I have a laptop that's a year old. It has a 5400RPM WD hard drive, and 3GB of DDR2 (PC2-6400 400MHz) RAM. The CPU is an Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 @ 2.0GHz 1MB of L2 Cache. I've been editing video more and more lately. I use Adobe Premiere and it runs really slowly. It's mainly 720p video.
When I look at the task manager the RAM is at about 2GB when rendering, and the CPU will be at 100%. I was wondering if I should upgrade my RAM to more RAM, or get faster RAM. Get an SSD. Or maybe even get a new CPU.
I wonder what would be best for my situation, please help me out.
asked Sep 20 '10 at 18:13
It's tough to say without understanding better how you're using it and where you're bottlenecking. If you rarely fill up your existing RAM that is not your problem. Watch your swap/virtual memory/whatever your OS calls it. If it's filling up during rendering you are running out of RAM, and that's a huge problem that will cut your performance in half due to the increased HDD access. If you are seeing swap I/O frequently during video rendering you must have more RAM; nothing else will help much. The SSD will not fix problems related to swapping due to low RAM, but it will help substantially. If it's an I/O problem the SSD is going to max out the capability of your laptop.
With video editing the HDD is a huge factor, but only if the render speed of your CPU beats the write speed of your HDD (which is pretty likely on a 5200RPM, but not certain). Your CPU is always going to be at 100% btw, it would be stupid to run below capacity and render slower. There aren't many laptops out there with replaceable CPUs (read: almost zero), so you can probably forget about that.
Assuming RAM is not the issue/is maxed out, here's what I'd do:
If you're lucky enough to have a laptop that supports two HDDs, get a small SSD a bit larger than double the largest raw video file you ever create. Use it for your working space, so you get the speed of the SSD where it counts without spending a fortune.
If not, buy the biggest SSD you can reasonably afford, and an external enclosure for your current HDD (~$30). Use the external drive to store everything that you don't need to be able to read fast or use often - music, movies, documents, etc. Use the SSD just for your OS, executables, temporary files, and video. You can find guides out there for every OS on how to set up your Home directory on an external drive. I have a friend who uses velcro to secure his second HDD to his laptop lid for a setup like this, so that's a thought in terms of portability.
Once you're ready to drop more cash, get a desktop tailor-made for video editing - nice RAIDed high RPM HDDs or SSDs, bunches of RAM, and a reasonable multi-core CPU. With a bit of bargain hunting you can probably put something together for under $1k that will smoke your laptop if you focus on video editing performance.
answered Sep 21 '10 at 14:28
You are eventually probably going to want to upgrade all three or get a new computer, desktops are better for video rendering. I would suggest upgrading the CPU first or maybe the SSD, but I'll admit I'm more of a software guy.
answered Sep 20 '10 at 18:18
No reason to add RAM- unless you have a 64 bit system & a motherboard that supports over 4GB?
Processors can run at 100% w/o problem- so my take would be (assuming 64 bit & assuming ability to go to 8GB-12GB RAM)- to upgrade RAM. Everything runs in RAM.
Likewise, going 5400rpm drive to 7200rpm is a good & sound investment. Maxblast tools from Maxtor/Seagate used to do a drive-clone for free- I'm sure there are others around.
These are the least expensive alternatives. Obviously, you could pop for a new desktop~
answered Sep 21 '10 at 07:58
hdd is really slow. Upgrade to a 7200RPM drive
DDR3 ram would be better if you could get it but I would go with HDD first.
answered Sep 20 '10 at 18:20
Well I would advise a new faster CPU but Because its relying more upon it for video editing and such and if its not using all the ram you have then no need to get more and your hard drive is probably ok but I would highly recommend something more in the line of a desktop if your doing hardcore video editing because it would probably go a lot faster with a hardcore CPU behind it but if you are going to do it on your laptop I suggest a new CPU.
answered Sep 20 '10 at 18:21
Always max out the RAM on a laptop. memory is cheap. I seriously doubt you can change the chip on a laptop. And along the line of boba0420's suggestion,consider this; a laptop isn't a computer - its a laptop computer. Desktops and laptops are totally different animals. Costs,function,longevity,architecture - everything is different.
answered Sep 20 '10 at 18:57
If your just doing it at home/office then a dedicated tower would suit you better, as you can put in higher spec components for editing. Laptops are good, but not as good as a PC for video editing.
answered Sep 20 '10 at 20:55