There are others who can give you the tech answer or have experience with Sony Vegas but I'm going to shoot for some functional ones. I don't think the problem is your laptop.
These are the system requirements from Sony Vegas 8
Microsoft® Windows® XP 32-bit SP2 (SP3 recommended) or Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit (SP1 recommended)
1 GHz processor (multicore or multiprocessor CPU recommended for HD)
200 MB hard-disk space for program installation
1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
OHCI-compatible i.LINK® connector*/IEEE-1394DV card (for DV and HDV capture and print-to-tape)
USB 2.0 connection (for importing from AVCHD, XDCAM EX, or DVD camcorders)
Your laptop is more than capable.
Next I hit the Knowledgebase and this is what I found:
AVCHD files play "choppy" in Vegas
Why don't AVCHD files from my Sony AVCHD camcorder play at a full 29.97fps?
AVCHD (AVC-HD, AVC HD) video is recorded using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression codec. Audio is stored in compressed form Dolby AC-3. Vegas does a great job of playing back these files on the timeline. However, you might not be able to achieve a full 29.97fps playback rate for various reasons (weak processor, not enough RAM, too many video plug-ins in the project, lots of video tracks in the project, etc). Because of your system limitations, you might need to create intermediate files.
1. Add the clips to the timeline.
2. Go to File > Render As. The Save As Type should be set to "Video For Windows (*.AVI)" and the Template should be set to "HDV 1080-60i Intermediate". Now click Save. The files will be saved as an AVI that utilizes the Cineform HD V2.5 codec. It retains all the detail from the M2TS file.
If you do not see "Video For Windows (*.AVI)" and the Template "HDV 1080-60i Intermediate" in your drop-down menus, then you can render the file to MPEG-2. Go to File > Render As. The Save As Type should be set to "MainConcept MPEG-2" and the Template should be set to "HDV 1080-60i". Now click Save.
After the file is saved (either AVI or MPEG-2), replace it with what's on the timeline. Now you'll experience smoother playback and more precision over editing the project.
I tend to use MPEG Streamclip, get the portion of the video that I want and export it as an .avi. I know it can do Hi-def Mpeg 4 but not sure about the sound.
Anyway the principle is still the same, convert the video into an .avi format and then work from that point.
Hope you have an external hard drive or lots of DVDs for back-up.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jocelyn Ford" <jocelynford@...> wrote:
> I'm a radio broadcaster who is a newbie to video, and not much of a techie.
> I'm trying to run Sony Vegas 8.0 on my Lenovo x61 thinkpad (Intel core 2 duo cpu T8100 , 2.10 Ghz, 795 Mhz, 2.97 GB RAM) but the video is jerky, and the audio and video are not in sync.
> I'm shooting HD AVCHD on the Canon Vixia HF100. I've tried Vegas with low-quality SD (from an old Sanyo xacti) and it's also jerky and out of sync.
> Should my x61 thinkpad be able to handle editing this on Vegas? If so, any suggestions where to begin trouble shooting?
> If not, what light-weight laptop would do the job? Ideally, I'd like to be able to file from the field. (I'm based in Beijing and sometimes find myself on very cramped buses in the hinterlands, and don't want to be loaded down with heavy equipment.)
> I'd like to stick with Vegas, but may switch to Mac /FPC if I can't find a workable lightweight solution. All advice welcome!
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]