Best laptop for Camtasia 2018?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 3 months ago
  • Answered
Seeking laptop(windows) recommendations from experienced Camtasia 2018 users. I want something that works really well without choppiness or lag. I am not a techie and guidance in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 4 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 5687 Posts
  • 2950 Reply Likes

For the investment, screen size, components, etc. and so forth.

 The best Laptop for video editing is a Desktop.

 If you have no other option but to edit and record using a 13, 15 or 17 inch laptop.

 I wish you the best of luck. I don't recommend going there. They are just too darn small.

 Regards,Joe

Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Results, not luck, is ultimately what I'm after.  So what Desktop would you recommend to get the job done? I've played the game of trying to use the wrong tools for the job and this only can lead to frustration. So what would be the minimum desktop requirements you would go with. I'm wanting to make YouTube videos. The video editing... etc is new to me so I realize I may have been asking the wrong question. Screen size? Resolution? Graphics card? Processor? I don't really want to buy an expensive laptop only to find out it won't do what's required. I realize everyone has different applications for what they do. Curious what you would suggest? Thanks for your response.
Photo of Graham Moore

Graham Moore

  • 21 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
Min. i5, i have an i5 Lenovo x1 Carbon 3rd Gen it works a dream i bought it as a Refurb Paid £400 (500USD) in 2016 when it came out it was £1100 ($1300) made out of Carbon gorgeous keyboard all round great Laptop
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
As I searched using Google for the best laptop I landed a couple of times on Lenovo. I'm seems maybe they have some models that may work. I'm wanting to make Youtube videos. Do you think a laptop would work for this. Possibly thinking of creating a podcast or something similar. Have been experimenting with green screen a little. At the moment I'm just trying to explore and find my way. First stumbling block was my laptop. It was the best they had at WalMart when I bought it over a year ago and it definitely is NOT the best option. It works, kindof, but the video stalls and is not the result I'm after. Thanks for your reply Graham. 
Photo of kayakman

kayakman, Champion

  • 6250 Posts
  • 1834 Reply Likes
I believe Joe's approach would be best, but I drive a Lenovo T430 i5 laptop with a 245 GB SSD system drive, with another 450 GB internal HD in the drive bay; and only 8 GB RAM; but it's always hooked to a 24" external monitor [but I wish it was a 48" monitor]; I couldn't possibly work on the laptop's 15" screen; you'll need external storage space if you do a lot of screencasting [like external HD, or cloud]
(Edited)
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
So you are doing a combo of Joe and Graham's approach. A laptop hooked to a 24" external monitor. I'm hearing that the Monitor Size is SUPER important. The larger the better. And that it will require a large amount of HD storage space. 

The requirements are listed as follows and my current laptop meets the minimums but I am experiencing pauses in the video so I know I DO NOT have enough power from my system. I have an i7 but with dual-core processor and 12 GB ram. It's not doing the job which is why I came here to ask. Thanks so much for your reply. Seems I need a better processor and graphics card for sure and that a large desktop monitor would be much better.
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 (Required: 64 Bit versions only). (Recommended: Windows 10)
  • 2.0 GHz CPU with dual-core processor minimum (Recommended: 2.8 Ghz 6th Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 Processor with 4 CPU Cores or better or equivalent or better AMD processor)
  • Integrated graphics is acceptable however 4K and/or 60 FPS media will perform best with discrete graphics cards
  • 4 GB RAM minimum (Recommended: 16 GB or more)
  • 2 GB of hard-disk space for program installation
  • Display dimensions of 1024x768 or greater
Photo of kayakman

kayakman, Champion

  • 6250 Posts
  • 1834 Reply Likes
my cut [laptop or desktop, get an i7 with best video card available] ...

