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  • Is it crazy to edit 4k video on a lap top

    Posted by Michael Zombro on September 1, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    I recently started a job and I am using a Dell Precision 5550 with an Intel Core i7 processor and 32 GB of RAM and a nvidia quadro p2000 with max-q design graphics card. Video playback is sometimes sluggish and exports have started to get really long, 40 minutes for a one minute and forty second clip. The problem seems to come and go. I have never used a PC or Laptop before for editing video. The people in the IT department feel the laptop is really fast and hardware is not the issue. I have never worked anywhere where they use laptops on a daily basis to edit video. Is it feasible?

    Michael Zombro replied 1 year, 10 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Vince Wilcox

    September 1, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    It’s not as black and white as yes or no, some desktops will be slower than your laptop but cost wise a desktop equivalent would typically be faster, have more storage, etc.

    With that said if the company doesn’t value time saved with a faster machine than you can help your workflow out by transcoding footage to formats like ProRes that are more forgiving to the editing process. “Proxy” files are typically some sort of intermediate codec like ProRes combined with a reduction in resolution / bitrate. This makes it easier for the computer to edit.

    Most software will be able to use the original files or the original high quality transcoded files for export. Try to save these tasks for overnight or lunch when you don’t use the computer for anything else. Restart often, close other apps, and document your export times to justify a new computer ; )

  • Michael Zombro

    September 1, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks Vince. I have begun using the proxy files for editing.

  • Bill Celnick

    September 1, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    My experience with IT Departments is that if they feel a computer is fast enough for MS Office, it’s fast enough for editing video…for the most part they’re of a different mindset and not focused on video work.

  • Vince Wilcox

    September 1, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Also, may be worth downloading something like Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, not sure what the Windows/PC equivalent is but an old forum mentioned it being part of a larger Blackmagic software package. This may help you determine which disk is faster if you have multiple drives, and/or help you bring receipts to the IT department.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    September 2, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Hey Michael,

    Adding my 5 cents to all of the other great advice that you’ve already got.

    When editing 4K on my HP Laptop (ZBook Pro, i9, 64GB Ram, NVidia Quatro RTX 3000, 1 x 500GB C SSD for boot & 1 x 2TB SSD for media). It works fine without going to proxy.

    However, I run my Adobe project of the main drive, and all media of the secondary drive, or external SSD (tend to favour Samsung T7 @ up to 1050Mbps, USB-3 on a USB-C/Thunderbolt connector).

    If it is a large scale project, I would recommend external raid or similar.

    I still use the old adage of keeping at least 25% of free space on my drives for faster read/write.

    On very large projects, even in HD, I save a new project version, and delete old time-lines from that just to keep the file-size down on the project itself.

    You might also find it helpful to delete all of your rendered files, just to clear out the system.
    WARNING: If in proxy editing mode, be careful that you do NOT delete the proxies.

    Hope that this helps – Good Luck


  • Michael Zombro

    September 2, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks Everyone. Mads, I have been keeping everything on the internal hard drive. Using the external one they gave me was even worse. We have talked about getting an external raid…. hopefully that happens. Thanks for your other advice. I will give it a try.

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