Hi. I am looking to upgrade to a new computer for post production work and wanted to find out if a laptop would be powerful enough for my needs.
I shoot on a Canon 1ds mkii, process the Raw files to 16bit 96mb Tiffs in Capture one and do my colour correction in Photoshop CS.
At the moment I have a 3 and a half year old Sony Vaio GRT715M Laptop. It has a Pentium 4 2.8GHz processor, 1 gig of ram (itís maximum) and a Nvidia Geoforce FX Go5600 video card. When I got it I was working with 36mb 16 bit files from a Canon 10d and with only 512mb of ram. It was fine for this. A year or so ago I brought my 1ds mkii and upgraded the laptop to a gig of ram. But the problem is, it is slow. For example, if in photoshop I opened an image (96mb), then made, say, a few curve adjustments in a row, the first couple would be fairly quick but by the third it would be hanging for about 10 seconds, then 15 seconds for the 4th adjustments etc. And the more complicated I make the images, if I start adding layers or making composites, it will hang for a lot longer. This can get pretty frustrating when making a lot of tweaks and adjustments, as I tend to do.
So, my thought is to upgrade but I have a few questions.
1. How realistic is it of me to expect photoshop to run a lot faster on files of this size? Ideally I would love to be able to have a much larger history or use multiple layers, without the machine starting to hang. Is this achievable?
2. I was looking at getting something along the lines of the HP Pavilion dv6174EA. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66GHz processor, 2 gig of Ram, and a Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 graphics card. I am not a computer expert so I am not clear on how big a jump this is in terms of processor and Ram from my current Sony laptop? Is it a far superior machine which would run photoshop a lot faster and leave me free of the frustrations of a constantly hanging computer? Or is it only a small jump and really I am not going to see any significant improvements. It would be great to hear any thoughts?
3. Am I being crazy expecting what I want from a laptop and should I get a desktop instead.? I really love having a laptop and it works perfectly with my workflow. I run it duel monitor with a Lacie 19Ē (if I got a desktop I would definitely get a second monitor so I could stay duel monitor). And I do often need to take it out on shoots, so if I upgraded to a desktop I would still need to keep the old laptop for location work, and then have the complication of having two different machines. So essentially, I would love to upgrade to a laptop but am I crazy for that, would all my problems be best solved going for a desktop? Also, just to mention, my budget canít really go much above the cost of the Pavilion above, or a similar machine, £900 in the UK. Also all my software and knowledge is PC so I would rather stick with a PC for now.
It would be great to hear anyoneís thoughts. I know whatever I buy I will be relying on it for the next couple of years (but am not going to be upgrading my camera in this time), so I just want to make sure I get it right.