Win 10 64 Pro; 8 GB RAM min; 16 GB much better

biggest internal SSD system drive you can afford

biggest 1920x1080 monitor you can afford, dual if possible [your eyes will appreciate]; more resolution if you need it?

good external USB mic [I use an audio-technica AT2020 4 feet distance in a hard room] 

huge disk capacity; 1 TB internal; 4 TB external [multiple?]; I have lost 3 external HDs in past 4 rears, and recommend regular HDs raided if possible

I've done tons of extreme screencasting on my laptop; the system has handled it quite well, and the work was doable because of the external monitor, and wireless mouse/external keyboard
(Edited)
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I'm beginning to form a bit of a picture of a good setup thanks to all the input I'm receiving. I have the exact same mic you have. I just bought it. Not yet tested it much. I purchased it from advice I received from a sound stage engineer with years of experience. I believe that is a good choice. I am now piecing together the rest. I have adobe premiere elements and discovered my laptop resolution to work but not really ideal and as I continued my search I found Camtasia. During testing it was super easy to add text and effects and I really liked it a lot. However once again when I added video from my Canon 80D the video lagged and stalled. Two strikes against it. My searching and now asking here all lands square on the advice you're giving. Great video card, fast processor and SSD drive, plenty of ram, and high resolution monitor. All essentials for it to work well. And of course plenty of storage space. Thanks again for all your input. I will definitely take all this into account for my final decision.
Photo of billten

billten

  • 6 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
The key to good laptop experience is at least 4 cores and really good thermal cooling designed into the laptop. As an example I have a Dell precision 5520 (just like an xps15) and the thermals on it suck so rendering is a real problem. I wish i'd gone with a more brash gaming laptop that has better cooling.
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I totally understand. I already have the wrong laptop and now am searching for an alternative. I also think it is good that one can be hooked to a larger monitor effectively. Here are a couple of links I found but do not know if these are good. I am going to ask a techie friend to look it over. https://www.msi.com/Laptop/GS63VR-7RF-Stealth-Pro.html
that is the products page and here is one of the places it can be bought with various versions of the product https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?ci=24610&fct=fct_brand_name|msi&N=3670569600 Maybe I will need a desktop but I will openly explore my options first. Hope all is well with you and thank you for your response.
Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I also just now found it on Amazon!
Photo of demowolf

demowolf

  • 10 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Hi Dave,

You're going to get a lot of different responses since there's so many different ways to skin a cat ;)

The better the processor, the better/faster your render times will be (the act of creating or exporting the MP4 video file for uploading to youtube).

I use a 15" HP Pavilion laptop that's mainly billed as a gaming laptop. It is an internal GTX 1050 graphics card which helps with on-screen playback, and the processor is a 7th generation Intel i5. I installed a 500 GB SSD drive along side the 1 TB HDD that came with it, and I use the SSD for everything except backups... I back up to the HDD (and externally).

The 15" screen size is too small for serious video editing, so I have a setup whereby I have 3 external monitors that are all 28" in size. To make this work, I got a DisplayLink adaptor that plugs into the laptop via USB, and that drives two of the monitors (the two I have on the sides), and I use the HDMI output from the laptop to drive my center monitor (thus taking advantage of the GTX 1050 graphics card on my center monitor only.

I love this setup because although I do most of my work on the center screen, I have lot of other things open "on the wings" like File Manager windows for dragging and dropping media content, Adobe Audition for sound editing, Filezilla for file transfers, Outlook, Google Chrome, etc. To make sure all these apps can operate at the same time I have 16 GB of RAM... and I NEVER run into trouble. I think I only ever really use about half of that.

So... YES you can be a video editor with a laptop, but at the very least I highly recommend an external monitor you can plug it into. For me personally, I go on the road often, and want to be able to bring my work with me... so unplugging the laptop and going is super easy.

I bought this laptop a couple months ago... I think it's like $800 or so, plus add the 8 GB extra RAM to bring it up to 16 GB was $80 or so, and the 500 GB SSD drive was around $100. I've had the DisplayLink dual monitor dock for a couple years... I think it was around $150-$200.

Hope that helps!

Rob.

Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
You're setup is kind of what I had in mind. Portability but with enough power to do what I need to do. The addition of larger monitors has been suggested by a couple of people and it seems to be a great idea. Your setup sounds nice and I'm glad it's working for you. The way you setup the three monitors looks to be a good option. The Display link adapter is new to me. I also often have more than one app or windows open at the same time and can see the advantage of multiple monitors. I am going to be going to Switzerland soon and portability is a big plus at the moment. Near future addition of monitors make things more feasible for me at the moment. Thank you so much for the input. There is a lot to take in and learn but I'm loving it. Super fun! Nice all the help and guidance I've received. Have a great day!
Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 5687 Posts
  • 2950 Reply Likes


So, Dave J Shank

Myself personally, I like Dell computers. I’ve been using them for years and I’ve had a lot of good service out of them.

