Resolve Laptop Comparisons

Get answers to your questions about color grading, editing and finishing with DaVinci Resolve.
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DavidSwinehart

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Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostWed Aug 29, 2018 2:16 pm

I have seen several posts related to "which laptop should I buy" or "will this laptop run Resolve" and thought I would provide some brief feedback and results from a recent laptop switch that might be helpful to someone.

I'll preface this by saying that I do have a proper tower with a GTX1070 8GB graphics card as my main editing and grading machine, however I travel frequently for projects and like to use a laptop on the road for basic edits and project drafts.

Until this week, that travel laptop was a previous-generation Razer Blade 14 with a Quad-Core i7, 2.2GHz, 16GB RAM, and a NVIDIA 1060 6GB graphics card. It had lots of power, but was not without its quirks, so this week I tested the new Dell XPS 15 9570, Hexacore i7, 2.2GHz/4.1GHz boost, 16GB RAM and a NVIDIA 1050 Max-Q 4GB graphics card. I was hoping that the Dell would be a more stable machine overall, plus it has a better 4K touchscreen display.

My concern was that the lighter-duty graphics card wouldn't be up to the task with Resolve, but I was wrong. I have tested projects this week consisting of 4K ProRes 422 footage from my Ursa Mini, HD ProRes 422 footage from the same camera and H.264 footage supplied by clients, and the Dell has been up to the task. Playback is smooth at nearly full FPS right from the get-go, and full FPS playback after just a few scrubs back and forth.

Most astonishingly, I imported a film project that I had been grading on my main PC - a 15 minute documentary, 4k footage scaled down to an HD timeline, mostly in ProRes 422 with some odd b-roll, and a utility LUT and primary color corrections on all clips. Exporting the project to an H.264 master on the Razer took just under 7 minutes (6:59.72). The Dell, with its extra cores and weaker graphics card, exported in just over 6 (6:07.87). Playback on both machines was nearly identical.
David
OakParkStudios, Inc
Kansas City, MO
Ursa Mini 4K, BMPC 4K, DaVinci Resolve 15, Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i7 (8th gen), 16GB, NVIDIA 1050, Dell XPS Tower, Core i7-8200 3.2GHz, 16GB, NVIDIA 1070
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Carsten Sellberg

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostWed Aug 29, 2018 3:11 pm

Hi.

First will I like to ask you if you use the free or the studio version, as the studio version have hardware decoding of H264 YUV 4:2:0?

https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-video-codec-sdk

Then I will like to point out that there are much better Laptops that the Dell XPS 15 9570 with Hexa core i7 Cpu.

Notebookcheck have done some test, they call it: 'Dell XPS 15 9570: 15 % more performance by undervolting'

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS- ... 738.0.html

It shows that the Dell-XPS-15-9570 is not set up for max performance, as it is possible to increase performance by 15% by undervolting the CPU. I will not recommend users of this forum to undervolt the Dell-XPS-15-9570's them self. But there are much better Laptops available. Normally do I recommend Laptops in a medium to large size, to get reed of the generated heat.

Regards Carsten.
URSA Mini 4.6K
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DavidSwinehart

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostWed Aug 29, 2018 4:40 pm

Good points. I am on the studio version.

I agree that there are more powerful laptop options out there. MSI makes good options. The new Razer 15 looks interesting with the 1070 card. However, I think that there are enough others out there in my position - where they may be looking for a relatively thin and light laptop on the Windows platform with decent editing and basic color capabilities - that I felt they may want real-use feedback with this particular machine.
David
OakParkStudios, Inc
Kansas City, MO
Ursa Mini 4K, BMPC 4K, DaVinci Resolve 15, Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i7 (8th gen), 16GB, NVIDIA 1050, Dell XPS Tower, Core i7-8200 3.2GHz, 16GB, NVIDIA 1070
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Joshua Morin

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 8:33 pm

Thanks for this David, I am in that exact position. Based on your advice I will pick one up. Thanks!
Windows 10 Pro
Resolve 16.0.0.044 Studio
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750 2.20GHz, 32.0 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070M, 8Gb
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 8:35 pm

So far so good with an Alienware m15.

And with the next generation due in the near future, it's going to have a better monitor and an RTX gpu…

:)
Rakesh Malik
Cinematographer, photographer, adventurer, martial artist
http://WinterLight.studio
System:
Alienware M15 Hexacore + Radeon VII + Razer Core
HP Spectre x360 Kaby Lake-R
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Joshua Morin

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSat Jan 19, 2019 10:55 pm

My problem is that laptop is just too massive to haul from country to country... I am hoping the XPS is going to give me what I need...
Windows 10 Pro
Resolve 16.0.0.044 Studio
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750 2.20GHz, 32.0 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070M, 8Gb
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Carsten Sellberg

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 4:21 am

Joshua Morin wrote:My problem is that laptop is just too massive to haul from country to country... I am hoping the XPS is going to give me what I need...


