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What is the best laptop for camming?

Discussion in 'General Cam Chat' started by English_rose, Nov 3, 2016.

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  1. English_rose

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    I currently have a toshiba satellite. It's ok but I am thinking of buying a better one. I just wondered if anyone could recommend a laptop that works really well for them?
     
  2. BiancaBaker

    Cam Model

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    I custom built my MAC 3 years ago and today I just bought a new custom MAC, I wouldn't buy anything else.
     
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  3. Mature-Robyn

    Cam Model

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    I saw you on CB this morning and your camming was awesome! The pic quality was very good - by the way, you type so bloody fast!! :jawdrop::)
     
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  4. English_rose

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    Haha speedy fingers Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed my show xx
     
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  5. Mila_

    Cam Model

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    Each site has its own requirements but CB is the most demanding, so if your laptop is good to cam on CB it will be more than enough for MFC and SM.

    I am used to using Apple and I havent gotten a PC in 10 years, but realistically, PCs have the upper hand for camming since there are so many programs for your webcam, you can cam with an actual camera, etc.
     
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  6. English_rose

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  7. Vera

    Cam Model

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    I have a MacBook Pro that I love, and a Lenovo z50 that is about three years old and still an absolute beast. If you are on a budget I really can't recommend the Lenovo z50 enough. It still handles some pretty intense video editing without any trouble.
     
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  8. English_rose

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    Thanks so much xx
     
  9. MiaFoxUK

    Cam Model

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    is cb really more demanding than sm?

    try pc specialist (its a uk site) i saved hundreds on mine compared to off the shelf prices, their live help is useful too
     
  10. Melissa Loe

    Cam Model

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    Such a useful thread .. I'm looking into buying a new laptop specifically just to cam .I know a lot of cam girls use mac laptops, but i hear with certain camera and software it can be abit of a nightmare . Do you guys know of any certain specs a laptop should have?
     
  11. OhOlivia

    Cam Model

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    I have an old ass toshiba satellite too. I'm actually in the market to get a new laptop as well. I'm sticking with PCs though because idk if I can handle the limitations of a Mac for camming. I still don't know what to get though or what specs I should be looking for. Would a gaming laptop suffice? I'm such a dummy when it comes to technology.
     
  12. Peekabooh

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    Gaming laptops focus on the video card. Since a web cam uses cpu (the chip) and not so much the video card a gaming laptop is not by definition the best option.

    As reference focus on photo or video editing systems.
     
  13. Simon

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    Although I've never been a Webcam model, I do know computers and can offer a bit of general advice.

    As models, the most demanding task you'll be asking your computer to perform is video encoding: Both encoding the video feed that travels from your Webcam to the cam site for broadcast, and encoding "offline" videos you intend to sell on sites like ManyVids. This task is inherently processor-intensive, and for this reason you should be looking first for a laptop with a relatively beefy CPU; nowadays that means either an Intel i5 or i7 CPU or their equivalents from AMD.

    Be aware that CPU clock speed, measured in gigahertz, is not as important a figure as it once was. It has to be considered together with the number of physical cores a CPU offers, each of which is actually a separate processor that runs independently of the others: A quad-core CPU, for instance, can execute four separate tasks at the same time, and will in many instances be faster than a dual-core CPU with a higher clock rate. (One of the advantages of the i7 CPU over the i5 is that it is available with a greater number of cores.)

    The resource you'll run out of next is memory: Generally, the more memory (RAM) your computer has, the more work it can manage at one time and the more data it can cache (keep close at hand) to allow it to respond more quickly as its workload changes. (Note this has nothing to do with hard drive capacity, which is separate from memory.) In my opinion, you should be looking for a laptop with at least 8 gigabytes of RAM. This is not a hard-and-fast requirement, but the more money you are able to spend in this area, the longer the laptop will be of use to you and the quicker it will appear to run, especially under load.

    Most of your money should be spent on the laptop's CPU and RAM. Everything else is secondary for the work you do, but I would suggest allocating your money next to the hard drive, which provides bulk storage for data. Hard drives are nowadays available in two forms: traditional, mechanical drives; and solid-state drives, or SSDs. SSDs are more expensive than mechanical hard drives, but are much faster as well, and can significantly reduce the amount of time your computer spends encoding offline videos (in addition to increasing its apparent speed overall). Raw video tends to consume a lot of space, so if you know you'll be producing a lot of offline videos for sale, you'll want to buy a laptop with the largest hard drive capacity (also measured in gigabytes) you can reasonably afford.

