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10% off all desktop computers and 5% off desktop processor laptops until end January 2017

High spec Skylake laptop with Quick Sync



15.6" High spec laptop with Quick Sync

Laptop i7 processor - choose between a 2.6Ghz or a 2.7Ghz processor
Two possible graphic cards - nVidia 6GB 970M and 8GB 980M.
Backlit Keyboard
Full HD IPS 1920 x 1080 screen - with the option for a 3K or 4K screen.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0
Space for 2xHD (2x7MM), 2xSATA M.2
  4x USB3, Gbit LAN
Built in cardreader
2 Mini DP & HDMI outputs - run up to 3 computer screens externally
2.0MP Webcam
No Blu-Ray or DVD writer - but you can use an external one



Click on any image to enlarge...





Processor

This laptop takes Skylake mobile processors; there are two currently available - both i7 processors, which run at a basic speed of 2.6Ghz or 2.7Ghz.  These speeds are the basic speed of the processor; they can run at higher speeds in the right circumstances.  Many companies selling laptops quote the highest potential speed of the processor and not the basic speed as we are doing here.  More accurately the processor speed should be quoted as follows:

Intel  i7-6700HQ : 2.6GHz basic speed rising to 3.5GHz
Intel  i7-6820HK : 2.7GHz basic speed rising to 3.6GHz

Both processors are Quad core processors with HyperThreading so are seen as 8 core processors in Windows.  Both can cope with HD and SD editing and even 4K depending on the type of 4K footage and program.  If intending to do a lot of 4K editing choose the most powerful of the two or consider our Desktop processor laptop which uses the same processor using in desktop computers and is more powerful.  This laptop uses mobile processors which are less powerful than desktop ones, but will last longer on batteries.

Graphic card

This laptop can have one of two graphic cards - a 6GB 970M or an 8GB 980M.  Both will accelerate the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine and are good enough to use in DaVinci Resolve, although if you plan to do a lot of UHD work with Resolve you should really use the 980 as Resolve likes to have a powerful graphic card with a lot of RAM.  The more powerful graphic card is one of the thing which distinguishes this laptop from the Skylake laptop with Quick Sync

Grass Valley EDIUS can access both graphic cards in the laptop - either the nVidia card, or the Intel graphics built into the processor.  This means EDIUS 8 can use Intel Quick Sync to accelerate H.264 encoding for Blu-ray and MP4 files, and also help in playing back H.264 based MP4 and MOV files.  With either i7 processor and using footage such as the H.264 MOV files made by the Panasonic GH4, we can get two layers of 4K video playing back on this laptop.

NO FIREWIRE

This laptop does not have a FireWire built-in and there is no way to add a FireWire socket.  If you are using DV or HDV DO NOT BUY THIS LAPTOP.  This laptop is very good for card-based footage or anything you transfer using a USB socket or card reader.  You can use DV or HDV footage on it, but you would have to capture it using a different computer and then copy it on to this machine. The only laptop we have that can have a FireWire port added is the HP ZBook.

RAM

This laptop can take four RAM sticks which means the maximum amount of RAM you can have is 64GB (4x16GB).  This is the second major difference between this laptop and our standard Quick Sync laptop which can only have 16GB RAM.  16GB is enough for most programs although 32GB is nicer and worth having if you are trying to use hard to edit footage such as 4K.

Backlit keyboard

This laptop has a backlit keyboard - nice for using in a dark location (like many edit suites).  The cheaper standard Quick Sync laptop does not have a backlit keyboard.

No Optical drive

The standard Quick Sync laptop can have an optical drive - a Blu-ray or DVD writer - installed.  This laptop cannot.  You have to use an external drive to write DVD and Blu-ray discs.  You will see  the option for this below.  This does mean the laptop is fairly thing an reasonably light weight.




We have two versions of this laptop - one has a 15.6" screen and the other has a 17" screen.  We prefer a larger screen when using an editing program which has many windows, but it makes the laptop a bit larger and a heavier.  The price difference between the 15" and 17" models is not huge; choose your model based on the usability for your needs.

The only other difference between the two models is that the 17" version of the laptop can take 1 7mm drive and one 9.5mm drive.  Most laptop drives are 9.5mm which restricts the type of drive you can put into the laptop.  SSDs are all 7mm so you can happily use these as video drives in either the 15" or 17" model.  

