though coming from someone with a Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM I'd say:
- 4GB is probably fine, but I'd go for 8GB RAM
- if using an external drive for photos, go with a small SSD for the OS and applications

I just set up a couple laptops for people recently and what a difference a nice SSD makes...
11-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by torpesco Quote
As much as I wish Apple used IPS, they do not.
Sorry, my bad if they don't do a laptop with an IPS panel. I know that (at least some of) their desktop Cinema displays use IPS panels and somehow thought some of their laptops get IPS panels as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by torpesco Quote
Got a link to those HPs?
HP EliteBook 8740w, however, there is some dispute whether the 8740 really has an IPS panel. The 8730w seemed to have had one.

Have you looked at Lenovo?

Sorry if anything I wrote was/is misleading. I'm stuck with a particular laptop manufacturer and hence only followed laptop IPS panel discussions in passing while searching for a good desktop IPS panel.
11-22-2011, 04:11 PM   #12
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here are the essentials for your laptop rig.

in order of relevance.

1.> cpu processor - it doesn't matter if it's i5 or i7. the important thing is the clock speed. also, the more core it is, the better. also include hyperthreading. 1.6ghz quad is more than enough. mine is running like a beast, but it has turbo boost at 2.5ghz.

2.> memory - this is pretty obvious since LR is a memory hog, the same with PS. 8GB is recommended if you want faster operation.

3.> always have a dedicated video card that uses it's own memory.1GB is more than enough. warning: do not get a laptop with a shared gpu memory. btw, it doesn't need to be the latest graphics card. and not too old.
11-22-2011, 11:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
2.> memory - this is pretty obvious since LR is a memory hog, the same with PS. 8GB is recommended if you want faster operation.
Lightroom actually doesn't need that much of memory. It may sometime claim excessive amounts but this is then because of memory leaks (caused by bad programming). If you are bitten by memory leaks, no amount of memory will save you. 4G should be just fine, unless you want to run several other programs in parallel with Lightroom.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
always have a dedicated video card that uses it's own memory.1GB is more than enough.
Laptops do not tend to have dedicated video cards. On board graphics adapters will be fine. 1GB is much more than Lightroom requires.

On what basis are you making your graphics adapter recommendations? Lightroom doesn't exploit any graphic card features other than minimal support for cursors and Adobe has officially stated that any standard graphics card will be fine.
11-23-2011, 12:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Lightroom actually doesn't need that much of memory. It may sometime claim excessive amounts but this is then because of memory leaks (caused by bad programming). If you are bitten by memory leaks, no amount of memory will save you. 4G should be just fine, unless you want to run several other programs in parallel with Lightroom.
I beg to differ. I was running 4 GB with LR before I had installed an 8GB. and I had noticed noticeable speed improvements when accessing LR during startup and during refresh image during post-processing. although 4GB is good, I did mention I recommend 8 GB, especially alongside PS CS5 which is more terrible memory hog than LR. now I don't know where memory leaks sets in when I practically just upgraded the RAM.


QuoteQuote:
Laptops do not tend to have dedicated video cards. On board graphics adapters will be fine. 1GB is much more than Lightroom requires.

On what basis are you making your graphics adapter recommendations? Lightroom doesn't exploit any graphic card features other than minimal support for cursors and Adobe has officially stated that any standard graphics card will be fine.

you practically misunderstood my statement by cutting of some crucial part of it. read the line which you cut off and you will get my point. and please, next time don't cut off parts of the statement which may cause misunderstanding.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 11-23-2011 at 01:40 AM.
11-23-2011, 12:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Adobe has officially stated that any standard graphics card will be fine.
define fine? because there is a difference when a graphics card is only able to barely run, run basic, run efficiently, and optimally efficient.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 11-23-2011 at 01:21 AM.
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