    If buying a laptop with a large (512 GB, say) SSD is outside your price range, it's possible to take a hybrid approach: Buy a laptop with a small, internal SSD drive for performance, then buy separately an external, mechanical hard drive used exclusively for encoding and archiving videos. This gives you the best of both worlds: High performance for day-to-day tasks, combined with cheap storage for the videos you produce.

    With any money that's left, I'd suggest looking at the network adapter—brand-name Ethernet and WiFi adapters from companies like Intel generally perform better than low-cost adapters from companies like Realtek, and can improve the overall quality of your video feed—and the display, since you'll likely be spending a fair bit of time looking at the screen.

    One thing you specifically don't need to spend money on is a high-end graphics processing unit (GPU) of the sort used to power video games, particularly the chips offered by AMD and Nvidia. These are expensive and generally will not do anything to improve the quality of your video feed. Look instead for a laptop advertised with "integrated graphics" or "business graphics", assuming you don't actually intend to use it for gaming yourself.

    For this reason, while a gaming laptop will certainly have the horsepower you need, buying one means you'll be paying for an expensive GPU (along with lots of fans and flashing lights) that won't actually generate a return for you.

    One other thing I'll note: Pay attention to the number of USB ports a laptop offers. These are frequently the only way to extend a laptop's functionality, and leaving your Webcam plugged in means one will be tied up continuously. If you plan to use an external hard drive as well, along with perhaps an external keyboard and mouse, you could find yourself quickly running out of ports on some models.

    I hope that's helpful. If there are specific laptops you're considering buying, post links to their product pages here and I'll be happy to give you my opinion on their specs.
     
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  14. Melissa Loe

    Cam Model

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    Thanks for getting back so quick . WOW ! Definitely a lot of information to take in, a little overwhelming. A lot of models rave about the importance of having a i7 CPU as it faster , and seen as I do have quite a lot of photos and videos I do need a RAM of maybe 8/12gb . In terms of the other specs you mentioned , that's when my head went totally blank ... I'm a little confused about whether to get SSD or HHD ? I've seen a laptop at a pretty good price, and that seems "perfect" . It would mean a lot, and save me money to get your opinion :)

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/compu...us-x556ua-15-6-laptop-black-10146348-pdt.html
     
  15. Simon

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    Just to be perfectly clear: If you're talking about storage of photos of videos, that's determined by the computer's hard drive capacity, not the amount of RAM it has. Increasing a computer's memory allows it run a greater number of software applications together at the same time, but generally has no effect on how it displays either photos or video.
    Overall I think this laptop would be a great choice for you:
    • Asus is a great brand, essentially the best outside of the big American companies.
    • With an Intel i7 processor and 12 GB of RAM, it should have more than enough power for the video-encoding tasks you'll be throwing at it.
    • It has a built-in, 2-terabyte drive, which will give you tonnes of space for both processing and storing videos.
    • The "AC" WiFi adapter supports the highest available speeds, should you be forced to cam over a wireless connection (though unfortunately, but as is common, Asus doesn't state the WiFi adapter's manufacturer).
    • It does not include a separate ("discrete") GPU for video games, which will save you money.
    • The LED display should be nice and bright and provide above-average colour fidelity.
    On the other hand,
    • At 38 cm across and 2.3 kg in weight, it's going to be a bit unwieldy to balance and transport (as you might want to do when moving from your bedroom to the shower, for instance).
    • The hard drive is of the largest capacity but also the slowest speed available on that model. (Asus does offer the same computer with a 256 GB SSD, but not through PC World, it seems.)
    • It includes a DVD drive, which adds to the price and weight and honestly, how often will you be watching or burning DVDs on it?
    • It includes a USB-C port, which is great (USB-C is the next emerging standard) but with your Webcam occupying the USB 2.0 port, that leaves only a single other port available for add-ons. Not a disaster, but you might find yourself forced to buy expensive USB-C accessories until that standard becomes more popular.
    Really, though, I think it's a very good choice, especially for the price. I tried to find a cheaper but roughly equivalent computer on that site, and I couldn't! It seems that's really the best deal they have going right now.

