Well... how many hard drives and how much ram do you have now?
Also, since CS4 is 32bit, adding more ram may not do much
Thank you John.
250 GB SATA Hard Drive
2 GB Memory
You need a MINIMUM of two 7200 RPM hard drives
My 3 hard drives for video editing are configured as...
1 - 320Gig Boot for Win7 64bit Pro and ALL program installs (2)
2 - 320Gig data for Win7 paging swap file and video project files
When I create a project on #2 drive, the various work files follow,
so my boot drive is not used for the media cache folders and files
3 - 1Terabyte data for all video files... input & output files (1)
(1) for faster input/output with 4 drives
- use drive 3 for all source files
- use drive 4 for all output files
(2) only 60Gig used, for Win7 & CS5 MC & MS Office & other smaller programs
Search Microsoft to find out how to redirect your Windows paging swap file
I am now on Win7 64bit and don't remember the "exact" details, but I think doubling your ram to 4 Gig will allow "something like" 3.5 Gig for Windows and programs
But, go to the Microsoft link I provided and do some searching... since you say "older" HP I will "guess" WinXP, so search for that and memory use
This 6 year old system is so incredibly underpowered and underspecced, even for a very old version of Premiere Pro CS4, that it makes no sense to invest anything into this machine, apart from stuff that can be easily ported to a new machine and - even though you lack the means now - is the only realistic option open to you. John gave you in fact the only sensible option, get an extra 7200 RPM SATA hard disk. You can port that to a new machine. For the rest it is an utter waste of money to buy anything else for this almost extinct dinosaur. So start saving for a new machine and when you have the budget, never buy an AMD CPU again.
I agree with Harm, especially since there is absolutely no cost-effective upgrade available at all whatsoever for that nearly extinct 6-year-old dinosaur (except for perhaps an extra SATA hard drive). If you're still on Windows XP that was originally installed on that system, keep in mind that it can only address 3.29GB maximum of RAM (because the upper range of the 3.99GB addressing limit is eaten up by PCI caching). What's more, that system uses the now-virtually-extinct DDR1 RAM, which will cost you more than double the cost of the modern DDR3 RAM per GB simply because no current PC uses that RAM. (In fact, 2GB of DDR1 RAM now costs well over $40 - about the same cost as 8GB of DDR3 RAM that current i5 and i7 systems use. In other words, DDR1 RAM as used by your system now costs four times as much money per GB as DDR3 RAM.)
Third, as equipped that PC relies entirely on an onboard (integrated with the motherboard's core-logic chipset) graphics "accelerator" (and thus, it uses an IGP instead of a discrete GPU). An IGP is a definite no-no in a video editing system even if the version of Premiere you're using doesn't support GPU acceleration at all. Worse, the IGP can actually introduce stability issues in an editing system even if the version of Premiere that you're using does all rendering in software only. You could add a discrete GPU, but then the weak CPU will seriously limit the performance benefit.
So in other words, any upgrade that's worth even a small amount of performance increase will cost you significantly more money than what that entire PC is currently worth. At current depreciated prices, that entire PC is worth only about $40 to $50 tops. As a result, I strongly recommend you not to spend any more money on that system, and instead save up money for an entirely new PC. And I strongly recommend this because support for Windows XP is set to be discontinued in April 2014.
Lol, I love it when someone posts this type of Q at any tech support forum and everyone tells them to get a new PC anyway I'm sure he would do that if he had the money. In fact, he pretty much just said that lol.
Assuming what you said about not having the cash for a new PC at this time and just wanting a little more performance is indeed the case, I'll try to state the upgrades in order of effectiveness vs price and you can go from there.
HP's specs are more of a range then a specific amount but I have seen A TON of those M8N-LA ASUS boarded HP's with the 6150 in it at my shop and I've upgraded several. It seems to indicate you have 2GB of RAM, 2x1, but there are 4 slots. Since it's probably an XP 32-bit machine, you probably shouldn't go to 4GB of RAM because other devices may have memory ranges that would subtract from it, as that is the approximate limit for 32-bit systems. You could certainly get a cheap set of DDR1 3200 (400MHz) 2 x 512 sticks and throw them in there. It'd ad a significant buffer and help performance immensely. Brand new sets are severely overpriced so it'd have to be ebay unfortunately. They're like $20 top though.
The other problem is that 6150 they threw in there is beyond pathetic. I think that chip was released in 2004 and they put it on boards as late at 2008. Welcome to HP lol. But it claims it has a PCI-E 16x slot. I'd throw a cheap CUDA card in there. That'd offload many filter and color correction calculations to the graphics card, which basically operates independtly from the rest of the computer except for the interface, which unfortunately I know from experience is the original PCI-E not 2.0 or 2.1 or whatever is was right before the new 3.0. Still, it will literally calculate CUDA tasks at least 100x faster than that PC currently can. You can get a very cheap GT440 (like $65) and still get respectable numbers. The 6150 is so unbelievably awful, you'll actually get better framerates on video playback itself too. Sad but true lol.
If you were thinking about cloning your hard drive to an SSD, you'd see some better loading/import times but that's about it because your bottleneck is definitely calculations and transcoding. Also it's a SATAII controller which caps the performance pretty low so I wouldn't recommend that upgrade.
Unfortunately those are pretty much the only things you can do to that system.
P.S. visually inspect the capacitors along the heatsink of the CPU on your motherboard, as 3 out of the last 6 I saw in my shop this year had leaking or bulging capacitors on the verge of failure. It wasn't a great board despite being made by ASUS. Long story short, HP made them make it worse (cheaper).