akt416screensize, i want 15 inches at least, i hate the small screen.
weight and thickness, i really dont care, i wont be travelling with it much.
battery isnt crucial, i wont be doing much where i cant charge it for more then 3-4 days at a time.
for the most part its only gonna be canon dslr stuff il be editing but i just get really pissed when im editing
stuff on my family computer and it starts lagging and freezing...
i will be doing little to no gaming at all so thats not important to me
obviously i dont want it to be some standard def screen but i dont need the 4k
this was really helpful man thanks, real quick could you explain ram, gpu, and ssd? it might help if im looking around myself
Also, fairly important, but do you want a mac? If you get a mac, you can install windows. If you don't get a mac, it is technically possibly to install the mac os on third part hardware, but you need to pick parts out specifically ahead of time (so laptops are much more difficult because the y come preassembled), and it is not necessarily 100% stable. I have done it before, but if you don't like tinkering with computers/have a good knowledge of how they work, I would encourage you to stay away from this option (google hackintosh for more info).
What is your current workflow for the canon dslr? Like if you just got home from the mountain with all your footage and are ready to edit, can you give me a step by step process of what programs you use, what you do in them, and where you notice problems? The more specific the better.
Also, you wrote 3-4 days without charging, I'm hoping you meant 3-4 hours. If you are running full blast, 3-4 hours is decent. You can use it, close it, then pick up the next day with minimal battery losses, but I haven't seen any (mainstream) laptops that can run for multiple days of hardcore usage.
CPU: Central Processing Unit. The brain of the computer. Intel and AMD are the main manufacturers. AMD isn't typically found (for the CPU, they also make GPU's) in high end laptops (I'm also going to skip over things that are less relevant to you, like overclocking). You can also think of the cpu like an engine. At the most basic level, we have a 1 cylinder engine, this is like a single core cpu. The faster you rev the engine, the more power it puts out, for CPU's this is called clock speed. Typically, higher clock speed means better performance, as long as nothing else is holding it back. Another way to get more power is to use a bigger engine with more cylinders, which is like a multicore cpu. Think of video editing like towing something heavy. A big engine with more cylinders will have more towing power even if it has a lower top speed than an engine with less cylinders.
So, if you have the choice between dual or quad core, you should get the quad core. Where it can be confusing is that intel has a technology called "hyper threading". It essentially tells the computer that each core is 2 cores and then it loads the cores as efficiently as possible. For some applications, this doesn't matter at all. For others, video editing and CAD in particular, it can give a 1.7x boost in performance. So, same computer, same speed processor, but one will finish in a little over half the time. That is the one you want to get. You should be looking at quad core intel i7's as they have hyper threading and will give you the best performance.
RAM: Random Access Memory. Not to be confused with storage. If your hard drive is your filing cabinet, ram is all the stuff on your desk that you are currently looking at (or left there because you forgot/are messy). More RAM is like more desk space. It lets you access more files at once, and it makes working with very large files much easier. I used to have a macbook with 8gb of ram. I tried doing some panoramas in photoshop, and it would sometimes crash (it was also 30-40+ images at once, a lot for a laptop). I upgraded to 16gb, and I was able to do the same task in 20 minutes, and then watch youtube or browse the web without decent performance while photoshop was working. You want at least 16gb, 32gb is probably overkill, but if the price is right (or the computer can't be upgraded after ordering), go for it.
HDD: Hard Disk Drive. This is where all of your stuff is stored. They contain a rotating disk. Usually, it rotates at 5400 RPM. Some go at 7200 RPM, and you can access files faster. Some go even faster, but they aren't very common, especially in laptops.
SSD: Solid State Drive. These are slowly replacing hard drives. They are like large memory cards. They are more expensive, but they blow hard drives out of the water in terms of performance. For example, my mothers macbook had a regular hard drive, and she told me the computer was running slow (but wasn't ready for a new one). I had already upgraded her ram, so the nest step was to swap the hard drive with an SSD. Before, her computer took about a minute to boot up and be ready to launch programs, and a few seconds to wake from sleep. Now it boots up in about 10 seconds, and it wakes from sleep nearly instantly. Another advantage is that it has no moving parts (which is why I said it was like a memory card). I am not encouraging you to test it, but SSD's are considered very durable and are unlikely to loose data if you drop your computer. Some HDD's have motion sensors in them which try to stop the drive if they detect a sudden movement, but if you drop a hard drive while it is running, you can lose data or even the drive depending on the severity of the impact. The main downside to SSD's is cost. They are continuing to come down in price, but they still cost tons more than HDD's.
So, you should get a computer with an SSD of 256gb or larger. If it is m2/msata, that i even better, but don't worry about this too much yet. It should also have a 1TB or larger HDD. I put windows, current games, and then current files I am working with on my SSD so I can take advantage of the speed, and I put everything else on my HDD's because they hold 8x as much for about half the cost. You can do all SSD, it just gets really expensive, and you don't need things like your itunes music taking up all that space. I would recommend having an internal drive (instead of external) for editing, or at least enough space to move files from the external to your computer. Otherwise, performance will suffer, especially if it isn't a USB 3.0 or faster drive. ***Maybe someone can help clarify, I know some connections allow for editing off an external disk with good performance, but I'm not super familiar with it*** You will definitely want to have an external for backups.
GPU: Graphics Processing Unit. This is what drives your display, plays video, all that good stuff. Most processors have a weak one built in, but they are getting surprisingly strong. I have a surface pro 2, and it can even handle some games ( and give good performance if the settings aren't too demanding (tried with tomb raider, everything on minimum). The surface also plays back 4k video from my gopro perfectly. Intel has been working very hard to improve the integrated graphics and to aid in video playback specifically.
Then we have dedicated GPU's. These are made (primarily) by Nvidia or AMD. Nvidia is more common in gaming laptops, I believe in desktops as well, but less so (I have an AMD card in my desktop). They do the same job, they just do it a lot better. The downside is that they take up more space and use more power. That makes them bad for tablets and very small laptops. For anything mid sized (or larger) though, they are great. Besides driving the display, one of the biggest advantages to having a dedicated card is that it can assist the processor in rendering. I am having trouble finding anything specific that actually shows how well each card boosts performance for each type of task. The key here though is that it can assist the processor and not the reverse. The processor still will do most of the work, so if you go all out on gpu thinking it will give you the best for gaming and video editing , you will be disappointed (not saying you were going to, just giving an example).
I think that's just about all I've got time for right now. Let me know if you have questions, happy to help if you need more specifics, technical or buying advice.