Both are ill-advised. Changing the video card for anything better/faster means only nVidia with at least 1 GB of VRAM, preferably a supported model. You will need at least a GTX 550 or better on such a slow system.
Understood and I appreciate your feedback. It is a given these are far from ideal but this is an upgrade from a Pentium 4 computer, Nvidia fx 5200, Vegas Pro(old version) and windows xp. The V4800 (1GB) was supposed to have come along with the computer(at basically no change in cost) and the V5700 (512mb came instead. We had discussed the possibility of getting a different card if this one wasn't performing well enough.
Are you saying that the firepro is, in any practical way for Premiere Pro, a total loss and we are just plain better off starting with a new Nvidia card ? Without a lot of experience, it looks like Nvidia optimizations result in a large benefit for overall performance.
If so, I can probably deal with it since I can buy a gtx 550 for around $130
Thank you !
Yes, Harm is mostly correct. Even the very fastest, latest AMD (formerly ATi) GPUs cannot use Premiere Pro's MPE GPU acceleration at all; therefore, Premiere is "permanently" locked to the MPE software-only mode. Only NVIDIA GPUs with CUDA support are supported at all in the GPU acceleration mode [as long as the card has 1GB or more VRAM; 512MB cards cannot use GPU acceleration mode at all due to an insufficient amount of VRAM while 768MB cards also cannot use MPE GPU acceleration at all due to the lack of sufficient available VRAM (Windows itself eats up more than 15MB of the graphics card's VRAM)].
So, effectively, the Fire Pro performs basically equal to integrated on-motherboard Intel GMA graphics (assuming that the IGP's OpenGL support is as robust as that in the Fire Pro).
By the way, the ATi naming convention is a bit weird: The FirePro V4800 is actually newer than the V5700. The V4800 is the same GPU (hardware-wise) as the Radeon HD 5670 while the V5700 is based on the Radeon HD 46xx series. In the FirePro naming scheme, the first numeric digit refers to the grade or level of the GPU while the second numeric digit refers to the GPU generation. Thus, the V4800 will be slower than a V5800 (the latter based on a Radeon HD 57xx GPU).