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Thread: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

  1. #1
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    Dec 2021
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    Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    Hello there!
    Iím writing this as a mental and planning experiment so I can, with your help, have a logic behind most of my future purchase decisions when it comes to my work equipment.
    Iíve been familiar with the existence of Linux and FOSS since the late 90ís, mostly because of the efforts of SUSE and Red Hat to serve my country's corporate market and recruit computer science and engineering students into the FOSS flock. Iíve been familiar with the Linux desktop experience since 2011, when I sat down on an unused computer in my then-girlfriendís officeÖ It was Ubuntu. However, I have just been daily driving Linux for almost two months on my 2007 iMac. Needless to say, I fell into this lovely rabbit hole right away.
    Context aside, I want to buy a new computer, a mobile workstation to be more specific. So here are some of the basic needs Iíll have to cover.


    • Iím a content creator first, then a casual gamer.
    • This year (2021) I switched my video editing workflow from Adobe Premiere to DaVinci ResolveÖ And Iím not going anywhere else.
    • A good colour-accurate display is a MUST (16:10 ratio is desirable)
    • Since it will be my only computer, Iím going to need a good expansion capability, like Thunderbolt connectivity.
    • I also need it to be easily serviceable, repariable and upgradable.
    • Decent battery life
    • Ubuntu-ready with as little troubles as possible.


    With that in mind, after some research Iím narrowing my options to these three laptops.

    • Dell XPS 17 9710
    • Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen4
    • Lenovo Legion 7i


    Iím quite open to any other suggestion, as long as it meets the aforementioned criteria.
    ----
    The plan is to buy a separate M.2 SSD to install Ubuntu from scratch, leaving the out-of-the-box SSD aside in case I resell the computer.

    So, I need to run DaVinci Resolve under Ubuntu (there are quite good instructions on Pop!_Osís site) with as good codec support as possible. I need to be able to use a Thunderbolt dock to connect external peripherals, a USB mic, and an external monitor. And, last but not least, I need to be able to run some games (especially Command & Conquer 3: Kaneís Wrath).

    What would work better for me?
    How shall I proceed in order to have a seamless workflow using Ubuntu as my main (and only) OS?
    Shall I go for the LTS Ubuntu or shall I go the cutting-edge route?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    4,084
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    Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat

    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    There are a few suppliers who sell Desktops and Laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed:-

    https://linuxpreloaded.com/

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    I'm familiar with some Linux-based PC manufacturers. My problem with most of them is thar they're mostly Clevo-based designs and I have my doubts about the display quality (something fundamental on my line of work), the 16:9 display ratio and the chin (and wasted space) that comes with it.

    Tha beign said, there are two laptops in my radar from those manufacturers:

    1.-Slimbook Executive: I love the design and build quiality. But it is an Ultrabun, so power is not it's focus. It's great for an executive on-the-go, but terrible for a video editor like myself.

    2.- Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 14 6th-gen:
    This one looks sweet and has a dedicated RTX 3050Ti GPU that works well with DaVinci Resolve. Besides, it looks sweet!

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    I would really suggest NOT getting a laptop for video editing. Build a desktop for much less $$$ and 3x the power.
    Then use a laptop just for audio/video capture when in the field. Then you can easily get a $500 laptop and the cost of both the laptop AND the desktop/workstation will be less than a single, monster, laptop, that cannot really be upgraded.

    There are a few off-off-brand laptops that DO have replaceable, modular, components, but those are a little worse for battery, a little heavier, and just a little un-finished. Check this out: https://frame.work/

    Dell is my brand of choice, but I lugged an IBM Thinkpad between the US and Japan for a few years. Never again. A laptop needs to be small, light, capable. The best laptop I've ever owned was less than 2 lbs and 13.3 inches. Sure, it didn't have 64G of RAM nor 20TB of storage, but it was ideal for travel. I connected back home to my workstation when traveling for anything important. Alas that light laptop had a common issue that plagues all current laptops - the keyboard started failing. To replace the keyboard was like open heart surgery - all the insides had to be removed just to get at the keyboard. All thin, light, laptops have that issue, so plan to replace the laptop every 2-3 years when the keyboard wears out. It makes little sense to spend $150 to have a new keyboard installed on a computer that has lost 75% of the value and is only worth $300 with a working keyboard. Only Apple laptops seem to find a used market anywhere near the price it was when new.

    Before the M1 debacle, I'd have just said to get an Apple Laptop with the hardware you seem to prefer, then follow the Ubuntu-Apple users' suggestions to get the best outcome. Perhaps in a few more years, the M1 will be well supported again and "just work?" Who knows. Or will Apple send their lawyers out? We don't know.

    Last week, there was a cheap Dell laptop that I almost bought. Dell has the best laptop keyboards across the entire industry, IMHO. I've been burned by keyboards in the lesser brands. Some of the most popular brands still have trouble following the UEFI standards or do dumb things like disabling VT-x/VT-d support in the BIOS for CPUs which are capable and they remove the options to enable those.

    Consider this - with a desktop, you'll be able to replace the GPU in 3-4 yrs, but with a laptop, you are stuck with the GPU and screen it shipped containing. I've decided that replacing a laptop every 3-4 yrs is my best solution. It is amazing what $400 (or less) can buy. If the company is paying, then I'd get an Dell XPS 13 every year for $2K. If I'm paying, then even $400 isn't worth the cost.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    https://youtu.be/xVO--p6sMgo is from LTT ... a few new Asus laptops specifically designed for both gaming AND content creators. No word on Linux compatibility, but knowing that the hardware is designed for color correctness would be a huge deal, right?

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    Many interesting prototypes out there, indeed.
    The best thing about the Ryzen 6000 series laptops is the USB-4 capability that brings Thunderbolt-like connectivity to AMD-based computers.

    I'll keep these on my radar∑

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    So you suggest using the laptop just to curate the work on-the-go in irder to edit it on a desktop... That's reasonable if you want to have two computers and if it's possible to buy a brand new GPU to build that dektop PC (Spoiler: It is quite hard, indeed).

    The Framework Laptop is in my radar. I'm kind of in love ith the concept and I would love the company endures enough to launch a second laptop with a discrete GPU (almost a requirement for DaVinci Resolve to work properly).

    I'll keep that in mind as I build-up my budget.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu-based video-editing mobile worksation

    Quote Originally Posted by jcas0058 View Post
    So you suggest using the laptop just to curate the work on-the-go in irder to edit it on a desktop... That's reasonable if you want to have two computers and if it's possible to buy a brand new GPU to build that dektop PC (Spoiler: It is quite hard, indeed).
    Yes. A light, laptop for needs on-the-go and a powerful desktop when that is needed. The total cost can be $1000 less than a high-end laptop to buy both a light laptop and a powerful desktop. Get a used laptop for $400 and a powerful desktop for $500-$600. That's $1000 total, when a high-end laptop would be $1800-$2500. If you build the desktop yourself, you'll have complete control over the components and for many people, reusing existing parts will bring real savings.

    You can get a Ryzen with an onboard GPU for now. I made that choice about 3 months ago - got a Ryzen 5600G - because my excess GPU isn't supported anymore by nVidia and I wasn't looking to spend more than $70 for a GPU. The iGPU in the Ryzen was expensive to me, but less expensive than a low-end GPU. I reused the case, storage, monitor, keyboard, mouse, PSU, and all cables. My Ryzen 5600G was ~ $420 - saving $200-$300.

    But we have different GPU needs. Just providing options for consideration.
    Last edited by TheFu; January 10th, 2022 at 07:41 PM.

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