    Purely for the sake of comparison, if you wanted to spend a bit more money, here are two other models from that retailer I might suggest you look at:
    • The Lenovo IdeaPad 510S at £649.99. It includes an even faster i7 processor but less memory (8 GB; still adequate). It does, though, feature a 256 GB SSD, which provides much less storage space for videos but much, much faster access to data overall. (As a result, this computer will feel a lot faster than the Asus.) It's also smaller and lighter, with a 14" display and weighing only 1.7 kg, so it will be easier to move and to balance on furniture. It also omits a DVD drive. Otherwise, it's pretty comparable to your Asus.
    • The Asus ZenBook UX310UA, also at £649.99. This one is even smaller and lighter (13.3" display, 1.45 kg) and has 8 GB of RAM and no DVD drive, just like the Lenovo. It features an i5 processor, not an i7, but given it has the same number of cores (two) and only a slightly slower clock rate the difference in raw performance should not be too great. Its main appeal is that it contains both an SSD and a mechanical hard drive: You'd keep the operating system (Windows) and your most frequently used applications on the 128 GB SSD, while the 500 GB mechanical drive would give you a comfortable amount of room for processing and storing videos. This laptop also features a much higher-resolution display, which would give you (among other things) much sharper text to look at.
    To answer your question about SSDs versus traditional hard drives: As a rule, SSDs offer
    • Low amounts (128-512 GB) of storage for data, but
    • Very fast access to that data at
    • Relatively high prices;
    while traditional, mechanical hard drives offer
    • Very large amounts of storage (1-2 terabytes, or 1,000-2,000 GB) for data, but
    • Relatively slow access to that data at
    • Very affordable prices.
    Bear in mind "data" here can include not only things like photos and videos but all the software you have installed on your computer, including Windows itself.

    As a rule, SSDs are worth the cost for storing data you need fast access to every day. This includes the operating system itself, all of your most frequently used applications and any data you know you are going to be working with right away.

    Mechanical hard drives are a better value if price is a main concern, or for storing large amounts of data you know you'll access only every now and then. For this reason they're a great choice for archiving videos, which need to be encoded only once (and generally it's not a problem if the computer spends an entire night doing it) and from thereafter are only accessed from time to time.

    Does that make sense? I realize this is a lot of information. In short, I think the Asus model you pointed out is a very good choice, and while you might be able to find a slightly more suitable model somewhere else, I think it's going to be very hard to do for that price.
     
    #15 Simon, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  16. MiaFoxUK

    Cam Model

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    Check out that pc specialist site I mentioned and type in the specs mentioned above xx
     
  17. Simon

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    Here's my best effort at configuring an equivalent laptop at PC Specialist.

    The result comes to £610 before VAT, and that's with less memory (8 GB) and half the hard-drive storage space (1 TB). Not a better deal, in my opinion, even though it features what is probably a slightly better screen (IPS vs LED), genuine Intel network adapters and an extra USB 2.0 port in place of the USB-C.

    Really, I think the Asus @Melissa Loe posted is going to be hard to beat in terms of price.

    Update: I'll add that by reducing the CPU to an i5 and the screen resolution to 1366 x 768, it's possible to get PC Specialist's price as low as £487. (Weirdly, removing the DVD drive makes the price go up—I guess they have to pay someone £2 to yank the drive out of the machine before it ships.) You'd have to decide for yourself whether or not this is worth the sacrifice, and of course there are other options, like the memory and hard drive, you can play with yourself to see how the price is affected.
     
    #17 Simon, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  18. MiaFoxUK

    Cam Model

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    I got mine for a similar price to the Asus with more memory, better processor and a half decent graphics card.

    Pc world is generally thought of as a bit crap in the uk, I agree with Asus being a good brand though :)
     
  19. Melissa Loe

    Cam Model

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    After reading what you posted, I am now definitely reconsidering purchasing the Asus laptop, mainly because of the weight and size (I didn't realize it was so heavy and big) . I really like the Lenovo IdeaPad 510S that you mentioned, the DVD drive is irrelevant so it isn't necessary. Do you have any recommendation of "the perfect laptop" for camming , regardless of the price or website?
     
  20. Simon

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    Not really; I don't know enough about what's current right at the moment, and I doubt there exists a single laptop that could meet everyone's preferences all at once. There is always a trade-off to be made among price, size and performance, and every model is going to have a different opinion on which is most important.

