REQUEST FOR SUGGESTIONS - 4K Video Editing Laptop - Configuring Dell Precision 7520 (or XPS 15)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by gotta2know, Apr 22, 2017.

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  1. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    1) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    I'm a video enthusiast. I plan to work on 4k footage.

    I have seen people explaining that the camera/codecs and the applications to be used have to be decided before finalizing the required configuration. But I have not decided on those yet. (Still weighing the options.) So the best description I can give is '4K video editing'

    I am looking to setup a configuration that would
    (a) help me do the 4K video post production (video editing, color correction, effects, audio mix) on a Prosumer level (if not Pro level) on this machine.
    (b) give the best value for money for my requirements
    (c) be a perfect combination - so that there is no 'overkill' of some parts leading to bottlenecks and/or under-utilisation of parts.
    (d) I live in a part of the world where the temperature easily shoots above 100F. The Humidity can also be quite high. So I need a Laptop that can survive this.


    2) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    Like: Dell.

    Based on my requirements, and after reading through the forums, I have decided on the Dell Precision 7520. (Precision 7720 seems too bulky.) So this thread is primarily to seek your suggestions for configuring the Precision 7520 laptop.

    Another reason for going for Dell - I have owned consumer grade Laptops of Dell and I am pretty satisfied with the performance of their laptops and also the availability of spares and quality of service.

    However any suggestions for other (Dell/Non-Dell) Laptops are also welcome.
    Particularly, any suggestions regarding the suitability of Dell XPS 15 for my requirements would be most welcome because going for XPS would nearly cut my expenses by half. But the XPS 15 wont be able to take the video editing 'load' as good as the precision is what I heard from some in the forums.

    3) What is your budget?

    I dont have a specific budget limit. I am willing to go for a Dell Precision (or Dell XPS) as long as it meets my requirements. If I can cut down cost by not going for a overkill, that would be great.

    Also I have seen people in these forums talk about Dell Discount Coupons. Where do I find one?
    And what is the maximum discount one can expect to get? The best I saw being discussed in the forums was 35-40%




    4) Processor

    i7 Options in 7520:
    Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Quad Core 2.80GHz, 3.80GHz Turbo, 6MB 45W, w/Intel HD Graphics 630)
    Intel Core i7-7820HQ (Quad Core 2.90GHz, 3.90GHz Turbo, 8MB 45W, w/Intel HD Graphics 630)
    Intel Core i7-7920HQ (Quad Core 3.10GHz, 4.10GHz Turbo, 8MB 45W, w/Intel HD Graphics 630)

    I'm inclined towards the 7700HQ, primarily to cut costs. Would 7820HQ/7920HQ give a siginificantly better performance?
    Please note that I don't yet understand 'throttling', 'overclocking' and stuff like that. So any explanations on that would be quite useful to me.


    5) RAM Memory
    In 7520, I would go for a 32GB (2x16GB) 2400MHz DDR4 Non-ECC SDRAM.
    And then possibly stepup to 64GB in the future.

    6) Video/Graphic Card

    In 7520, NVIDIA Quadro M2200 w/4GB GDDR5 seems to be the best option.

    The XPS has got the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 and this seems to have a better cost-to-performance value than M2200. Perhaps this seems to be the one clinching factor in favor of the XPS for my requirements. But then they seem to have heating issues.Suggestions on this are most welcome.

    7) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?

    Boot Disk: 256GB, Dell Class 40 SSD
    I'm not going for a 512GB, Class 50 only to cut costs. But would that give a significant performance difference?


    2nd Disk: 512GB/1TB, Dell Class 50 SSD

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer?

    I would like to have the UI text/icons big and easy to read. But then for Video Editing/Color Correction, I guess I need a UHD display. So should I go for FHD or UHD?

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)

    Non-reflective for sure.

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    I would like to see the screen to appreciate the difference between UHD and FHD in Precision 7520. Are there any Dell Laptops, that can seen in a showroom, that have the same/similar screen as the 7520?

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not much. But the XPS 15 does look really good. :)

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Ordering in 1 week

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    Surely has to be good enough for minimum 3-4 years.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    The Higher the better.
    So on the 7520, the 6 Cell (91 Whr) Battery seems good.
    But what's the difference between the Long Life model and the Express Charge model?

    Eagerly awaiting your suggestions.

    Thanks! :)

    Edit: Found the original post too lengthy. So cut it down to the crucial queries. AND added some relevant quotes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  2. Blacky

    Blacky Notebook Prophet

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    There are a few options available: link.

