Depending on the material that you will be editing, the key factors are:
Fast CPU (necessary for any H.264 encoded material)
Plenty of RAM for both the OS and the programs. If you go with a 64-bit OS, I would look at a minimum of 12GB, with 16-24 pretty much an ideal.
At least a 2x HDD setup, with a 3x being even better. Separate the I/O load over the additional HDD's.
A PSU (power supply unit), that can handle the HDD's, any multi-drives, your CPU and any peripherals.
Thanks Bill. A very prompt and informative reply! Would you mind elaborating a little?
1) What is a fast CPU? I have been looking at both AMD and Intel. iMac - would need to do more homework.
2) 64 bit. Done. Already using it
3) RAM - I was thinking of 16 gig - happy to go more
4) Hard drives. For the operating system a SSD. Can you please elaborate on the specifics of setting up the two (only two?) other drives. Size? Currently have a spare 500gig and a one TB.
5) video card - any thoughts?
6) I have been talking to my regular supplier in the computer shop, suspect that he is being rather conservative on his recommended spec.
For a fast CPU, I would look at a 6-Core chip, if using AVCHD, or any H.264 CODEC material.
For the SSD, I would relegate it to the OS and programs only, and then use the other two HDD's for the Project files, and media. The more that you can spread the I/O load, the easier it will be for the computer to work efficiently.
This ARTICLE goes into some great detail. It is based more on using PrPro, rather than PrE, and is aimed at setting up a dedicated NLE (Non Linear Editor) workstation. However, the author, Harm Millaard, offers several "levels" of computer, and the lower-end one would be great for PrE.
Bill. This info is very helpful. I guess the bottom line is how much I
decide to spend. Knowing that I do not change my PC very often, I will
target the upper end as per your suggestions.
Go to the hardware section http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere/hardware_forum?view=overview
Click the arrow for the FAQ drop down list and read all of the articles... these are for Premiere Pro, but video editing is video editing
Some ideas for a Desktop Video Editing PC
-ADK Kudos http://forums.adobe.com/thread/877201
-more build ideas http://ppbm6.com/Planning.html
-Build it Yourself http://forums.adobe.com/thread/815798
And, if this all sounds PC-centric, I'd like to cast my vote for the iMac.
I started running Premiere Elements on my iMac a few years ago, and I've transitioned pretty much all of my editing work over from my PC. Even basic iMacs are loaded with power (though get a quad core if you can), and they run Premiere Elements beautifully.
The only downside is that the Mac version the program hasn't got all of the features that the PC version as, as discussed in the FAQs to the right of this forum.
Steve - many thanks for your inputs. I have checked out the prices of the iMac here in Auckland, New Zealand. There's certainly a large price difference between the iMac and a similar spec PC. Given that, I will be buying in early October. Still undecided what. Tony
John - I have viewed the links. Very good info. Many thanks for taking the time to share. Tony