The 15" and 17" models have the same ability to have 2 M.2 drives, 2 normal/SSD laptop drives but in the 15" model they would both have to be thinner drives.

You can configure the 17" version of the laptop here: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/17--high-spec-laptop.html



This laptop can have two normal 2.5" drives and 2 M.2 drives. The laptop has a drive for an optical drive (a DVD or Blu-ray writer).  It does not have an optical drive and you then may want to add an external Blu-ray writer if you need to write disc from the laptop. The M.2 drives are very fast and great for use as a program drive, as they will make the computer boot faster and work better.  They can also be used as video drives as well, however, the large size drives - currently the largest size available is a 500GB M.2 - are quite expensive.  They are fast enough to run uncompressed high definition video if you prefer.

What is the difference between "normal" drives, solid state drives and mSATA drives?

Normal drives
which we also sometimes refer to as SATA drives are made in the traditional manor with a series of platters and a head that moves across them to read the data.  We have been using drives like this in desktop and laptop computers for many years.  The big advantage of a normal drive is that they are relatively cheap for the amount of storage you can get. This laptop only takes the thinner variety of laptop drive which are 7mm high. This means there are less options for normal drives on this laptop than on some of our other machines. 7mm drives are generally slower than standard laptop drives, although still good enough for editing. Current laptop SATA drives are much faster than drives we were supplying 4-5 years ago and can easily cope with most HD footage, although are not fast enough to handle uncompressed HD video.

Solid state drives - or SSD
These drives are physically roughly the same size as a "Normal" laptop drive, although they are 7.5mm deep which means you can fit two in either the 17" or 15" laptop.  They are not made of platter with a head but made in a similar way to a USB pen.  Therefore they should be more robust (because they have no moving parts) and are considerably faster.  Currently they are considerably more expensive than SATA drives, which is the ONLY reason why you would not have a laptop filled with SSDs drives instead of regular drives.  They are fast enough to run High definition uncompressed footage and are also used in devices like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.  Because of the cost they tend to be used mainly as drives for Windows where they will make the computer boot faster, be ready for editing quicker, and be nicer to use all round.  A 120GB SSD is enough to house windows, the whole of the Adobe Creative Cloud, EDIUS, Vegas and Avid combined.

Both normal drives and Solid state drives can be used in desktops as well as laptops - in fact most of our desktop machines have a 120GB SSD for the main windows drive;

M.2 drives
This is a new kind of drive which is effectively the same thing as an SSD but is built into a processor board, and is smaller.  Our other laptops use mSATA drives which are almost the same thing but have a different interface to the computer.  The M.2s have a faster interface and therefore can be faster than mSATA drives.  We have two options for M.2 drives listed below.  The "SATA 6Gb/s" drives are the standard ones and good enough to run Windows and seriously speed up performance over the regular drives.  The "PCI-e" drives are the faster variations of M.2 drives for the optimum performance.

Use a solid state or M.2 drive as an After Effects Cache drive

.If using the latest versions of After Effects you can render compositions and effects in the background as you work.  After Effects renders these as uncompressed video so if you are trying to use a normal drive as a cache drive it will not be able to cope with the amount of data generated by HD or 4K effects.  Ideally you would have a solid state drive for your cache.  Some of our other laptops can take two mSATA drives which is perfect.  With this drive you can either use a normal size solid state drive in one of the hard drive bays or get a large M.2 drive which we can partition with about 150GB for windows and the rest for the cache drive.



This laptop will only work with USB3 devices like the BlackmagicULTRA STUDIO PRO and theINTENSITY SHUTTLE. , which connect via USB3.  It will not work with Express card devices like the Matrox MXO2

These USB 3 devices require power which they take from the USB3 socket.  On laptops this often means they are not getting enough power to work properly.  Therefore we recommend that you also buy a powered USB3 hub to use these devices with the laptop. Sometimes they will work properly with the laptop without the hub but sometimes they do not, especially when used for capturing video.  In our tests they work well with Adobe Premiere Pro, Grass Valley EDIUS and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve (as long as you use the powered hub) but Avid Media Composer has problems. 

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