Is it recommended to have a discrete graphic card on a laptop for video editing?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Joe Wildebeest, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. I've been researching laptops as I need a portable PC for video editing.

    My gut feeling is that a dedicated graphics card, as opposed to those
    integrated with the motherboard chipset, is necessary. Unfortunately, quite
    a few of the laptops that interest me are lacking only in this one area.
    Anybody know the facts on this?


    Joe Wildebeest, Aug 24, 2004
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  2. Joe Wildebeest

    gothika Guest

    Don't know hwat type of video you'll be editing that'd put any kind of
    a heavy demand on the graphics card but video editing usually doesn't
    require much in a video card.
    As long as you have at least 16mb of video ram and 2d graphics it
    should do fine.
    My lowest editor only has a Nvidia geoforce2 with 64mb of video ram
    and I'v seen some setups running really old diamond cards.
    gothika, Aug 24, 2004
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  3. The issue is not related to the graphic chip itself, but the fact that
    integrated graphic chips use a shared memory architecture. That means that
    RAM bandwidth is being shared by the graphic chip and the rest of the
    system. My concern is that this sharing may impact performance. I just don
    't know enough about how video editing stresses a system to know whether it'
    s an issue or not!

    I should have stated that I'm looking at a centrino laptop, as I need a
    lightweight laptop with a long battery life for other purposes. I know
    there are better mobile platforms purely for video editing, but they don't
    meet my other requirements.

    Joe Wildebeest, Aug 25, 2004
  4. Joe Wildebeest

    gothika Guest

    You shouldn't have a problem.
    I run a ram meter on my editing setup and have never seen any system
    ram even utilized for video during editing.
    A Centrino should be more than enough.
    Test it by running some video through it.
    A VCD or DVD with some AVI or Mpeg1 files should do.
    I can't imagine a centrino giving bad video output.
    gothika, Aug 25, 2004
  5. A lot depends on the type of editing you're going to be doing. If you're
    looking at something to do some low-level trim-and-splice type editing with
    a few title overlays while you're on a plane or train, then Centrino will do
    well for you, I'm sure. I do that kind of stuff on my Athlon600 desktop
    system and my P-III 600 laptop and they eat it up, so anything that'll
    qualify for Centrino certification should do great, too. If you're trying
    to do some heavy stuff, though, like 8 video tracks and 15 audio tracks, all
    with filters... you're still probably okay with a Centrino, just be sure you
    have it plugged in.

    As far as the processing, and as far as I can remember, most of the video
    processing that is sent to the gpu is just for the preview, unless you have
    a specific card for encoding, in which case your computer can utilise
    hardware acceleration. My only recommendation, which I try to follow with
    all my systems, mobile or otherwise, is to max out your RAM. If you're
    beefy with your RAM, even if it is shared, and you're not trying to play a
    game while you're rendering, you should be fine.

    Good luck!

    Dave Schein II, CSO
    Printergy, Inc. - Print-to-Energy Digital Publishing
    DOCHighway, Inc. - Wherever You Are!
    CDs, DVDs, Scanning, Document Management, Knowledge Sharing...
    ...The Future!
    2066 York. Rd.
    Suite 205
    Baltimore, MD 21093
    410-561-8436 - TEL
    410-561-1220 - FAX
    443-803-2119 - Direct
    \Granma\ Dave Schein II, CSO, Aug 25, 2004
  6. Thanks Gothica,

    Am I confusing the system load during rendering as opposed to editing!
    Rendering must load the CPU 100% and probably saturate the memory buss,
    whereas the CPU load & memory buss load during editing will vary a lot
    depending on what you're doing.

    I'm still perplexed though by your comment on not using system RAM during
    editing. Where is all the edit data if not in RAM?

    I think I'll just have to get a laptop with a discrete graphic card even if
    just for peace of mind. I'll be using the system for software development
    and audio purposes also and I don't want to take any chances. I hate
    unnecessary bottle necks.

    Joe Wildebeest, Aug 25, 2004
  7. Our software suite currently require Dx7 class HW, and a Radeon/Geforce based core is recommended.
    But I see a push toward advanced GPU processing in the next gen, so if you keep your laptop
    for the next 2-3 years get one with a Radeon 9600 or Geforce FX.

    Stephan Schaem
    Stephan Schaem, Aug 26, 2004
  8. Thanks Stephen,

    I ordered an Acer centrino today which has a mobile Radeon 9700 with 64 MB.
    I feel happier with that decision.


    Joe Wildebeest, Aug 26, 2004
  9. I forgot to mention that I'd been wondering earlier this week about software
    that gives serious control over recording direct to a PC and you pop up with
    the link below, which is for the producer of DV Rack. Very interesting
    product. Out of my price range at the moment, but I'll file away the URL
    for a later date.

    Thanks for that.

    Joe Wildebeest, Aug 27, 2004
  10. You can download the product (its 10meg total in size) and
    you will get a free 14 day license to test the entire software package.

    Check also the field guide :
    (It cover many topics on how to shoot better video)

    Caution, its an addictive product :)


    PS: I work for this company. (Not as a salesman, but as an enthusiast developer that love video:)
    Stephan Schaem, Aug 27, 2004
  11. Great choice (I wish I had this config :)

    I'm sure other software manufacturer are on the bandwagon, but I can tell you that
    our 2005 software release will make great use of this laptop configuration.

    Stephan Schaem, Aug 27, 2004
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