DVDFab Forum - Which laptop should I buy?

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Which laptop should I buy?

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    Other Hardware Which laptop should I buy?

    Hi,

    I'm looking to change my desktop to a laptop and have been considering this system:

    Chassis & Display
    > > UltraNote: 14" Glossy HD LED Backlit Widescreen (1366x768)
    > >
    > > Processor (CPU)
    > > Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Mobile Processor i7-4712MQ (2.30GHz) 6MB
    > >
    > > Memory (RAM)
    > > 8GB KINGSTON SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)
    > >
    > > Graphics Card
    > > INTEL® HD GRAPHICS MEDIA ACCELERATOR 4600
    > >
    > > Memory - Hard Disk
    > > 1TB Samsung 840 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
    > >
    > > DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
    > > UltraNote Series: 8x SATA DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW)

    The problem is, I don't know which are the important components to make the fastest DVD rips, so could be budgeting for things that aren't at all important (or be missing out something that is). My desktop can do a 2 hour film in about 20 minutes, and I was hoping to shave a bit of time off by changing from a HDD to SSD.

    Beyond the DVD ripping, I don't think I have any kind of "power user" requirements: I do some general browsing which I'd like to load as quickly as possible, some youtube viewing, word processing etc. and occasionally make slideshows of family photographs/cinefilm.

    I'd appreciate any advice you can give me. I'm hoping to get a laptop which is light, compact, runs cool and uses as little electricity as possible so I don't want to over spec but equally, I want it to last as long as possible (at least 5-6 years) so I don't want to go too far the other way either.

    Many thanks.

    PS I wasn't sure if this was the right place to post a hardware query. There is a section below named "Hardware discussion" but it seems to be empty so apologies if I've put this in the wrong place.

    #2
    I ditched the desktop about 4 years ago and have never regretted it. I have tried several "desktop replacement" and "gaming" laptops, the best I have found are the MSI units designed for gaming that are sold by most vendors. They have i7 CPUs and high end nvidia graphics with 17" 1920x1080 screens. Some of them have the SSD and a mechanical HDD built in, there are 2 drive bays in most of them. I have a GT780DXR, but it is almost 3 years old and has been replaced by newer models.

    The speed bottleneck in all cases is the optical drive, but the options are a little limited. Look for a unit that has plenty of USB 3.0 and/or eSATA ports and you can always add an external drive that is faster than the stock ones.
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      #3
      Thanks Signals. I'm trying to avoid a gaming laptop as it seems to push the price up and size up. The spec I quoted was from pcspecialist.co.uk and about £770 which is at the very top end of my budget (I've just glanced at MSI units and they seem to be £1000 minimum).

      You've mentioned that the speed bottle neck is the drive itself, how naive am I being to think if I get as quick as possible a DVD drive(all recommendations gratefully recieved, especially if there's a quick but cheap(ish) one that would play blu rays) I wouldn't notice much difference between an i5 and an i7 processor?

      The bulk of my DVDs are now backed up so I could get away with something a little bit slower than 20 minutes (although ideally not more than a few minutes more).

      Equally if there's another component that I would give me a boost, beyond the DVD drive, it would obviously be worth considering.

      So is there a hierarchy? Ie after DVD drive, what else would most improve the ripping speed? I know a long time ago, integrated graphics cards were frowned upon but I thought modern processors had been changed to do more than they used to. So if I'm not playing games, can I get away with integrated graphics or am I likely to see a huge reduction in ripping times?

      Thanks again.

      Comment


        #4
        The difference-making components are different for DVD and Blu-ray as well as Copy and Ripper modules. So, if all you want to do is copy DVDs I don't think you could tell the difference between an i5 and an i7. If you want to run Ripper though, or compress Blu-rays, the CPU and GPU (and other things) become more important, especially for Blu-ray. There is no clear universal hierarchy because the next things that matter on the list are chipsets, drivers, firmware and such that you really have little control over when purchasing ready-made.
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          #5
          Thanks Signals. Apologies if I've confused things a bit. I was only looking at getting a drive that could play blu ray for the very rare occasion that I might borrow one off anyone else (I already own more DVDs than I'm likely to ever have time to watch so am definitely not tempted to buy any blu rays).

          I also won't be copying any DVDs either, the laptop will solely be for ripping my own DVDs for my own use.

          So, from what you've said, I'm thinking that it wouldn't be a good idea to gamble on a lower processor than the i7 since the spec I've quoted is within my price range (just) and instead I will make the sacrifice and go with integrated graphics (INTEL® HD GRAPHICS MEDIA ACCELERATOR 4600) which I presume is part of the "Intel® HM86 Chipset" that the laptop is built on.

          I've tried to price up a system which has a 2GB GeForce™ GTX 860M and an i5 processor in it but this would mean sacrificing the internal DVD drive and push the price up to around £1000 (assuming I kept all the other components the same e.g. the 1TB SSD drive).

          It all feels like a slightly stressful gamble either way but I think I'm clearer now and am hoping it will come good, once I've dared to press the order button. I'll pause for a day or two more in case anyone else sees this thread and has something to add.

          Thanks again for all your help.

