Author Topic: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?  (Read 5902 times)

FIstateofmind

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Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« on: June 20, 2016, 10:28:25 PM »
Hi all,

I use my laptop for video editing. However, it's become painfully slow to edit.

Any advice?

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 06:00:44 AM »
How old is it? What hardware?

Have you tried to uninstall unnecessary software?

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neo von retorch

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 08:57:08 AM »
Is it Windows or Apple OS?
How much RAM?
What hard drive (i.e. HDD or SSD?)

jamesbond007

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 10:08:34 AM »
Hi all,

I use my laptop for video editing. However, it's become painfully slow to edit.

Any advice?

If you are editing video, I'd ask you if you are doing it for professional work? Are you getting paid to do it? If so, build your own desktop and claim it as business expense. If not, I'd still build a desktop.

Building desktop has it's advantages. CPUs work flawlessly for years. In most cases if you buy 64GB RAM you should be for literally any kind of work. For Video you need a good GPU. The current GPUs in the market should be good for you for the next 3 years or so. After that, just spend $200 to upgrade the GPU alone instead of re-doing the whole computer. Also, get an SSD.

So you are looking at a one time cost of about $1000 and about $200 every 3 years or so to keep upgrading the components. You'll lose the mobility of a laptop but really how much video are you editing on your laptop before running out of battery anyway? Not much. You are probably having your laptop plugged in all the time. Might as well get a desktop.

For all other on-the-go stuff like browsing, email, chat, etc. you have your smartphone anyway.

Think about it.

chesebert

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 10:16:16 AM »
Video editing on a laptop is a joke. I would want twin 27in (or 34in ultrawide) minimum for video editing. CPU and GPU on laptop simply cannot provide the power to efficiently edit and render HD videos. I have a very fast oc Intel quad core desktop and plenty of memory and a simple transcoding of a 1080p video still takes a long time to complete. I wish I had bought an 8 core CPU.....oh curse you MMM...

Sibley

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 01:53:28 PM »
Ok, before you jump off the deep end, do some basic clean up.

1. Clean out temp files, recycle bin, etc. Run the Windows disk clean up utility, that's a good start.
2. Defragment the computer. Probably repeatedly.
3. If you're running out of space, delete files you don't need or move stuff to another drive. For a functional drive (not storage only) I prefer to keep it 50%+ free space if I can.
4. Uninstall (properly) old programs you don't need/use anymore.
5. Run anti-virus, etc, multiple types. Getting malware on your computer can slow it way down and you may not know it.

Then run all those things again, repeat a few times and maintain on a regular schedule. You probably let your "house" get dusty and dirty, so it's spring cleaning. Then you have to clean periodically to keep it decent.

However, laptops in general don't have the power to be really fast with video editing. Yes, there are exceptions. They cost a lot more than a desktop.

humbleMouse

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 02:00:13 PM »
Install a solid state hard drive

ZMonet

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 03:08:56 PM »
Install a solid state hard drive

If video edigting on this laptop used to be fine for your purposes, I agree with this.  This will solve two problems: (1) it will force you to do a fresh install of your OS; and (2) the SSD read/write is so much faster.  You don't have to go crazy on cost.  A Kingston 120GB drive should be enough ($42) or you can go crazy and get a 240GB for around $65.  Swapping in the SSD is a DIY job and shouldn't take long.  Reinstalling your OS and all drivers, etc. might take longer.

neo von retorch

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 03:30:59 PM »
(1) it will force you to do a fresh install of your OS

You can - and it's often a good idea if there's some clean up to be done, but it is not "forced." For example, all Samsung SSDs come with their migrate software. If you own or obtain (or borrow) a USB to Sata adapter ($8) you can plug in the SSD, run the migrate (takes 30-90 minutes depending on original disk size/speed), and then shut down and replace the HDD with the new SSD in the machine, and it'll be as if nothing ever happened (excepted your computer is a lot snappier.)

FIstateofmind

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 09:05:39 PM »
Thanks all!

I'm currently in South Korea, so buildinga desktop is not a good idea. I don't have my windows software CD either, but maybe I can get windows 10 for free?

I don't have the specs on my computer since I am at work, but when I get home I'll post. The specs were pretty decent when I bought it, albiet that was 6 years ago!

johnny847

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 09:40:42 PM »
Ok, before you jump off the deep end, do some basic clean up.

