It takes a lot of computer power to edit DSLR footage natively. I normally do most of my editing back home on my desktop, but I finished up early today, so I though I might head back to the motel, startup CS4 on my laptop, and do a little bit of editing. My laptop was a force of nature only a few years ago, but now it’s beginning to show its age. An Intel dual core, with 4 GB of ram, and GeForce 7950 GTX graphics card just doesn’t cut it. Those specs wont keep up with native editing, so i’m trans-coding to mpeg-2 and at my current pace I probably wont be doing any actual work tonight.

Even with GPU assisted trans-coding, the progress bar is saying 1 more hour. I think it might be time to buy a new laptop. My current desktop is running a first gen i7 (2.66GHz) Processor with 12 GB of ram and an NVIDIA GTX 285 2 GB graphics card and it cuts through DSLR footage like butter. The GTX 285 allows me to take full advantage of CS5’s mercury playback engine, which probably helps speed things up. It looks like there is now a very simple script hack that allows you to add pretty much any NVIDIA card with 1 GB of DDR3 ram and CUDA support to CS5.

With that in mind it looks like the top items on my laptop “buy list” should be an i7 processor, an NVIDIA graphics card, and 6 GB of ram. I’m also tired of carrying around an 18 inch laptop and I’ve noticed that you can now get 1080p resolution in a 15 inch form factor. The new generation of laptops also look to be about 4.5 pounds lighter then the monster I currently carry around. Battery life will probably always be a joke on a monster laptop, so I’ve given up on that, but it might be nice to get one of those 9 cell batteries so I can stay unplugged for at least an hour.

All of this day dreaming about laptops has got me convinced. I think this weeks work might disappear into a new laptop. If any of you out there have already made an upgrade in this department let me know what you ended up with. I’ll probably have a little time to decide since these guys only send out checks every two weeks.

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