    The Precsion seems to be the best price / performance ratio.
    The difference between 7700HQ and 7820HK is not that great unless you are doing overclocking. Between 7700HQ and 7920HQ it's 12-15% difference.
    You may also consider the Clevo P750DM2 which comes with a desktop CPU.

    Bottom line is this:
    - if you want portability and good looks, you go with the XPS
    - if you want a sturdy, reliable machine for professional work with go with the Precision
    - if you are on a budget but you want the best components money can buy, go with the Clevo
     
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  3. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for responding! :)

    As I mentioned in my post, I don't yet understand 'throttling', 'overclocking' and stuff like that.
    But based on whatever I read and understood so far, I want to know if CPU overclocking is useful when there is a dedicated GPU available?

    @John Ratsey , Can you comment on this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  4. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    Requesting @Aaron44126 and @penguinslider to provide some insights into this.

    also requesting for some suggestions from @cuixu since I read in a post that you just got a 7520... your suggestions will be quite useful
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  5. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I believe that a speed difference of less than about 25% is unlikely to be noticeable in everyday usage. If the processing is done by the dGPU then the CPU speed becomes far less important.

    In the old days with mechanical hard drives I reckoned that extensive data processing throughput could be improved by reading from one drive and writing to another. However, this may not be an issue with SSDs.

    If you like the form factor of the XPS15 then you may want to consider the Precision 5520 which has a slower dGPU better configured for sustained workload than maximum performance. However, if you want dual storage drives in this notebook then you need to have the smaller battery option. The 7520 is a real workstation. The 5520 is a cross-over machine with hardware and performance compromises in favour greater portability. So, if your daily workload is crunching 4k video the the 7520 is the better choice. If it's like my Precision 5510 then you can use a lower rated (smaller and lighter) PSU if you are on the move and know that you won't be using the dGPU.

    John
     
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  6. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thats what I wanted to know about. Thanks!

    Few doubts about 5520:
    a) The Additional hard drive doesn't seem to have options for PCIe Class 50 disks. I can only see the SATA SSD's listed. Can't the Class 50 disks be configured as secondary stoarge in 5520?
    b) I am assuming PSU = Power Supply Unit. So if we use a lower rated PSU, the dGPU can't be run since that additional power requirement can't be met. Is that so?

    Thanks for responding.
     
  7. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    Regarding a), one drive connector is NVMe, the other is a standard SATA 3 as far as I know. Which is designated primary and secondary disk is entirely up to whoever configures the laptop. Dell configures it with the primary OS drive being the fastest one, aka the PCI-e SSD if you have one and the SATA drive as the secondary. There is nothing preventing you from configuring it entirely differently should you chose to do a full blow OS reinstall on the notebook.

    Regarding b), Dell power supplies have a bit of additional hardware in them that declares them as genuine Dell PSUs and also declares the output of the PSU. That means that you can plug in say a 90W Dell adapter in the 5520 instead of the stock 120W unit and the laptop will throttle certain parts because it knows it's a 90W unit. At least, the older Precisions did that. This avoids running the PSU over its rated capacity and the hazards associated with that. The actual power draw of a laptop really depends on what you do with it, so if you are only going to do lightweight work, you can definitely use a lower power unit and not exceed its maximum output capacity.

    Also, with the 5520, do not underestimate the loss of runtime on battery with the smaller unit, especially if you have the 4K display. That display is a battery vampire and will suck it dry pretty quickly.

    The 5520 is limited to 32 GB RAM, the 7520 is capable of going to 64 GB if that is important for you.
     
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  8. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks!
    But can I install two PCI-e SSDs on the 5520?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  9. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Out of curiosity I have run my Precision 5510 on a Dell Latitude XT 45W PSU. It worked and the system didn't overload it. I've travelled with the 65W PSU which can handle a loaded CPU with some power remaining for battery recharge. I would expect the 5520 (and most likely the 7520) to behave the same.

    Probably not. My guess is that the 2.5" bay is SATA only. See the manual for how the drives are arranged. Your best option with this notebook may be to get the cheapest M.2 SSD plus the big battery and then put in your own high capacity NVMe SSD. This doesn't affect your warranty (but the new SSD isn't covered by Dell). I usually do an SSD upgrade and keep Dell's SSD to put back in if I encounter a problem, which both checks if the problem occurs with the Dell-supplied Windows + software configuration and also makes the machine ready for a service call.

    John
     
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  10. gotta2know

    gotta2know Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, I have decided to go for 7520. Performance matters! And though it's form factor is not great, it seems good enough. ;)

    I guess I will have to hope for the best discount with the sales rep. Or downgrade the Processor and Boot Disk Capacity and Class a little, if need be.
     
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