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Old 05-25-2012, 03:58 PM
clampire clampire is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 46
Default need laptop for editing only, bottom line specs?

I'm running PTLE8 on an iMAC in my project studio. I'm ready to purchase a laptop. I am not planning on doing any recording with it...strictly editing on the road.

Which of the following would suffice?

Or, is there something in the price range of $700 - $800 that I should know about?

Intel Quad-Core i7 with a 5,400 RPM drive vs. Intel Quad-Core i5 with a 7,200 RPM drive (both have 6GB of RAM)?

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Old 05-29-2012, 11:07 AM
JazzyJ JazzyJ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 796
Default Re: need laptop for editing only, bottom line specs?

You can change an internal HD easily enough in most laptops so to put a 7200rpm in is easy enough.

I've got an internal 7200rpm drive in my Macbook and it works great and is not noticeably any hotter than a 5400rpm. You do get a better response from a 7200 drive and in case of an emergency if you have to read or write a session from the internal drive then a 7200rpm will work, whereas a 5400rpm won't be very good at all.

I did a session in Jan 'on location' and my external FW drive went down as soon as I set up - unbelievable! However, I worked off my internal 7200rpm for the session and all was fine.

i7 or i5 quad laptop will absolutely rock - I'm on a 2.0ghz dual core and it can run a lot!
Hack Pro (4.2Ghz i7 Quad/16GB)
PT11 / OSX 10.8.5
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:47 PM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: need laptop for editing only, bottom line specs?

Assuming this is a Macbook Pro then i'd go for the cheapest and use an external firewire drive, something like a bus powered OWC mercury on the go will offer good performance and at the same time be bus powered and compact. A 7200 internal still has to cater for the OS and other tasks, whereas a dedicated FW drive will be for audio only.

You really only need a high spec machine if you plan on running large sessions with lots of plugins, for your needs i'd even go so far as saying that a Macbook air would probably do the job. I have a C2D 2008 MBP and it's still a great machine, no plans to update and no issues with sufficient juice.

Thunderbolt drives will come down and when they do i think the Macbook air will be a credible Pro Tools solution. Especially as many devs are pushing USB2 on their interfaces, Motu for example.

My experience with 7200 internal drives is a little different to Jazz's. I actually notice a very negible difference between my stock 5400rpm Fujitsu drive compared to the 7200rpm Travelstar I installed. Whilst my machine doesn't run hotter it is noticeably louder, i kind of wish i didn't bother and then theres the risk of breaking something when hacking the machine apart, my advice.....skip it.

As always YMMV.
iMac i5 2.8GHz, Macbook Pro 2.4GHz, Pro Tools 10/11, MOTU 828mk2, Presonus Digimax FS, Presonus Firestudio Project, TC Konnekt 24D
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