Hi Joshua.

There have been a lot of not so nice writing in the tech press around the Dell-XPS-15-9570.
Here is just a link to the latest:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Updated-D ... 516.0.html

First they denied the issue.
Then they confirm fixing it.
But when?

Suggest you look for a medium to large size laptop that can get rid of the generated heat and run Resolve well.

Regards Carsten.
URSA Mini 4.6K
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Uli Plank

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 4:27 am

Resolve can bring insufficient hardware to its limits in thermal management , remember the problems with rendering on the MacPro ‘trash can’.
Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 1:02 pm

The XPS 9750 is probably one of the worst option on the market. Both the thermal and VRM design are hilarious and you won't be able to use the CPU and GPU simultaniously without severe throttling. This can also not be fix by repasting, stacking thermal pads on the VRMs, or undervolting. It's designed to look good, not to deliver performance at all. Also for the I9 you won't be able to undervolt much more than 0.95, which gives you maybe 200mhz more with similar power consumption. I tried half a year to use and modify the 9750 to be usable with Resolve, just forget about it. Needless to mention all the iGPU issues Resolve has with such hardware anyways.

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XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 3:21 pm

Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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MishaEngel

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 5:00 pm

peterjackson wrote:Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 5:54 pm

MishaEngel wrote:
peterjackson wrote:Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.
What laptop is it? Which Intel GPU driver and which Nvidia driver are you running? Is it the reference driver from Intel or one with vendor specific changes (as Dell does)? Is the iGPU disabled in any way? Do you have external displays attached?
Last edited by peterjackson on Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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Joshua Morin

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 6:20 pm

Can someone recommend a laptop that will give me less problems than what I am running right now? I just need a 15 inch and size is key, but money is no problem. I use fusion on tracking and it bogs down right now and frequently crashes (using proxies 720p). I also do tons of transition works using alpha wipes and keys and that bogs down too. I mean it works, but I want more speed and less crashes. If someone could recommend something in laptop form then I am in!

Thanks in advance
Windows 10 Pro
Resolve 16.0.0.044 Studio
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750 2.20GHz, 32.0 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070M, 8Gb
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Joshua Morin

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 7:43 pm

I was looking at the Razerblade 15

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
16GB RAM (I would upgrade to 32)
512GB SSD


Does anyone have any experience with this machine and performance with Fusion and Resolve?
Windows 10 Pro
Resolve 16.0.0.044 Studio
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750 2.20GHz, 32.0 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070M, 8Gb
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 8:39 pm

Joshua Morin wrote:My problem is that laptop is just too massive to haul from country to country... I am hoping the XPS is going to give me what I need...


No, it's not. It isn't that much bigger than my miniscule 15" Spectre X360.
Rakesh Malik
Cinematographer, photographer, adventurer, martial artist
http://WinterLight.studio
System:
Alienware M15 Hexacore + Radeon VII + Razer Core
HP Spectre x360 Kaby Lake-R
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Rakesh Malik

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 8:42 pm

The configuration is similar to mine, which is working quite well. I'm on the fence about Razer though; Razer products have a reputation for not lasting, and Razer's customer service is abysmal -- it's highly recommended that if you do decide to go with one, purchase through a reseller rather than direct.
Rakesh Malik
Cinematographer, photographer, adventurer, martial artist
http://WinterLight.studio
System:
Alienware M15 Hexacore + Radeon VII + Razer Core
HP Spectre x360 Kaby Lake-R
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Carsten Sellberg

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostSun Jan 20, 2019 10:37 pm

Joshua Morin wrote: I use fusion on tracking and it bogs down right now and frequently crashes


Hi Joshua.

When I look at your first post do I read it as you only have frequently crashes ONLY when Using Fusion. Is that correct?
And then I read that you generally want more speed. That can you of cause get with an updated CPU and GPU.

In DaVinci Resolve 15 configuration guide do I read that '64GB or 128GB or more is recommend for FUSION' Are you sure that you need a Laptop, and not a Desktop?

And in your second post, do I read that you look at a Razerblade 15. Here is a link to a review of the v6:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Bla ... 426.0.html

The general score is 87%, that is good. But I don't like the Cons listed. Are you sure You don't need a Laptop with a Ethernet connector?:

Cons
- Razer software requires an account
- very loud for a Max-Q design
- surfaces susceptible to dirt
- no card reader, no RJ45
- 12 month warranty
- high temperatures
- just one M.2 slot

Regards Carsten.
URSA Mini 4.6K
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Dave Pitman

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 5:19 am

MishaEngel wrote:
peterjackson wrote:Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.


