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Old 12-06-2008, 09:47 AM   #1
zb21
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Default Laptop with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD integrated graphics

I am considering buying a new laptop mainly for general use, not for video editing. Portability is important to me, that is why 13" screen seems to be optimal as this size fits my hand luggage along with video and photo camera and some other stuff. Since the recent crop of computers often include HDMI output - it would be nice if this computer could be hooked up to a big screen TV and used as a handy HD player for all HD movies edited on my EDIUS system solving (for now) the problem of BluRay disc recording etc.

At my local BestBuy I found an ASUS F6A-X2 on clearance for $699, which seems to be a good deal. Computer feels fast, light and nice. I like it in general. My concern is however the HD playback on a big screen TV. That laptop has an integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD on board, which is the recent Intel development, the first one claimed to be capable of playing full HD 1080p resolution video. There is not much information about this graphics chipset and it's performance on Internet forums yet. I have found one review where someone tested with good results BlueRay playback on this chipset on a miniATX motherboard, but that was with much faster (E8400) processor than the laptop's T5800. CPU utilization during this test was about 30-40% comparing to about 10% when recent Radeon was used instead of X4500HD.

My question is: does anybody here has any hands on experience with this chipset as far as HD playability on a big screen? I mainly have MPEG and WMV files in mind. I have feeling that with MPEG's I should be OK, but any comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
ZB21

It would be REALLY NICE to also have BlueRay drive here and firewire port, but - well - dreams.... dreams ....
I also hope that this topic as - after all - related to EDIUS editing, is not outside of scope of this forum.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
Blast1
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Not familar with the laptop itself, but Intel GPUs mostly use shared memory and will **** up cpu resources and sometimes a large chunk of memory
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:59 PM   #3
zb21
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I know, Intel chips are being disregarded by gamers for a reason. But - like i said - I need something light and portable, not overly expensive and do not intend to use it for video editing neither for gaming. HD playing capability would be just icing on the cake even if it takes 90% of CPU to do so. That thing has 4GB of memory, so even if video takes half of it away it is still OK.

Is anybody already using any other laptop with HDMI output? (even other video cards). If yes - have you ever hooked it up to a plasma or lcd and what is your impression about it? As of now I have that particular ASUS sitting under my desk and I have 14 days to consider if I want to open the box or not :) If I decide to do so and do the tests I will let you know about the results,

ZB21

PS: The closest review I was able to find related to the subject is here:

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/812/1/


The results of the test were good for my purpose, but the guy was using quad core Q9300, instead of T5800 - that might be a bad news for me. On the other hand, from what I know BlueRay does not necessary have to be MPEG-2 based. My interest would be in MPEG-2, and the BluRay in test was MPEG-4 AVC encoded, which is probably good news for me.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:09 AM   #4
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Shop around and you'll find laptops with Blu-ray players for under $1000, which presumably are designed to play HD content adequately. And don't rule out the possibility of using a laptop for video editing: I use mine for almost all of my editing lately.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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I promised an update, soooo .... After some additional reading I decided to open the box. In order to do the first HD playback test I prepared a short project filmed with Canon HF100 with 1080i resolution. Export from Edius 4.54 to MPEG using MPEG (Generic) Plug-In, default parameters, that is 1920x1080, CBR 15000 kbps, MPEG1 Audio 224k. Loaded on an SDHC card and played back directly from that card.

Playback is smooth, very nice, full screen and in window. CPU utilization varies depending on a window size, but in no case I have seen more than 40% (usually around 30%).

I am very satisfied with this computer so far. It seems that this is much nicer machine than my desktop in this regard. The next test yet to be done is to connect it via HDMI output to a big screen TV, but I am rather confident this should work.

ZB21

PS: It looks like - in order to be absolutely perfect for me - this machine lacks BluRay drive and firewire port, both of which I do not really need.
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