Author Topic: Laptops for 3d beginner, photo/video editing  (Read 1217 times)

2020-04-24, 16:19:06


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Hi everyone,
it’s time for me to change my old notebook that it is abandoning me in the worst moment, both as regards the purchase of a new PC and for the importance that this tool has during this social distancing.
I ask you a little patience to read this topic and to answer me.

After reading several reviews now I feel more confused than before.
I need a laptop mainly for photo and video editing (FHD no 4k), cad programs and 3d modeling (I would like to learn to be able to work on it one day). It would be my only PC therefore also for navigation, streaming etc.

I do not need a super pc, but it has to allow me to practice and learn. I will buy a proper workstation when I’ll start to work in this field.
Almost all the reviews I saw were focused on gaming performance, which I am not interested in; at best, I would play DOOM 2 and Street Fighters

I am willing to pay from € 1200 up to € 2000 but in this case it must be solid and a good investment.

The characteristics in which I'm interested in:
- CPU: i7-9750H
- I would prefer 15.6" but also 17.3" is ok. FHD, a high refresh doesn't interest me, close to 100% sRGB, and bright enough (but I won't use it outdoors)
- Not too heavy, but I don’t pretend ultra thin notebooks I give more importance to a good cooling system,
- Possibility of upgrading the RAM, I would start with 16GB,
- Possibility to add a second SSD or HDD if not already supplied
- Robustness

 My doubts are:
- GTX or RTX gpu? Can a 1660ti fit me or is it better to go with a 2060 rtx? Not interested in raytracing for games.
- 16 GB of ram are enough for what I have to do? (learning 3d modeling and rendering, video and photo editing)

These are some laptops with the specs I wrote before:
-MSI GE65 raider 1899€ / 1925€ Hinges are the weak point, sturdiness doubts.
- ASUS ROG STRIX SCAR III G731GV, 1999€  (1 Keystone, 1 External Camera FHD, 1 Gaming Mouse IMPACT, 1 Palm Rest Label included). Looking at the photos, the hinges seem small.
- Lenovo Legion Y740, 15.6 " 1900€ / 2200€ depending on the ram and storage.
Doubts on sturdiness.
- Dell G5 or G7, I read that it has thermal trotting problems. Other Dell laptops mount graphic cards that don't interest me.
- Alienware 15 r2 about € 2200. It would be an investment and a certainty regarding robustness, 16GB ram but I can't upgrade it. Hot temperatures?
-Lenovo Legion Y540, dim display, non-top battery, made of plastic
-MSI GP65 Leopard, doubtful case and hinge robustness, good display, about €1450 for the model with GTX 1660 ti, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
-MSI GF65 ,cheap, good components (RTX 2060, 512 SSD+1TB HDD, i7) but poor display

Do you have experience with any of the above mentioned models? What do you think of the Creator, Prestige and Modern lines of MSI? Better to bet on gaming pc?
Thank you for your patience and I hope you can help me clearing my ideas!

2020-04-26, 17:19:20
Reply #1

Nejc Kilar

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Not a lot of replies here ehm?

While I don't keep tabs on the laptop market I did notice that AMD started to claw away at Intel there as well. The new 4800 and 4900 series AMD CPUs appear to be the clear cut winners in terms of CPU rendering performance by a long shot - Even Intel's 90W parts can't match the multi threaded performance of the said parts.

I'm sure you can find other reviews online but here is one timestamp that you'll probably be most interested in:

If you are looking into smaller form factors such as the 15.6" I'd definitely look into the Asus Zephyrus G14 as it got really nice reviews. Plus, you can either go with a 1660ti or the RTX 2060.

Personally, if you do decide to go for something like the G14 then I'd pick the RTX GPU. Just in case - even though you won't do GPU rendering on it I think you might find it useful for video and photo editing if RTX gets adopted better. That is an IF there so if you want to save money I think the 1660ti is probably a fine option.

The prices of the G14 start at like 1200$ so you can get a really powerful, easy to move around laptop for an in my opinion really good deal - at least considering that for the Intel parts you'll apparently pay a lot more and get less rendering performance which is probably crucial to you.

Now again, I'm not too into laptops but I think you'll see that the 4x00 series is the way to go for multi threaded performance if you are buying today. Whether it is an ASUS branded laptop or whatever else is really up to you but personally, I'd stick to the 4xxxx and just search for a great review of the laptop as a whole. I do think that if you go AMD you'll be somewhat limited on who can sell it to you - ASUS has a few models, MSI has a few models but I'm not sure what else is out there.

As far as Intel based laptops go, there is a vast and rich ecosystem. You can probably pick the color of the motherboard, that's how much choice there is. Still, looking at it from a performance standpoint (+energy efficiency) it seems like AMD's 7nm+ parts are kicking ass right now. If you were very GPU reliant though, right now the highest tier GPU you can get in an AMD laptop is the 2060 with a few supposedly sporting a 2070. If GPU rendering would be what you are into then I'd definitely recommend looking at Intel based platforms because right now they do offer RTX 2080 GPUs while AMD doesn't. Supposedly that is about to change but hey, until it happens...

Hope that was helpful :)
« Last Edit: 2020-04-26, 17:24:19 by Nejc Kilar »

2020-05-03, 13:48:46
Reply #2


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Nejc Kilar thanks for the reply! I know it's a bit boring question to answer to.
Initially I discarded the Zephyrus G14 for the size of the screen and for the fact that a ram module is soldered to the motherboard, but indeed at the moment it seems to be the most interesting laptop.
I think as soon as it becomes available again I will buy it, here in Italy it sold out very fast!

2020-05-03, 15:48:59
Reply #3


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I think it's kind of hard to find a new laptop recently made and with good specs, with a large screen but also not 4k.
But that lower resolution should help and make the laptop more snappy.
Also since you are not interested in gaming and high refresh rates, the display should be IPS, for better colors and viewing angles.

16 GB should be enough for learning, but it would be better if those 16 GB could be upgraded down the line.  I have a second machine with just 8 GB, I use it sometimes for learning in 3ds max, even heavy game engines and other programs and it works just fine for that. I even did professional books covers with high resolution and tons of layers, but that was pushing the limits on 8 GB.

Not sure if that old rule still applies, where if you use the computer for a lot of video and photo editing, 3d modeling - you should prioritize a CPU with a high single thread performance.

I also vote for a RTX card, it will probably be a better investment in the long run.