I once made a comparison converting a 1.9GB video from .mov to .mp4. I used a laptop and a desktop - both had i7 CPUs, 8GB of RAM and Windows 7 and both cost appr. $1150 (the desktop + the monitor). I also used the same program - Freemake.
The conversion on the laptop took nearly 3 times the time compared to the desktop. And that figures - although they were both i7s, the mobile i7 is a lot less powerful than the desktop i7. Desktop CPUs could not be cooled enough in a laptop and the same goes for GPUs.
I don't think you can build top laptops that perform like top desktops - matter of physics. And for video or 3D graphics work and games, you just need raw muscle.
Sure, there are fine laptops out there - for a lot of money. But they can never compete with high end desktops because of the physical limitations in the confined spaces - heat being the biggest problem.
And another problem is the size of the screen. My comfort zone starts at 22". On a small screen, I can touch a few icons or tiles (even on my 4" W8P screen), but I cannot 'make' anything. It's only for consumption.
I agree with @whs -- any sort of video editing - you need sheer raw muscle - fast I/O and a lot of FAST RAM - you need probably at least an 8 core processor (or better a multi cpu system) to get any decent speed with transcoding for output at anything like passable video quality --people watch on HUGE screens these days where the flaws of "bog standard" DVD's played on a non upscaling DVD player look obvious --and with 4K video coming soon at sensible prices this will really tax any domestic machine now.
Apart from the CPU you need a decent Mobo with a proper bus width, multiple bus paths for Memory (RAM) address channels and decent I/O channel paths -- a laptop even with an i7 in it just won't cut it. For 3D work too you'll probably need a separate powerful GPU -- and these just have too many heat problems to even THINK of putting them in laptops.
I have only really been using my old desktop recently because the laptops I have are just too slow for some of the video work I'm messing about with. Before that the old desktop (Quad 3,2 Ghz processor / 16GB RAM Sata drives etc) was just gathering dust -- it's STILL TOO SLOW !!! so I'm going simply to turn it into a simple file server and media streamer.
For the first time in YEARS I'm actually looking to buy (or even make) a decent desktop type of machine -- I'll be looking at something where I can put MORE than ONE CPU in it --try that in a laptop !!!.
Obviously for travelling mobile computing needs are different - but with more High quality video being delivered away from physical media I think we are a LONG way from seeing the death knell of the "Desktop PC" --of course it won't ever be as popular as a few years ago -- the whole landscape has changed - but to say they will soon become extinct is a bit like telling the inhabitants of Greater Los Angeles that Cars will be replaced by bicycles.
The point of my previous post was that putting together a desktop for $380, which is more powerful than my laptop may be difficult, when the monitor, cables, mouse, and keyboard are added in. Adding a short term battery backup would make it more of a challenge.
Would anyone care to put together a desktop for $380 or less which is more powerful than my laptop?
$380 is not enough for a desktop if you factor in the monitor which is around $100 by itself. Battery backup is another $60 to$80 item. So you only have $200 for the actual box, the mouse and the keyboard.
But for people that have all the outboard gear already, it might be possible.
But I am talking about high end systems over $1000. And there the desktop shines.
I don't think anyone here is arguing that a desktop isn't more powerful but that the "average" user doesn't need all that power and that a tablet or laptop provides more than enough power for them.
Pretty much anyone that reads this forum on a regular basis would not qualify as an "average" user, we are in the minority. By the same token, those that need the power of a desktop are in the minority.
You are correct strollin. If we are all mature enough. These Round Table Discussions will stay mature and not turn into a holy war. I would rather openly discuss stuff like this with others. All due to it not only helps those that do this stuff for an employer as a IT department head. But it can also help those that are looking for something that may help them on a paper for computer class.
If we didn't discuss this stuff. It would never give us a break from troubleshooting others problems. I just spent 3 1/2 days working on a Dell Inspiron N7010 Laptop that had issues. Bad hard drive and overheating. Took going through four different tools to finally find the right one to pull the data.
Best thing is that it was experience gained by going to forums such as this. Is how I have learned what to look for, or where to look for the right software tools.