    Beyond what I've written already, a few guidelines I could offer to you and the others are
    • In terms of overall quality, it is hard to beat Apple's computers at any price. On top of this, you can find parts and accessories for them literally everywhere, as well as service in most major cities. The downside, apart from the premium price, is (as several models have noted here) there is generally less software available to choose from as well as a tendency to find yourself locked into Apple's "ecosystem" of partners and vendors.
    • Don't be afraid to buy a refurbished laptop: The last few computers I've bought have all been refurbs, and they've been perfectly fine. This could be an easy way to save fifty pounds or more. (Note that Apple themselves sell refurbished Macbooks through their website, though you have to hunt around a bit to find it.)
    • In my experience, nothing matters more to the longevity of a laptop than the amount of memory it has. Memory plays an enormous role in determining the apparent speed of a computer and for me has always been the first resource to run out. So when choosing among multiple comparable laptops, I'd always recommend buying the one with the greatest amount of memory.
    • I never knew how much the weight of a laptop mattered until I had to travel with one. As I think you yourself are realizing, there's a good reason why the current crop of "ultra-thin" laptops command the highest prices. Unless you're really sure the laptop will be spending most of its time in one place, I'd suggest carefully considering spending more to get a lighter model.
    • For the same reason, extra battery life is often of surprising value. I miss being able to spend an entire day working at a coffee shop without having to worry about finding a power point.
    Best of luck with your decision. Again, I'm always happy to look over specs for you.
     
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  21. Mila_

    Cam Model

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    I am on a 2015 Macbook Pro, and I don't know if this applies to everyone else, but in my case, yeah, it is. I use the SM Broadcaster.
     
  22. AudreySparks

    Cam Model

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    I use a Macbook Pro, apple is pretty great :)
     
  23. Sienna_Sol

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    Ok, so a lot of that went way over my head. I read it all, but I had a hard time comprehending it, so please don't yell at me if my question is answered above!! I'm illiterate :dead:

    I have an old MacBook and it runs SO slow. I've been meaning to get one of those external memory things that goes in your CD drive to speed it up, but I'm like WAY broke right now. Will the speed of my computer Impact camming? So far I've only done it once (my internet is down rn) but I was using someone else's computer. Is this gonna be a huge issue? I thought the speed of the Internet was the only thing I had to worry about (ahhh i wish I understood this stuff more).

    I'm hoping to get a computer soon if I randomly come into some money. I desperately need one for school as well. But for the time being, do you think an old computer will work?? Thank you!!!
     
  24. Guy

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    How old is it? I have a white Macbook that I bought in march 2009 and its still very fast. Have you checked the status of the battery?
     
  25. Zana

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    @VeraPrice I've been saving for the Lenovo z70 but the z50 is like half the price and looks just about the same almost. So it worked well for editing? I'll be doing a decent amount of that along with camming on sm (the main thing I'm concerned about when picking a laptop right now) and cb.
     
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  26. Vera

    Cam Model

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    @Zana Yeah, I have had it for two years and it is still going strong. I use Filmora on this, stream on Streamate on the highest settings and generally place in the top 3-5 rows, and pretty much use it as my video conversion slave.The only thing that I don't like about it is the trackpad can be kind of oversensitive, but for how good a machine it is, and at this price point, I'll take it. It's a real beast and performs almost as well as my custom built Mac.
     
  27. ramblin

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    I believe you're making the very common mistake of confusing storage and memory. Think of storage as the size of the deck in your favorite card game, and memory as the size of your hand. You own all the cards in your deck, but can only do anything with the cards in your hand. Storage (hard drive or ssd) lets you keep more stuff. Memory (RAM) lets you work with more stuff at once. Being able to work with more stuff at once generally means you can work faster.

    One of the disadvantages of Macs is that they generally don't have upgradeable RAM. The thing that goes in (or technically replaces) the CD drive is storage of some sort. This would help you keep more things on your computer, and if it was a fast storage device like a Solid State Drive (SSD), it would make accessing that stuff (drawing and discarding in our analogy above) a lot faster. It will not, however, help with actually streaming, which needs a fast CPU and a decent amount of RAM.

    If you choose About This Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen, it will tell you the processor and memory, which you can compare against Simon's recommendations above.
     
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  28. Guy

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    You can have your Mac's RAM upgraded at an Apple affiliated tech shop.
     
  29. Simon

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    Unfortunately this has not been true of most Macbooks made in recent years.
     
  30. Sienna_Sol

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    I got it used in 2014. I think it's a 2011?? So yeah maybe it shouldn't be this slow. The battery does need to be serviced (there's an error at the top), but I thought that just affected how quickly it dies (I just keep it plugged in). Could that affect speed as well??


    Holy shit that's so useful!!! I'm glad I said something because I had no idea there was a difference in streaming speed based on memory. Is there any way though that getting extra memory on the side would free up RAM??
     
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