1. Clean out temp files, recycle bin, etc. Run the Windows disk clean up utility, that's a good start.
2. Defragment the computer. Probably repeatedly.
3. If you're running out of space, delete files you don't need or move stuff to another drive. For a functional drive (not storage only) I prefer to keep it 50%+ free space if I can.
4. Uninstall (properly) old programs you don't need/use anymore.
5. Run anti-virus, etc, multiple types. Getting malware on your computer can slow it way down and you may not know it.

Then run all those things again, repeat a few times and maintain on a regular schedule. You probably let your "house" get dusty and dirty, so it's spring cleaning. Then you have to clean periodically to keep it decent.

However, laptops in general don't have the power to be really fast with video editing. Yes, there are exceptions. They cost a lot more than a desktop.

But don't defragment if you have a SSD (which I know the OP doesn't because it's a 6 year old laptop) but I'm just stating for the general benefit of anybody else reading this thread.

johnny847

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2016, 09:43:22 PM »
Thanks all!

I'm currently in South Korea, so buildinga desktop is not a good idea. I don't have my windows software CD either, but maybe I can get windows 10 for free?

I don't have the specs on my computer since I am at work, but when I get home I'll post. The specs were pretty decent when I bought it, albiet that was 6 years ago!

Are you saying you're temporarily living in south Korea? Because I don't see how in itself, living in south Korea impedes  you from building a desktop.

FIstateofmind

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2016, 02:42:34 AM »
Thanks all!

I'm currently in South Korea, so buildinga desktop is not a good idea. I don't have my windows software CD either, but maybe I can get windows 10 for free?

I don't have the specs on my computer since I am at work, but when I get home I'll post. The specs were pretty decent when I bought it, albiet that was 6 years ago!

Are you saying you're temporarily living in south Korea? Because I don't see how in itself, living in south Korea impedes  you from building a desktop.

Yes. Also, it would be way harder for me to get the supplies I need to build it here. Also doesn't help that I don't know when I'm leaving.

Sibley

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 04:47:43 AM »
Install a solid state hard drive

If video edigting on this laptop used to be fine for your purposes, I agree with this.  This will solve two problems: (1) it will force you to do a fresh install of your OS; and (2) the SSD read/write is so much faster.  You don't have to go crazy on cost.  A Kingston 120GB drive should be enough ($42) or you can go crazy and get a 240GB for around $65.  Swapping in the SSD is a DIY job and shouldn't take long.  Reinstalling your OS and all drivers, etc. might take longer.

See, I actually disagree with this, for one reason. You can't defrag SSDs, it will destroy them over time. And if you're doing a lot of video editing, most likely you're going to have a perfect storm for creating fragmentation on your drive, which will slow it down. yes, SSDs are faster, but if you can't perform the maintenance to keep it running that fast, it defeats the purpose.

Honestly, it sounds like OP hasn't done the maintenance and is now wondering why the computer runs like crap. Of course it does. If you don't take out the trash, the house will smell like trash. Same principle.

FIstateofmind

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 04:58:36 PM »
Spec i7 2.30 ghz 8 GB RAM

randymarsh

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2016, 05:07:51 PM »
A 6 year laptop, even an i7, is not going to be great for video editing. 8GB RAM is not great these days either for video. I have that much in my work laptop and mostly use it for Excel/email.

If replacing is out of the question, an SSD is the solution. It will definitely makes things snappier.

johnny847

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2016, 06:06:36 PM »
With all the SSD talk, I do feel the need to say the following:

The SSD will not make the final video export any faster. That process is very CPU limited.

The SSD may make the video scrubbing process faster - when you're skipping through different portions of the video while actually editing. This would only be true if your CPU can scrub through video faster than your current hard drive can read out the video file.
I don't really think this is likely.


The SSD will definitely help overall system responsiveness though.

Gronnie

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2016, 06:23:39 PM »
Install a solid state hard drive

If video edigting on this laptop used to be fine for your purposes, I agree with this.  This will solve two problems: (1) it will force you to do a fresh install of your OS; and (2) the SSD read/write is so much faster.  You don't have to go crazy on cost.  A Kingston 120GB drive should be enough ($42) or you can go crazy and get a 240GB for around $65.  Swapping in the SSD is a DIY job and shouldn't take long.  Reinstalling your OS and all drivers, etc. might take longer.

See, I actually disagree with this, for one reason. You can't defrag SSDs, it will destroy them over time. And if you're doing a lot of video editing, most likely you're going to have a perfect storm for creating fragmentation on your drive, which will slow it down. yes, SSDs are faster, but if you can't perform the maintenance to keep it running that fast, it defeats the purpose.