          Comment


            #6
            The i7 is very fast with dvd's To give you a example I put Blade runner the directors cut 117 mins single layer dvd on the computer in 6 mins. 22 seconds and burned the disk using a 16x media dvd-r blank with imgburn as burner set in dvd fab did the burn in 5 mins 25 seconds total 11 mins 47 seconds for rip to hard drive as full disk and burn to dvd-r 16x.
            The burn started at 8x and slowly went to 15x burning so burn speed wasn't the full 16x.

            If you were to rip the dvd's to your 1T hard drive and left them their as it would hold a lot of dvd's it would take only a few mins. 6 mins.22 seconds for this example.You can then burn disks only when you need them.

            Many of us store dvd's or blu rays on Hugh 3-4T hard drives that are only the size of a book so you can bring hundreds of movies with you on a second USB plug in hard drive.For just dvd's you can really store a lot on a 1T hard drive.

            I would get the I7 as you want to keep it for years so who knows if down the road you get into blu rays or 3d or other things then you will really need the speed and power as by then we will be using even faster computers.

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              #7
              Yes, laptops are a bit of a crapshoot because you have so little control over the internal components. Remember too that the i7 will speed up everything you use the new machine to accomplish. I will be interested to see other opinions as well.
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                #8
                I will put in my 2¢ worth. If ripping to a file for a mobile device like mp4 or mkv, then Intel graphics that support QuickSync is the way to go. If ripping to a folder or iso image it doesn't make a whole lot of difference about the graphics capability, limiting factor will be the optical drive.
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                  #9
                  Thanks for all the replies. As you've probably guessed, this is a pretty big decision for me so I appreciate you all helping me think it all through.

                  To clarify further following 90312's comment, I'm ripping from DVD to MP4 files which I then play on my smart TV via a USB stick.

                  My desktop computer (which I intend to sell in order to buy the laptop) has an 3.40 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4770 processor (faster than my prospective laptop spec) and a NVIDA GeForce GT 625 graphics card (which is also obviously better than my integrated graphics processing on the laptop). The laptop would have an SSD hard disc though so I'm hoping this will help compensate for some of the loss of ripping speed (although someone might come along later on this thread and tell me that's not the case at all). I'm currently ripping from DVD to MP4 file in about 20 minutes using pretty much the default MP4 profile option (i.e. Fast encoding 1 pass, "Normal" video quality etc.)

                  As I typed further up, I don't think I can afford to buy a compact 14 inch laptop that has dedicated graphics so I guess the $64,000 question is how much extra ripping time will it take (not that I'm expected anyone to be able to tell me).

                  If there is anyone who has a good recommendation for an internal laptop drive then I'd be very grateful as I can't seem to find anything beyond an 8x read speed DVD drive, and I can see they do them for desktops which go up to 24X so this is a bit of a worry.

                  Thanks again.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have an i7 3770K with HD 4000, no idea how that compares to the HD 4600, no graphics card connected. I copy the main movie to the HDD as an iso for my media player. I just made an mp4 with the default values to show you. Captain America Winter Soldier is a little over a two hour movie and it completed the mp4 in about 3 minutes.
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                    Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
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                      #11
                      Thanks 90312. Your timings have now made me wonder if I've been using DVD fab wrongly all this time.

                      In truth, I'm not entirely sure what an ISO is though. I thought it was just an exact mirror of a DVD disc that could be copied again and again, whereas what I thought I was doing was extracting and then compressing the file (i.e. a DVD disc has a 4.7GB capacity but my MP4 files are around 1-1.5GB) which I thought was what took all the time/processing power.

                      So is there something I'm missing or when you typed that you copied "the main movie to the HDD as an ISO", did you mean that it was converted to an MP4 file?

                      I've added a couple of screen shots of my settings to show what I'm doing with Ripper (I would usually just click the Start button shown in the second picture), in case you have any advice (let me know if there's anything else to check that I haven't shown in the pictures).

                      I'm aware that there are faster computers than mine out there and that my new laptop might be slightly slower than my current PC, I just want to avoid it being hugely slower. 20-30 per DVD would be fine as I don't have all that many left but if I unpack my nice new laptop and it suddenly takes 1 hour plus per disc, I will be a bit crestfallen.
                      Attached Files

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                        #12
                        Whether an iso or a folder the key is using the copy module and copy to the hard drive first. Saves wear and tear on your optical drive and is always available in case of a gremlin and the HDD is much faster than the DVD drive. I tried the same movie using the settings in your screenshot and it more than doubled the time required to make the mp4! Try one using the settings in this screenshot and see how it works out for you, should be much faster.
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                        Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
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                          #13
                          Thanks 90312.

                          I've done a few tests copying the settings on your screenshot and I'm still averaging about 20 minutes per DVD (although your screenshot had a "Copy Video" tick box right at the top of the video section which mine doesn't have. I guessed it was because you have bought all the modules of DVD fab, whereas I only own a lifetime copy of the ripper module.

                          I've also tried using a trial version of the copy module too in the hope that it would speed things up but again, it's about 20 minutes to make a 100% uncompressed ISO file to hard disk.

                          I did find out earlier that I have a 16x read speed DVD drive though so that could well be the bottleneck, as discussed earlier up this thread.

                          As I said earlier, 20 minutes doesn't worry me. I was excited when I thought I'd been going wrong this last year and that it would hugely speed things up if I just used the right DVD fab settings, but I suspect it's a hardware rather than a software issue, unless you have another potential fix up your sleeve.

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