Yep, mine too.
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 10:45 am

Dave Pitman wrote:
MishaEngel wrote:
peterjackson wrote:Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.


Yep, mine too.
Which laptop is it? Which Intel GPU driver and which Nvidia driver are you running? Is it the reference driver from Intel or one with vendor specific changes (as Dell does)? Is the iGPU disabled in any way? Do you have external displays attached? Thanks.


Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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Trensharo

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 12:21 pm

Laptop users on Windows should almost never be using Reference Intel Drivers. OEMs customize the drivers for their Laptops, so using the Reference Drivers can introduce a myriad of problems. If you're using Intel Reference Drivers and getting issues, this is a user error, and not a "Resolve Problem."

A lot of people think this is marketing buzzword, but they really do customize the drivers. If you install the Reference drivers on a laptop, they will often not work properly. Sometimes, catastrophically so.

Installing Intel's Reference drivers on my ASUS Laptop causes all sorts of issues. Frequent Driver Crashes. Apps taking forever to open. BSODs. Display blinking on and off. Sound via HDMI not working properly. etc.

The biggest issue a lot of people are facing with Intel's Windows drivers is the 6-Bit Display Bug, where the Laptop Panel is detected as 6-Bit in Windows 10, and displays inaccurate colors. That is fixed by recent drivers, but most laptops haven't had those drivers certified, yet. Using an external display avoids that issue.

I also think a 15.6" UHD display is a waste of money, personally. I'd max out at 1440p and put the money saved into other upgrades (Bigger SSD[s], More RAM, faster CPU, etc.). I wouldn't even get the touch screen. Those sound much better than they actually turn out to be for most people ;-) A small, entry level Intuos Tablet only costs $80.

Most Laptops will not allow you to disable the iGPU. Otherwise, you'd barely get any battery life out of them. They run off the iGPU, switching only when necessary (Gaming, Demanding Graphics Apps, etc.).
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 12:40 pm

Yes, I tried various Dell and reference driver versions. Reference was working, but much slower, so went back to the latest Dell.
XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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Dave Pitman

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostMon Jan 21, 2019 3:15 pm

peterjackson wrote:
Dave Pitman wrote:
peterjackson wrote:Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.
Which laptop is it? Which Intel GPU driver and which Nvidia driver are you running? Is it the reference driver from Intel or one with vendor specific changes (as Dell does)? Is the iGPU disabled in any way? Do you have external displays attached? Thanks.


Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


UHD screen, no eGPU

Asus ZenBook Pro
i7-6700HQ Quad-Core 2.6 GHz
16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
GTX 960M with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
Samsung 512 GB M.2 PCIe
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Joshua Morin

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostTue Jan 29, 2019 5:44 pm

I ended up buying the Gigabyte Aero with the specs listed below... it is a night and day difference. So much is better now. Thanks for all of the help!
Windows 10 Pro
Resolve 16.0.0.044 Studio
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750 2.20GHz, 32.0 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070M, 8Gb
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peterjackson

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostTue Jan 29, 2019 6:37 pm

Dave Pitman wrote:
peterjackson wrote:
Dave Pitman wrote:[quote="peterjackson"]Also, as mentioned in others threads, hardware H264/H265 on such hardware is currently broken and will cause Resolve to allocate all available system memory and die. Don't count on it. Expect to use your CPU to decode to optimized media or proxies.
Maybe 15.3 will fix it. Maybe not.

Until that's fixed, buying a used Mac Book for Resolve would be my choice today.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


Works perfect on our windows laptop.
Which laptop is it? Which Intel GPU driver and which Nvidia driver are you running? Is it the reference driver from Intel or one with vendor specific changes (as Dell does)? Is the iGPU disabled in any way? Do you have external displays attached? Thanks.


Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk


UHD screen, no eGPU

Asus ZenBook Pro
i7-6700HQ Quad-Core 2.6 GHz
16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
GTX 960M with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
Samsung 512 GB M.2 PCIe[/quote]Happy to say that 15.2.3 fixes all the issues I reported and works with the latest drivers. So longer any reason to keep away from Windows laptops as platform.
XPS 9750, i9-8950HK, 32GB, 2TB NVM, Intel 630, GTX 1050 Ti, 1080 Ti eGPU, Mini Monitor, BMCC4K. Versions: BIOS 1.7.0, Intel 630 24.20.100.6287, Nvidia 25.21.14.1881, Thunderbolt 17.4.77.13, Win10 Enterprise 10.0.17134.
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Dave Pitman

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Re: Resolve Laptop Comparisons

PostWed Jan 30, 2019 2:55 am

It's great that the latest version has sorted your issue, Peter. It's was working fine for me and probably the majority of other windows laptop users as well. Glad to have you aboard !

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