Best Alienware laptop for video editing?

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by Lambda808, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Lambda808

    Lambda808 Notebook Consultant

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    Hey guys. So I'm on the market for a new laptop. I started off with the alienware m15x ages ago, and about 4-5 years ago I got the alienware 17 laptop which I'm still currently using but I think it's getting outdated and it's time for an upgrade. I've just been so out of touch with alienwares new stuff so thought I'd ask everyones advice here.

    I'd like to stick to a 17inch laptop. I work in film and edit video for a living. So that's my top priority. You might be wondering why the hell I'm editing on a laptop. Well I travel a ton. That's why. Trying to get back into gaming too. Looking to spend $1500-$2000. Mainly editing on Adobe Premiere Pro which I think requires mainly RAM and CPU power. But I also do a fair amount of work on Davinci Resolve which is all GPU power.
    I'm a little confused with all of Alienwares new laptops. So any suggestions are welcome! Back when i got my first alienware laptops no one else was really cranking out laptops with the specs I needed/wanted so thats why I chose them. But if there's other companies out there now you think would be a better fit for my needs let me know.
     
  2. pathfindercod

    pathfindercod Notebook Virtuoso

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    Your limited in a away. I would stay away form the new 17 r2/15r2. Look at the 17m that is still upgradeable with ram and storage or look for a previous 17r5 (you can find some really goods deals on 17r5 right now).
     
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  3. Lambda808

    Lambda808 Notebook Consultant

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    Why d'you suggest staying away from those two models?
     
  4. pathfindercod

    pathfindercod Notebook Virtuoso

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    Your stuck with 8 or 16gb of ram as whichever you choose is soldered on system board as well as the WiFi Card is soldered on system board. Video editing you’ll want more than 16gb of ram I’m sure.. almost your limited to to 2 m.2 drives and rhatsbit. The previous new 17m has 2 m.2 and a 2.5 bay.
     
  5. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Not only that, but the RAM supplied by Dell, soldered or not, is likely to be the cheapest possible Dell could find. For instance, the m15/m17 ships with CL19 memory from Dell but can be upgraded to a 25% faster Hyperx Impact memory at a cost of $75 per 16GB. I mention that since memory latency is likely to be a significant factor in video editing performance. Your best bet is m15/m17 R1 with 8GB of Dell RAM + the desired capacity of 2666MHz CL15 Hyperx Impact RAM.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  6. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    25% faster? That's a great way to lead someone into thinking they will have much better results with the HyperX vs stock. That's not true in the slightest. Latency has little affect on video editing, and it has little affect on day to day use. I would stick with the argument that it can't be upgraded at a later date (which is a real issue).

    Here is a good review to see how much of a difference memory speed/latency plays in some popular video editing suites:
    https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Does-RAM-speed-affect-video-editing-performance-1528/
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  7. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Not leading anyone anywhere other than out of the Dell memory trap. Factory upgrading the m15 from 8 to 32GB and possibly 16GB costs more than just getting the cheapest 8GB config and getting the Hyperx impact kit. It's a no-brainer.

    The +25% is the highest real synthetic benchmark result delta posted in the m15 users' lounge, video editing performance would probably see less of an impact. We won't know until someone benchmarks it on the exact system with the two exact memory kits. The benchmarks posted above quote 4-12% improvement in a different system memory config (which sounds worthwhile anyway), so can only be used as a fairly sketchy proxy.

    BTW I am finding the reference to real life use meaningless in the context of measuring computationally intensive tasks' performance. Sure, my memory speed doesn't matter when I'm just reading the news on the web.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  8. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    Synthetic benchmarks don't translate to actual gain in real usage scenarios like gaming or video editing. I'm a memory snob of some sorts, but I have no preconceived notion that it actually gets me anything, it's more of a hobby.

    The Puget Premiere Pro shows a LOSS of 0.46% in going from 2666MHz CL19 to 2666MHz CL16. The only system that actually had a gain in going with tighter timings was the 3900x.

    I'd love for you to show me a 25% gain in anything that's not just memory benchmarking. Games and video/photo editing won't see anywhere near that, more like a couple of percent.
     
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  9. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    A loss of 0.46%... Please, I'm sure you've heard of variance. They clearly state faster memory can yield up to 13% improvement in performance (conclusions section). Q. E. D.

    I would love to do some independent video editing perf testing, there are just three issues:
    1. A day has only 24h
    2. I only have one Dell stick and not sure if single channel results could be extrapolated to the usual dual channel setup
    3. I don't have any video editing software nor any need for one at present.
     
  10. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    I have heard of variance, my point was that for the OP's specific needs, there is no gain in going with faster memory.

    Here is the conclusion:
    "Overall, our recommendation for most users is to stick with the RAM speed that is officially supported by your CPU in order to maximize the stability of your system. If you are looking to get every ounce of performance, however, there are some applications (Photoshop and NeatBench from what we tested) that can to potentially get up to ~13% higher performance with DDR4-3600 RAM. Just keep in mind that this performance is definitely not "free" - just like CPU overclocking, it is possible that it may cause more problems than the extra performance will solve and may require a bit of tinkering in the BIOS to get it stable over the life of your system."

    So up to 13% in certain applications when going from 2666MHz CL19 to 3600 CL16, all on desktop processors that may be limited by memory (vs a laptop which will more likely be CPU limited).

    In the testing I've done, even going from a single 16GB stick to dual 8's (same speed, but the 8s are CL15 vs CL19), gaming performance didn't change. The only significant changes were with synthetic benchmarks which tested memory.
     
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