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ghekkomanic

Buying a PC laptop in the UK - any recommendations?

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I'm finally plumping for a laptop after too many late nights / weekends at work.

 

It needs to be pc as we've got all the software and plugins for pc at work. Also workstations are out as I'm moving soon so may not have a desk.

 

I want to spend around £800-£1000, but really haven't got a clue after that. Not sure how to go about researching this. Can anyone help!?

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Not sure what prices are like there, but here's my bottom line spec-wise for something mograph capable: It would have to have a Core 2 Duo, and very important, the kind with the 6mb cache (a much much better processor than the 3MB cache version). At least 4 gigs of ram and vista 64 would also be essential. Lastly, it would have to have a real video card, and not just "intel" graphics.

 

If you can find that for 1000 quid you'll be in good shape. Even more memory would be great, but you'll be hard pressed to find a pc laptop that offers more than 4GB in that price range I think.

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Not sure what prices are like there, but here's my bottom line spec-wise for something mograph capable: It would have to have a Core 2 Duo, and very important, the kind with the 6mb cache (a much much better processor than the 3MB cache version). At least 4 gigs of ram and vista 64 would also be essential. Lastly, it would have to have a real video card, and not just "intel" graphics.

 

If you can find that for 1000 quid you'll be in good shape. Even more memory would be great, but you'll be hard pressed to find a pc laptop that offers more than 4GB in that price range I think.

 

Thanks Beaver. Think I've found a reasonable one for £900. It's a Core 2 Duo, with 4 gigs of ram but only 3mb cache. How much difference does it make having 6mb cache?

 

Also how would I check the graphics card is mograph suitable?

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Thanks Beaver. Think I've found a reasonable one for £900. It's a Core 2 Duo, with 4 gigs of ram but only 3mb cache. How much difference does it make having 6mb cache?

 

Also how would I check the graphics card is mograph suitable?

 

Adobe lists supported graphics cards on their site (here) but in reality, AE will work with just about any card. (getting support can be more difficult if you're not on that list though...) Might want to ask if anyone else is using the card you're considering just so you have a reference point.

 

The cache will help performance, especially with rendering, but if it's putting you out of your price range it's not going to kill you. Still if it's only a difference of £100 or so, might be worth it.

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Some good offers available on last generation MacBook Pros, now the new ones are out. The improvements in the new models are not earth shattering anyway. Try Jigsaw. Not a PC, but I believe you can use them as such...

Edited by basilisk

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Some good offers available on last generation MacBook Pros, now the new ones are out. The improvements in the new models are not earth shattering anyway. Try Jigsaw. Not a PC, but I believe you can use them as such...

 

True that, BTW, anyone try running AE or C4D on windows 7? It's free until June 1, 2010. I've played with it, but haven't installed any software. If it works ok (I don't see why not, it's essentially vista with tweaks) that could be a money saving option.

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True that, BTW, anyone try running AE or C4D on windows 7? It's free until June 1, 2010. I've played with it, but haven't installed any software. If it works ok (I don't see why not, it's essentially vista with tweaks) that could be a money saving option.

 

 

Not that I condone piracy but I am in the midst of downloading some c4d action to test on on win 7 on a 3ghz quadcore computer, I'll let you know how it goes.

 

BTW w7 runs great on macs.

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Yep, I'm running CS4 and C4D R11 on Win7 on both my home and work PCs. Have been for about a month now. Runs fine. C4D is rock-solid as ever. The only weirdness I've noticed is that the AE interface is...glitchy. I don't use OpenGL, but it's flickery and shows echoing artifacts when dragging and dropping stuff. I've been meaning to delete the OpenGL plugin entirely and see if that helps, as it did when I had video issues with CS3 in XP.

 

(PC specs: work PC is an i7 920 @ 3.2GHz, 12G DDR3, 9800GTX. Home PC is a Q9450 @ stock, 8G DDR2, 8800GT. Both are using the same WHQL video drivers and both have the same flickering/artifacting issues when dragging and dropping in AE. Might be a driver issue.)

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Would this be money well spent?

 

Looks like a nice laptop. The screen resolution is very good for mograph too, definitely a bonus at that price.

 

In the past I've seen vaio computers that come pre-installed with some special sony "operating system" that runs over top of windows. Not sure if they still do that, but should be simple enough to remove, or just do a clean install of windows right after you get it.

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Although having a hi res monitor is obviously attractive for motion graphics I can't help but think having anything much bigger than 15 inch screen kind of misses the point of a laptop ie portability, I'd rather have a smaller laptop and plug it into an external monitor if I'm doing high res work. Maybe that's just a personal preference but worth thinking about I think.

 

Dells XPS line seem to be pretty ok spec wise, as they have a lot of big corporate clients you'd expect their customer service to be good though I'm not speaking from experience there they might be awful.

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