Full 8K RAW Real-Time Editing on a Laptop?

The evolution of tech is a neverending race that’s always upgrading and pushing the boundaries of what we taught could be possible, thus setting new limits and making our everyday life as content creators much, much easier. The filmmaking world is no exception as we’ve seen a lot of revolutions coming and going: digital cameras, then DSLRs, now mirrorless and who knows what’s next.

As resolutions and file sizes went on, so did the computer industry, allowing us to keep up with those cameras and continue editing videos in native resolution. But up until now, any serious editor had to consider a desktop workstation when cutting trough high-end footage, a laptop just couldn’t do it. But not any longer, since Nvidia’s RTX Studio laptops could be the next big thing we were all waiting for.

As each and every generation of computational units comes and goes, we continue to be amazed by the increase in the performances that they deliver. The data rates and resolutions we are so used to work were not even thinkable a few years back.

Mind you, we’re not talking of fifty years back, just less than ten years ago, we needed a crazy expensive RED Rocket card just to playback 4K REDCODE RAW natively.  Now, editing on laptops has become much more common, but it gets harder once you cross over the Full HD resolution while it’s still quite impossible with the highest resolution Raw files. The main obstacle is always the same, graphic computational power.

Laptop’s GPUs have to face constraints that their desktop counterparts don’t have. As it’s easy to imagine the cooling performance of such thin and light shells is not even close to that of a beefy desktop cooler. Or is it?

The new badge that Nvidia is using to certify the performances of these laptops by various manufacturers is going to be a big step up in the game. Basically, the company will be certifying this top of the line laptops as capable of video and graphics workloads. They will have optimal specs and, most importantly, dedicated drivers.

Here, Max Yuryev is testing one of the first RTX Studio certified laptops, the P75 Creator 9SF. Retailing for $2,699, this offering is aimed at content creators who demand the highest performance possible in a mobile form factor.

2.3 GHz i9 CPU (octa-core!), 32Gb DDR4 RAM, 1Tb SSD alongside the GeForce RTX 2070 8Gb Max-Q and a matte 1080p display. And that’s not even the top configuration, as you can upgrade the GPU to a 2080 and the display to a 4K panel.

But does it run Crysis? Jokes aside, on the performance side, this laptop is simply a beast. Compared to the specced out MacBook Pro (the 15″ obviously) we do not see much difference while benchmarking the CPUs with Cinebench, and that’s normal since they have the same CPU, just a tad of better cooling on the MSI.

But when switching to the GPU, testing in Geekbench 4 the MacBook is absolutely destroyed. Nvidia’s card scores triple than the Vega 20 in the Mac. And again, that’s not even the best card you can get on this laptop.

Setting aside the numbers, it’s time to confront real-world performances in real-world applications, like RED Cine-X. RED has optimized the software to take advantage of the new generation of cards, and it’s quite apparent. The MacBook is unable to reach 5fps playing back an 8K clip shot at 25fps.

It manages to hit a few frames more in 4K, but simply can’t get over it. The MSI, instead, chews through the footage once GPU acceleration is enabled, playing back smoothly and buffering a bunch of frames in real-time. It looks almost like magic. And that transfers to export times as well. Rendering the 8K took MSI’s laptop 5.08 minutes while the MacBook needed more than 23 minutes!

All in all, it seems that the new generation of cards from Nvidia is going to stir the pot of laptops for content creators, making possible what we could not dream of including editing 8K Raw files on the go with a computer that fits in our backpacks.

[source: Max Yuryev]

Order Link:

MSI P75 Creator 9FS Laptop (B&H, Amazon)

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