For high performance you want the XPS line. If I had to replace mine today, I would choose this one. https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-desktop-computers/xps-tower/spd/xps-8930-desktop/dxcwvmax004hb

When purchasing a computer through Dell it’s always best to contact them over the phone. Because the person you speak to will probably give you additional discounts. It will be in the form of a Dell coupon that you will have to use within 30 days or something like that. I purchased 2 additional internal hard drives with my discount when I purchased my computer. I ordered them from Dell and installed them myself.

This particular computer comes with a standard hard drive. Although, it’s a fast hard drive. You have the option to upgrade to an SSD. It’s 150 additional dollars for a 512 gigabyte or 350 for a 1 terabyte drive. So that’s kind of pricey. SSD’s are nice, the computer fires up faster. Program start faster and you can transfer files faster. However, overall. When it comes to video editing I think they’re overrated.

I purchased my XPS 8700 almost 4 years ago. At that time Dell used Seagate barracuda 7200 RPM hard drives. I have little doubt they still use the same hard drives. But I have no way of guaranteeing that. I’ve done my own testing of read/write speeds of these drives. I can transfer 100 GB of files from one drive to the other at a rate of 7 GB per minute.

In a nutshell, when you rendering a video. Odds are, you will be writing/rendering that video at a speed under 1 GB per minute.

 So, if you only have 1 hard drive installed on your computer. 2 things must occur. Camtasia needs to read files stored on the C drive. These files are” Temporarily placed in RAM memory”

Plus, it needs to write the video to the same drive.

The hard drive is only capable of reading or writing as a separate function. It cannot perform both functions at the same time.

This is where more RAM memory can come in handy. When you rendering a video the CPU and GPU are accessing RAM memory to perform the task of rendering. Therefore, the C Drive can spend all its time writing/rendering the video.

If there wasn’t enough RAM memory in the computer to hold all the video files on the timeline. The rendering process would have to be paused at some point. Then, the hard drive would have to switch to write mode and replace RAM data. Then the rendering process could continue.

In reality, this delay is not a huge delay. Were talking in terms of several seconds in most cases. But I think it’s best to understand what’s really going on in order to make the best decision.

I run 3 internal hard drives. 1 hard drive is dedicated to the rendering of videos. So there’s never a conflict when it comes to reading and writing files. 2 drives handle the reading and one drive handles the writing. Once again, I have 16 GB of RAM. So if there was a pause to replenish RAM memory during the render process. It would not be that big of a deal. A 16 GB plus video takes a very long time to render. Any delay to replenish RAM is minor by comparison.

SSD’s make everything run faster. Program start faster, Windows starts faster etc. and so forth. However, once you’ve actually opened Camtasia and placed your media on the timeline. The advantages of an SSD are no longer prevalent. You can have 3 high-capacity internal hard drives cheaper than you can have one SSD. So from an economic standpoint, it’s a good place to save money. With a 7 gigabyte read and write speed. These hard drives write at speeds 10 times faster than Camtasia will be rendering video in most cases.

I think there’s an argument for what is your time worth? With regards to SSD’s. I added a Seagate fire Cuda hybrid drive to my system a year or so ago. Windows does fire up faster. Plus, 2 or 3 programs will open faster. Hybrid drives form a memory of what you open the most often. Based on that, those functions operate faster. Open different programs on other days, the information gets replaced and those programs work better for the next couple of days. So the system is pretty flaky.

If Windows fires up 40 seconds faster per day. Your programs fire up 30 seconds faster per day. If you total all this up over a long period of time. You may feel that it justifies the cost.

 With video editing you need a lot of storage space. You can pick up 2 TB Seagate barracudas for around 60 bucks at Amazon. 2 TB SSD will cost you an arm and leg by comparison.

This particular Dell comes with a GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of memory. That’s a nice beefy card. It’s more than you need for Camtasia.

 If you are going to get into 3D modeling, advanced special-effects work like Adobe After Effects with lighting effects. You would want a different type of graphics card. The Quadro line is the next step up in the Nvidia line. That is something you would want to negotiate with Dell as a custom-built.

