Neither Photoshop Elements, or Premiere Elements really takes full advantage of some of the most recent video cards.
However, they each require updated video driver support, and PSE the OpenGL support.
About any current nVidia, or ATI/AMD video card, with at least 512KB VRAM, will do nicely. Each company supports their recent cards well.
The video driver support is one reason that I would not recommend any Intel graphics chip. While they are good chips, they offer horrible driver support, and that is very, very important.
Now, I do not know if either PSE, or PrE 11 will make more use of the GPU, but that might be a consideration. Unfortunately, it is probably at least two months, before those new versions come out. I do not anticipate much of a change, regarding GPU, but then, who knows?
If it's at all helpful, I'm running PRE v7 with a new home-built machine, and I'm not using any video card at all, just the Intel HD 2000 graphics that comes with the i7-2600.
I'm doing mostly standard-def DV-AVI editing, and have just gotten into GoPro HD (h.264/MP4), and everything works just fine.
Now I haven't done much work with AVCHD yet, nor do I know what difference - if any - installing a stand-alone graphics card would make, but I just thought I'd toss in my experience that no video card might be a viable solution, too.
The embedded video chip is usually adequate for work with both PSE (so long as it supports OpenGL), and PrE. Where the problems arise is with the video drivers. If Intel offers timely updates, then all should be good. Most of the recent ones are just too new, to have much of a track record.
One of the things that can "kill" a video driver is certain updates and hot-fixes for Windows. Just monitor those, and if you begin to get display related issues, or error messages, then stop by the Intel Web site, and see if there is a new video driver to download and install. If so, all is good. If not, then it might be decision time to go either for an nVidia, or ATI/AMD.
At the very least, you should have plenty of time to see if Adobe has incorporated any GPU acceleration to PrE with version 11. I rather doubt that it will incorporate anything like PrPro's CUDA/MPE, but until the new version is released, we will not know for sure. If it does, then I would check which nVidia cards (or ATI/AMD cards, should OpenGL become supported) work, and look at one of those.
Good luck, and thank you for reporting.
Intel now has a driver update app, where you can just run it and it updates all approrpriate drivers. Being of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" camp, I haven't run it in a while since everything is humming along, so I don't know what has happened recently. IIRC, when I was first building my machine (Feb 2012), they had had about 3 video driver updates in the prior 6 months.
But, yeah, I know what you're saying, and a video card may be appropriate for a lot of folks for several reasons. But I'm also of the "cheap" camp, so I thought I'd just throw in the free option . Also, my plan is, and always was, try the free option first, and if I find a need for an upgrade then fine... so far, I haven't.
Having said that, as mentioned in the PrPro forum, my plan is to upgrade to the CS6 suite this fall so I don't think I'll be so content with my HD 2000 solution - maybe Santa will bring me a shiny new nVidia GTX 690 for Christmas!
I am with you. Though I often recommend video (and audio) driver updates, when required, I only do it, WHEN required. I do similar with programs, such as QT Player, when I wait for reports to come in from the field, before I update. Even then, I keep the "last known good" version around, just in case.
Good luck, and I do hope that Intel might have finally "gotten it," regarding their video drivers. They make great chips, but the driver support has been lacking badly. As most programs do not really rely THAT much on video drivers, so long as it will get something onto the monitor, that is usually good enough. Programs, like PrE, PrPro, AE and now Photoshop, rely very heavily on the video driver, and if it's obsolete, will usually not function well. As the extreme gaming industry drive nVidia and ATI/AMD, they are constantly re-working their drivers, as those games also stress the video driver. Intel has just never been in that market. My fingers are X'ed for all Intel video chip users. Heck, Intel has a very big presence in the Valley of the Sun, and I have used their CPU's for decades, with no issues. I like Intel, but just understood that I could not trust them to update video drivers - until maybe now.