Honestly, it sounds like OP hasn't done the maintenance and is now wondering why the computer runs like crap. Of course it does. If you don't take out the trash, the house will smell like trash. Same principle.

There is no reason to defragment an SSD. It wouldn't give you any performance gains, as it doesn't matter where on the NAND data resides (for the most part) as there are no moving parts. HDDs perform slower when fragmented because the moving parts need to seek to the correct location to read data, so if that data is all over the place it slows things down. This isn't a problem on SSDs. (Source: My job title is SSD Firmware Engineer, I do this for a living).

Gronnie

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2016, 06:27:10 PM »
OP, a 6 year old laptop is likely going to be pretty slow for a lot of tasks no matter what you do with it. Laptops don't last as long as desktops in any case as they are crammed into such a small chassis, cooling is an issue, upgradability and maintainability is harder, etc.

Can you download Speccy and post a screenshot so we can see exactly what we are working with?

FIstateofmind

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2016, 07:24:09 PM »
OP, a 6 year old laptop is likely going to be pretty slow for a lot of tasks no matter what you do with it. Laptops don't last as long as desktops in any case as they are crammed into such a small chassis, cooling is an issue, upgradability and maintainability is harder, etc.

Can you download Speccy and post a screenshot so we can see exactly what we are working with?

Will do once I get home!

redbird

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2016, 08:04:30 PM »
Spec i7 2.30 ghz 8 GB RAM

If you feel comfortable opening up your laptop, you do have the option of buying more RAM. 8GB RAM is nothing for video editing.

Others said these, but to reiterate, here are things to try:

- Move/delete files and software that you no longer need.
- (If standard hard drive, not SSD) After that, defragment your hard drive.
- Run a virus scan to make sure there's no malware slowing things down.
- Some software runs in the background even if you closed the window, using up RAM and processing power that you could be using for your video editing. You might want to look and see what's currently running on your computer and shut down anything you are not using at the time.
- For web browsers, keep in mind that more tabs and windows takes more RAM and processing power to run. Shut down any unneeded tabs and windows.

Gronnie

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2016, 05:36:18 PM »
Hmmm... interesting, it has a hybrid drive in it.

That should still be a a fairly serviceable system if you aren't wanting to build a desktop at this time (which would be a soooooo much better experience editing).

If you are willing to spend $100-200 dollars, I would look into doing a few things (in this order):

1. Blow out the system with compressed air to get as much dust cleaned up/out as you can
2. Upgrade to a true SSD and do a fresh OS install (I would do a fresh OS install regardless of whether you get a new drive)
3. Upgrade to 16GB of RAM at least 1600 speed, preferably with tighter timings (9-9-9-24 should be ok, and note that you currently have 1600 speed as DDR stands for Double Data Rate)

I don't really see much of a reason to buy a new laptop if in general you think it is ok. It should run like new after cleaning it up.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 05:38:34 PM by Gronnie »

Sibley

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2016, 06:23:06 PM »
Even if you don't want to upgrade the hardware, blow out the dust, and do a fresh install. That should go a long way towards speeding it up.

Gronnie

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2016, 06:57:49 PM »
Agreed. This should be done regardless on a system this old that is starting to slow down (or really any system that is starting to slow down).

bauhauss

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2016, 07:03:28 PM »
IMHO, there are 3 things who must be the best you can afford: A mattress, a pair of shoes and a computer. As long as a human being spend a lot of times in/using these 3 items, one must purchase the best.

Gronnie

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2016, 07:06:23 PM »
IMHO, there are 3 things who must be the best you can afford: A mattress, a pair of shoes and a computer. As long as a human being spend a lot of times in/using these 3 items, one must purchase the best.

Couldn't disagree more in regards to computer. You are paying a hefty, hefty premium on the value curve to get the best.

neo von retorch

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Re: Slow laptop, Can I avoid buying a new one?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2016, 07:21:46 AM »
I use my laptop for video editing. However, it's become painfully slow to edit.

Can you elaborate? i.e. what exactly is slow? It's not slow to do other things, like open programs, or switch between running programs?

Also, can you run Task Manager while you edit, and see which resources are pegged at 100%, indicated the bottleneck?

For it to "become" slow for the actual edit processing would indicate to me a hardware malfunction in the drive i.e. it used to be able to write the video to the drive quickly, but it "became" slow (drive errors become more common, and the hardware works around bad sectors, which really slow things down.)

If it's actually the CPU/GPU and something "became" slow - it would likely either be a software update with the program you are running, or a driver update to the graphics card. Are you aware of any such changes?