For general video editing purposes. The Quadro is unnecessary. Quadro handles the mathematics for 3D CAD work at lightning speed, anti-aliasing displays in wireframe mode. High resolution displays especially associated with CAD work. And a whole host of other features strictly related to 3D rendering and interaction with professional applications.

I run a Nvidia GTX 660 OEM. It’s more than enough card for Camtasia. I wouldn’t mind having a 1060 in my machine instead. I do work with special-effects in After Effects using lighting in 3D space, particle emitters and the types of things where a Quadro would come in quite handy. I just don’t find myself doing it often enough to upgrade.

The key to a good-looking video is being able to see exactly what the video is going to look like when it’s done. It’s difficult to tell what a 1920 by 1080 video is going to look like in fine detail. If you’re editing it on a small monitor. If the canvas area is 10 inches by 5 inches. The video is much smaller/compressed then it is in reality. A lot of pixels have been discarded and rearranged to display the image you are seeing. So what you are actually seeing and editing is a distorted depiction of the original video. A 1920 by 1080 video measures nearly 24 inches diagonally. Or 21 inches by 11 inches.

So it takes a whole lot of screen to see video in its original form. Ideally, you want to go with dual monitors. That’s another reason I think using a laptop is kind of a joke. Once you plug another monitor into a laptop. It’s technically not a laptop any longer because is no longer portable. Isn’t that the entire point of using a laptop is its portability? Unless you consider lugging around another monitor along with your laptop portable.

I switched to a 32-inch primary monitor last year. It’s a HP omen 2560 by 1440 display. It specs are 1st class. Most monitors with the same specs cost much more.

I worked with dual 23 inch monitors for years. That worked out quite well.


But this new set up is the best. A 1920 by 1080 video doesn’t fill the 32 inch viewing area at 100 percent canvas size. So I always know exactly what the videos going to look like when it’s done. When I zoom in or out of the canvas area. The real estate area I have to work with is massive.


So, this works for me. What works for you might be entirely different.

Hopefully, this gives you something to think about.

Here is a link to a forum post where the member wanted information about purchasing a laptop 3 years ago. I discussed purchasing a Dell with KMKelly. Kelly went with the Dell. “She I think” was so pleased with the performance of the Dell she named it “The Beast”

https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/spec-for-a-laptop-devoted-to-camtasia

As far as choppiness and Lag goes. As you edit and add effects, Pan and Zoom etc. Depending on the footage.The resolution of that footage.Some choppiness and lag will be unavoidable. 

Camtasia doesn't let you reduce the resolution of playback on the canvas. Or Pre-render  timeline playback like Premier Pro and some other video editing programs. 4K video is especially prone to lag as a result. So don't expect smooth payback in all situations. You won't get it.   

Regards, Joe

Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 5687 Posts
  • 2950 Reply Likes
I accidentally uploaded a software canvas area comparison image.

This is what Camtasia looks like when I'm editing at 100% zoom level.

Photo of Dave J Shank

Dave J Shank

  • 9 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Wow Joe!!! Very informative and helpful! The model you referred me too looks SUPER IMPRESSIVE! The reviews are awesome and I can now clearly see why you said the best laptop for Camtasia is a DESKTOP! Your reasoning is above reasonable! My only reservation is that I am soon going to Switzerland possibly to stay and moving a desktop may be a bit of a challenge. Still I am now thinking the desktop is a MUCH BETTER option. Way better of a setup than I was envisioning. More powerful options to choose from at much better price. Runs cooler.... the advantages appear to Hugely outweigh the disadvantages. I will have to give this careful consideration over the next several days. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE INFORMATION! And for sharing your hard work and research.... experience with me. It is invaluable. Maybe I will end up with a Desktop "BEAST" of my own. I can certainly see that a better editing result would come from a setup like the one you suggest. Have an amazing day and THANK YOU... THANK YOU.... THANK YOU! I definitely AM IMPRESSED with Camtasia NOW I NEED CAPABLE HARDWARE to effectively run it! Your input will, I'm sure lead me in that direction much more quickly!
Photo of nicpogm

nicpogm

  • 52 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Why doe sit say 16GB "or more" in the system requirements? Would "more" help?