Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Will this configuration run smoothly?

  1. Jul 11, 2008 #1
    Ok, I really need a laptop that I can record video sessions with. It's very important to me that my laptop will run smoothly.

    Will this configuration run smoothly? I'm emphasizing it because I remember when my Mom got her laptop with "Vista" it was sooo freakn slow, lol. I was laughing so hard bc I kept telling her not to get Vista. I'm not sure if she had 1 or 2 gb of Ram, but would 2gb be enough or do I need to get 4gb? Of course, if I go 4gb then I will need to upgrade my OS. I don't care about anything else, such as battery life bc there is always a plug near by etc.


    Operating system

    Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (32-bit)


    AMD Turion(TM) X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor ZM-80 (2.1 GHz)


    12.1" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen (1280 x 800) w/Integrated Touch-screen


    FREE Upgrade to 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)!!

    Graphics card

    ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3200 Graphics


    HP Imprint Finish (Echo) + Microphone + Webcam + Fingerprint Reader


    802.11b/g WLAN and Bluetooth

    Hard drive

    FREE Upgrade to 250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive from 160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive!!

    Primary CD/DVD drive

    LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support

    Primary battery

    6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2008 #2
    Well when you ask, will it run smoothly, what will you be doing, specifically. For the average computer user, 2 GB of RAM with AMD at 2.1 ghz and a ATi Radeon 3200 will run quite well.

    If you do decide to get more RAM, a cheap online retailer would be your best bet. NewEgg.com is my favorite. I have been buying from them for years and they have the cheapest prices with the best Customer Service.

    Vista will run Smoothly on that, especially if you are not running Aero.
  4. Nov 12, 2008 #3
    The very weak point of any laptop is its disk. And yours would be a 5400rpm, that's bad. Try very hard to get a 7200rpm, it makes a huge difference on the decisive component of your config.
  5. Nov 13, 2008 #4
    I second NewEgg.

    You don't necessarily need a 7200rpm hard drive, 5400 rpm works fine for me, and many other techs I know.

    Upgrade your graphics card, if you can. The 3200's okay, but you can do better. If you're doing video editing, this'll be where you want to max out your machine, as well as in RAM (memory). The CPU should be okay, but once again, if you can, upgrade it.

    When you bring "video editing" into the picture, your needs change drastically.
  6. Nov 15, 2008 #5
    I hadn't read "video editing", but it does change a lot.

    A general point is that a laptop is worse than a desktop for any use but transport it. Little evolution possible, expensive, slow - mainly because of the disk. So it's important to know if one really needs a laptop.

    I maintain that the disk is of paramount importance. It's the weak point of any PC, and laptops have horrible disks because of (1) the diameter that stores less bits per track and (2) the slower rpm that transfers less tracks per second. So indeed, try very hard to have a 7200rpm disk. In fact, video editing is one of few uses where individual desktop PCs benefit from a Raid-0.

    Video processor: last time I checked, about 2 years ago, no single video edition programme made use of the computing ability of the video processor. They made all heavy computations on the Cpu (through mmx or sse) and used the video processor only to display the images - which, for being 2D, can be made by absolutely any video processor.

    Has this changed? It is the purpose of DirectX 10 and Pci-E to make more general computations on the video processor, not just 3D rendering. But I know only an nVidia software for static images processing that takes advantage of the video processor. Has someone more recent information? DivX encoding is still used as a benchmark for Cpu, not for video processors.

    If such programmes now exist, they probably require DirectX 10 which in turn requires Vista, not XP - some freaks deny that.

    Ram and OS: for video edition, you need a huge Ram capacity and will probably want to expand it in the future. For that as well, laptops are bad, and I suggest to check carefully the maximum capacity of the computer. Also keep in mind that only 64 bits OS give access to more than 2 or 3GB of addressable space (that is: including the paging file) to a single application. Vista 32b won't. Vista 64 bits limits to 8GB (Home Basic) or 16GB (Home Premium) or 128GB (Business upwards). XP 64 bits limits to 128GB - this looks like a cheaper alternative. Remember that computers commonly upgrade their Ram capacity by a factor of 10 within their useful lifetime.

    Linux seems to access huge Ram capacities without costly "if" and "when" and "only", but I know very little about it - no idea if good video edition programmes exist.

    People buying computers now should be aware of the 2TB disk size limit. Again, Linux could be better. With Windows, you have costly "if" and "when" and "only" again. Besides most Server 2003 and 2008, the only Windows that access big disks are XP 64 bits and Vista 32 or 64 bits. Vista is more often able to boot from such a disk.

    Don't pay attention to the Sp. Service Packs are available for free and can be slipped into Window's installation Cd or Dvd, beginning with Windows 2000. And when the Sp2 is published, your Sp1 will be outdated anyway. So don't spend any dollar more for it.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook